Thursday, May 27, 2010

OMG! It Finally Bloomed!!

I was so excited that this azalea finally bloomed in all its spectacular glory that I almost started hyperventilating. I have had this azalea for 6-7 years. It only boomed the first two years I had it and was hobbling along every year since. The last two years I have been giving it grey water a few times a week, sometimes every day. I also dumped a bunch of peat moss and coffee grounds on it. Last fall, it had set six flower buds. I was so excited, but stupidly forgot to protect it from rabbits. The rabbit pruned five of the buds off early this spring and left them on the ground. Bastard. I was sure that was the end of this shrub. But I was wrong. This year it is looking the best it ever has! I'm putting a cage around it so that maybe next year it will have more than this lone flower cluster. This one has definitely been worth all the hard work :)

When I bought this it had two labels on it: Silver Sword and Fireball. It is neither. I did a search, and it does appear to be an Exbury, but not Fireball. I think it is Cannon's Double.

I bought this iris last year. Uh, I forgot what it was called because I didn't keep the list of what I bought at Funkie Gardens. I have the tag somewhere and will update it then. 06/26/10--I think it is "Smart".
Woolly yarrow. I got this last year, so I don't know how aggressive it is yet. It is very low growing, so it shouldn't pose a problem in my garden if it does spread.

Lime Frost columbine -- bought last year at Shopko. Ionly got to see the foliage last year, so the flowers were a nice surprise. Blueberry ruffle!
Delphinium. I started to grow these because they were a favorite flower of a friend. Now I grow them because they are one of my favorite flowers.
Oriental poppies. These were originally a peachy patch. Now all orange. I have another peach poppy patch doing the same thing. I give up.One of my new moss phlox. I got hooked on them when I saw what Zoey at Perennial Passion was doing with them in her garden. I now have five different colors. My favorite is Candy Stripe (not shown). It smells like maple syrup!

Blue Ravine clematis. I bought these because I had one from K-Mart years ago that was drop-dead gorgeous. These are not as pretty, but I still like them. They do not know how to use a trellis though! I have to redirect them all the time. Comtesse de Bouchard knows what she is doing.

Mr. Fokker anemone. Still blooming! I'm loving this one. The flowers are a mix of singles and doubles. It is really long blooming too. Hope it survives. I had anemones ages ago, but lost them to the hail storm.
Cheryl at 33 Barefoot Lane found herself with extra seeds this spring and decided to give them away to her blogger commenters. I got this. Cappuccino! YUM! Thanks Cheryl! Happy Gardening everyone!


Blogger Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Congratulations on the azalea blooms! Those wascally wabbits. We have a few of those, and deer, and gophers. Sometimes I'm amazed anything survives, so it's always a joy when a plant succeeds despite horrendous odds. I look forward to seeing it ablaze in color next year!

5/27/2010 9:27 AM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Curbstone Valley Farm, seriously, you can not imagine how excited I was when I saw the bloom. Far more beautiful than I had even remembered. If I have to put razor wire around this, it WILL be ablaze next year!

5/27/2010 10:08 AM  
Blogger Jim Groble said...

Wonderful azalea blooms, congratulations. Ours never look as good. The rabbits in our yard don't even move when Pat and I are in the yard. jim

5/27/2010 8:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful azaleas! Too bad there are not more of them. I hope next year you will have them more.

5/28/2010 4:23 AM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Jim, the rabbits used to see our yard as so safe that every year we'd have a nest of baby bunnies somewhere in the yard. One year it was inside the vegetable garden fence put up to keep them out! Since we got our dachshund, they don't find it nearly as inviting to call home. But they still like to play the ugly tourist.

5/28/2010 6:53 AM  
Anonymous Cheryl said...

You are welcome for the seeds, I hope they germinated okay for you. I am planting my starts out tomorrow.

5/28/2010 5:53 PM  
Blogger JGH said...

That azalea is a flower worth waiting for!

I'm very glad I came here because it turns out I have a Mr. Fokker and all this time I thought it was some kind of poppy. Thank you for setting me straight :-)

5/28/2010 8:55 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Vrtlarica, when I saw it bloom at first I just enjoyed the beauty of it, then I got even more bummed about that stupid rabbit nipping the other blooms. All of them together would have been fantastic. Next year...

5/29/2010 7:22 AM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Cheryl, I am a bit behind in my seed starting. I was concentrating on the vegetable garden first. Almost done there.
I love rudbeckia hirta! It is one of my favorites.

JGH, I remember falling in love with that azalea as soon as I saw it. That is why I have spent so much effort in nursing it along. It looks really healthy this year though, so there is a good chance we will get a big show next year :)

Isn't Mr. Fokker great? The name reminds me of the Ben Stiller movie - Meet the Fokkers and then all sorts of silliness ensues in my mind :p

5/29/2010 7:35 AM  
Blogger pamsenglishgarden said...

