Friday, July 11, 2014

Fenton Friday: My Favorite Flower

 In my 10x20 plot at the Fenton Community Garden, I have edged one of the borders this year with Lisianthus flowers. Next to herbaceous Peonies, Lisianthus are my absolute favorite flowers. I am always surprised at how little-known they are among home gardeners!

They are annuals and they do need full sun. I had tried them in previous years direct-sown from seed in planting box in part-sun with mild success, but this year I wanted to ensure a good crop for cutting. So I jumped on the offer by Carol Carrier, a local cut flower grower, to sell me a tray of her Lisianthus plugs this spring. I potted up half of them and we sold them at the Silver Spring Garden Club's annual GardenMart fundraiser sale. I realized I should have gotten many more of them from Carol, when one of the first customer to arrive at the Mart bought up all we had. (And maybe, too, we should have charge more?)

The other half, 20 plugs marked purple or white , I planted in my plot along the string border as I anticipated they might grow tall and leggy and need staking. The sat for weeks not doing much of anything. Finally, they shot up a few weeks ago when the summer heat came on and flower buds started to form. Earlier this week, several of them jumped into bloom at once and I was ecstatic. I cut them immediately for small bud vases around my house.I anticipate cutting many more bouquets as the summer progresses.
Elsewhere in my garden plot, the Tomatoes are looking much better -- despite a "weak" derecho coming through on Tuesday night! They are all fairly short plants so the 60+ mph winds and pounding rain did not do too much damage.

I have one Okra plant and it is starting to form flowers finally. The cutting Lettuce is still hanging on and I might get one more decent salad out of it. I planted Swiss Chard seedlings and it is starting to take off. I gathered up tiny Basil that self-sown into the plot pathways and among the beans and transplanted those into one neat row. Hoping to make pesto soon with the Garlic I harvested a few weeks ago!
How is your edible garden growing?

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