Friday, August 15, 2014

Urban garden update, August 15th.

(I'm trying something special this year and am keeping a "photo blog," telling my story mostly through images but with a bit of description added as well, concerning my first-ever year of being an urban gardener. Check the "Garden 2014" photoset at my Flickr account for the entire series, including more photos for each entry than you see here.)

August 15: Well, okay, lots of updates to the garden to share with you...

Inspired by a suggestion from my aunt, I pruned the middles of my coleus plants, so that there's more room for the existing leaves to grow and get sunlight. The plant continues to do insanely well -- the tallest stalks are up to three and a half feet now, and many of them have sprouted these vertical flower blooms as well.

In a big surprise, after months of regular growth with my newer moonflower plant, it's starting to bloom itself for the very first time; in fact, the very first flowers bloomed just this morning, purple here instead of white in my older plant. I can see at least 20 more little bulbs growing in other areas, so I think this entire lamp stand is going to be blooming purple before too long.

The older moonflower plant, meanwhile, seems to finally be reaching the end of its life cycle; this is doubly-confirmed by the fact that it keeps giving off new seeds as well. I imagine this one will be ready for the compost pile by another month or two from now.

The lantana plants that Carrie recently gave me continue to grow fast and strong, and now they too are displaying the very first signs of their very first flowers, although at this point nothing more than little matchstick-head-sized tiny little green bulbs. It's still going to be awhile before these bloom, but that point is now definitely coming.

Surprisingly, two of my salad-green plants look like they're going to give me one more small harvest; so since I have the room in my windowsill right now, I'm just leaving them there to grow a little more.

And the last of my warm-weather crops have been moved into small pots for the first time. On the left, you can see that the sage is growing like gangbusters, and smells amazing when you hold it up directly to your nose and take a deep whiff. I'm looking forward to trying out a bunch of sage recipes later this fall. But on the right, the chamomile (planted on the same day) is struggling a lot more, and I'm not sure at this point that I'm going to ever going to get mature plants out of them or not. Unfortunately my apartment turns out to just not have enough sun to grow chamomile or lavender, which I'll have to keep in mind in future years.

And then two "caretaker" photos to share too, not of anything new but just a progress report on how they're doing: first, that my basil plants continue to thrive and harvest regularly; and second, that my exotic plants over on the radiator continue to do well too, and my palm tree has easily grown a foot since I got it earlier this summer. That's it for now, but in another two or three weeks I'm going to plant my first cool-weather crops, so there will be lots of updates again starting around then.

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