Friday, April 6, 2012
Mister Josh the junior gardener came by today and watered for me and then watered some more and then some more and then again. I finally lost my cool when my poor phalanopsis orchids were dripping wet and the plumerias looked like they might float away. I actually took out the paper towels and dried the leaves of the orchids because they dislike wet leaves at bedtime that much. He helped me move some plants around and watered the lava rock. He still reminds me of a little old man sometimes watering the plants in his jammies or in today's case his underwear. Josh took care of my plants while I was busy at work and my husband had the foresight to quickly grab the camera and snap a few photos catching him hard at work without any direction. He knows what to do and how to do it at 3 years, old already. Next month, I visit my other 3 year old grandson, Brody, in Charlotte and we'll be doing all the same things. I'm certain they'll both be gardeners.
This year I tried a new plant - Torenia or wishbone flower. They are related to snapdragons or foxglove. You can tell if you look at the shape of the flower. They look like the perfectly-shaped hummingbird flower. These are hardy from zones 6 - 9. They're grown as annuals because about the only place they can overwinter is zone 10 - 11, because they cannot tolerate frost. You know I'll give it a try anyway, being in zone 9b. I've had good luck with the pointsettias. You never know. These little sweethearts like partial sunshine but tolerate full sun and just love a liquid fertilizer just before they bloom. Typically, they tend to be in the blues, pinks and purples with a touch of yellow for accent. The beauty of the torenia for me is that it's a great substitute for the pansy since pansies are a bit difficult this far south since it's so darn hot, wet and humid here. Torenia blossoms through the entire summer from early spring. It tolerates dry spells but does best with regular watering. They grow easily from seed, but don't push down far into the soil since they do better with sunlight. Since they have the same hanging tendencies as pansies and petunias also with weak stems, they make excellent hanging basket flowers.