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Showing posts from July, 2008

Mid-Season Gardening Resolutions Check-up #2

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I changed my mind about going to Bowman’s spring sale (two hour drive, one way) and instead ordered blue Scabiosato border the front of the blue garden. Now that that garden is more mature, there is no room for a groundcover. An unplanned purchase for the blue garden was Monarda Blue Stocking, a plant I couldn’t get last year. The Eupatorium I bought last fall is just getting ready to bloom. Be forwarned, this plant gets a late start --- I almost yanked it out thinking it had died! Other native plant successes from last fall include Bottle Gentian (Gentiana andrewsii), Turtlehead(Chelone lyonii)Spikenard(Aralia racemosa), and New York Ironweed(Veronia noveboracensis).Finally, the two side gardens. Dan is madly working away on finishing the rose arbor (the rose canes are now long enough to start training onto the roof), as well as about 150 other projects. My volunteer Wild Bergamot(Monarda fistulosa),shown above, is at its height of bloom, beloved by both bees and butterflies.The east…

Mid-Season Gardening Resolutions Check-up #1

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Did you make some New Year’s gardening resolutions in January, or fantasize about a series of projects to complete before summer’s end? I did (see http://loisdevries.blogspot.com/2008/01/gardening-resolutions-for-new-year.html). Well, it’s mid-July and we’re halfway through the gardening season. Time to check our progress against our plans. With one caveat. In the garden, it seems our imagination is always larger, or more abundant, than our capacity, whether of time, money, or ability.The Golden Dragon Clivia sits on a shaded porch for the summer, per advice from experienced Clivia growers on the garden writers listserv. Once the air conditioner comes out of the window, it will go back to its in-house space. So far, so good. It’s still alive.Climbing roses for the arbor.I got only one that was on my list, Bantry Bay. This was tiny compared to the others I finally purchased, but it is on its own root (not grafted) and I have great hopes for it. I’m disappointed to say I got ripped off …

Papyrus Daydream

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For readers who may have wondered what ever happened to the papyrus that I overwintered indoors (see http://loisdevries.blogspot.com/2007/12/papyrus-prolonged.html), it’s alive and thriving again in its summer spot, next to the Ligularia. Having this plant in my garden is a personal eccentricity. There is no Egyptian theme, no water theme, no exotic plant collection.I’ve always been fascinated by Ancient Egypt and visited there in 1986. The papyrus is, of course, an iconic symbol that is seen everywhere in Egypt, in temples, tombs, and on the towels of modern hotels. I brought home and framed a number of souvenir paintings made of papyrus. Most of them depict papyrus plants, either as the focal point, or in the background. There’s just something about the shape and texture of papyrus’ ethereal mopheads that appeals to me.The plant itself turns out to be a surprisingly easy keeper. All it seems to want is continuously wet feet, sun, and a little plant food from time to time. Now that m…

Creating a Garden That Makes You Happy

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I spend each summer running around and looking at 30 – 50 gardens in hopes of finding the one, two, or three that might be suitable for publication. Of the remaining 47, perhaps five to ten are for show --- to impress the neighbors. The majority simply make their gardeners happy. In today’s world, that’s no small accomplishment! My garden is not likely to ever appear in a magazine. While I am working on a long-term plan to stretch the succession of bloom, the big, splashy blossoms (rhodies, bleeding heart, iris, and roses) have finished exploding by early summer. I’m hoping for some flowers on those field-trial hydrangeas that are one and two years old. And then there are the native plants I bought last fall. But they all have a long way to go before they can present the masses of color produced by the 15-year old rhodie wall. Living in the middle of the woods means that the garden’s primary summer color is green. It’s very soothing and the varied textures keep it interesting. But …