Saturday, July 16, 2011

Out with the Mildewy Phlox--In with the Manhattan Lilies & another Path in Progress

I was outside at 7am today. I had no idea I would be out there digging, hauling away and replanting until noon. In fact I had no project planned at all. I was just going to move the plants away from the house on the deck so DH could do his yearly house washing.

Moving the deck items took just a few minutes and I decided to take a morning stroll through all the paths. As I entered the new path, I had the spontaneous desire to dig out this mildewed phlox and throw it away.  
So I did. I can't have this awful stuff right on the path's edge! Before the path, I was not able to get to get to this area unless I wanted to walk through chest-high foliage without knowing what may be slithering underfoot. Trust me--I rarely felt like doing that!  I don't remember mildew like this, but maybe I just could not see it.

I have two different colors of phlox here. I don't know if the mildew-coated one was white or purple. I will see when the other one blooms.

A few feet from the phlox is this arbor with some of the Manhattan lilies that grew twice as tall as I expected. They are too close to the path, so I dug them all out.
 I replanted them a few feet back where the phlox was.
Geez, now I don't like the orange ditch lilies with the pink. I don't want to dig the ditch lilies out because I have nothing to replace them with. I decided to just cut off all the blooming stalks below the foliage.  It was so much fun, that I continued on to this front area and cut them all off here, too.

Back to the once moldy phlox area:
I left a couple of Manhattans in the front of the arbor to lead the eye to the back area where I just planted those I removed from the pathway.   I put 4 small hostas along the path. They won't brush against my hips as I waddle through the arbor.   I am much happier with this new planting.

Once I got that done, I removed more lilies from this garden on the opposite side and I began to dig out a small area for another tiny path. I have four pavers left from the other path project and I knew right away where they would go. I need a way to get out to the wooded area without walking through the planted areas, so I decided to add another exit to this path.

It is not done yet because it got too hot to work outside (almost 90 degrees).  We will either go out later this evening or tomorrow morning to finish it.

I had planned to go to an arts/crafts show, but I never made it there.  Maybe tomorrow as it's a two-day affair.


  1. Wow Zoey, you are on a roll. I hate the mildew on phlox also. I learned this year that you have to spray the fungicide in the spring as a preventative not a cure. I have spent a lot of money through the years trying to cure them after the mildew arrived.

    My new one Bubblegum is supposed to be very mildew resistant and so far so good. Your pathways are going to look great when you are done but take it easy in this heat.


  2. Oh Zoey I'd love to walk down that path in your garden..I promise I wouldn't pick any flowers..well maybe a ditch lily or two:)

  3. Eileen,
    I tried to spray bleach/water on it last week, but it did nothing to help. I did not know about the fungicide. I tend not to bother with such things. If the plants don't behave, I dig them out and put in something else. I was wondering if Bubblegum was mildew resistant...These days they seem to be more resistant than in the past.

    I have decided to wait until tomorrow morning to finish the path It's still about 90 degrees.

    Betty, I'd be happy to dig a few up and send them home with you. :)

  4. Zoey,
    I think the phlox is supposed to be less mildewy if you keep it thinned out, so air can circulate between the individual plants. Maybe that's why you are seeing it more prevalent this year, because the phlox is thicker??
    I can't even start my first project and you are almost done with your 3rd! Slow down, will ya? You're making me look bad!

  5. Wow, you were busy early! We were busy looking at cars. I hardly looked around the yard today. Looks like everyone will have a newer vehicle in this family is everything works out. Even though I love the Mariner, it's like a truck, so the PT Cruiser is definitely more my speed.

  6. Zoey, for not intending to do anything major, you really were just on a roll, weren't you? Doing all that work in 90 degree heat; you're amazing. We went on a garden walk again today (I know, my silly projects at home will never get done at this rate).

    I am amazed at all you have accomplished, Sunday is supposed to be very hot here, too, and I'm not sure what we'll do instead of working in the hot, hot sun. I have never had luck with phlox and even my rudbeckias love to mildew....grrrrr. We sprayed for mosquitoes tonight, too, it's just unbearable here with all of the swatting.

    I sure like the way the garden looks after you removed the phlox and daylilies. I am going to have to adopt your philosophy--if it doesn't perform, out it goes, so many other plants are waiting in the wings to show what they can do!

  7. Sissy, I have read that, too. It could be the reason. I have certainly thinned it out now :)

    I think PT Cruiser sounds great. They are so cute!

    Isn't that how it always happens? LOL. I do hate to work outside with mosquitoes. They really seem to like my blood type. They don't even bite DH. Have you ever heard of that--mosquitoes not biting a person? He does not get poison ivy either--can walk right through it!

  8. Zoey, You have been busy in the garden. These days here, I can work out in the garden for an hour or two in the morning but then I am dripping with perspiration as it's very hot and humid. Once it cools a bit, I have lots of gardening tasks to do also. I like your calla lilies. Do you dig them up and overwinter them as bare bulbs, or do you leave them in a pot and let them go dormant in the basement? I have never raised a calla but it's on my list for next year! To cooler days and nights!
    God bless, Beth


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