Four months ago, I planted five (5) one-gallon Green Velvet boxwoods in our front porch bed in line with the other ones that existed in that same bed . My plan was to sort-of 'extend' that low mound of evergreen shrubs down past the new Elm tree and wrapping around the corner. I also (in June) planted a number of Summer Beauty Allium and Sesleria Autumnalis grasses in front of both the old and new boxwoods. With the heat of Summer behind us, how did they all fare and what do the shrubs and perennials (and...annual French dwarf Marigolds) look like in late September? I'd say pretty good. See below for current state of that curved bed: All five Green Velvet Boxwoods are doing well and putting on a tiny bit of height. The Allium have exploded and are double-or-triple their original (quart) size. And the stars of the show are those French Marigolds . I've been telling myself that I need to be a bit more choosy when it comes to Home Depot plants; there are some th
Showing posts with the label annuals
I've covered the Elephant Ear bulbs that I planted in some of our patio containers already , but after gifting a few of them, I had two remaining. What did I do with them? I stuck them in the ground amongst some 'escaped' strawberry (that I'm using as groundcover) and Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grasses. See below for these two tropical annuals that have popped up in our landscape: #25 on my annual to-do list was to use 'annuals beyond the container' . I'd say that this counts, right? What have I learned? First...that these probably aren't a perfect fit in this area. At least by themselves. But....that doesn't mean that I can't plant them somewhere else, right? Or, augment/expand this bed and plant some other colors at their feet? Something to think about for next year. The other thing to think about? Those sexy black-stemmed version that they have at the Arboretum . Upgrade to those, right?
Yesterday, I posted some photos showing the French Marigolds that I planted as bedding plants in our front porch bed/border and mentioned that some volunteer Dusty Millers arrived to change the look of that curved bed. Last year, I planted 36 small Dusty Millers in front . As annuals. They're hardy down to Zone 7 - by all accounts . But here in Zone 5B? We had a bunch of them come back for year two. When I say a 'bunch of them', I really mean a BUNCH OF THEM. I planted those French Marigolds across the front of the bed. And today? I can't see half of them. See below for the current state of this front porch bed and how vibrant the Dusty Millers - planted in 2022 in Zone 5b - are today: There are French Marigolds under there. Somewhere. See below for a peek at the edge where the Marigolds run into these. Dusty Millers are grown for their white, ornamental foliage. They provide a little Mediterranean vibe to the garden. But, I am discovering that they al
This year, I planted a couple of flats of Dwarf French multi-color Marigolds that arrived as plugs from the Home Depot as bedding plants across the front of our front-porch bed. They come in flats of four eight packs and I think I put down a couple of them. Maybe 60 of them-or so. Below is a look at their current state - across the front porch bed: They've REALLY put on some size in the past few weeks. Peek here at this post from mid-June that shows them when I was digging out that front natural edge . And, for even more contrast, check out this photo below showing Spring-time (right when I planted them) when the tulip foliage was still hanging around: I've planted many things over the years along this front border, but I think I am coming back to these multi-color marigolds. First...they're orange. Love that. Second... they're French - which we first saw at Luxembourg Gardens . I planted these all the way across the front, but the Dusty Millers from last y
I had to pick up one of the kids at the Morton Arboretum recently had had a little bit of time to get some steps in and decided to go see the Fragrance Garden up by the Thornhill Center on the West side of the Arboretum . It is a spot where you can park pretty close and get to see some beds and containers on a quick little, easy walk. A couple of years ago, I was in this same garden and posted some thoughts and photos here . At that time, I was struck by the bedding plants and combinations they had in what felt like a very shady garden (which...is a lot like our own garden). It was from that experience that I said (to myself) that I needed to think about using annuals beyond the container - as bedding plants - in the shade. In fact....that was one of my 2023 to-do items and the push behind all of the annuals that I planted this year including some Lobelia, Begonias, Impatiens, Polka Dot Plants . The beds at the Morton Arboretum have inspired me prior to that shade garden visit.
A couple of weeks back, I showed off some of the most significant annual bedding planting that I've done in our backyard that included a bunch of shade-loving annuals like impatiens and begonias among others. Number 25 on my 2023 to-do list was to use annuals beyond the container and with the shade annuals, I was feeling pretty good. But, I also have a more sun-filled border near the kitchen window that I decided to try some other bedding annuals. I poked around to try to figure out the difference between traditional petunias, supertunias and wave petunias. Turns out, Wave are 'spreading' and are the best for bedding. I picked up four of these Easy Wave Lavender Blue Sky Wave Petunias and stuck them in close to the border in a staggered planting. These have a spread of more than a foot, so I'm hoping that these will fill in the spaces in between and put on a nice little blueish-purple show this Summer: In the photo above, you can see the three Lucky Charm Anemon
The way that I think about gardening is that you have to have a systemic approach to planning and planting that is paired with a secondary, supplemental approach to zhuzh'ing things during the growing season. That systemic approach means trees and shrubs and even perennials. (I need to do more evergreen shrubs....just a self-reminder.) But that supplemental zhuzh'ing is something that I've mostly done through division and some bulbs. I suppose that's the difference between a landscaper and a gardener, right? A landscape gets it all planted and is satisfied. A gardener will work the garden all year long. A plantsman? That's for another post. One of the things that I've talked about over the years is how to use annuals in the landscape. The only place that I've successfully planted them is out front in the porch beds. In the back? Nothing. Last year, I included the idea of using shade annuals and dark foliage . But, I really didn't move on it.
