A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Friday, September 30, 2005

What's wrong with this picture?

The growing season is winding down but I still have some neat things going on in my gardens. Nothing that belongs in the "Weirdness Chronicles" because there is a logical explanation for each of them. It's just stuff that I have never seen before and wanted to record. Ready? Here's the first one. Can you guess what's going on here?

It's kind of hard without the flowers. That's part of the problem. All foliage, no flowers. These are Bright Lights Cosmos. They are normally 2' to 3' (61 cm to 91 cm) tall. They are dwarfing a 4' (122 cm) fence. Since this picture was taken 2 days ago, the tallest ones are now more than 6' (183 cm) tall. Would you agree that my neighbor on the other side of the fence has put down his fall lawn fertilizer application? The first frost for my zone (6A) is September 30 to October 30, so these could go any time now but it sure is fun watching to see how tall they ultimately will get.

Here's the next one:

Remember when Ophelia blew through a few weeks ago and knocked a lot of things down? The goldenrod and zinnias righted themselves, but the Aztec sunflowers' stems appeared to be broken. I was going to pull them up, throw the seedheads in the bed and compost the rest but decided to wait until the flowers died because there were still a few monarchs in the yard. Well, they keep blooming and blooming and blooming. I guess I will have to wait for the frost to kill these too.

Okay, here's the last one. It's a toughie:

Yes, it's a zinnia, but what kind? Here's a hint. It's growing in the Green Garden. It was supposed to be an Envy Zinnia, you know, as in "green with envy". I suppose I should dig out the seed packet and send it and the picture to the company that sold it to me, maybe get a credit towards next year's order. It just seems like such a lot of effort. The Green Garden was basically a disaster this year so I am chuckling rather than fuming.


At 9:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gardening is always full of surprises and disappointments, isn't it? The first year I grew cosmos from seed they grew to over 6 feet tall, too. Now I just have a couple of descendants of those giants and they are only 2-3 feet tall. So, it could have been that the grass fertilizer got onto the first batch? I never thought of that.

At 11:16 PM, Anonymous Judith said...

Isn't it something what fertilizer can do in the wrong place! Beanstalk Cosmos is what I would call them. Years ago my DH decided to get rid of a big bag of fertilizer (lawn) and let the whole bag go on our very tiny, tiny lawn--it took about 3 years for everything to 'recover'.

At 6:00 AM, Blogger OldRoses said...

It's amazing what I am learning in my Master Gardener classes. I had already deduced that the lawn fertilizer was causing the unusual cosmos but now I have learned how: the amount of Nitrogen in the fertilizer.


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