Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A few things from the school garden in June

Amaryllis belladonna foliage and dierama in front

Allium texanum

Allium texanum

Kniphofia baurii

Iris sp (Spuria type?)

Berkheya purpurea and Allium sp

Iris ensata

Asclepias speciosa

Linum sp
Penstemen digitalis with Echinacea tennesenensis

Nierembergia repens

Freesia laxa
June in the school garden brings out lots of flowers, there were quite a few before as well.  I have not had as much time to weed and deal with things at my school garden due to the demands of my job and the fact that I am working so hard on my home gardens.  In fact I really threw out my back and hip with the digging, weeding, planting, and incorporation of road sand to amend the clay rich soil in my home gardens, so I have to take it a bit easy for a while. Despite the severe winter, lots of nice things are blooming now. The wall part of the garden still did a good job of protecting the Amaryllis belladonna and other not quite cold hardy in NY plants there, and the foliage is looking good now before it dies back in July and hopefully we get flowers soon afterwards as in years past.  Its a perfect microhabitat for this species, which I doubt is growing outside anywhere else in NY.  Allium texanum might be hardier but all I know is that it does love the spot by the wall, its large flower heads (for an allium) are quite attractive.  Later it will go dormant for the summer.  The Freesia laxa in the last photo also thrives by the wall, it tends to get buried among other plants, but  both red and white forms bloom sporadically there.  Kniphofia baurii from Silverhill Seeds threw up quite a few spikes in the slope garden where it is not protected, as did an Iris species, maybe a spuria type, I am not so good with labels these days, with large yellow flowers.  Whatever it is I grew it from seed, as I do with most plants. Seed grown Iris ensata are quite lovely, I have both hybrid mixes and true species spread around in the garden from the SIGNA seed exchange.  Asclepias speciosa continues to slowly spread and shows its awesome flowers in a dryish well drained spot, and futher upslope on the way into the school building a nice Linum sp I picked up somewhere at a plant sale is proving to be very perennial and floriferous.  Penstemon digitalis blooms nearby, in this area there are a fair number of other native plants as well.  Finally I can't like Nierembergia repens enough, its got huge white flowers on a dense small mat which spreads at a reasonable rate.  It survived this winter, so I dug out pieces to bring home which are taking very nicely and if anything spreading faster than the mat at school which is bounded by the sidewalk on one end and a gravelly patch behind it where water dripping off the eves after rainstorms makes most plant life impossible. It blooms for a long time and I have grown it for some years, yet I never see anyone else around here growing it.  It does not set seed, must be self sterile, makes me wonder if there are variants of it in its native Argentinian habitat. 

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