Spanish Lavender, a New Yellow Clivia, and a Day Trip to the Ocean

The Good Hope Clivia from 9GreenBox arrived in perfect condition. 9GreenBox rocks.

The hibiscus went a little dry one day (my bad), but it’s recovered and is blooming beautifully.

A very cool variety of aloe. I’ll keep these indoors: I’ve had aloe burn in the summer sun.

I love the architecture by the shore. This is a cool little boat shop at Captain’s Cove marina.

The gorgeous view from a dock at Captain’s Cove. After a walk around, my husband and I had lunch at the marina, and then checked out used boats for sale.

Garden update: this weekend, we picked up a mature specimen of tickseed, a pretty perennial with a not-so-pretty name. Tickseed produces bright orange flowers all summer long, and it naturalizes, which means it gets bigger and better with each season. 

Belated birthday gifts from my husband included a big pot of Spanish lavender and three large rosemary plants (he also bought the tickseed). I moved some chives from the food gardens to the flower beds (chive flowers are gorgeous), and put the three Basjoo banana trees into the front garden.

Spanish lavender has a potent fragrance with big purple flowers. Munstead lavender is most commonly found at nurseries, so when I found this rare beauty, it was a no-brainer. I might go back for another. There’s no such thing as too much lavender.

We planted more organic red peppers (I’m really feeling red peppers this year) and some more Genovese basil, I planted up an interesting variety of aloe for the kitchen, and continued to work on our outdoor shrine.

The spot where our birdfeeder hung all winter, dropping sunflower seeds everywhere, is now covered with young sunflower plants. I’m going to leave them as is. There’s nothing wrong with an unexpected patch of pretty sunflowers in bloom.

I hung the big, new macramé plant hanger outside the front door: it’s holding a blue-glazed pot of succulents. The pink geranium my Mom gave me last autumn went into a conical wicker hanging basket near the rear of the house.

Yesterday, my husband and I spent the day at Captain’s Cove, a Connecticut marina with lots of fun distractions – shopping, food, and a great view of the ocean. It was our first oceanside weekend since last summer. We both forgot how gorgeous ocean air is, how beautiful and soothing the rhythm of the waves is, and how much we both feel most at home and ourselves when we’re close to the water. He did some boat shopping: I went knee-high into the water, communed with seagulls, and slurped a Bomb Pop. It was a great way to greet summer. We went home feeling revived.

On Friday, we received delivery of a new Good Hope clivia, a rarer yellow variety of one of my favorite indoor plants. I bought in online from 9GreenBox. I was stunned when I opened the box. It’s a big (8 leaf) and healthy clivia. For $19.99 and free shipping, there’s no better deal. Any nursery would sell a yellow clivia of this size with a price tag of at least $50.

9GreenBox is a giant commercial grower. They send healthy, sound cultivars and guarantee their viability. This week, I’m buying a papaya tree from them. I’ve had no luck trying to germinate papaya seeds.

My hibiscus is doing well, but I’ve learned that it needs a LOT of water. I neglected to water it one day and the next morning, it was drooping hard. It’s recovered, but plants never like that kind of stress. I’m keeping a watering can right next to it and now, whenever I pass the hibiscus, I hit it with some water.

All but the string beans are in the food gardens. The upcoming trip to Ballecks will fix that. Once they’re in, we start laying down compost at the base of the plants and let the nitrogen do its work. It’s an unusually cool 55 degrees today, but we’re heading back into the 70s tomorrow, and it looks like we’ll stay warm from then on. I think it’s going to be a great season.

Live in peace.

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