9.10.2011

Divide and Conquer

Today, was an atypical New Mexico day. The sky was like sheets of steel. It was overcast and cloudy. If I reached high enough I could probably touch the sky. I had a hard time rousing myself to get started, but thoughts of buttermilk pancakes and French toast finally stirred me.

I spend so much time making to-do lists at work, that at home it's easier just to start on something or anything for that matter. My sea foam artemisia was threatening to take over the flower bed in the front yard that there was hardly a bloom from my blue twister allium this year. Unfortunately, there was hardly a bloom from anything this year. I trimmed back the artemisia and divided the allium. I divided two of the original three plants into six plants. We'll see how they fare and I will finally find out if they keep aphids away from the roses.

I pulled out most of the mint and moved a Spanish lavender from the back to the front yard. The Southern exposure in the front yard is more conducive to growing Spanish lavender. I never thought I could have too many penstemon, but I finally hit the threshold. Most of the Rocky Mountain penstemon was overdue for division, but I pulled out one plant in its entirety that was about two and a half feet in diameter.  After lots of pruning and weeding, the blue sky gods rewarded me for my diligence. The sun came out in time for me to take Aster and her pal Guinness to the dog park.
At the dog park, the sunflowers were blooming in profusion and the camera phone comes to the rescue again.
I read yesterday on Patricia Tryon's blog, Picturing Plants and Flowers that there is one sunflower (Helianthus x multiflorus), that propagates by root division instead of seed.
Aster and Guinness frolicked to their hearts content and a fun time was had by all. 

17 comments:

  1. Being from Kansas, I like sunflowers of any kind. It's our state flower and a profuse wild flower in these parts. Enjoyed the images.

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  2. I've started on my fall cleanup also. Cut back the Daylilies since they are done blooming and a couple other things. Well except Stella, she has a new scape on her. I look around and realize I have an awful lot to do yet as fall approaches. Think I need to go with more shrubs still. :) Those are some lovely Sunflower photos.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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  3. oh, that artemesia is a beast! I finally got tired of it taking over, and chopped it out!
    Isn't it wonderful to have a nice dog park near you? I wish I had one near me and Gracie!

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  4. I think I need to plant some sunflowers out on the farm.
    Ohio Outdoors

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  5. @Patrick's Garden - Thanks for stopping by. It must be wondrous to see fields of sunflowers.

    @Sunray - Cher, I'm trying to get an early start since the weather was cooperative yesterday. Now it's time for pooper scooper duty.

    @Sissy - I love touching the artemisia and how it smells, but it has gone crazy this year.

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  6. @Patricia Tryon - Me, too . I enjoyed your last two sunflower posts.

    @Ohio Outdoors - I think sunflowers are a great addition. I planted my first ones this year.

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  7. Wasn't it hard to get going yesterday? Boy, are we spoiled by sunshine (in all the best ways, of course). Sounds like you really did conquer, though, and ended up having a wonderfully productive day in the garden--at least that kind of overcast is easy on plants, if not on us. I'll echo what everyone has said about the sunflowers. The "regular" ones are great, but those Maximillians are just breathtaking.

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  8. I love your sunflower photos! It sounds like you got a lot accomplished in your garden. Congratulations! BTW, all of my dogs have been named after flowers!

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  9. @Stacy - We're blessed with sunshine. The Maximillians at the dog park are only a year old, but they're doing great. I hope my lemon yellow ones do as well next year.

    @Deb - Good to know I'm not the only one who imposes the love of gardening on pets.

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  10. Playtime for dogs among the sunflowers, what could be better!

    And I just read your earlier post about the spiral thyme bed. Something about that project made really happy. It sort of reminded me of something in a fairytale. Anyway, thanks!

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  11. I harvested my first sunflower a couple of weeks ago and roasted the seeds. It's not like store bought but they were pretty good.

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  12. I love all your yellows, so bright and happy. I didn't know you had to divide penstemon - I always assumed they were fairly short-lived. Do you grow any hybrid ones?

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  13. Are your flowers on the pictures same, which I myself wrote on my blog? Google translation does not translate very well, so I do not understand correctly your text.

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  14. A true gardener's day! Sunflowers remind me of summer and autumn. These photos are lovely!

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  15. @linniew - the thyme spiral is very whimsical.

    @Adele - I've never tried roasting sunflower seeds, but I love roasting pumpkin seeds.

    @Masha - I grow Schooley's coral penstemon, which is a hybrid of elfin pink and Schooley's yellow. Most of the other ones I grow are natives. I did grow penstemon digitalis "husker red" until this year, but it didn't come back.

    This is my first year for dividing penstemon. Some of them have gotten so big, I'm not sure what else to do with them.

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  16. @mimi_tulipanova - Daniela, no the sunflowers on this post are not the same as on your blog. We do have some blooming in the area that are the same as what you wrote about on your blog. I will try to take some photos this weekend.

    @The Sage Butterfly - Michelle, it was busy gardening day, but they've been infrequent so I'm glad I got to enjoy this one.

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