Sunday Morning Garden Chat: Explosions of Color

So refreshing! From commentor Gelfling545:

Here are a few pics from my Buffalo garden. The cool, wet spring paid off in roses! The irises are from May. The rest are the June rose explosion.


Here north of Boston, it’s been on-and-off mizzle all week, interspersed with a 3″ torrent one evening, and generally hella humid. My joints, especially the bad knee, have been griefing me enough that I’ve used it as an excuse not to work on the garden, and it shows.

Also, while casual inspection shows lots of green fruit swelling, the marauding chipmunk-or-whatever has succeeded in beating us to every single cherry tomato so far. Any advice for netting or otherwise protecting 30 or so laddered tomato plants in individual rootpouches? (It’s not a water issue, my customary giant plastic saucer of water has been down since the seedlings were transplanted and there’s a couple of subsidiary decorative bird/critter baths in the flower beds too.)

What’s going on in your garden(s), this week?

74 replies
  1. 1
    raven says:

    After torrential rain in the last month the lady is now freaking out because it’s too dry!

  2. 2
    Calming Influence says:

    Happy Sunday morning, east coast. I’m just turning out my light. Hope the world’s still here when I wake up. If so I’ll try to post a link to pictures of some beautiful wildflowers I’ve discovered in our yard.

    And don’t forget to Make America America Again.

  3. 3
    Scamp Dog says:

    @Calming Influence: How about “Make America Great Again: Impeach Trump”?

  4. 4
    Mary G says:

    Beautiful flowers, Gelfling. I love those old-fashioned roses. They are spectacular.

  5. 5
    satby says:

    Wonderful pictures of a beautiful garden Gelfling545! Looks great!

    @raven: We’ve had numerous rains, some heavy, over the last month; but the sandy soil here dries faster than any place I’ve ever lived. I’m used to soil with so much clay you could throw pots from it. So I sympathize, because I keep getting surprised by wilted plants two days after a light rain.

  6. 6

    The local news had a report about an altercation between anti-Trump and pro-Trump demonstrators near Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The altercation started when the pro-Trump asshole told the anti-Trump guy that he should be deported since he was an illegal immigrant. The gentleman who was told that he was an illegal is named Grey Wolf and is Native American.

  7. 7
    Calming Influence says:

    @Scamp Dog: I kind of like the way my way would sound spoken out loud: “Maaa!”

    Although I appreciate your suggestion, I think it will sound a little too close to “Maggot!” for comfort…

  8. 8
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning,Everyone 😐😐😐

  9. 9
    rikyrah says:

    Beautiful pictures😄

  10. 10
    satby says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning ☕!

  11. 11
    satby says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: they just can’t suppress their racism any longer.

  12. 12
    raven says:

    @satby: We have red clay but it’s been “amended” greatly on 17 years.

  13. 13
    JPL says:

    @raven: Yesterday was the first day in awhile that we have had only light rain, although next week promises several days of dryer weather. The mosquitoes are out in force. My yard looks like a jungle.

  14. 14
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning.

  15. 15
    Nancy says:

    The garden pictures always soothe my fevered brain after a long week of trying to be an informed citizen.
    Happy to see the beautiful Buffalo landscape. Your efforts and obvious weed control are admirable. Each photo is a delight.
    Due to a combination of arthritis and lack of time, my current tiny space is crowded with all of the plants I favor. I’m leaning toward periennals that can thrive in neglect while I recognize and appreciate the results of diligent gardening work.

  16. 16
    Baud says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Talk about egg on one’s face.

  17. 17
    satby says:

    @raven: sandy loam here. Really great for the plants except it holds water like a colander. I’ve had to water the day after a rain. But once I caught on to that, the plants thrived. The weeds grow like mutants, but at least they’re easy to pull.*

    Edited to add: not that I should leave the impression that I keep up with the weeding!

  18. 18
    maurinsky says:

    Our nasturtiums are exploding, we have some buds on the dahlias, we have tons of green beans and tomatoes coming in, and my leeks are looking gorgeous. We lost a couple of pepper plants that didn’t survive the freak 5 minute hail storm we had a week or so ago, but the jalapeños are coming in nicely.

  19. 19
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    We’re eating from the garden every day now: Beans, squash, maters, potatoes, onions, hot peppers. That is what survived my early June hiatus. Last night we had slow roasted baby back ribs from the grill with new potatoes and green beans cooked with a little of my home cured/smoked bacon, and some maters sprinkled w/ fresh basil.

