Garden log, 5.12.14

It’s so hot outside. At 9 p.m. it’s still nearly 80 degrees F (26.6 C), and it’s early May. After dinner, I went out to water because everything looks desiccated and weak. What will August look like?
Almost all the bearded iris are spent, but ‘Carolina Darkness’ is just coming into bud. I think this will be the last one to flower this year. Had three Iris germanica flower this year for the first time: ‘No Count Blues,’ and two more, pictured here, whose names I do not know.

Iris germanica 'No Count Blues'

Iris germanica ‘No Count Blues’


I will try to find them out from the American Iris Society website.

The other summer plants are beginning to assume their places on the stage: Joe Pye weed, which I feared had succumbed to the long winter, is now 18 inches high. Kniphofias that did not have flower buds three days ago now have large, cone-shaped flower structures coloring up, soon to burst into flame. Fat yarrow buds sit atop foliage three feet high. I pinched back the oregano growing in the herb scree by the street, but no one could ever tell.

The flower structures of Kniphofia look like bottle brushes or Christmas trees.

The flower structures of Kniphofia look like bottle brushes or Christmas trees.

Picked a handful of peas this morning and again this evening, but with temperatures like this they won’t last much longer. It’s a shame, because this is the first year I’ve grown peas and gotten any harvest to speak of. The physalis (ground cherry), on the other hand, has doubled in size in the past few days and I expect it to only go on a tear from here. Lettuce got sunburnt on Saturday and has spent the time since under some shade cloth. I have tiny cucumbers on very small vines.

Tiny pickling cucumber forming.

Tiny pickling cucumber forming.



Planting surprise: Iris domestica?

On Monday, I thought the yarrow looked rangy and disheartened, so I cut it back. Amongst its tall, woody stems, I found this:

iris domestica, blackberry lily

This has never bloomed in my garden before. Not having considered it closely before now, I assumed that it was more bearded iris foliage. It’s clearly not.

I think it is Iris domestica, formerly known as Belamcanda chinensis, or blackberry lily.

My neighbor grows this plant and I acquired some from her many years ago, but it hasn’t ever bloomed before. Perhaps it hasn’t had adequate water up until now (we are making up for lost opportunity, aren’t we?). The Missouri Botanical Garden website says that the plant creeps slowly by rhizomes and may also self-seed. I know that I sowed some of these seeds in my winter sowing escapade, but nothing materialized.

blackberry lily (iris domestica or belamcanda chinensis) and red hot poker, kniphofia

I can’t wait to see it in bloom! What  a nice surprise.