The azalea was worth all the work you put into it. It is gorgeous! I just bought a delphinium the same color as yours. I hope I have success with it.

5/29/2010 8:26 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

pamsenglishgarden, I have found delphiniums to not be a long lived perennial, mine usually live 3-5 years. But they are so worth replacing. I have found that feeding them really helps to extend their life. I use an extended release fertilizer mixed into the soil every spring and foliar feeding if I see that the plant is looking a little run down -- or even if it flowered abundantly. They do not like to be dried out, and they don't take stress well.
I don't usually keep plants that require so much work, but delphinium and that azalea are really worth it!

5/30/2010 4:02 PM  
Blogger KathyA said...

Hi -- A friend recommended your blog to me as we have the same relationship with bunnies -- I think they're VERMIN!!! Can't tell you the number of things, included roses - thorns and all -- they've eaten to the ground. Last year they consumed an entire blueberry bush that was in a pot...
My azaleas this year really responded to the coffee grounds and Miracle Grow acid fertilizer I used. That azalea of yours is exquisite!
I'll be back! Kathy

5/30/2010 4:12 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

KathyA, how flattering to have been recommended. Those rabbits are evil! They nip and nibble everything. I actually had one wriggle through my garden fencing put up to keep them out and she had a clutch of babies in my greens patch!

I was so glad that I did research into coffee grounds. The azaleas just love them. And they are really good at keeping wandering cats from using my flower beds as toilets. They don't seem to deter bunnies though.

5/30/2010 7:48 PM  
Anonymous Linda said...

What an exquisite color the azalea has! Why can't wildlife respect our most prized plants and go after the dandelions instead?

5/30/2010 9:36 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Linda, I've got plenty of young, juicy dandelions for them too. I will be more prepared next year. I'm looking for a decorative tree ring to put around this beauty.

5/31/2010 12:17 AM  
Blogger Zoey said...

The azeala was worth the wait--beautiful!

That's a real bummer about the poppies reverting to orange! I have a pretty salmon color from last year that is just about to open. I hope it does not turn orange! I do like orange, but I have plenty of those. Were all of those orange ones in your picture peach last year?

The Blueberry ruffle is such a nice color. I just noticed a pink ruffled columbine blooming in my garden that has not bloomed for three years. I thought it had died. I like nice surprises like that.

Thanks for the coffee ground tip for the azaleas. I have two sorry-looking bushes that I am going to have to remember to try it on.

5/31/2010 9:06 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

great blooms! The azalea is really pretty. I'm so happy you got to see it's gorgeous bloom. Boy, I'd be sooo mad if the rabbits did that!

5/31/2010 9:03 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Zoey, the poppies in the picture have been orange for awhile. The peach ones I had last year are about half orange now. Your poppies are so gorgeous!

We drink a lot of coffee, so I have lots of grounds for my azaleas. I have read about some people collecting grounds from coffee shops.

Wendy, rabbits suck.

5/31/2010 9:53 PM  
Blogger Thomas said...

Congrats on the azalea. It's stunning. Your patience has definitely paid off!

6/02/2010 10:25 PM  
Blogger The Idiot Gardener said...

I'm glad your blooms survived; there's nothing better than something unexpected happening, especially when it's a once a year thing!

6/03/2010 3:16 AM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Thomas, I'm usually not that patient with plants, but I always remembered the blooms it had when I bought it. Definitely wanted to see those again!

Idiot Gardener, that's definitely the thing with spring flowerers - they bloom for a couple of weeks, then are gone until the next year. This bud was hidden by a leaf, so the rabbit missed it - thank goodness!

6/03/2010 9:47 AM  
Blogger Rosey said...

So why do those poppies all revert to orange? I never understood that.
Mine are all orange too.

Your Azalea was worth the wait! So pretty!

6/04/2010 7:11 AM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Rosey, I believe that orange is the dominant color, and most likely the dominant plant. It could be that the original plant has seeded into itself and the resulting new plant takes over the mother plant, killing it, leaving only orange flowers left. Once these plants seed into their base, how would you go about getting it out without killing everything? So, I guess I will just have orange. And if I do decide to get any other colors, I will clip the heads before they seed out to see if that stops the reversion. And I, of course, will report my finding in my blog.

I am in love with that azalea :)

6/04/2010 12:17 PM  
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6/07/2010 7:03 AM  
Anonymous Deborah at Kilbourne Grove said...

Wow, that azalea is well worth the wait. Waiting, waiting, for azaleas, magnolias, dogwoods, it seems I am always waiting for something to finally decide to bloom, lol.

6/10/2010 7:26 AM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Deborah, but doesn't the waiting make them all the more amazing?

6/10/2010 3:28 PM  
Blogger Fiesta said...

Do you know how I can propagate Mr. Fokker anemone?
Your azalea is to die for

3/20/2012 4:56 PM  

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