    For tonight I have a chicken brining, and I’ll do up a variation of zucchini and of course more fresh maters.

    Sucks to be us.

  20. 20
    JPL says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Sounds wonderful.

  21. 21
    Lapassionara says:

    Good morning, and lovely garden photos.

    I found several poison ivy vines the other day while wrangling honeysuckle. Went to Lowes, purchased the brush killer, and sprayed yesterday am. By nightfall, the vines looked happy and even lusher than before the spraying. What gives?

  22. 22
    debbie says:


    Gardeners are never happy.

    My neighborhood was bursting with hydrangeas, many of which hadn’t really bloomed over the past few years because of harsh winters. The torrents of rain this past week has knocked them all down, which is a real bummer.

  23. 23
    debbie says:


    I don’t suppose the asshole apologized?

  24. 24
    J R in WV says:

    Beautiful garden, Gelfling545!!

    We have to go with shade tolerant plants as we are surrounded by the forest. We still manage some blooms, esp in the early spring. I love roses and peonies, but will never have them around the house.

    So nice to see yours.

  25. 25
    J R in WV says:


    You’ve got to be kidding, right? Those people hate the first settlers more than anyone else, they’re living examples of the people the Europeans stole North America from. Tried to genocide them, never managed because the Natives were too good at survival.

  26. 26
    debbie says:

    @J R in WV:

    Yes, of course I was.

  27. 27
    Oldgold says:

    Disappointingly, West of Eden continues to flourish. Slowly I am reconciling myself to the grim reality that I may have to eat some of this garden produce. Which reminds me of an old joke.

    A man walks into the doctors with a parsnip in one ear, a zucchini in the other and his nostrils blocked with kale.

    “What’s wrong with me, Doctor?”
    “You need to eat more sensibly!”

    Finally, speaking of eating, I told this earlier this week, but I think it merits repeating.

    Nothing Burgers have been removed from the White House menu this week and replaced by Eggs Benedict Arnold with Traitor Tots.

  28. 28
    tybee says:


    i shamelessly stole that and passed it around. “traitor tots” is especially favored.

  29. 29
    Baud says:

    @Oldgold: Gold from Oldgold!

  30. 30
    Immanentize says:

    Hello All, great pics. I grew up outside of Binghamton and Gelfling’s roses reminded me so much of my Victorian Great Aunt’s garden. Thank you!

    I’m like AL, I got zucchini (although corgette sounds better, no?) Like crazy while all my ‘maters and peppers are still growing. We have a great big pale green hydrangea bush that is about to bloom.

    But the big garden news this week is that I built a new soil sifter out of 2X4s and small hole chicken wire. Like @raven: my yard has needed a lot of soil work as the houses around here were built on rubble. No tool has been more valuable than my soil sifter to get the rocks out when I start a new bed area or plant something.

    Also, FYI, SATBY the box tomato is thriving.

  31. 31
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: No gold like Oldgold.

  32. 32
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Maryam Mirzakhani, a Stanford University professor who was the first and only woman to win the prestigious Fields medal in mathematics, has died. She was 40. Mirzakhani, who had breast cancer, died on Saturday, the university said. It did not indicate where she died.

    In 2014, Mirzakhani was one of four winners of the Fields medal, which is presented every four years and is considered the mathematics equivalent of the Nobel prize. She was named for her work on complex geometry and dynamic systems. “Mirzakhani specialized in theoretical mathematics that read like a foreign language by those outside of mathematics: moduli spaces, Teichmüller theory, hyperbolic geometry, Ergodic theory and symplectic geometry,” the Stanford press announcement said. “Mastering these approaches allowed Mirzakhani to pursue her fascination for describing the geometric and dynamic complexities of curved surfaces spheres, doughnut shapes and even amoebas – in as great detail as possible.” Her work had implications in fields ranging from cryptography to “the theoretical physics of how the universe came to exist”, the university said.

