Saturday, July 17, 2010

Beltsville Library: the question is, do I let the Black-eyed Susans take over the whole garden? It is the Maryland state flower

It rained last night, less than 2/10 inch, so I went ahead and watered at the Library. It was great to see that the Basjoo banana I transplanted a few weeks ago had finally taken hold and actually pushed out a new leaf. I ought to have chosen a smaller plant to move in the middle of the summer, but I wanted this one gone from where it was and it seemed like it would be nice to start with a 4 foot plant so... It languished for almost three weeks until we got all that rain last week (>3"). Now it's off to the races. Actually, that rain seems to have been a signal for all the tropicals in the DC area to explode. In my own garden I think the leaf surface on tropicals has doubled in the last week. Bananas, the big Aroids, Philodendrons, Cannas, Gingers of all sorts have all gone wild. It's an amazing phenomenon, the transition of a northern temperate area in to a place so hospitable to equatorial flora. It's hard to believe we had over 2 feet of snow on the ground 5 months ago. For the next two months it'll be like living in Zone 10 or 11even.

We're going to Florida Thursday next; I've got a list of plants that'll go into the garden including several new palms. Because the weather here is so tropical now I often bring back Heliconias and Gingers for the balance of the summer. Hey, you can get a 1 gallon Heliconia for under 5 dollars. I can't help myself. Did I say that? I sure did. My intent is always to let them go with the frost, but it's hard for me to let things go. I usually end up nursing them through the winter in semi-dormancy in the cool section of the basement.

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