I am looking for suggestions on long-lived perennials that do well in our area. I'm not so much interested in ones that are functionally long-lived only because they reseed (like forget-me-nots or feverfew). I want to know about plants you can depend on come Hell or high water to return year-in-and-year-out. Oh, and ones that the deer don't like (so hostas are out). And that don't need (much) supplemental watering or lovely soil -- what I am dealing with is more like hardpacked clay that I don't plan to supplement much.
I don't want to coddle this spot - no deadheading, shearing, etc.
On the web I can find lists that are not region-specific. I'm sure there are some on Mid-Atlantic Gardning, but I can't find the lists (I may have started one years ago -- who knows?).
So my question to you: What is tough and ultra-dependable in your gardens - and deer-proof and doesn't need [much] supplemental watering? It would be nice if they also blocked weeds. The spot I have in mind is partly sunny (more sunny in some spots than others), and is on a hillside.
Here is a composite of some lists I found on-line, with my edits and some deletions. Which of these are tough survivors for you? Which need a lot of water (I'll rule them out) or nice garden soil (I'll rule them out too). This list is mostly in alphabetical order by Latin name. If inspired, I'll update it with your comments, additions and deletions.
Agastache (I've killed all I've tried to grow)
Alchemilla mollis (Lady's Mantle)
Aruncus dioicus (goatsbeard)
Asclepias (butterfly weed)
Asters (Aster laevigatus 'Bluebird', Aster tataricus 'Jindai')
Astilbe (Astilbe) (needs regular water)
Baptisia australis (false indigo)
Dictamnus (gas plant) (I haven't had success with this)
Echinacea purpurea (purple coneflower)
Eupatorium (Joe-pye weed)
Euphorbia (spurge) (but it is invasive)
Ferns (various species)
Heuchera "Palace Purple"
Hosta (but the deer eat them)
Iris, Siberian (needs water?)
Kniphofia (red-hot poker or torch lily)
Monarda (bee balm)
Oenothera fruticosa (yellow)
Ornamental Grasses (various species)
Peony (too much work for the location I have in mind0
Phlox paniculata ('David')
Platycodon grandiflorus (balloon flower)
Pulmonaria spp. (Lungwort)
Rodgersia (needs water)
Rudbeckia fulgida (black-eyed Susan)
Sedum Autumn Joy
Solidago (goldenrod) (I've never grown this)
Solomon's Seal (not sure how much water this needs)
Tiarella (Heuchera relatives)
Vernonia (ironweed) (I've never seen one)
Solomon's Seal needs no attention. Mine grew out back, in a shaded spot & I never bothered watering it.
Don't think you acn kill any Sedum. They are drought tolerant.
Iris, Glads, and Daylillies all multiply like crazy and need almost no care.
Goldenrod - watch out for alergies.
Astibile - had mine in mostly shade & rarely watered them.
Spider Wort - spreadls like crazy. Kind of goes dormant in summer & will rebloom in fall.
Lambs Ear - seems to grow everywhere & needs very little care.
Spurge is wonderful and gives green in the Spring and almost all winter) before anyting else comes up. Just pull out what you dont' want and you can easily keep it under control. Needs no special care.
Mums - grow anywhere
Columbine - come back & also throw seed - very little care needed.
What Mums grow anywhere?
Our spurge is really deep-rooted and not easy to remove -- I know because I tried to dig some out for the recent plant swap, and it shocked me!
I haven't been so successful with Columbine -- I don't kill them but they don't spread.
You are right about the spiderwort -- it is all over my neighbor's front yard!
We have the phlox paniculata David, and it has come back, but I would not say it is thriving. The deer got most of it last year. They are also fond of Tiarella and Heuchera. Our astilbe seem to need watering for them to bloom. Definitely agree with Qwilter on the Solomon's Seal. Some of ours is in clay with gravel mixed in as is the cimicifuga. Not a fun spot to dig in, but both seem to do well with little to no attention.
The campanula Elizabeth seems happy anywhere, sun or shade, clay or cracks in the patio pavers. It does spread, though, and only seems to need a lot of water if it is grown in a pot.
OMG, ecnalg, you are scaring me! Our local deer have ignored my heuchera but love our hostas. I have a lot of heuchera out front -- I will be devastated if the deer develope a taste for them. Thanks for the warning about deer eating phlox as well...
I've heard that about Elizabeth -- I need to try some in the front, where I don't care if it takes over! (I've been loathe to try it in our back yard because of its invasive tendencies.)
I haven't been successful with cimicifuga, but maybe I haven't given it a fair shot...
I'm glad you have not had phlox or heucheras browsed by deer. They actually browsed some of our variegated Solomon's Seal early in the season this year. They even browsed the aconitum last year. The voles love the underside of the hostas and heucheras.
Let us know if you want any Elizabeths. :-)
Bearded iris are pretty reliable if they have sufficient sun.
Mums - the old fashioned white, orange, & yellow. Not the hybrid ones you find in all the pretty colors in the Fall. Mine were in clay in the back garden that only got watered when it rained.
Odd about your Spruge. I had one that was ferny and another that turned red in fall. I would pull both out by the handfull once other plants came in.
Of course, as soon as I figured out MD gardening I moved to FL. Now to learn all over again.
Happy, here is a list of things that have been doing very well for me in my shade garden - reliably come back every year, no special needs, and the deer haven't touched them - and I have a BIG deer problem:
- brunnera (cultivars jack frost and looking glass, and generic green - all do great)
- phlox divaricata - woodland phlox
- dicentra spectabilis - old fashioned bleeding heart (but not the fringed - always disappears after a year or two)
- epimedium (love this - delicate blossoms in spring, nice foliage the rest of the season)
- solomon's seal (both the tall varigated kind that you gave me and the "dwarf" Polygonatum Humile http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/37087/)
- cimicifuga racemosa (make sure it is the racemosa species and not the 'chocoholic' cultivar - that particular one is pretty, but requires lots of water)
- geranium maculatum
- crested iris (does well, but maybe because it is next to the downspout - may require lost of water to do that well, don't know)
- primula sieboldi - japanese woodland primrose (I got from Lazy S'S Farm years ago: catalog description "Primula sieboldii Variable flowers in shades of white, pink and lavender in early Spring. From moist meadows & woodlands in Japan. A horticultural 'cult' has formed around these Primroses in Japan & the US. Probably one of the most carefree Primroses to grow. If we could only have one Primrose this would be it")
- and ferns (all kinds)
I was going to point out my favorites, but I just realized that all in this list ARE favorites!
Edited to add - these are all in part shade and re-read that you are looking for part sunny - but maybe these would be ok in either condition...