    Mirzakhani was born in Tehran and studied there and at Harvard. She joined Stanford as a mathematics professor in 2008. Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, issued a statement praising Mirzakhani.
    Mirzakhani originally dreamed of becoming a writer but then shifted to mathematics. When she was working, she would doodle on sheets of paper and scribble formulas on the edges of her drawings, leading her daughter to describe the work as painting, the Stanford statement said. Mirzakhani once described her work as “like being lost in a jungle and trying to use all the knowledge that you can gather to come up with some new tricks, and with some luck you might find a way out”. Stanford president Marc Tessier-Lavigne said Mirzakhani was a brilliant theorist who made enduring contributions and inspired thousands of women to pursue math and science.

    Mirzakhani is survived by her husband, Jan Vondrák, and daughter, Anahita.


  33. 33
    Oldgold says:

    This week the White House menu is featuring two flavors of ice cream for 0l’ Two Scoops – Peach and Mint!

  34. 34
    Mike J says:


    Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, issued a statement praising Mirzakhani.

    Of course Iran didn’t recognize her marriage, since her husband isn’t a Muslim.

    I wonder if the bakers are assholes there too.

  35. 35
    Immanentize says:

    @Mike J: Huh? Where are you getting that from? Here is what the Iranian Foreign Minister posted:

    I do offer my heartfelt condolences upon the passing of this lady scientist to all Iranians worldwide, her grieving family and the scientific community.”

    Sounds like he honors the relationship.

    Or is the Iranian failure to recognize the marriage like Israel’s failure to recognize marriages between Jews and those who are not Jews? Or not Jewish on the right way?

  36. 36
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @J R in WV: oddly enough the peony that I have in a mostly shaded spot does better than the full sun ones. If the trees are deciduous the plant may get enough sun in the spring to flower. Also, some pf the modern landscape roses can take quite a bit of shade if they can get some morning sun. I have one bed where hostas & landscape roses both seem to be quite content with a bit of morning sun and pm shade.

  37. 37
    Kay says:

    The roses are lovely. I don’t have a single rose. I have gotten rose bushes as gifts but they just limped along so I pulled them out and didn’t replace them- the soil may be too heavy for them here.

    I took the master gardener course thru cooperative extension a hundred years ago. The program is free but you agree to answer gardening questions on the “hotline” after you graduate as “payment”. We had a rosarian in our group (rose expert) and he was hysterical- so mean to callers! I would hear him give some complicated labor-intensive solution and then things like – “do you want to solve this problem or not because I don’t think you do”. He used to get the question about the “rose that changed color” a lot. Many roses are grafted and if the grafted top dies the root stock grows and flowers and the flowers are small and mauvy-pink or white- the color of the rootstock. People would call and think they had invented a new rose. OMG just don’t even ask him.

    Genus: Calendula
    Pot marigolds bloom most of the summer, but are intolerant of intense heat and may die out during periods of hot humid weather. Their branching stems are covered with simple, alternate leaves and they produce large flowers in different hues of yellow and orange in the summer.

    I’ve been obsessed with Calendula for the last couple of years. I don’t put them in the front yard beds because they’re too scraggly and rough but I love orange and yellow so I have all the varieties now in the back garden. I think I have every possible color variation- there might be one I missed :)

    It’s absolutely true they have “infrequent” problems :)

  38. 38
  39. 39

    @Kay: I remember making marigold garlands and sandalwood paste for my grandmother’s elaborate pooja, which she would host may be once a year. It smelled so good! All the preparations had to be made before the pundit (priest) arrived. Our family priest was a principal of a school and quite the rationalist. He used to moonlight as a priest to keep the family tradition alive. I remember many lively debates about the existence of God and the position of women in Hindu society with him.

  40. 40
    MomSense says:

    Thank you for the flowers this morning! i’m so envious of your roses. i’m about to give up on trying to grow roses. i lost another of my roses to the winter and am down to two scraggly bushes now. SAD!

    i spent yesterday providing some respite care for my Dad and caught up with some relatives who were passing through. Something very comforting about seeing family and just picking up where you left off. i also baked a bunch of pies and there wasn’t a crumb left at the end of the day which was nice.

    i should be weeding the garden but for now i’m going to just sit on the deck, listen to the birds and squirrels, and peruse the offerings on audible.

  41. 41
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    I got zucchini (although corgette sounds better, no?)

    Courgette sounds better than zucchini, aubergine sounds better than eggplant, and mangelwurzel definitely sounds better than beet.

  42. 42

    @MomSense: My garden looks like a jungle, I don’t even know where to begin, so I do nothing.

  43. 43
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Mangelwurzel sounds like some kind of German blood sausage.

