Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Collectors Garden Revisited

I was back at my brother's and sister-in-law's garden to document some of the changes that have been made since last year.  The pond is still beautiful in this 1930's home, not a plastic pre-formed pond but poured concrete.  Their children when young used to try to skate on this pond, must have been very tricky!

The Persicaria is in the background and being held up with a vintage headboard.

My sister-in-law is always out in front regarding what is going on in regard to garden art.  Take a look at some of the ideas that can be incorporated into the garden.

This old faucet is not going to spill into this cup.  Plates collected from the antique store with vintage cup attached.  Note the crystal as a drop of water under the spout.

A vintage crystal bowl with a vase and plate attached at the top, bird added to make an unusual birdbath.

Places to sit and then some places you can't sit!

A remembrance garden for Barb's mother, engraved stone and Addie Branch Smith Daylilies donated by me.

A couple of her mother's birdhouses

Another remembrance garden for my mother with her favorite saying on the fence.

The car is now part of its own garden.  These were placed throughout the downtown area where they lived and then auctioned off for charity.  Various communities have done this through the years with cows, penguins, snowmen, etc.  Large glass blocks are holding up the planters.

Everything you can think of using in a home is used in Barb's garden.

Everywhere I looked there was Autumn Joy Sedum like frames around the picture of the gardens.  Mine flops but Barb says hers do not and are like a sea of pink in the fall.

There is room in the back for the veggie garden.

The old wooden compost bins were dismantled and new resin ones put in their place.

We all have different ideas about how our gardens should look, but the most important thing is that the garden should be you!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Containers In The Front Garden

I went with the earth tones and tropical colors for the front garden this year.  I have a pretty neutral sand tone house with some weathered copper and rust tone accessories so really just about any color plantings will look good.

Hawkerii Impatiens, Bronze Moneywart, Pineapple Splash Coleus, Angelonia and Dracena with Autumnale Fuchsia in front.

The leaves on the hawkerii variety are as interesting as the flowers.

Pineapple Splash Coleus

I love Redhead Coleus in the turquoise pots!

The concrete planters in front have the bronze sweet potato, much more controlled than the original Marguerite.  Citrus Supertunia has filled in beautifully (no deadheading required) with orange New Guinea impatiens, heat resistant lobelia and Diamond Frost Euphorbia.

Orange and Saffron Yellow Calibrachoa (million bells) dominate this planter with orange and yellow Gerber daisies and bronze carex grass.

I wintered over the agave cactus and purchased new purslane and crotons for the south side containers.

Container plantings are tricky because you usually don't know until the middle of the season if they are going to work.  There are already some plants I would not use again but we'll talk about this later.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Gardening Goes Wild

I was getting my garden ready the past few weeks for a Garden Stroll, clipping, edging, mulching, everything to make it looks as perfect as possible.

Persicaria Polymorpha

Then everything wild broke lose, 100 mph winds, crashing trees, the whooshing of the generator starting up again and large trees blocking main streets and throughout the neighborhoods.

It has been determined that it was a tornado that touched down which is unusual for for our location, but what isn't unusual this year!

Persicaria took a hit with many broken stems, I am probably going to have to cut down the whole plant!

I have trimmed it as much as I can for the stroll , but it is falling all over everything.

We have tons of toppled trees, but this one was dramatic because it is at least one hundred years old and just ripped from the earth.  You can see some of its branches across the street.

I had taken some photos before the storm and would certainly see the difference when assessing the damage.

All The Rage
Toppled over in the storm, now propped up with a stake

Cinco de Mayo
Difficult to get a realistic photo, very smoky color

Pink Meidiland

Rainbow Knockout
(My favorite rose for its long blooming habit and great succession of colors)

The storm is over but many are still without power and the clean up will go on for several weeks.  My garden escaped severe damage so it will be an unusual frame around the garden stroll with fallen trees everywhere, kind of like a war zone with little respites in between.

Many of the clematis are now blooming and even though I took these photos before the tornado, they came through just fine.

Comtesse de Bouchard
This is one clematis that does not disappoint (type 3)

General Sikorski (type 2)
I always worry about the algae in the birdbath but I recently read that it not a problem, only aesthetic.

Dr. Rupple (type 2)
This a a new one purchased this spring.

Hagley Hybrid (type 3)

Rouge Cardinal (type 3)

The Veggie Garden
I am growing a miniature eggplant and they seem to be doing very well.  The cucumbers are just about to climb the trellis.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Border Patrol

As I make my rounds of the garden each day, I become more and more aware that it is a garden of borders.  I don't have room anymore for islands or berms so borders frame the small amount of grass that I have.

There is a border of roses, Knockouts and Pink Meidiland, phlox, lilies and daylilies, daisies and other perennials that keep this going throughout the summer.

On the sitting side of the patio Green Velvet boxwood is enhanced by coleus and sweet potatio vine spilling over the raised bed.  These plantings do not draw bees or other insects.  An outside fan on the patio keeps the mosquitos at bay.

Pathways are important to lead you into the border and in some cases even have a place to sit and relax.

I am on another small pathway taking this photo, not enough room to sit but it allows me to get into the garden.

To keep it interesting it is nice to have highs and lows in the border.  The south side is a very hot area during the summer so the plantings have to be appropriate.

I changed the plantings this year to zinnias, crotons that I wintered over, sedum, daylilies and coneflowers.  The clematis and Eupatorium Chocolate also do well in the heat.  There is still some veronica here that has survived, but most of the perennials I have tried have not been able to take the heat.

The front south border does not get the relection of the heat from the house so it is much easier to grow and keep watered the perennials that thrive here.

Little Henry's Garnet Sweetspire faces southeast and for the first year in seven is going to bloom profusely.  Don't you just love all that bulb foliage, I always hate it this time of year!

I used a systemic on it last year and again this spring along with feeding it an acidic fertilizer (read that it prefers an acid soil).  So, I guess we'll keep this one.

Little Henry you've got a reprieve!

Groundcovers help a great deal in regard to weeds and water retention.  This is Blue Dart Myrtle in the front areas.

The front borders are more subtle with splashes of color not masses.  Soon, the daylilies and lilies will be blooming along with the heuchera, astilbe and hosta.  Lirope is the ground cover in this part shade bed under the Chanticleer Pear tree.

My Endless Summer Hydrangeas actually have quite a few flower heads this year.  Let's see if they can repeat their first show.

Wintercreeper is a border across from Endless Summer, suffered from scale, dormant sprayed and treated with a systemic.  It looks good so far. hate to lose it because it turns a beautiful crimson color in the fall.

The astilbes are about ready to bloom on the north side.

This north side border does get morning sun, as you can see, and the baskets at the top of the fence get even more sun later in the day.  It took me awhile to figure out the planting scheme.  The bleeding hearts take up a lot of room but when they begin to yellow I can cut them down.

I guess even my vegetable garden is a border along the driveway but my most surprising border is beyond my back garden, outside the fence and beyond the gate.

The Alley Garden

Borders do not have to be masses of flowering perennials and annuals.  They can be just interesting in various tones of green, interspaced with darker leaf colors and grasses.