Happy, we have found using Liquid Fence to be very successful against deer. We have deer that walk right down our street and look at you, as to say "Hey Lady, hadn't you ever seen a deer before?" Deer loves hostas! We hadn't seen any for a few months but one evening this weekend, I was watching tv late and thought I heard a bump against the sunroom wall. Wished I'd got up and turn the light on outside or even went out because I probably could have saved a nice tall coneflower plant that was loaded with buds and a rudbeckia that I've never seen bloom yet..can't recall what the name of it is but it's supposed to be double blooms..I had used up my Liquid Fence anyhow but I had some Ropel so that would have helped but replenished my supply of LF on Sunday and sprayed. Only trouble with any deer deterrent spray, if it rains, you have to respray. LF has been very successful for us. We have a neighbor behind us that has the most beautiful, hugh hostas and she sprays every day or every other day and they don't come near her hostas..I've heard that Milorganite is advertised as a deer deterrent also a fertilizer. Comes in 35 lb. bags and you spread it on your flowerbed. The owner of Good Earth told me a lot of vegetable gardeners use it but he'd never heard any flower gardeners use it.
Thanks, Pippi! What I am hoping it to come up with plants the deer don't like in the first place. I'm not methodical about using sprays and the like, and so it is without doubt that I'd forget one day and there would go my garden! It is only the front garden that has this issue, so we can be selective about what we put there.
What I am looking for is long-lived perennials that are truly low maintenance...
For the past couple of years I have been so thrilled with the new Achillea red colors!! I have Paprika and Red Velvet and they spread just enough to fill the spots in without too much fuss or watering. Can't wait till they're large enough to split so I can really get them going in front of a large wild area that I have.
Sedum (I stole some from next door, threw half into a pot and the other where it gets full afternoon sun blast), Phlox (Burpees "David" variety-I have the blue and it came back from being planted last year, all full and now getting ready to bloom-it was in full bloom all last year!), cactus (sorry to say but when in bloom they rival Orchids and spread out on their own-doubt deer like them-good for "plant it and leave it"), lavender-oh! Yes! Lavender! My six new plants died out except for one last year, their first, but that one is now HUGE and looks ready to divide! I think that they have different growing conditions but a slope would be very suitable.
While you're nosing around in Burpees, look at their "Hardy Chrysanthemums." I bought three this year, neglected them badly before hubby put them into the ground, and a couple of months later, they are really taking off.
Also, what about some veggies? Like, Rhubarb? Just a thought. Magnificent leaves, and edible to boot! Or, Asparagus? Again. just a thought.
Oh, I can kill Shasta daisies! Our soil is too heavy and not-free-draining. But I'm trying! I understand, Bec, that you are the source for the one that Ruby gave me at the swap, so thank you's to you are in order!
I have three shrubs that might fit your situation. They are adaptable and low maintenance and not fussy at all. These have grown well for me for almost 30 years and still bloom in what has become only about 5 hours of morning filtered sun! I really don't water or feed them either and, come to think of it, never have pruned them! My kind of bones.
Deutzia, both slender and 'nikko'
Itea 'Henry garnet' native to our area
Pic 1 slender deutzia with red maple
Pic 2 itea (white spire bloom) with noid honeysuckle
pic 3 deutzia blooms
Once again Happy, Shasta Daisies are yet another one of the plants that we loads to share. Given advance notice, we can certainly pot up as many as you would like to have. At the last swap we weren't as prepared as we hope to be in the future. John didn't invest much time preparing last fall the way he says he plans to do this year. We will see on that one. He spent many hours last year fighting Iris borers and that really cut in to his dividing and potting plants for swaps and for market.
Shoot, maybe if he has a job of getting some things together for you, he will decide while at it, to do some for us and we can begin addressing our whole front yard which is a slope. Things get done very, very slowly around here. We really always have a lot going on and possibly both having adult ADD there are unfinished projects here, there and everywhere.
I am really excited about your plans for you slope and then lots of the plants we have to offer, you will accept because they do well in sun which has been an issue for you in the past while trying to mainly shade garden. So many of my favorite plants have come from you in the past and I really want to re-pay you in some way, so am thrilled with your pursuit of sun loving plants.
Ruby -- You are so sweet to offer plants -- right now what I really need is advice about what plants require zero care and will live forever. Then the next part of the project will be to beg, borrow and steal them! I have found a few books that have been really helpful -- I hope in the next week or so I can draw up an initial plan. Then I'll circulate it to the Mid-Atlantic folks and I'll give the boot to any plants that the consensus is won't live forever with zero care and no supplemental water on a hardpan/clay/rock slope!
How about some of those (not perennials) wide-spreading "Blue Rug" junipers? Regarding deer, I have whole book devoted to them! You might want to get one - most nice nurseries carry it.
In general, since deer are PREY ANIMALS and are hypersensitive about leaving a scent, this is what you use against them. Stinky stuff. Also, they can't handle fishing line, and that fluorescent plastic surveying tape (cut into 18" sections and tie onto anything nearby).
Supposedly, they hate Milorganite - makes sense, as they don't want anything on their feeties that would lead a tiger to 'em (true!). They also have an aversion to soft, feathery foliage (go figure). Now, this flies in the face of their magnetism toward Arborvitae (unfortunately).
I use organic sprays and honestly, as long as I am religious in spraying, they steer clear (well, so do I!).
I'd really think about those creeping junipers. I have five, bought them two years ago as pups, and they seem to be slow growing so get BIGGINS. They do seem to be working out well, though. And Bambi no cum near.
Maybe you will buckle and go with a combination of tall and low Junipers? Could throw in some daffodil bulbs, and then just stand back!
When the time comes for action Happy, I am sure that you can count on the good folks here. I too have enjoyed several Junipers on a hill side beside our driveway. Those and a couple of Rose of Sharon trees were the very first plants I purchased when I built this house in the early 1990's. At the time my funds were way low and I was able to sneak these purchases in to my grocery budget. At the time I shopped at a Food Lion which offered live plants from time to time and I would sneak the really cheap at the time purchases in to the food budget. This many years later they have certainly paid for them selves in terms of joy I have derived from having them.
Yesterday while reading about this upcoming project I shared bits of it with John. He made one good comment in regards to possibly planting Iris. He says to be careful with regular old time Iris and erosion issues. He is ever touting the issue of the Iris rhizome needing to be exposed. He made a mistake some years ago in planting a rather large bed of Iris on a very small slope and now has to be careful that soil and debri don't wash over top the rhizomes at the bottom of the slant. Us gardeners live and learn...live and learn.
Happy, don't feel as though you are being rushed to do anything in regards to this project. I just found the discussion yesterday and wanted to add my two cents. If you have to put off planning or planting for a while, so be it. No push, but from hearing some of the others views on this, it sounds as though lots of folks have lots of ideas and are all looking at it as a challenge and some fun to boot.
I know that we often, very, very often start with ideas that in reality aren't feasible at the time we think of the idea. My hubby bit off a lot more than he was able to chew some years back when starting a very major rock wall project. Life took over and the unfinished project has been an eye sore in my front yard for several years now. I have stopped complaining about it but back in the recesses of my mind, I hope he will at some point find motivation and time to complete it so that I can once agan have access to my favorite flower bed and have the ability to garden in it rather than watch it be taken over with giant sized weeds.
Anyway...go at your own pace. And the very best of luck with it all.
