Northeast Gardening: DonnaMack picture (Reviewing 2015 Projects and Plants, Challenges and Results)
Image Copyright DonnaMack
Forum: Northeast Gardening
Greetings. Here is a shout out from the Midwest (I peek at northeast forums all the time - so many great things going on).
The biggest thing I learned is - take some chances. There were two plants I had looked at for a while, thinking that I could not grow them. One was eragrostis spectabilis, a gorgeous fall bloomer that overwintered well. I tried one last year, and now I have four. I have always planted for fall, and discovered this year that the tender perennial salvias I had grown for spring (viridis aka hominum, coccinea and farinacea), bloom spring through fall. So I have tons of color - in November.
But the other was dwarf plumbago. I loved the idea of the blue flowers and the great fall color. I found a good place for three plants, under a taxus media.
I installed three and they were nice. Then they bloomed with the most lovely blue flowers.
Upon installation in June (they came from Bluestone) Picture 1
On August 30 in bloom Picture 2
In September, Picture 3
Today, picture 4
There had been nothing in that bed but the taxus. Thus inspired, I have added two Rose de Rescht, a penstemon digitalis Husker Red, an anemone x Hybrida Honorine Jobert, anemone blanda, a small abelia (gift of Raulston Arboretum) and two colors of salvia viridis. And fragaria vesca reugen. And, oh yes, one of my eragrostis is there. Something will be going on from early spring well through November. The ideas kept coming. There is less and less grass there. And eventually the perennial anemone and the plumbago (it's the dwarf cerastigma, not the shrub) will fill it.
The fun part is that this is a mix of plants I grew at home and wanted to grow at home but couldn't because of the soil and the merciless sun. So although I had a wonderful garden, I am having a blast creating one with a lot more years of experience.
The last picture is salvia viridis (hominum) in blue. The cultivar Blue Monday. I also have it in rose. Both from seed, and really easy and fast. It germinates within 48 hours. I had always planted it to flower in spring, and instead of deadheading it properly, had pulled it out. Now I know better. It's been in bloom for months.
I've been gardening since 1996, and I still have the fun of learning new things, often from wonderful people on these forums.