Not sure what to plant? Look around!

Photo of woodland garden
Ferns, Pulmonaria, Hellebores, Redbud, Astilbe and more grow at the driveway’s edge of this woodland garden.

Whenever I go for a site visit, I like to look around the neighborhood to see what’s growing. This gives me a sense of the area and also helps me identify plants that might thrive, especially with regard to deer. This lovely garden is at the edge of a long driveway on a very wooded lot. I was surprised to see the host looking so good, but you never know what route deer will take as they pass through. Maybe the proximity of the hellebores acts as a deterrent? I don’t know, but I enjoyed seeing it.

 

Peonies & Baptisia

Photo of Peony Bouquet
Peonies and Baptisia make a wonderful combination.

I have a goal to bring something from my garden indoors all year round. We’re at the end of the Peonies and Baptisia right now, so I got one more bouquet out of them (looks like I didn’t quite dust the mulch off some of them!). I love this combination. I used some variegated Red-Twig Dogwood leaves but they’re a bit limp to be on their own.

We’re on the verge of summer flowers now. I see the Coneflowers close to blooming, and the Black-Eyed Susans are starting. I’ve got some Dahlia tubers coming this week, too, to get started for fall. Better late than never!

Perennial’s the Word

Photo of chrysanthemums
Chrysanthemums are perennial if we give them a chance.

Take a look at this gorgeous photo and ask yourself, “Why am I buying mums every year when they would quite happily show up on their own?”

Okay, it’s great to put them in pots for some front porch color, but really, isn’t this amazing? My far-seeing neighbor planted these years ago and they come back reliably each fall. A definite garden goal for me, and something I’m trying to encourage more with my clients. If you’ve got mums that are starting to fade now, consider popping them in the ground for color spots next year. What’s the worst that could happen?

So much beauty everywhere!

Everywhere I look, things are blooming and thriving. I have so many beautiful photos that I thought I’d just post a gallery. Our rainy May is really paying off, but hot dry weather is coming- don’t forget to water!

Salvia ‘Ultra Violet’

Photo of Salvia 'Ultra Violet'
Salvia ‘Ultra Violet’ is a cross between a Salvia greggii and Salvia lycioides. (M. Robinson)

I love Salvia greggii varieties, and this one is new to my garden this year. As I learned from the Digging Dog Nursery website, this is a “hummingbird-initiated cross” between Salvia greggii and Salvia lycioides. I love that! It’s also deer and rabbit resistant, which has become important in my garden these days.

Would you rather grow Tradescantia or Spiderwort?

Photo of Tradescantia
Tradescantia, aka Spiderwort, photo M. Robinson

I planted clumps of Tradescantia about 8 years ago, and they still come up and bloom for 4-6 weeks every spring. They’re so graceful, opening overnight and then slowly closing up as the day goes on. Their common name is Spiderwort! Take a look at this great essay on the awful name.¬†(“Wort” is an old word that was applied to plants¬†with herbal or medicinal properties. It’s still in use in the brewing industry.)

I didn’t even know Mr. Tradescant was a person. Fascinating! I learn so many new things every day.