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Garden Photo of the Day

The Ebb and Flow of a Garden

Kousa dogwood berries

The ebb and flow of a garden keeps it interesting. What's peaking in your garden right now?

"Compared to most of the country, we'd have pretty ideal garden weather this summer in Central Ohio: cool, wet spring and summer; somewhat hot and dry August and early September. Lots of plants in my garden are showing wear and tear and looking pretty tired, but some things are just winding up. Here's a few highlights."

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Musa basjoo

Passiflora vitifolia scarlet flame

Salvia darcyi

Salvia nutans

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Comments

  1. HelloFromMD 09/14/2015

    Those are some beautiful plants! Salvia nutans is a new one to me. Really neat. The banana is majestic. Can you over winter a portion of that?

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 09/14/2015

      The banana plant has been there since 2008 with no special care or protection. Between the warmth of the house and southern exposure, it does well. After super cold winters like this past winter, only side shoots come up. After warmer winters, some main plants return and get much, much taller.
      Salvia nutans is new to me this year, too. I couldn't find definitive hardiness data, but think it should be zone 6 hardy. At least I have high hopes!

      1. User avater
        gringopeligroso 09/14/2015

        Tim!
        I stumbled upon a nice resource for Salvias and other temptations/indulgences last year: Flowers by the Sea.
        (http://www.fbts.com/) A search of the specie (S. nutans) verified your Zone information, but what I didn't realize is how tall/majestic it becomes!!

        Unfortunately, they are sold out of this particular temptation at this time!!
        Our S. darcyii is growing like the proverbial weed but we're just coming into the heavy bloom time for it here...just in time for the Hummer migrations.
        I've had the Red Passifloras before, and I also found them to be shy in comparison to some of the others of that family...no matter WHAT setting I had them in. REALLY nice capture of the sporadic bloom, tho!!
        NICE statement from your M. basjoo. Must also be protected from the winds..those leaves are Florist Quality!!

        1. User avater
          Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 09/14/2015

          Thanks for the reminder about FBTS, Jesse. Funny, I frequent that site (although I've never ordered from them) and don't remember the S. nutans entry. That's good news.
          Remind me of the zone in which you garden? I think the S. darcyi can be iffy in my area. This is it's first year and I really love it, as do the hummingbirds! The foliage smell is so odd and yet pleasing, too.
          We haven't had any bad wind or hail this year. One year hurricane Ike blew all the way up to Ohio and the bananas looked like those pictures you see of hurricane-battered tropical isles: completely shredded! Those six-foot long leaves are quite an amazing sight looking down on them from upstairs.

          1. User avater
            gringopeligroso 09/14/2015

            I must admit that I too have yet to order, and I use their informative web pages more as reference and my go-to source for reliable information on Salvias and other offerings from them. I hope to begin purchasing from them in the coming season as they continue to add more and more treats which I'm finding for me that "Resistance is Futile." (Nod to Gene Roddenberry)!!

            I'm newly arrived to Zone 6, but the S. darcyii has actually moved with me several zones/gardens.. from a patio container garden in Zone 8 of the DFW Metroplex, to an Earthbound existence in a garden in Zone 7; (Ouachita Mtns.) then re-dug and transplanted to it's current and newest location in Zone 6.(Ozark Mtns.) (It spent 2 years in another container during the Move from Hell.) It went through the last winter, which was pert-near normal for us just fine, re-united with Mother Earth....altho i nervously mulched the roots before the hard freezes had arrived.
            Something I learned from the mulching you may find useful:
            A couple of the long stems became wedged between the soil and my hasty covering operation. When I cleaned the bed this Spring Past, the stems had rooted and had their own territorial claim!! Since my newest garden is still growing in both size and age, this surprise is MOST welcome!!! I'm hoping to do the same with my S. x 'Indigo Splires', which suffered through the same transitions as the S. darcyii!! (I'm going to have to get a bumpersticker made: "Have Garden: Will Travel.") As I type this, the Hummers here are literally fighting over the Indigo Spires! I about had my nose taken off a little bit ago by being in the cross fire!!

          2. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 09/14/2015

            That's a lot of garden moving!
            We may be inundating FBTS this spring. They seem to have more now than when I visited before. "Make it so, Number One."
            Thanks for the tip. I'll be leaving S. darcyi to its own recognizance and hoping for rooting and growing and more natural red hummingbird feeders next year.

          3. User avater
            meander1 (Michaele ) 09/14/2015

            I adore 'Indigo Spires'...it is such a deep wonderful blue...esp. when the weather the tmps are no longer sweltering. The slightly cooler nights seems to intensify the color. In my area (east TN), it is always offered as an annual and yet, it does come back. I like your tip about how to get branches to root...I would love free ones! Now I'm off to torment myself by delving into the fbts,com website.

