Thursday, March 31, 2011

A few low-growers I love.

I love this super floriferous 'Fort Hill' moss phlox even reblooms in September. Here it is in May 2010- a carpet of flowers.

Creeping veronica 'Waterperry Blue' has some of the bluest flower in my garden. It keeps a nice green matte of foliage when it's not in bloom.

Creeping veronica speedwell, 'Georgia Blue' pairs well with Lamb's Ear. It's very drought tolerant, too. I think of it as a perennial alternative to annual blue lobelia.
Here's another shot of it in another part of the garden. It is very easy to divide.

Aubrieta 'Purple heart' has some beautiful royal purple blooms!
Aubrieta 'Purple Heart' with creeping veronica speedwell 'Georgia Blue.'
Aubrieta 'Whitewell Gem' with creeping veronica speedwell, 'Georgia Blue.'
Happy gardening!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Say it Ain't So?

My research continues on what plants from my garden are going to be hardy enough to transition to Minnesota with me. I've found a few major bummers lately, and am toying with trying them up in zone 4 anyway. First, can it really be true? Butterfly Bushes are not hard in zone 4? I've seen some estimates say they are only hardy to zone 6-which I am far from... and they grow here. So, I may try to take one with me anyway. They attract so many beauties! I have 4 mature ones in my garden now, and can watch hummers and butterflies galore on them all day. And they smell so sweet! Daisies? REALLY? A garden without daisies seems impossible. Can it be? I've yet to see a single estimate that says any of my daisies are hardy below zone 5, but I may have to try this out myself.

Stokesia (Stoke's Aster) are a new favorite of mine. My 3 beauties are just hitting their stride. Again, I may have to sneak one along with me and see it lives.

Wish me luck!

Anyone with zone 4 hardiness experience with any of these, let me know!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring Teaser

I never posted some of my favorite garden shots from last spring! How dare me!
I thought I'd do it now, as we're all sitting and waiting for our first blooms of 2011 (well, atleast here in Wisconsin). I looked at the forecast for the town I'm moving to in Minnesota this week, and they still have lows around 12F. Yikes. I can't imagine spring coming any later than it already does in Southern Wisconsin. Come next year, I won't have to. I've already warned my husband- I'm gonna need a green house and cold frame. For sure.

I may be taking some of this pink charm with me, because I love her!
Primrose. I always find them all pooped out in late winter on some clearance shelves in home depot, and they turn into this the following year. I have blues and whites, too...
Bleeding Heart. I moved her last fall, and I have not seen her coming up yet... worried. Perhaps I'm remembering wrong where I put her?

And my tulips. I'm going to miss all of my Darwin Tulips, especially Apricot Impression. Look at those curling flower petals. Poetry.
Perfect over muscari:
Apricot Beauty, with her fringed silvery foliage.
Above a blue groundcover veronica.

Red Impression.
Daydream seemed to change colors overnight.

Happy Spring!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Foxgloves really do reseed!

Since I began gardening on my own about 10 years ago I have read countless books and magazine articles that say foxgloves reseed. In 2004 when we bought our home I picked up some foxglove seeds and direct sowed them to find not a single germination. False hope came when fuzzy leaves of what turned out to be black eyed susan erupted everywhere... but nary a foxglove.
Year two, I bought a plant from Home Depot and watched it bloom only to vanish by the followsing spring. I got down on my hands and knees looking for seedlings for two years- nothing.
Year three, I thought, my naive logic, perhaps a better quality plant from the nursery would do the trick. I was partly right. I tried two, a small yellow foxglove, and a tall pink Camelot variety. The yellow ones has returned brilliantly for years like a true perennial, and never disappoints, but it's also never re-seeded.
I know it happens... I drove past a garden in Osh Kosh, Wisconsin that showed proof that foxgloves can naturalize- either that, or the owner had cottage style planting down to a science.
Before you start thinking I'm a dummy- I let the flowers go to seed. I leave the seed heads on the plants all through winter- I even grab one or two and sprinkle them into the surrounding dirt. Nada.
About my 4th year in this house I started planting perennial seeds during the growing season in used nursery pots on a sidewalk by the veggie bed. I tended to them throughout spring and summer, and planted them in late July to give them time to root well before the onslaught of winter. I decided to give foxgloves from seed another try that year, and I had a few germinations- and 3 or 4 healthy plants grow to be planted. I must have spent hours loooking at the fuzzy leaves hoping they weren't stray black-eyed susans. I knew they wouldn't flower the first year, but I planted them in the ground in 3-4 very different loactions, and waited.
Spring the following year- they were still there! Growth began early, and blooms came shortly after. I couldn't have been more tickled.
I spent hours laying on the grass watching the bees shove their fat butts up the bells of the foxgloves flowers. Needless to say, I quickly picked up another seed packet and started some more varieties on the sidewalk in the used nursery pots, and did the same thing. Last summer those bloomed, and surprisingly, the ones from the previous year did also, again.
This is what I had been waiting for:
But not until this spring I have ever seen a foxglove reseed. I was out browsing the garden last night, making 2 dozen or so piles of leaves as I removed the winter cover and thatch from the lawns and beds. I knelt down in a particularly messy part of the back bad, where lysimachia, lamb's ear, black eyed susan (the kind with dark leathery leaves, not fuzzy), and iris are all meshing too closely, and found one returning foxglove- right where I left her... but she had a circle of babies. 6 or so. Tiny, all around her at varying distances. Not wanting overcrowding to get the best of the babies I snatched a few of them out of the dirt and potted them up. They will be adventuring to Minnesota with me later this spring.
Foxgloves really do reseed!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Last spring I posted about my obsession with nasturiums, but I never shared pictures of how all the seeds turned out.
'Papaya Cream' with 'Sweet Dreams' Coreopsis.

'Lipstick' nasturuim skirting the walkway.

'Strawberries and Cream'


'Empress of India'


Happy gardening!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Rotary Gardens: July 2010

I love when I look through last summer pictures only to find a whole few garden trips I never blogged about. Lucky us, this July trip to my local Rotary Gardens in Janesville, WI was very picture heavy, and not short on inspiration.
If you can't tell, the theme for their front beds last year was red. Inc-red-ible. hehe.
Love the way the red bounces off the silver spruces and golden cypress shrubs.

Never loved these new shorter coneflowers until I saw this.

Again, I had to be face to face with this coconut lime coneflower to truly love it.

The rock garden this beauty was in seemed newer- or perhaps I had never noticed it before. So pretty.
This geranium looked awesome in the rock garden, spilling over the steps.

'Princeton Gold' Norway Maple was WOW! I totally want one.

Silver Falls dichondra looks like some sea creatures dripping from these baskets in the rose garden.

I didn't realize 'Tutti Frutti' hyssop would get this large in our zone. I lost mine to winter wet.
Highly suggested for a fragrant addition to any dry, sunny garden!
Colocasia 'Coffee Cups' is wish list addition.

Went out and bought this one soon after!

Annual beds overflowing!

The lilies were showstoppers. I climbed into the beds by stepping on bare spots only and found little or no visible labels. I can tell you they were super tall and unbelievably fragrant. Orienpet hybrids mostly I think.

This one is 'Golden Splendor'- I bought it last year!

Wow, right?

The hosta selection here in unreal, also.

Do you think I could pull off one of these fountains in my cottage style garden?

Love this light yellow daylily.

Can't beat a hardworking Rudbekia!

A little garden art.

Astibles... gives me ideas...
Happy gardening!