Late June Miscellaney

Chrysanthemum paludosum:
Chrysanthemum paludosum

First Bell Peppers:
First Bell Peppers

I read recently that the commercial produce most likely to contain high levels of pesticide residues are bell peppers--a surprise considering mine never show insect damage--planted en mass, what pest do they attract?  So I attempt to sate the family's love of peppers by putting them in every dinner possible all summer--so we get our fill and don't have to buy the commercially-grown ones.  The home-grown ones are delicious, so try growing some if you can.  I was surprised to find that they don't really need full sun--morning sun and afternoon shade can give good results.

I've had the best luck with the generic big-box-store six packs with the tag marked "Pepper".  The more colorful ones, named variety seeds, and designer plants don't produce even a quarter as many, and they have less flavor.   One case where cheap and ordinary is superior.

A lady in my garden club recommended annual (or sometimes biennial) Chrysanthemum paludosum as easy-to-no-care and blooms like crazy.  She was correct.  I strictly avoid Chrysanthemum because they are overrun by insects in my garden, but C. paludosum has been great.  I also avoid annuals now, but every once in a while, a fresh dash of something...you know.

Chrysanthemum paludosum

Then there's Orchid-On-A-Stick, which has proven to be a far superior method of growing an orchid than keeping them in a plastic pot full of bark that gets knocked over or blown over.  A natural piece of wood also looks better than any plastic pot.  This is Laelia gouldiana, a species from northern Mexico that does well here outdoors in coastal Southern California. 
Laelia gouldiana:
Orchid on a Stick

I hang it here and there on the patio depending on the weather and time of year--more sun in winter than in summer.  It blooms in October.  I water it by sticking it in the fountain for a while to let the stick it is mounted on absorb some water.

Hmmm...time to clean that fountain...
Watering Orchid on a stick

Late June:  Catalina Eddy is about to flee, taking his lovely gray fog blanket with him.  The summer heat is about ready to descend like a black-winged vulture, and the time from now until October consists mostly of watering desperate plants, feeding the koi, and staying out of the sun.   

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