          4. User avater
            gringopeligroso 09/15/2015

            Indigo Spires is a treasure hunt here in the Ozarks of Oklahoma. Sometimes, but rarely, does it show up on retailer's benches, and that's one of the reasons I've been playing with propagation, more.
            The S.darcyi Tim was talking about I found one time only, in the Farmer's Market of Dallas years ago, and I've been carefully preserving that root crown through all of my "recent" moves!!
            And, as far as the fbts excursion: If'n we don't hear from you for a couple of days, we'll come rescue you....as long as we can take our time and sightsee and drool while enroute!! (Mite be wise to pack a lunch, tho since you'ld be waiting for co-horts in crime who are TOO easily distracted!!!! We'ld likely forget why we were there in the first place!! ;-)

          5. User avater
            meander1 (Michaele ) 09/15/2015

            Jesse, you are a stitch (actually, you and Tim both get me laughing) and you're right...that is one heck of an intriguing website. I never had a clue there were so many varieties of salvia and so many different ways to categorize them. Thanks for putting fbts on my radar screen.

  2. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 09/14/2015

    I guess everyone should recognize my garden by now! :)

  3. User avater
    meander1 (Michaele ) 09/14/2015

    Aren't those beautiful berries on the kousa dogwood the perfect finishing touch on a tree that steals your heart with its springtime blooms? Love this picture because it really shows them off. And, oh, my, the other 3 pictures present such wonderful color contrasts of the flowering plant with it's background companions...just lovely.

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 09/14/2015

      Thanks, Michaele. That kousa dogwood is the first tree we planted at our new (at the time) house back in 1998. It's been a slow grower and is so beautiful all year round. It's just started to do some bark-shedding, or whatever you call it, that gives really great winter interest, too. The berries don't taste too bad, although sometimes grainy. My arch enemies, the squirrels, just *love* them, too!

      1. User avater
        meander1 (Michaele ) 09/14/2015

        Whew, let me echo the "slow grower" part about the kousa. I've had one for about 7 years and this is the first year it is finally pleasing me. It was so darned ungainly for way too long. However, I would give myself a pep talk about how stunning they are when more mature and just be patient. I am finally starting to feel the wait was worth it.

  4. user-4691082 09/14/2015

    Wow, Tim - I haven't seen that passiflora before, it's just beautiful! I also love that red salvia. You must have a great nursery near you! I just love when you post!

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 09/14/2015

      Thanks, Rhonda. I do a ton of mail order, but I have some great nurseries nearby, too. In fact, the passion flower was a freebie at the end of the season last year from a local nursery, and I wintered it over in the basement. I just told a friend that, unfortunately, it only started blooming for me a couple of weeks ago and was pretty stingy with it's spectacular red gorgeousness, soI have consigned it to death by Ohio winter. Probably a stellar vine in a milder climate.

      1. user-4691082 09/14/2015

        A freebie? Hah! Not here!

  5. greengenes 09/14/2015

    Well good morning to us all who live to garden.... These are great shots of very interesting plants! That's wonderful that your banana comes back every year. I have one that does too but as you stated if its too cold then side shoots will appear. They are so dramatic. So this is new to me on the salvia nutans. Sure hope to find this for next year. Beautiful plant! The red passifolia is so gorgeous too! These grow wild down in Costa Rica. Thanks for sharing whats happening in your neck of the woods!

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 09/14/2015

      Thanks, Jeanne. I found seeds for that Salvia on ebay, of all places. The seeds were somewhat old, but I got almost 100% germination. I can't remember how I stumbled upon it. It isn't terribly showy, but it has such amazing grace and charm. It has nice rosette of large, deep green leaves and the nodding wand of flowers unfurls to almost three or four feet.

      1. greengenes 09/14/2015

        Okay! Thanks for the heads up with the seed from ebay! I will find these for sure! Happy gardening, Tim!

        1. User avater
          Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 09/14/2015

          Hey Jeanne, Jesse notes below that Flowers By The Sea should have some S. nutans plants in the spring. They also say zone 6 hardy. Hooray!

          1. greengenes 09/14/2015

            Yes...thank you! I did find them this morning as I was looking for them! Woo Hoo!

  6. PerenniallyCrazy 09/14/2015

    Cool specimens 😎 Tim! As we head into the cooler months, you're right in appreciate the finer details of our gardens I'll be on the look out for that Salvia next year.

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 09/14/2015

      It really is a time for me to look at details. Lots of plants are closing up shop for the season! The annuals really love the cool weather, though!

  7. GrannyCC 09/14/2015

    Wonderful pictures Tim. It is good to wander in the garden and appreciate what is blooming. Because of our drought my Dahlias were struggling. Since having some rain they are coming into bloom. Hope we have an Indian Summer so I can appreciate them.

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 09/14/2015

      Thanks, Catherine. I'm so glad you guys have had some rain. I haven't been tracking weather out there, but know you all had such an abnormally hot, dry summer. Can your Dahlias stay out year round or do you dig them?

      1. GrannyCC 09/14/2015

        Yes I usually leave them in the ground. I mulch over them with leaves. Unfortunately I lost some this year even though we had a mild winter. I think it was lack of rain.