  44. 44
    Kay says:


    I love how marigolds smell. Bitter. I grow these, the tiny single flowers:

    Signet Marigolds (T. signata ‘pumila’): The signet Marigolds produce compact plants with finely divided, lacy foliage and clusters of small, single flowers.

    They went crazy breeding marigolds. They have varieties that have giant pom pom flowers. Just too big, IMO.

  45. 45

    @Kay: We used to use small to mid sized ones, yellow and orange shades.

  46. 46
    MomSense says:


    Something to be said for Darwinian gardens. Survival of the fittest! My lawn is a disaster. With all the busyness in the Spring, I didn’t get to the weeds and now it’s a mess. If I cut it short it may look green enough to pass for something resembling grass but it’s so hot and dry I’m afraid it will just turn yellow.

    I planted a bunch of nasturtiums for color and for eating. The flowers look stunning on a salad and the peppery taste is amazing. You can also stuff the blossoms with a ricotta or cream cheese mixture with herbs and whatever else you like. I can’t recommend them enough.

  47. 47

    @OzarkHillbilly: mangy dog that looks like a sausage?

  48. 48
    O. Felix Culpa says:


    My garden looks like a jungle, I don’t even know where to begin, so I do nothing.

    My house had been vacant for several years before I moved in, so my garden was an unruly field of weeds. Like you, I had no idea where to begin, especially since I’m now in an unfamiliar high desert environment with poor soil. I found hiring a garden consultant to help identify what might grow well here (not a guarantee with plants ever, anywhere) and visualize/chart out placement was really helpful to get me started. I also hired a garden elf to help with some of the initial heavy lifting. Since then Ms. O and I have done all the work ourselves and the garden is coming along nicely. It’s a learning process.

    P.S. I’ll second/third/fourth the many requests from last night for your chutney recipes. Yum!

  49. 49
    MomSense says:


    Poor, maligned beets. Roast them with cumin seeds and eat with goat cheese. You will love them.

  50. 50
    Kay says:


    I put violas on a party cake for my daughter once. They’re little pansies-edible. The party was 10 small-ish girls and one of them was just horrified- are we supposed to eat the flowers? Lydia. They’re still friends and she’s still very practical :)

  51. 51
    HRA says:

    This reminds me of when lived in the city and would go on the garden walk, Gelfling545. I now live 8 miles out. Your flowers are gorgeous.

    I have those daffodils which are now waiting to be dug up and taken by one of my daughters for her garden. I am not able to tend the 8 sections of flower beds and now keep on offering plants to the family.

  52. 52
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Mangled dog sausage?

  53. 53
    O. Felix Culpa says:


    Poor, maligned beets. Roast them with cumin seeds and eat with goat cheese. You will love them.

    Yes! I hated – nay, loathed and despised – beets until I had the roasted version. Delicious. Will try with cumin seeds…that’s new to me.

  54. 54
    Yarrow says:

    So gorgeous! I love irises and those roses are spectacular.


    My garden looks like a jungle, I don’t even know where to begin, so I do nothing.

    I understand how this goes.It gets to feel overwhelming and kind of like it’s hanging over your head. If you find you continue not to do anything because you don’t know where to start, I second @O. Felix Culpa‘s recommendation to hire a garden consultant or landscape designer to help you get started. You aren’t getting to enjoy your garden the way it is and it can be amazing how much you can enjoy it once it’s transformed. A competent consultant or designer should be able to work with you as much or as little as you want and need to get your garden space working for you.

  55. 55
    germy says:


    Something to be said for Darwinian gardens. Survival of the fittest!

    We wised up after buying so many “exotic” flowers and plants from the big box garden store. They never lasted. Finally we read up on native species and only plant stuff that’s native to our region. Bee balm, other stuff like that. They evolved over time to thrive in our area, why should we buy something that is more suited for a different part of the country?

    Where we live now is near a small, family-owned garden shop that we can walk to. They have a ton of native flowers and the owner always has good advice.

  56. 56
    Yarrow says:


    Courgette sounds better than zucchini, aubergine sounds better than eggplant, and mangelwurzel definitely sounds better than beet.

    No way. Courgette sounds like some kind of old fashioned name for a health issue. “Not feeling my best; I’ve got a touch of courgette.”