Ruby, here is an article I ran across in Fine Gardening magazine put out for trash on my paper route. "Shrubs For Slopes" The thing I like best is that the author is a landscaper in the central hills of Virginia so what he uses and why might be right on the mark for you or Happy. He talks about dwarf forsythia, golden St Johns Wort, a low growing spreading flowering quince, clethra, cutleaf stephanandra, coralberry, and "gro low" fragrant sumac.
Thanks Coleup...will check it out. Years back there was talk of terracing the front, but I haven't heard that discussed for a while. Too many other things needing attention before that. He solved the problem with some of due to having in the neighborhood of about 400 Iris potted and sitting at the bottom of the yard. Needless to say, I don't often venture to the front yard, but often stand on the front deck and take in the view. At least we have a some what level back yard that I can get around in and work to my hearts desire.
Will check back after reading the article. Thanks so much again.
Another thing I heard my father talk allot about but only now that I have my own land, do I understand and concur this is observation: Planting creates microclimates.
For instance, I have a cinderblock home, and the foundation plants are in for two years now. The hollies struggled the first year, then I threw in front of them some shrub roses. Didn't realize it at the time, but those roses kept the feeties cool of the hollies, and some of the baking sun off them.
Last year, I had the house repainted in a bright white. Talk about hot! Didn't realize how much it would heat up the planting environment. Had to take those shrub roses out (diseased), and immediately planted some shrubs that I would not have bought so big but was thinking of how the roses shaded the hollies...
So, although you can do a ton of thinking and become romanced by something really neat, you can never figure everything out! That is the amazing part of gardening - you give things your best guess, and Nature will tell you how you did...LOL! True!
Ha, too true. Somebody once said they buy anything new in threes, andgive one each to three different garden 'microclimates' in her yard. Then she sees which one it likes best.
Me, I buy one and move it three times..
Evidently, all of the micro climates in my yard are conducive to a wide variety of "invasives" among which I "plant" containers of perennials, shrubs, trees, tropicals and annuals. Those that survive the containerized life are happy here but might really take off in a real garden!
Thanks Coleup for both articles. Gosh, I see so many things that I would love to have but am not willing to spend money to get. Is that cheap of me? Before being introduced to plant swaps, I did spend a lot of money at mail order nurseries. I still make orders from time to time but not nearly as much as some years back.
My most recent mail order purchase both pleased and somewhat dismayed me on the few items that didn't live. Thankfully most of the nurseries have some sort of warantee which I have taken advantage of quite a bit over the years.
One plant that I had one heck of a time trying to grow originally is Bee Balm. I saw the catalog picture of Jacob Cline Monarda and wanted some for my very own. Evidently it did like the areas I chose to plant it because I had to contact the company selling it for replacements on a couple of occasions. In my front bed I had numerous bee balm labels, but no plants. It was very frustrating for me.
There came a time about three years ago in one of my back beds a little sprout appeared and I decided to watch it because I wasn't sure of it being a weed or a flower of some sort. I decided to let it grow. I never tried planting the Bee Balm in that particular bed but somehow one seed was dropped, probably a neighborhood bird is to thank for that and from that one sprout I now have two rather large patches of it. This is one of the strangest gardening stories I have. As someone mentioned earlier, Grayce I believe...we can do our part but nature is going to have her way in the end, every time. Heck, she does such a great job, so I will leave it up to her to beautify my surroundings.
Hope as we go in to the weekend that everyone has a pleasurable and productive one.
As I exited off 66 this afternoon, and stopped in a long line of traffic, I looked at the hills on both sides of my exit ramp. They are FILLED with the most beautiful, rambling arrangement of wildflowers (not the kind that Man threw down - you know, cast the seeds). I delighted in the heights, textures, and the clumps that were perfectly complimenting their flowering neighbors.
All were in harmony, all were thriving. Lovely! Sometimes, heavy traffic has unexpected rewards, if only to point out how a higher authority can out-do you in the gardening department every time...LOL!
Geez happy, I have several kinds to share. I thought aspenhill was the only other MAG who wanted any. I can give you some in fall. But for me, I thought it it blooms spring, then semi dormant in summer, then revives in fall.
Thanks, Sally -- I've bought different tradescentias, and they've done ok, but never flourished -- probably becasue I bought fussy cultivars. I had some Sweet Kate (I think that is what it was) that was, well, sweet, but I think it was sacrificed yesterday to our major get-rid-of-bamboo project. My neighbor has some that is pretty thick. I'd love to try some of yours.
I'm over getting special new delightful cultivars of anything that turn out to be less than robust. Bring back the tried and true!
Love the spring foliage on Sweet Kate (plus being named after one of my bestest friends) but it is not a big grower for me. I'll try to take notes over summer for you. I have a white, a pink and two kinds of purple.
I'll go hunt for sweet kate among the wreckage tomorrow -- I'm glad you reminded me of her.
Completely off topic, but if any of you has any expertise on nursing homes and Medicaid, would you dmail me? My FIL is 99 and had a mild stroke 3 months ago. We have to find a long care facility for him, and he has zero dollars left to his name (we just applied to Medicaid for him). He is in Florida. We are trying to decide whether to move him here or what. He is in good shape mentally, and was in good shape physically until the stroke. Still plays bridge...
Sorry Happy, not my image but my stand is as thick as that (or should I say was before my son mowed it down LOL). It was already well established when I bought my place 20 years ago, so I have no idea what variety, could be wild for all I know. I've never watered/fertilized/ fussed with mine other than pulling some every few years to keep it in it's place, so it seemed the perfect answer to your OP. Pretty sure mine blooms from early June to late Aug, but now sallyg has me second guessing myself so I'll need to watch it through the summer to be sure.
I have a nice looking variegated grass. It grows very thick and spreads. It doesn't grow in circular clumps but sends out runners. Could be invasive in the wrong spot, like a small flower bed. But would do well with room to grow.
I have Sea Oats also. Not sure if you are interested in grasses.
I am definitely interested in grasses, but I have heard sea oats reseeds with abandon. My neighbor put in some massive ornamental grasses that have reseeded a bit onto my side, and from what I have read they are a bear to take out so I am a bit worried and want to be careful not to introduce more aggressive spreaders. I got several books on ornamental grasses and I'm going to try to pick some that are robust but don't self-seed, if there is such a thing!
Gosh Devan...the Monarda that finally took off and spread is in a back bed that gets mainly sun all day. The soil has never had much done to it and it would be considered red Virginia clay for the most part. Another large pot on my deck which has done quite well is planted in probably cheap potting soil.
The places it didn't take when planted was along a fence row and in my front bed which both had highly amended soil and every thing else planted there seems to love. It would be my uneducated guess that they prefer poor soil conditions versus good conditions. Don't worry if these don't do well for you. I will have more whenever you give the word.
Wanted to mention my favorite ornamental grass miscanthus senensis 'Morning Light'.
