24 April 2017

2017 From Gruesome to Garden I

There is pretty much no way that I can photograph my garden to camouflage the weeds… so I’d better get to work. This season has been a storybook spring, so far. The temperatures are moderate in the 50s-70s, and there are indeed April showers that encourage May flowers! 
 (Columbines, pictured above)

Curious About What’s Growing?

Here  are a few of the plants making a return to our small growing plot:
Thundercloud Sedum: one of my favorites has made a return. For some reason plants closer to the house are more robust and those by the gazebo look parched.

Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates some light shade. Also tolerates drought and heat, particularly once established. (http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/

Regal Red Japanese Painted Fern: Handsome and ruffled, this high-color selection has been a much requested Japanese Painted Fern. The dark violet red interior of each 'Regal Red' frond is contrasted by bright silver edges making each leaflet distinct and creating an overall tapestry effect. The pinnules also twist a little giving the frond a "fluffed" up look. 'Regal Red' combines beautifully with red-purple Heuchera such as 'Plum Pudding' and blue sedges like Carex platyphylla or C. 'Blue Zinger'. (http://www.northcreeknurseries.com/plantName/Athyrium-niponicum-Regal-Red)

Regal Red Japanese Painted Fern
Candy Cane Phlox / Peppermint Twist Phlox: Peppermint Twist Phlox offers up delicate blooms that feature pink and white stripes from July into September. The stripes emanate out from a pink center, creating an eye-catching visual that is impressive in its own right.( http://www.naturehills.com/phlox-peppermint-twist

Crimson Clover, White Clover, Yellow Clover: Crimson clover is an introduced winter annual and herbaceous legume. The leaves and stems of crimson clover resemble those of red clover, but the leaves are round-tipped with more hair on the stems and leaves. Seedlings grow rapidly from the crown forming a rosette. This rosette enlarges as weather becomes favorable. In the spring, the flower stems develop rapidly and end their growth with long, pointed conical flower heads comprised of 75 to 125 florets (https://plants.usda.gov)

Carpet Bugleweed & Clover
Creeping Thyme: There are thought to be as many as 400 different varieties of thyme plants. There is some debate as to the accuracy of that number but as thyme seems to be easily hybridized, it would also seem that the number of varieties is only going to continue to increase. The names Elfin thyme and creeping thyme seem to be attached to any low-growing, creeping variety of thyme. (http://www.ourherbgarden.com/creeping-thyme.html)

Ajuga /Carpet Bugleweed: The flowers of bugleweed are normally bluish to purple but they can be found in white as well. And in addition to the traditional green foliage, this ground cover can also provide the landscape with stunning copper or purple-colored foliage too, making it great for adding year-round interest. There’s even a variegated form available.

Hydrangea, mini
Hydrangea: My mother gave me some sticks/cuttings from her prize-winning bushes two years ago. This year I finally see a little planing coming up... Look out world!

Columbines!!! Columbine (also known as Granny's bonnet) is known for its distinctive, bell-shaped, spurred flowers, which bloom from mid-spring to early summer. Though individual plants are short-lived, lasting only two to three years, columbine self-seeds prolifically and will persist in the garden with volunteer seedlings. (www.Gardern.org)

Huechera: this plant is the love of my life. Hardy, colorful, clumping, with pretty understated flowers. Right now it's being overtaken by a rose bush, but not for long.

Peonies (white): If a peony is well situated and happy, it may bloom for 100 years or more with little or no attention. This means it's worth spending some time up front, choosing the right planting location and preparing the soil (http://www.gardeners.com)

Japanese Maple: Both graceful and versatile, Japanese maple trees (Acer palmatum) are the chameleons of the plant world. Some leaf out in brilliant reds in spring, change to green by summer, and finish the fall in yellows and oranges. Others start red and stay red till their leaves drop in autumn, revealing their sculptural forms. Leaves can be palm-shaped or lacy, almost feathery, and their available color palette includes red, green, orange, purple, white, and pink. (http://www.southernliving.com/)  

Lambs Ears: Lamb's Ears is a very hardy and strong-growing perennial, with thick white-wooly foliage, valued as a dense, low growing, spreading bedding plant in the landscape. Lamb's Ears works well when filling an area of your landscape and as a border perennial, with pink-purple flower spikes during the summer season. The foliage provides striking silvery color and unique velvety soft textural qualities. (www.garden.org)

Lavender: t he countryside of southern France is legendary for its fields of lavender (Lavandula x intermedia Provence) grown for the perfume industry. In North America, lavender is a shrubby perennial grown for its flowers and fragrance, but it also serves as a landscape item for its beauty and ability to stand heat and drought. In parts of California, is it used in islands of commercial parking lots, which attests to its toughness. (https://bonnieplants.com)

Dog defiling the Liriope
Roses: Hybrid Teas are one of the most recognized and popular cut flowers. They are known for their long-stemmed elegance and high centered blooms. Their upright canes are more open than bushy and carry large flowers. This rose has an extensive colorful palette that allows for it's vibrancy to be seen in the garden from a distance. (http://www.heirloomroses.com/)

Cone Flower /Echinacea: Coneflowers are bright perennials, some of which are used in herbal remedies. These flowers are easy to care for, relatively drought-tolerant, and are good for cut flowers. Coneflowers are daisy-like with raised centers. The seeds found in the dried flower head also attract songbirds to your garden. (http://www.almanac.com/plant/coneflowers)

Liriope: ornamental varigated grass, with purplish flowers. Now that the dog has begun to use them for her potty, I don't believe they will thrive this year...considering moving them...

Day Lillies: Unlike most perennials, daylilies are well-suited to many different uses in the garden and landscape. The shorter, more compact varieties work well planted directly into perennial borders, where their blooms provide a welcome mid-summer boost. In groups of 3 or 5, daylilies are ideal for landscape plantings, especially when paired with ornamental grasses and small shrubs. Daylilies are also the perfect plant for mass plantings along a fence or walkway, where they'll form a dense, weed-proof display. (http://www.gardeners.com/how-to/growing-daylilies/8104.html)

Tiger lily: The Tiger Lily, bears large, fiery orange flowers covered by spots. The name tiger probably refers to the spots on the petals. The flowers of this perennial can grow up to three inches in width. The Tiger Lily is also known as the Ditch Lily as it is found in and around ditches in large parts of America. (http://www.theflowerexpert.com)