That (above) is our front porch seasonal flower container for Summer 2022. Earlier this Spring, we planted this long, rectangular container with pansies that were cold-hardy. Last month, I finally got around to planting this with Summer annuals. Last year, we went with a more bold and wild container , so this year, I went a little more subdued. I don't love pink flowers in my garden, but when I was the Big Box nursery, I found a few pink things that I thought might work in our front porch box. This is a pretty shady spot - it gets a tiny bit of morning sun, but is in the shade for 98% of the day. What's in here? First...there are a pair of Fiber Optic grasses. I dug those out of the back patio container since they were being swallowed up by the Petunias . They won't be missed. Then there's a purple Sweet Potato vine, some simple shade Begonias and pink Polka Dot plants. All the containers are below. The Polka Dot plants are something that I've wante
Earlier this Summer, I planted a series of Caladium tubers DIRECTLY in the beds on the southside - near the Fanal Astilbe colony . I planted them right on the border of the bed and hoped they'd fill in the gap between the current perennials and the border. These were bought as tubers from Costco and being a Zone 5b gardener, these are (for us) annuals. They're also (at least to me) tropicals. Why do I mention tropicals? Because one of 2022 to-do items ( #14 ) was to work with more tropicals IN the landscape. And #16 was to work with shade annuals . This does BOTH of those things. Five weeks after planting the tubers, we're seeing some action. Below is a look at one of these Caladiums that have popped up: There appear to be five or six groupings of these white Aaron Caldiums that have emerged. Once they all grow up and leaf-out, I'll take a group photo. This is my first season growing a GROUP of tropical tubers in the ground and will be something I think abo
Back at the beginning of the month, I posted some details and photos of our front yard annual plantings including their inspiration from Luxembourg Gardens in Paris. At the time, I planted (only) a series of Dusty Miller white annuals and talked about how I'd fill them out with a few other colors and flowers. After doing a little bit of hemming and hawing, I decided to just see what struck me at the big box garden center. I ended up coming home with purple and yellows. Purple petunias. 24 of them. And Yellow Zinnias. 18 of those. I planted the purple petunias in between each pair of the Dusty Millers. And planted the Zinnias in a row *behind* those - closer to the house/boxwoods. Below, you can see what they look like right now, immediately after planting. Here's a look at the yellow, flowering annual zinnias: And, here below, is the purple petunia: I'm hopeful that they'll fill-in and what I call 'get bushy'. I'll monitor these across the bala
It isn't much, but I'm going to allow it. Allow what? Allow myself credit for planting a (new to me) tropical in the landscape. That means checking the box on #14 of my 2022 to-do list: Expand my use of tropicals and sub-tropicals in the garden . Historically, I've only utilized Elephant Ear bulbs as tropicals in my containers and a few in the ground. This year, I wiffed on those (indeed a miss), but I did recently plant a tropical in the garden - in one of the beds. Below, you can see the lone Canna - Canova Bronze Peach - that I planted in the backyard in a spot that is visible from the patio and kitchen windows. I was at the orange big box nursery last week picking up a few other annuals for our front yard and back patio and I just took a shot with this peachy canna. I'm thinking that I should have done a few more of these? One seems like it isn't enough - and it is a direct violation of one of the gardening 'mistakes' that we've talked a
Yesterday, I shared some looks at the island beds (of annuals) that you can see in Luxembourg Gardens in Paris this year . I've used them as inspiration in the past for some containers, but this year, I thought we'd try to use them as inspiration for our front yard in-ground bed. I decided to use a combination of 36 (small) Dusty Millers and some other colorful annuals (that I haven't bought yet). I don't love pinks, so maybe reds is where I'll land. While the alternating color isn't locked in, the Dusty Millers are, indeed, 'locked-in'. Here you can see them below: six six-packs bought and brought home. In 2020, I planted 24 impatiens . Last year, we planted 20 sedum and 24 begonias . For historicals: Our first full year - in 2018 - we planted some Ranunculuses - about eight of them. In 2019, we planted 16 orange marigolds. +8 plants yoy. In 2020, we planted 24 Impatiens . +8 plants yoy. In 2021, we planted 20 Lemon Coral Sedum and 24 begoni
The past few seasons, I've planted (at least) one container with an annual flower pattern that we first saw in the beds at Luxembourg Gardens in Paris a few years back. Here's one example - showing a combination of red, orange/yellow and blue/purple with Blue Salvia (Salvia farinacea), a yellow Zinnia and in front a red Wave petunia. I've used marigolds in lieu of Zinnias in other years like the corner box last year . I've drawn other inspiration from this very same garden - from chairs to edging to using cocoa bean mulch to the use of London Planetrees to falling in love with the orangerie box to espalier of various forms . One of the things that I was surprised by (not sure why) was that they have updated their annuals and the patterns they were using in their beds around Luxembourg Gardens in Paris this Summer (June 2022). In the more sunny section of the garden - around the big fountain - they're now showing a series of beds that include pinks, wh