Mine grows in about 3 inches of soil on top of an old asphalt driveway. In the 15 years I have had it, I have never had to divide it. It remains upright and has few flowerheads late in the season. Has about doubled in size and never reseeded here. Will even survive not being cut back in the spring (oops, I forgot)! Grows 3-4 feet high. Mine is in morning sun. Obtained from grower from Kurt Bluemel a contemporary of Oehme out of Baldwin, Maryland. Worth a visit. http://www.kurtbluemel.com/
One of Oehme's protagees has a blog you might enjoy. This article entitled "Perennials to interplant in grasses" has a chart towards the end that covers which perennials do best with which grasses. http://www.groundeddesign.com/
Coleup, I absolutely love my "Morning Light." Two are in very poor soil (more concrete dust than soil) and doing fantastic. Two are in wet clay soil and also doing well, although not flourishing as well as the ones in poor soil.
Funny coink- the gal who bought my moms house--she let me come dig some plants. between the digging as she watched me, she mentioned, she would be planting things and figured she might find a knack for it because her uncle is "Maybe you've heard of him, I dunno... Kurt Bluemel?" ...I did an OGM thing, he's got some reputation.. she was probably mildy tickled at my reaction!
I wrote about diving grasses in spring, and KILLED the ones I divided for the article pictures. ACK
Happy, the Grounded Design site/blog has a series of four articles on how to use perennials and grasses in landscape design starting here http://www.groundeddesign.com/
He makes some good points and I can see some of his and Oehme's "new American Garden" coming to life on your slopes with your vision and the vast resources of your Mid Atlantic friends and their gardens!
Coleup (and everyone else) -- you guys are too wonderful!
Off topic, but do any of you know anything about Hypericum? I'm trying to ID this one, and got no responses on the ID forum: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1265148/. I took out a plant I was growing -- I thought of it as a shrub -- and divided it into 5, hoping to use it on my icky hill -- they are in shock, but I'm hoping they'll recover. What I have is a woody shrub, but I gather there are also rhizomatic ones -- are the latter really as invasive as I read? I'm thinking about my awful, dry, poor soil, partly sunny, rocky hill. (I'm starting to pull out plants that might work on the hill and divide them so I have a stash ready to go in if I ever get it designed.)
If you decide you want sedum I have golden sedum I'll be happy to give you cuttings. It gets loads of yellow flowers them looks kinda crappy for awhile then turns green again. I'm going to add some red sedum @ some point because I think it will look awesome with the yellow. I also have one that just stays green no flowers. I have another ground cover loads of purple blooms I'll have to look up the name.
haratzell: Thanks for the offer of sedum! For the moment, I'm just collecting ideas -- I'll probably try to plant this wretched hill in the fall -- i think it is asking too much of any plant to be transplanted into these awful conditions in mid-summer! I have a bunch of a sedum in the back that works as a light ground cover -- I wonder if it is the yellow sedum you have? Campanula porcharskyana 'blue waterfall' is one of my favorite plants of all time (I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't tried it), but it isn't long lasting (for me at least) and needs nice moist humusy soil (for me at least). Does it really work for you as a ground cover, in the sense that it expands broadly? Mine in low growing and I adore it, but it spreads to maybe 1' x 1', maybe a bit more.
For the record, Mobot says "this shrub can appear somewhat unkempt and ragged as it ages." Fine Gardening says "After flowering, cut back shoots to strong buds, and remove one-third to one-fifth of old shoots at the base." I wonder if that would keep it from becoming unkempt?
For fruiting, you need to have male and female plants. I wonder how many I'd have to buy to get a good chance of getting both? I don't think my Elderberry has ever produced fruit -- I thought I had bought 2 plants (male and female) back when.
I wonder how to figure out whether a plant is male or female? Hmmm.
Mobot says: "Although white pine blister rust is not a problem in Missouri, this species is an alternate host for this disease and should not be planted in parts of the U.S. where the disease is prevalent (particularly in parts of the East and Northeast). Fourteen (14) states still maintain various types of bans on Ribes, the most restrictive being the total ban on all species in North Carolina. Missouri has no restrictions on Ribes plants." I couldn't find whether there is a ban in Maryland.
Agreed- don't plant anything now- there's a heat wave coming later this week. Boy do I wish we could save up some of this mornings lovely cool.
"I have an elderberry and it is the prickliest thing!" No you may have a Gooseberry, but elderberry never has thorns (that I've heard of)
Jill's friend Theresa's brother gave out gooseberry cuttings and some were thorny. Prune out older branches of the gooseberry and see if the younger ones do anything.
Clove Currant was one of ladygardener1's beloved plants, for that fragrance.
Another rather funny gardening story from Day Lily Hill. Back the first year that I had money to actually purchase plants, I too loved ornamental grasses and bought several types. One of the plants was about two inches in height when we received it and at the time we were mainly working on the front bed which runs the length of house. Some of the ornamental grasses we purchased didn't make it but this one certainly did. Not being one to always read the recommendations on seed packets or nursery instructions, I didn't know that the Zebra Grass would grow to about 8 or 9 foot in height.
It didn't take too many years to realize the small ornamental grass I planted in front could no longer reside there and it had to be dug and moved, and since shared with many of our garden visitors who like it. I grew Pampas Grass only one year and it didn't return sadly. I have a gardening partner who insists that plants have blooms to be worthy of his time. Doesn't always suit him well when I buy things for their foliage and don't care about a bloom. He can't understand it.
Anyway...I am thinking of all sorts of gardening mistakes that we have made over the years, and there are plenty to tell. I feel as if I am in good company and I appreciate those of you who are willing to share your failures with me. I see that I am not the only one.
happy: mine's been in bloom since I stuck it in the ground in April. :) It's also filled out nicely. I ripped the front yard out this spring & threw topsoil & random clearance bags of garden soil or something (it was 88 cents for a 40 lb bag) down just to fill back in what I took out. Then I threw miracle gro time release on the whole disaster after I mulched. It does well for me. I am a terrible waterer I usually just wait for rain. So far it's happy & hasn't tried to off itself. I was suprised how much it spread actually.
Your sedum might be the same one. Mine seems to explode into little yellow flowers overnight.
To figure out whether a plant is male or female, you need to check the flowers for stamens/pistils. Alternatively, you can put it in the driver's seat and determine whether it refuses to ask for directions or has trouble parking.
I don't think Clove Currant is dioecious (has separate male and female plants). People seem to disagree on whether or not it needs a "special friend" with which to make berries is at least somewhat self-fertile. In "Uncommon Fruits for Every Garden", Lee Reich says that Crandall was often propagated by seed, which means that it probably consists of a whole host of different plants under the same name. All of them are supposed to be extremely resistant to white pine blister rust, but still get lumped in with the rest of the Ribes species as a potential carriers.
I've been hunting around the internet and I don't see anything saying that it is illegal to grow them (or other Ribes) in Maryland, and other statements from people saying that they grow currants/gooseberries et al there so I think you're OK.
I shouldn't push it too hard, though! I only got mine this past year and it is sitting patiently in a pot waiting to be moved to a new home.
Hartzell -- yes, mine gets yellow flowers. I can't say that I love it, though. Sad but true.