  8. User avater
    Linda on Whidbey 09/14/2015

    Our garden has had to put up with warmer than usual temps, drought and a recent devastating wind storm that took out two large trees, so your lovely garden photos are appreciated. I especially love the red Passion flower. Our vine is healthier than ever but takes all summer to look like much of anything. We're giving it one more year:)

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 09/14/2015

      Oh, that loss of trees has to be so hard! Sorry about the weather. Both a gardener's friend and foe! I think I might have been happier with the passion flower as an annual if I had let it climb a trellis or something. I let it sprawl through the garden and through shrubs, every which way. If the flowering ends had been more concentrated, I think they would have been a welcome, late season sight!

  9. GrannyMay 09/14/2015

    Wow, what a large banana! Tim, i'm always amazed at what will grow in other locations. I would have thought that a banana plant was more tender than Hakone grass. That just proves that you should try everything you like and let nature decide. Love the passionflower and that nodding Salvia nutans! Cornus kousa does have year-round interest, and here too the squirrels and raccoons love the berries.

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 09/14/2015

      So true, May. I bought Musa basjoo for $5, in a pot, unlabeled at the end of the season way back in 2007. Overwintered it inside to put out in spring, and then left it to see what happened. Ta da!

      1. GrannyMay 09/14/2015

        Love it! I have a Pinapple lily (colocasia) growing in the corner of a compost bin, totally uncared for, never watered once throughout our endless summer drought . I had grown it last summer in a container and thrown it out last fall or winter, assuming the cold would kill it. Late this summer, I finally noticed what it was, having assumed the green leaves belonged to some weedy thing tossed onto the compost. :)

  10. Sheila_Schultz 09/14/2015

    I'm stunned that your banana can make it outside, that's one big mama! Actually I was envisioning you renting a football team to help haul that glorious tropical inside for the winter! What a happy, happy plant! Are you sure you don't live on an island somewhere instead of Ohio???
    Your salvia's are awesome, and I'm lovin' the passiflora... what a beauty! Man, it's hard to believe the season is coming to an end. Everything will be heading in by the end of the month at my house. I'm trying to reserve some energy, plus make last minute notes for next year!

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 09/14/2015

      It seems to have gone faster than usual this year. Looks like you've had some pretty cool weather. We went down to 46° last night, but we're warming up again. I'm moving stuff like crazy and looking forward to next spring, when those drooping, spindly, recently-moved plants look happy and full again!
      You know, that M. basjoo is a monster and I am worried about my foundation and my gas line! The concrete in front of it with the hose is an old ham-radio tower base. I asked our contractors to take it out this past spring, but turns it is well over 4 feet thick, so they're squeezed and moving outward. We can't see out of our kitchen window, which is sort of cool.
      I'm now trying to thin them out and corral them with concrete pavers in the ground in order to stay of of trouble!

      1. Sheila_Schultz 09/14/2015

        I'm stunned both you and Jeff have brought plants inside before me! We're still having days in the high 80's/low 90's with nights in the 50's. I got my pots in so late I want to enjoy every moment I can, but I am going to get the 'nursery' set up this week!

        1. User avater
          Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 09/14/2015

          Oh, no. I haven't brought anything in but a few cuttings. I'm not in a hurry to start that chore!!! I'm just moving stuff around in the garden.

          1. Sheila_Schultz 09/14/2015

            Whew!

      2. digginWA 09/14/2015

        Four feet of concrete?? That's an interesting twist that most of us don't have to deal with!

        1. User avater
          Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 09/15/2015

          I was quite surprised, but my contractors said that ham-radio towers were so tall that it would surprise them if it went down six feet! I was told to be creative and use it as a foundation for something. For now it is a hose-holder. :)

          1. digginWA 09/15/2015

            Well, I'm no stress engineer, but I think you're safe with that load.

          2. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 09/15/2015

            Well, until I get an assessment from a real stress engineer, I'm going to keep taking the nozzle off the hose after I use it so it drains and keeps the weight down!
            You crack me up!

  11. Meelianthus 09/14/2015

    What can I say Tim, I always love seeing EVERYTHING in your amazing gardens. Thanks for sharing these wonderful photos.

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 09/14/2015

      Well, I think you've said enough. Thanks!!

  12. Jeff Goodearth 09/14/2015

    i was SO confused. i couldn't find a name with the feature then i saw Tim Vojt in the comments and i couldn't 'figger' out what was going on! that passiflora is a show off in the best way. the musa basjoo here are gigantic as well and i dread cutting them down (they are very heavy) it all looks great even if it is the end of the season.

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 09/14/2015

      Me, too. But I'm always confused! I never cut the banana plants down. I let them turn to mush and mulch themselves. Of course then I need a fulcrum to lift the pile of mushy debris in the spring.........Gross!

      1. GrannyMay 09/14/2015

        Maybe that pile of mushy debris "cooking" is the reason you can overwinter the banana.

        1. User avater
          Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 09/14/2015

          That was my thought! :)

      2. Jeff Goodearth 09/14/2015

        nope can't deal with the mush :) i cut them down (turns my skin purple) and throw some pine straw over them sometimes not even that

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