As I have noted in previous blog entries, the early summer has been off to a rough start, including very cold nights in early May and some heavy rain.
Overall, my new, over-indulgent balcony garden has done quite well. Today, I did some trimming of damaged leaves and a trim on some trailers in order to encourage growth. Also did some dead-heading on pansies and petunias.
Was it just the weather that I've been fighting against? I'm getting a bit suspicious that these nursery stock plants have been "forced" before their normal blooming time. I have no idea what is required to allow these plants to get back "in sync" with the rhythms of nature.
The Crotons have been the biggest puzzlement. Franky, they are like artificial wax plants. Barely move. Fall apart in heavy rain. Ugh.
Those zinnias amaze me. They all have substantial leaf damage, yet they continue to produce bold blooms. I've been watching a singular bloom continue for 4 weeks. How is that even possible? The big Dahlia blooms gave way to small, faded replacements (yeah, that plant has been relocated off my balcony).
The hibiscus put out very few blooms so far. I was sure excited when I had 3 going on one day. Whoo hoo. OK, I just repotted the poor thing back on May 21 and I'm sure it needs some recovery time. It looks good here in this photo (lower right). Healthy -- but no blooms.
My gorgeous blue hydrangea is fading out to, I don't know, sort of a dried flower effect. I brought this summer plant home on April 30. Instead of growing into, or hey, maybe just "maintaining" its summer blooms, these 3 large blooms look like the hydrangeas planted around this complex usually appear in early September. Bad bad bad. I am disappointed. Guess I bought a plant that was forced prior to Mother's Day. Love these plants. I will look to over-winter this in the soil or transplant it at the end of the season. End of the season? It looks prematurely ready for end of season in another week or so.
Additionally, you may insert comments throughout the blog in the spaces provided for "comments". There is also a "Question and Answere" portion to this blog, located at the bottom of the blog. This is open to all. Accordingly, if I cannot answer your question, perhaps another reader will be able to do so.