SallyG: Thank you so much for the clarification on my Elderberry (not). I bought a bunch of fruit from Miller when we first moved in; I don't remember the gooseberries but I must have bought them. EXCEPT now that I look at a photo of gooseberries, that doesn't look like what I have either. I'll take photos tomorrow and post them -- see what you think.
nokesvillain: I am so grateful to you for the suggestion -- I love plants that are so fragrant that the surrounding air smells wonderful, and it sound as the Clove Currant will do just that! I just hope the spots I have in mind for it are sunny enough. I don't have much sun so everything here gets less sun than is desirable.
In case any of you did not see it--i have had this Gooseberry bush for at least 25 years.
Unfortunately--it does not bear fruit too well--as it is in an extension of my "YUK" bed.
I imagine--IF i could amend the soil with compost and some manure--it would do much better...
When I am able to disassemble this small bed and get rid of all the edging ties that hold it up--
I would also like to be able to dig up and transplant my Gooseberry bush to a more fertile area--even a big pot.
One year only--in the past--it made enough berries for me to make several small jars of jam.
Here is my Gooseberry bush at the end of a completely defunct bed that I was growing N. Sea Oats in.
An extension of my YUK bed--it neither gets enough light--nor not good enough soil--as i cannot
dig around it to amend it...It is 3' from my old Maple tree...
I do not want to lose it--it has a sentimental history...
Yes, happy, let's figure out what this stickery mystery plant of yours is.
Gita, like so many fruit things, Gooseberry has recommended pruning. I think you are supposed to take out the older stems. And oh yeah not have it in a YUK bed probably helps too. My dad loved gooseberries when he was growing up in Wisconsin-I'm afraid I won't have time for my little baby bushes to make fruit for him.
That's so funny, if that is what it is. I always assumed it was some kind of fruit bramble, because when we first moved in I had planted a bunch of elderberries and the like and then got distracted by current events and didn't pay attention.
I'm so embarrassed -- yes, it blooms in May around the time of the Deutzia. It has white flowers, enough to be mildly pretty from a distance. But I never walked up and looked at it in bloom... it just didn't seem very interesting. Because I thought it was a fruit bramble of some sort, I just pondered whether I should put netting over it so I could harvest something. It has certainly snagged me enough as I've weeded. Now I am thinking I need to pull it out -- isn't wild rose considered invasive?
Lot of times it is only "you know "one man's trash another man's treasure" I was always happy with them as I enjoyed them. I see you got to the plant id forum. Good ideas are like letting someone do your math homework,It gets done that way and hopefully it works out ok.
As you get to the planning/planting stage... the area you're doing is that slope in front, right? There are a lot of tough plants that would take a little extra time to plant but would then probably do really well... agastaches, salvias, and the like sometimes are picky about clay soil, because they need good drainage... being on a hill solves part of that... I'm thinking all you need are a couple of breadloaf sized rocks or a few bricks... make a little semicircular "pocket garden" on the slope and dump in some potting mix, then plant. As the plant gets established, it'll send some roots deeper into the clay.
And the rock-edged "pockets" would be pretty in and of themselves on the slope.
Has anybody mentioned the old-fashioned purple coneflower? Not any of the often-fussier new hybrids, just plain old Echinacea purpurea.
I've definitely got Echinacea purpurea on the list -- thanks for cautioning me away from the fancy cultivars.
I haven't had much luck with Agashaches and Salvias -- I'm glad to hear they are long-lived, though. (I don't want to experiment on my awful hill -- I need stuff that will absolutely definitely make it. I don't like working on that hill much!) Your description of the planting method is exactly what I intend to do on the whole hill -- there is no way to cultivate the soil.
One of the most dependable plants we have is Carex hachijoensis evergold. I've borrowed a photo from Plainview Farm, and they classify it as easy. The ones we have are in a shady spot where leftover driveway gravel mixed in with our usual clay. They are far enough away from the house that the deer would be more likely to browse them if they were interested and also far enough that watering would not happen. I think they are very attractive. They have not spread anywhere and are basically ignored.
Happy, I have loads of Echinacea purpurea in my garden (more pink ones but some white ones). They are all blooming now. I can lose half of them without leaving holes in the garden. I planted some a few years ago, but didn't deadhead them because people said I should keep the seedheads for birds. So they made babies.
If you remind me toward the end of the season, I can dig up some for you if you want them.
Sally, I think a mosaic sort of grouping around a gazing ball or water feature or fire pit would look beautiful. If the pieces were shiney or polished they might reflect enough to mimic a small pool of water (some people use mirrors!) or several. Under your red bud tree would be pretty and mulch like. If they are from counter tops usually the underside is rough. Could also make a nice bench seat or table top or creative edging. A circle of same around the big tree right off your deck stairs would be a cool way to light up area and display plants. To the left of your deck stairs between house and stairs would be yet another place for some creative whimsy!
Usually posters on craigslist will answer emails and send photos upon request. I'm sure most of us could find a repurposed use for these at $20 for ten and then want to go back for more!
Granite and marble are very long lived perennials that take no care and do well in our area.
Good ideas- and LOL that last comment. I think I will inquire- I'll let y'all know. If it is from counters, it could be irregular sizes with formed edges on some sides and rough irregular cuts on others. Yes the polished side might be unsafe for walking when wet.
Do any of you have suggestions for perennials (or shrubs) that are maybe 24" tall -- it's ok if the flowers shoot higher (like a daylily). DH and I spent a LONG time today clearing out weeds, which left much larger holes in the border we were working on than I had anticipated (great swaths of Aegepodium). It is on a slope that ends at a retaining wall adjacent to our patio, so if there are tall plants there, we wouldn't see them well and they'd hide any plants behind them. Plus since there isn't full sun, a lot of really tall plants flop over. Low-growing plants don't show up. I'd like to add some perennials about the height of daylilies or Irises or Sedum Autumn Joy or Coreopsis Moonbeam, all of which are already there and work well (the Moonbeam is tad little short). No full sun, sadly.
I think 'Pia' might be short enough... some of the "Cityline" series are 2-3 feet, others are 4-6, which I guess is still short for a hydrangea?
I put in a Stoke's Aster 'Klaus Jellato' I think that I got on sale last fall, and it's blooming its head off now, definitely a new favorite... I'd guess 18 inches to 2 feet tall, but I don't know if it will come back taller next year... seem to remember they are full sun to part shade?
Daylilies, definitely! There are some shorter Bee Balm cultivars, too, and shorter coneflowers also. Next time we get together, remind me to get you a chunk of the Coreopsis 'Zagreb' down by the sidewalk... brighter yellow than 'Moonbeam' but just as tough.
Would Heucheras be tall enough? Hellebores? (If it's an area you can get to in winter, it would be fun to have hellebores close enough to pick & bring inside)
I have a really nice dwarf Rhododendron. Only gets about 12 in high. I picked mine up at a flower show but I have seen them at Lowes in our area. Also if you are interested in Hellebore babies I have a ton of them but they are pretty small and will take a while to grow up.
Holly -- I crave your 12" rhodie! Do you know its name?
Gita -- I'll definitely add Shastas - thanks for the reminder; I've never been as fond of perennial Salvia as the rest of the world is. I don't know why. But it rots out for me so I don't have to feel too guity.
