Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Toughest Plants Around

In my previous post, I mentioned that I was going to write on plants in my garden that made it through three and a half years of complete neglect.  If you recall, I had my third child three years ago and from the time I became pregnant in 2013 until 2017, I just could not tend my garden.  While pregnant, it was the outdoor smells that would make me sick and then toward the end, it was sheer exhaustion.  Once baby #3 came in to this world, it was the lack of time and still sheer exhaustion.  Now he is old enough to play in the garden while I work away.  So which plants survived without watering, pruning, top dressing, Liquid Fence and fussing that all gardeners do?  Well, here is my list of the toughest plants around. Plants with an asterisk denote my all time favorites due to longevity of bloom time, interesting year round foliage or just, well, because!

Bearded Iris



Torch Lily

Sun Drops



*Shasta Daisy 'Becky'


Green headed coneflower
 Bee Balm ('Jacob Cline' did not make it.)

Other Perennials:
Rose 'Don Juan'
Sedum 'Autumn Joy'
Sedum 'Angelina'
Columbine 'Winky Double Blue'
Obedient Plant

Beauty Berry
Spirea 'Ogon'

Here is what didn't make it - verbena 'Homestead Purple', chrysanthumum 'Sheffields Pink', butterfly bushes, hydrangeas (both mopheads and oakleaf), blue salvia, Japanese iris, lambs ear, astilbe, and rudbeckia, pink coneflower.

So if you are looking for new plants that require little fuss, please feel free to use this list as a reference, as none of us know when we will have to stop gardening for a little while or perhaps a long while!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Walk Around the Garden in April

My garden is in such disarray from being completely neglected for the last three and a half years! After having my third child, gardening just had to take a back seat for a couple of years, but now I'm back! I appreciate the time I have to garden all the more.  I have been working at a feverish pace the last six weeks to get it back in shape and I am almost there. I have one large area that has not been tended, however the rest of the garden has either been weeded and mulched or given a complete overhaul with new plants and designs.  I will be adding a post later this month on plants that can survive complete neglect. We all need those don't we? As we never know what curveball life will throw us around the corner from today!  Anyway enough talk, let's take a walk and see what's blooming right now...
 Catmint is just coming in to bloom. Note the toad on the bottom left corner of the picture.  I love toads in the garden because they usually mean I don't have any snakes (for the time being).

 'Little Pixie' Japanese Maple is in the pot.  A completely neglected tree in a pot for three years and it has come through okay.  Newly planted around the base of the pot is Heuchera 'Caramel' and Guem 'Tequila Sunrise'.  I am working to provide more foliage color/contrast in my renovated garden.  The heuchera leaves match the color of the flowers on the guem.  The maple and heuchera leaves also play nicely off each other.
 Heuchera 'Caramel'

 Guem 'Tequila Sunrise'

 'Little Pixie' Japanese Maple

 Decidous azalea that has been here longer than me.

 Azalea whose name I don't know!
 What do you do with an urn that has broken off from it's pedestal?  Turn it on its side and place it on the ground, of course! Multi colored violas are planted in the urn.

 'Homestead Purple' Verbena that is newly planted. I did have the same verbena planted here prior to the third child, however this is NOT a plant that could stand the neglect.
 Sweet Jonquils with verbena in the background.

Unknown bearded iris with an under planting of sedum that has stood a few years of neglect.
 Newly planted area of dianthus from the Scent First series and spiderwort 'Sweet Kate'.  Again, I'm working more on foliage color this year and not just flowers with bland green leaves.
 Deutzia 'Summer Snowflake'
 Violas, salvia and creeping jenny.
Back on the porch - an inexpensive hydrangea from Trader Joes that I purchased for Easter this year.  I hope you enjoyed the walk! 

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Spring Pots

There is nothing that says spring here more than the wobbly heads of jewel toned pansies and the soldier straight bright yellow daffodils.  I love to mix them together in pots.  The way to mix spring bulbs and pansies in a pot is to plant them together in the fall.  The daffodil bulbs are placed under the soil and the pansies are planted on top.  I cheated this year though and bought already blooming daffodils with fresh new pansies.  The pansies will quickly fill out the pot with the cool temperatures that we have here in the spring.  When the daffodils stop blooming, I will pull them out of the pot and add something else in the middle or I might just let the pansies fill in the empty space.  These pots are sitting on our patio where I can view them from the kitchen windows.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Late Winter Bloom Day

Early March 2017
Mid March 2017

This is my favorite spot in the garden in the late winter/early spring.  It was an unplanned area that morphed in to quite a nice view from my kitchen window this time of year. 

April 2013

The original owners of the house had placed the two camellias in full sun.   Every summer the leaves were badly scalded by the sun.  The poor things were slowly dying out there in the bright, hot sun.  I moved them to this mostly shady location under the canopy of some loblolly pine trees and they love it.  Next came the bird house a few years later. The white bird house really makes the red flowers on the camellias pop (accidental color combo, of course).  Finally, spirea 'Ogon' was planted four years ago.  The color combo of the dark, glossy green camellia leaves and the chartreuse 'Ogon' leaves is beautiful throughout the year.  The tall stature of the camellias flanking the weepiness of 'Ogon' is also an eye pleasing design.  'Ogon' bloomed its snowy white profusion of flowers a few weeks ago (see the earlier March post) which led in to the camellias bloom time.  Succession planting and good color combinations year round.  A gardeners delight!  Now, as I get back to gardening after four years, I am thinking of what else to add to this area.  Certainly some early bulbs like grape hyacinths and crocus would be useful to draw your eye down to ground level.

Other blooms in the garden:

Thank you Carol for hosting Garden Bloggers Bloom Day at  May Dreams Garden.

Monday, March 13, 2017

In a Vase Monday....

Camellia cut from the garden on a freezing rain day in Williamsburg, Virginia.  High temp: 45.  Low temp: 41.  Follow other In A Vase Monday bloggers hosted by Rambling in the Garden