    I’m with you on aubergine, but magelwurzel? Is that pronounced “mangle” as in to mangle something? If so, what is it with the poor beet and having names that sound like something is being hurt?

  57. 57

    @Yarrow: The previous owners have planted some lovely perennials and we have had plenty of rain, so we have had lovely flowers throughout the season. However the flowerbeds need pruning and some weeding. However I am not exactly sure about the difference between the weeds and the flowers.

  58. 58

    @Kay: A friend gave me some edible flowers planted in a window box, my cat developed a taste for them, he would eat some and then sleep in it. It was like his own little bed and breakfast.

  59. 59
    MomSense says:

    @O. Felix Culpa:

    You can add nuts to it as well. Walnuts or pecans–whatever you like. Citrus also goes well with roasted beets. Roasting beets changes them to something wonderful.

  60. 60
    MomSense says:


    Love bee balm. Found two hummingbirds in my bee balm a couple weeks ago. I couldn’t get to my phone in time for a photo so I had to commit the scene to memory. They look like firecrackers in the garden.

  61. 61
    Yarrow says:

    Rule of thumb for pruning is no more than 1/3 of plants or trees at one time. That can vary, but it’s not a bad number to keep in mind.

    As for figuring out what’s what, do you have any neighbors that have nice gardens and who you see working in their gardens? If so, you could try striking up a conversation and ask them if they would mind spending a half an hour looking at your garden beds and helping you understand what’s what. In my experience gardeners love to share knowledge and are happy to help people who are just learning. It might be a low cost way to get a short lesson and help you understand what you have.

  62. 62
    debbie says:


    Lydia probably also freaked out the first time she saw an actual cow.

  63. 63
    Yarrow says:

    @MomSense: I adore roasted beets. My very favorite. Haven’t tried them with cumin seeds, though. I have had them with goat cheese. I love them roasted and then cooled. I’ll add them to a salad.

  64. 64
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Oh, I adore beets. One of my top fave vegetables. But I also think “mangelwurzel” is far more amusing to say than “beet.” I was just having a little fun with alternative veg names. No reflection on the actual zucchini, eggplant, or beets, all of which I like very much.

  65. 65
    MomSense says:


    I roast so many veggies now. Cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, brussels sprouts-all so tasty.

  66. 66
    MomSense says:


    it is a silly name!

  67. 67

    @SiubhanDuinne: How do you like ladyfinger for okra?

  68. 68
    MomSense says:


    I love okra but I have a hard time finding the small ones.

  69. 69

    @MomSense: I get lovely okra at the Chinese/Asian market, they grow their own okra, spinach, bok choy etc.

  70. 70
    Yarrow says:

    @MomSense: I roast them in winter but not as much this time of year. Too damn hot to heat up the kitchen with the oven. If I have the oven on for something else I’ll do a pan of roasted veggies, though. They keep in the fridge and I put them on salads.

  71. 71
    mai naem mobile says:

    I wonder if anybody can help me. We planted a jacaranda tree about a month ago. It’s been super hot(Phoenix) and we ve been shallow watering twice daily. The leaves were wilting but not browning. I called the nursery and they told me to deep water it every 3 days but that overwatering symptoms are similar to underwatering. So is it underwatering or overwatering? The leaves are not drying, yet, anyway. Also we grew a Banks rose plant that looks like it’s dead. Any tips in bringing it back. I just want to try something..anything as a last resort before pulling it out. We planted two. Ones doing well. This one isn’t .

  72. 72
    maurinsky says:

    I have been so successful with outdoor plants in the past two years, that I finally decided to add some indoor plants (which I have a history of murdering) this year. To make it easier, I bought a bunch of succulents, and they are growing really well. We have a Conway’s Giant cactus that is preparing to bloom, I’m pretty excited to see the resulting flower. I have one plant called a chocolate soldier that lost all it’s leaves but the part that is planted seems to be growing again, so.. who knows.

  73. 73
    Nancy says:

    About those chipmonks:
    I just talked with a successful gardener who lives a few blocks from me. His secret to keeping squirrels away from his tomatoes is to plant them together with garlic. Perhaps chipmonks would be annoyed by garlic as well?

  74. 74
    Nancy says:

    @Yarrow: I finally found the retired gentleman, a/k/a successful gardener, who has beautiful flowers and massive vegetable in a tiny suburban yard. He gave me a double handful of cilantro with roots attached.

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