Next time we get together, remind me... I'll pull one of the ones from my front bed that are just limping along and being overgrown by other things... you might be able to take some cuttings from it, even if you can't prune/grow it into a better shape. We need to dig up some of my white yarrow & yellow ox-eye for you, too...
I was a bit worried about mine when I read about it. It is planted in a terriable spot. There is old porch foundation under it so it's pretty much sitting on concrete. It did bloom for me this year not heavily but there were blooms.
Be careful of uncomposted coffee grounds -- I've killed plants using that. Probably is ok on a shrub -- I think it was a Campanula I killed (among others) and they don't like it acid, so maybe that is the only reason for the deaths. But I don't use it straight any more (we just add it to our compost pile).
I have a couple buckets full of coffee grounds--courtesy of my local 7-Eleven.
A year ago--I had a 5 gal bucket there for just their grinds. I would pick it up every two
days or so. Sometimes they would call and say: "Your bucket is full!"...:o)
Geez! How I need a real compost bin! MY S.E.M. (Stupid Earth Machine) is falling apart...
Literally!!! Those Pill Bugs sure are busy in there--by the hundreds...
Besides---it is NOT very functional--Can't turn anything over--can't get to the finished stuff
through that little drawer---It is black plastic--and cracks after a few years out in the sun---
DO NOT ever buy one!
This seems to be a newer model than mine----but, basically the same...
They bring them in by the truck-load at some Shopping Centers--Mostly IKEA here---and advertise it heavily.
Man! There are lines of people just waiting to get theirs! If only they knew...:o(
Juhur, I missed your post earlier... Anemone is one of those things I always figured I couldn't grow, but not for any good reason as it turns out... from what I hear, they are tough and long-lived once established. One of my favorite public gardens (in NC) has a line of them along a greenhouse wall, and they're really striking in late summer. When other plants have given up for the season, they're just hitting their stride. I'm trying to get a couple of them going here, now.
Happy, that sedum is tough as nails... a low sprawler, but really thick in full sun. It forms a plump "cushion" on the bed around my mailbox, in tough conditions.
I have heard and was looking at some of the Japanese anemone.Had heard they are long lived and quite nice in bloom. As there are not any and I have not seen any locally I am not sure.I might try one of them sometime for fall or winter bloom,it would be nice to have something in bloom when everything is or has gone dormant.
That might help with wintertime "grey sky" syndrome.I was looking at them with Hellebore and Witch hazel one season. Kinda window shopping and the like.
I have always enjoyed the grasses for winter contrast, some of the settings are wonderful.
Critter: I agree the sedum is tough as nails -- I've given it no kindness and it has survived -- I've just never liked it because it is a little thin. But I am learning that in full sun it can be a beaut -- though I expect it is invasive.
A caution on anemones -- they are indeed very long-lived, but they should not be planted late in the season or they won't make it through the first winter. So if you have designs on one, get it and plant it now! (They also like a good bit of water.)
juhur7: Our posts crossed. The only thing I'd add is the anemones (at least mine) don't bloom all that late -- more like July/August. I'd go with Chrysanthemums (like Clara Curtis) for really late bloom. http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/1938/ A lot of people don't like it because it is sloppy, but I do...
Happy, does that mean that the baby anemones I potted up after the swap should maybe be grown on in their pots over the winter (I do that with a lot of perennials, just put them all together in a sheltered spot) rather than being put into the ground in fall?
Happy, according to the list that Gita just shared, and wondering if you still plan to try and fill in your hilly spot, I can help you out with loads of the silvers that was mentioned. Also, the Sedum Sarmentosum would also do great on that bank too. Please say the word, and I can bring you a car load of these things to the next swap.
I am so very ashamed of the condition of my front beds, and the back ones too if the truth be told. Once again these horrid summer temperatures are making gardening quite difficult. Our front bed, the one that I used to work in so lovingly is now a weed patch, growing weeds taller than I am. I have been promised that this fall the whole bed will be dug up, plants and bulbs saved, the area treated for sedge grass and other invasive weeds and then replanted again. Don't hold your breath anyone...
Critter -- I'd plant them in the ground as soon as possible. I don't have much luck overwintering anemones in pots. They can be almost thugs (albeit beautiful) once they settle in -- but they are hard to get to settle in, in my experience. I have killed off lots. One of the keys is to give them lots and lots of water in the summer.
Ruby -- You are so wonderfully generous -- a million thanks. We are going to plant the hilly spot in September. We have a lot of Sedum Sarmentosum; it is in a shady spot where it sprawls, but I'll put some in the front, so I'm good for that. I love the yellow look it gives. (I've fallen in love with yellow foliage!) I've got a lot of Chysanthemum Pacificum that I got from Sally many years ago (I think it was Sally; might have been Gita), and I'm definitely going to put that in the front. I have a good bit of Lamb's Ear, so I'm ok there. I'm not sure about the others (Rose Campion, Dusty Miller, Artimesia) -- aren't they shortlived, but carry on by reseeding? Dusty Miller is an annual here, isn't it? I need to go for stability in the front becasue we won't tend to it. (I do love the idea of prickly pear, and I'm really exciting that you'll bring me some of that!)
Yes, the Dusty Miller tends to be an annual here. I planted it the first couple of years of gardening here but haven't bothered with it since, even though I love it. The Artemesia is definitely a perennial, and not sure if it seeds or not.
Happy, I hope that after the planting in September that next year when things begin to green up and fill in that you will share some pictures of your hard work on this area. Will be very interesting to see what you come up with.
"Chrysanthemum Pacificum" probably came from me. I have had it at least ..oh...22 years?
As it comes up and starts to grow--you can pinch off all the ends and root them. Very easy!
Then it re-grows twice as full and stays shorter. I bet you could pinch it a second time.
It blooms quite late--like in October. Lots and lots of new plants gotten that way.
"Dusty Miller" is a serious Biennial. So many seeds drop (can be collected as well) and start growing
into nice little clumps before winter arrives. At this time--you can move them around--where you want them.
Moving them in spring is a bit more risky. They are, sort of, getting established.
Somehow or other--they seem to pop up anywhere and everywhere. May be wind--or birds.
BTW--My sister from AK sent me 2 snall plants of the Rose Campion they have growing there. it blooms red.
I have it planted--but, I bet, it will be a couple of years before I have any seeds.
"Dusty Miller" WILL survive the winter and grow again the 2nd. year. But--it wants to bolt in the 2nd year.
Cut out the emerging flower spike--and you will have a nice, full plant again for the year.
I LOVE the color balance Dusty Miller provides! It goes with every other color in the garden. Complimentary!
SO! It is a kind of short-lived perennial...Two years--great in containers...
"Artimesia"???? I have one--do not like it at that much. Will probably pull it up--plant something else w/color.
It grows about 3'+ tall and by this time of year--is all dying and drying and yellowing out.
May be just the heat--but it is not an attractive, long-term perennial. Nice in the early part of summer--then--BLAH!
Of course--mine is in my "YUK" bed--so some allowances need to be made.
Happy--Have you Googled "Silver foliage Plants"? I bet you would get more ideas... Gita
May I put in an order for some Yellow Creeping Jenny for you Happy? Unless the summer has destroyed a patch of it that I have, it would look good on your back I would think. I shared some a the last swap with a few folks...how is it doing for you Sally, Gita and SSgardener? I know that I have loads of the darker green, but not so much of the yellow, but certainly enough to share a start or two of it.
Cannot wait to see the end result of this planned bed.
Holly -- I want it for the front, but I can't use anything that gallops there. I need the front to be very stable. And I don't have enough sun in the back for it. I love Silver King, and Silver Mound, and all those beautiful Artemesias. I wish I could use them!!! And thank you for offering.
I can bring a bunch of the gold creeping jenny, Happy, like that box of sweet woodruff you gave me for my island bed... I'll try to get some rooted into pots for you, too, so you can plant them out directly. It's growing all around the little area in front of my deck landing, and I think I accidentally spread it to the bed along the fence also...
Can't remember if Sedum Sarmentosam (sp?) ws mentioned in this thread yet or not. I do know that it blooms in yellow during the summer months for a while and should spread like crazy. I also have loads of it when swap time comes around for anyone interested. It just started to rain, has been misty all morning, but this is a good soaking rain. I am so happy for anything green here. Lovely to see and hear.
Oh well, I have several small pots of it ready to go to anyone who would like to have some. That along with a whole side yard of potted plants that were done for selling at the Farmers Market this summer, which due to being busy putting on a new roof, hubby hasn't done many markets at all, leaving us with a load of plants to give away.
Oh Gita, my Brazilian Plume Flower is beginning to bloom!! My SilverLight plug in crashed so I won't be able to deal with pictures until I straighten this out. Thanks sooo much for talking me into this flower.
So pretty! Glad you all are getting to see it bloom. Pretty good--being that it is only
a one year old cutting...
I think your pot is fine. The B.P. does not grow bigger sideways--just up.
It will be Ok inside the house by a bright window. If next summer you want to pot it up--
Mine has been in this same 12" pot for several years.
What is the smaller plant in the same pot? There is a weed that looks just like that.
I do, and I've bought a lot of plants - found some great sales. I've also been a propagating machine, and the beneficiary of many fine gifted plants. What I don't have is a list in one place - and I need to pull that together both so I can post it, and so I can figure out what to put where... We are planning on a September planting...
Don't look that closely at my photos, anybody! You are sure to find weeds. But there are lots of pretty blooms out there, too! Hopefully we'll get a little break from the humidity so i can get some garden maintenance done, but meanwhile I'm just going to wander around and watch the birds & butterflies.
Happy, have I mentioned Yellow Oxeye to you? Heliopsis helianthoides var. scabra, tall & tough, blooms early summer until frost. I think several of us have it now, because it's an easy winter sower, but you could also get an older clump or two from me, because I need to thin my "stand" of it (to make room for some other things!).
I need a list of what's "out there" in my pots, too... and an actual planting plan, maybe, although I have a general idea of where a lot of it will go.
SSG, do you still need to replace your chocolate chip Ajuga? I lost the one you shared with me over the winter but brought a handful of starts back from NC (snitched from a big pot I bought my MIL)... I'll put your name on a little pot.
Bringing up Ajuga because I'm trying to get several varieties going, splitting & potting them up for a while until I get enough for a little "patch" somewhere. There are some neat cultivars, 'Chocolate Chip', several purple leafed ones, and some variegated with white &/or pink, too. I don't know if the ones I've had for years in the side bed are "long lived" or if it's the colony that keeps surviving rather than the individual plants, LOL. I haven't had the "new" variegated cultivars long enough to know about their long-term garden worthiness.
Hm... I just lost a posting... I hope I'm not repeating myself.
Jill, the "dead" patch of Chocolate Chip started showing some signs of life very late in the spring! Now I have a patch that's about a square foot wide.
Chocolate Chip doesn't seem to spread as rapidly as the regular variety, and I'm not sure what killed it this winter. Since the one I shared with you also died, I'm wondering if it's finicky about winter care? But we had such a mild winter...
The garden is even prettier in person and just full of birds. It was March or April and the light purple Burgundy Glow ajuga was so pretty. She said she started with a small plant years ago and kept dividing, so I'm going to assume it's long-lived!
I don't know... I had yours potted into a larger pot and kept it with a bunch of other potted perennials, and it was the only casualty. I expected to see signs of life eventually also, but mine didn't sprout up. You're right about it growing more slowly, maybe just because it's a miniature variety.
'Burgundy Glow' is pretty! I think I already have it here & there, but I picked up 3 little pots at DPF the other day because they were 99cents... put them into a dollar store "window box," and hopefully they'll spread.
HM, I'll let you (and the MAG group) know when she has another plant sale. Her place is definitely worth a visit. She also has cute garden decorations for sale. I bought a beautiful brass elephant for just a couple of bucks.
Yes to the extra ajuga! :) Thank you! I'm just waiting for it to cool down a bit. I'm such a tasty mosquito bait that I can't really do much outside in the summer time.
Speaking of long lived perennials, the variegated vinca major I got from Jill is doing well. Only 2 clumps have survived, but this is the longest that anything has lived in this corner. It has full shade, strange soil, and possibly voles and/or other critters that dig up the roots. Thanks, Jill!
Well, I've been trying to confine the vinca to the foundation edges, but it didn't take long to grow a thick 20 foot row of it from one or two little pieces left after I used the bed for propagation one fall/winter. Hopefully yours will prosper and solve that corner for you!
Need to go and do some research on some of the plants I am reading about this morning. Will return with some requests possibly...on the correct thread of course.
Happy, I know that a while back when you first started this thread, I was thinking of loads of yellowish colored plants we had to offer you. I even had a list started especially to offer you and guess what? I have lost the list. I will second the request that coleup made and ask if there are any plants in particular that you are looking for in case I have some things to get to you at some point. Will you be able to attend Sally's swap?
I find that when the other gardeners on here find out that any of us have a special project going on, that every one wants to help and donate if they can. What a fun group and what a wonderful thing that every one is so excited about garden planning and wants to jump in and help. Of course if your hill gets planted this fall, we will be anxiously awaiting pictures next spring. Yahooo!!!!!!! y'all!!!!
I will do a quick search and see if I can locate the yellow plant list I made, if not I will go back through this thread and try to find what I was thinking of offering you some time ago. In the mean time...happy planning.
Medlarman...I had a heck of a time identifying it too. A couple of years ago it took the brains of several Dave's Gardeners to finally come up with the correct identification for it, but if I recall correctly, it was sallyg who finally put the correct name on it. It is a neat plant but will take over if a person is not too careful. Again, I have loads of it to share should anyone like to have any.
I've just read through here for the first time, and I notice there's one plant not mentioned that I think might work well for you, Happy, on that slope. Verbena Canadensis "Homestead Purple". I've got a HUGE spread of this verbena at the front of one of my beds where I wasn't so stringent in amending the soil, and it's flourishing like mad wild fire. From what I read, deer do not like it, and it's been blooming for me this year so far since early(ish) Spring; last year it kept on blooming until about mid-December... then again, we had a particularly mild winter. The soil it's growing in is mildly amended with compost, but for the most part it's rocky clay/sand. If you're going to be at Sally's Plant Swap next month, I'll be glad to bring you some! =)
I've attached a pic, this is what it was looking like in the middle of March. It's MUCH fuller now, and still covered in blooms. I just gave it a haircut a couple hours ago, but that's only because it over-hangs that little fence out into the lawn.. for an area like you'd want it, it wouldn't need pruning, and I rarely water it, I just let God do the watering for me. ;)
Oh, I should edit to note that the Verbena is the spreading purple stuff in the background, behind the patch of Petunias. It's a low-growing spreader, only about 8-10 inches tall.
Speedie, I just love that purple. It looks so different from other verbenas I've seen on the market. I read somewhere that it can crowd out other plants and kill them. Do you find this plant to be that aggressive?
And I would love to try a Homestead Purple, if you have any you can spare. I think it'll look great in front of the yellow and purple daylilies. Those daylily leaves can look pretty raggedy.
Love the tipped over pot idea--with flowers spilling out...Just beautiful!
I too love the purple Verbena. I assume it is perennial? May I have a couple--please...and Thank you.
It looks tall--is it? In that case--it would be a nice backgrounf plant--not an edging plant.
I may plant them in front of my Stellas--or in front of my small bed by my front door. Or---depending...
The color would set off the other perennials in this bed...
You all are the best. I am madly working on some big work deadlines, and then will be off the radar for a bit. But yes I'm planning to be at Sally's swap -- can't wait -- and hopefully I'll be able to catch up on things before then. Ruby, you continue to be the sweetest person!
Yes Ma'am, Ssgardener, it... well, it's not aggressive to the point of killing what it's surrounding, but it is... well, very exuberant. I put those in at the end of August last year, and thus far they've spread about 3-4' across; they are all through the Million Bells that I've got in there, and one of them has covered the little Steppable I've got in there (I think it's a Sedum requieni Miniature Stonecrop, but I don't remember for sure), and they really have spread all around the feet of the Agastache I've got in the front of the bed, and yet none of those other plants are suffering from the spread, they are all just happily living together, and the Agastache are THRIVING, even with all the Verbena at their feet, and the Verbena hasn't stopped them from self-seeding either.
True, when it comes to gardening design, I'm at the lowest rung of the "I know what I'm doing" ladder, so while the placement of stuff might look totally wrong, they all behave well together... so far. Oh, and yes they are perennial, but they're really not all that tall, only about 8-10 inches or so. I wanted something not-too-tall that would show up at the front of that bed above the little white fencing I put in there.
I will set some more aside; Ss, Gita, and Happy, 1 for you, 2 for you, and as many more as I can for you. =)
Gita, thank you, I am rather having fun with that tipped over pot, though I must (sheepishly) admit that I borrowed the idea from another whose home I drove past one day. ;) Last year it was quite boring, with just a small 'spill' of tightly-planted red and purple Petunias, but this year I spread it out bigger, and changed up the colours, and added some other annuals to the mix. They're not there in this pic (above), but later I added some lavender annual phlox, and now the Alyssum have filled out too.
Oooops, got a little too wordy here, sorry about that! < =/
Speedie, please don't feel you need to apologize for the length of a post. My gosh, I would have been kicked out long ago if that was the case. I tend to have to say the same thing, three different ways. My family often tells me I repeat myself. I am talking to all males in the family, so my answer to that is that nine out of ten times, they didn't listen the first couple of times I made a comment, thus the repeating it.
Anyway...with all the great ideas that have been thrown out on this thread, "Happy's Hill" ought to turn out looking quite lovely. Speedie, you commented on lacking in garden planning skills...join the club. The way we garden here is to find an empty spot and stick in whatever new plant we have acquired. I have been amazed over the years that even without proper planning, during the warm months we usually have something putting on a beautiful show...as one thing blooms and fades, another thing begins to bloom, and so forth.
The plant we have the most of are Day Lilies and for the most part they are done with blooming for the year. Looks kind of blah after all the color just being here not too long ago. I recall early spring and how excited I was about gardening this year. Seemed like I was a new gardener hankering to get started. For some reason the first few blooms or new foliage I began seeing on plants thrilled me to the core. I am still excited about things that are now coming along...but just want to say that for some reason it has been, despite horridly hot weather, gardening has been lots of pleasure for me this year.
Hope that everyone has a great Monday and the rest of the week will serve to be the same.
Speedie (and all) -- I've been away, and only just today starting to catch up. I'd love some of the Homestead Purple if you have some extra -- I hadn't thought of that, but I have seen it in gardens and it is beautiful. I wonder if it would do ok in my really poor soil?
Happy, you are on my list for Verbena! =) I am really loving this plant, and just yesterday I discovered a humming bird loving it (along with the Agastache) as well. =) Oh what a little cutie it was, wish I'd had my camera with me!
We put up a hummingbird feeder by a kitchen window just a few months ago, and it has been really fun to watch them. I didn't think they'd come so close to the house, but it hasn't been a problem at all.
Hmmmm, now I'm thinking I need to add your name to my "Agastache" list as well, and you can grow them around your hummingbird feeder! Want some potentially 7' tall-when-they-grow-up Agastache Tutti Frutti? < =D
Speedie -- you are wonderful -- but we have no full sun spots. The only sunny spot I have is on my front hill (far from what we actually look at), and that is VERY dry and has VERY clay-ey and rocky soil. I think I bought one Agastache as an experiment to put there (we are planting it this fall), but I don't know if it will take to those conditions. We are not planning reliable supplemental watering there (we may water if we think of it, but won't necessarily get it watered in long drought stretches, especially if we are out of town).
Aaah phoooey!! Well, okey dokey, it was worth a try. < =P Where mine grow (rampant), they do get what is considered 'full' sun (Spring time, from about 11:30AM to sunset, Summer, from about 10:00AM or so 'til sunset), but also there are in SERIOUSLY amended soil; Tons of mulch that has broken down over the years, and tons of compost mixed in with the clay. I'm sure that's gotta help with the fact that I can be ever so lazy about watering sometimes. < =/ I also have experimented with one in my driveway-side bed, which is mostly sandy/rocky crud (where the Alaska Shastas thrive), but alas! Aggie didn't like it there. =( Live and learn, eh?
I thought Agastache was supposed to be fairly drought-resistant, once established (like most, it'll probably need extra water during its first year)... it's got that "look," small leaves, wiry branches, etc. I bought 3 each of 7 kinds this spring -- little plants, potted them up, only lost one so far which is really good (for me LOL). I planted out the most vigorous set in mid-summer, down the center of the daylilies in the "island" bed. So far, they're doing well... soil is moderately amended there, but they also went in with their gallon of potting mix plus some extra moisture crystals, and I planted on small "mounds" for additional drainage. I think drainage may be more crucial for them than water, although we did get fairly regular rainfall in July & August.