Dave's Garden 2009
Photos from Dave's garden from 2009
Photos from Dave's garden from 2009
Dave, Director of Sales for Proven Winners, and his wife Cathy lived in downtown Chicago for many years gardening exclusively in containers on their condo’s balconies. In Spring 2008, they moved with their young son into a newly built home in the western suburbs of Chicago and have been busy establishing in-ground gardens and containers. Dave will periodically update photos of his garden throughout the summer. If you have questions or comments for Dave, email him at email@example.com. For photos of Kerry's garden click here, for photos of John's garden click here.
Well...I can’t believe it’s almost September – where has the Summer gone! Here in Chicago, we’ve had a relatively mild Summer temperature wise with only one week (actually a couple of days) of temperatures above 90-degrees. Of course, those few days where it got really hot, we were out of town so some of my containers didn’t get watered and croaked...more on that later.
Let’s start with my Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum and Supertunia® Vista Silverberry bed along the driveway and road. I can’t tell you how spectacular these plants look and honestly, with virtually no care at all. I have hand watered these a few times, but for the most part, they have been watered by rain which for most of July and August we’ve had little of showing me how drought tolerant these plants are. When I planted, I gave them a liberal dose of Proven Winners Premium Continuous Release Plant Food and gave them 3-4 feedings with Proven Winners Premium Water Soluble Plant Food. I should be feeding them more, but life, travel, and chasing a 2-year old around sometimes gets in the way... That said, these plants are truly amazing.
These two pictures shows the bed on August 24 (left picture) and June 20 (right picture). You can see how aggressive Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum and Supertunia® Vista Silverberry are – these are the ideal landscape plants.
You may remember from an earlier posting that I had planted a number of 'Limelight' Hydrangea as a mass planting. These have been in flower for quite some time now and are looking very nice. The flower size is smaller than I typically think of for 'Limelight', but I’m confident this is because they just went into the ground this spring. The picture on the left is the new planting and the picture on the right is from a 'Limelight' in my back yard – as you can see, the flower is larger than my hand. I’m looking forward to seeing my mass planting next summer!
Check out the number of flowers on my Let’s Dance® Moonlight Hydrangea – I think there’s about 20! This has been a real beauty in our backyard.
On to my front porch and my Snow Princess™ hanging baskets and my Diamond Frost® planters – the photo on the left was taken August 24. These are stunning and make me smile every morning when I walk outside to get the newspaper. As you’ll remember, Snow Princess™ is a new heat tolerant and trailing Alyssum that is obviously unlike ANY Alyssum the world has ever seen. These are 12-inch baskets and the plants are trailing 3-feet! Like most plants in hanging baskets, I’ve have to water the Snow Princess™ baskets daily – next year, I’ll have these hooked up to my Proven Winners WaterWise self-watering system so I never have to touch them. Similarly, the Diamond Frost® planters have also exploded with the plants about 18-inches above the top of the container. Diamond Frost® is quite drought tolerant and I water these about once every 10-days. The photo on the right is from June 20 – you can see the explosion of growth in 2-months time.
Diamond Frost® is tremendous in containers, but it also makes a terrific landscape plant as you can see from this picture. I literally haven’t touched these plants since I originally planted them. They have basically been watered by rain so their drought tolerance is amazing.
While Diamond Frost® seems to be super drought tolerant, it also seems to be bunny tolerant – at least in my yard. The picture above shows Supertunia® White eaten down to the nubs (green plant at top of picture), and Superbells® White also eaten down quite a bit between two Diamond Frost® plants that haven’t been touched. Drought tolerant, bunny tolerant, great in containers by itself, awesome in combinations...Diamond Frost® might just be my favorite Proven Winners® plant!
When I returned from vacation this past Sunday...1/2 of my containers were dead due to the lack of hand watering for 7-days. The photo on the left (above) is how this group of containers looked when I left for vacation. The photo on the right shows the same containers when I returned. It wasn't a pretty sight.
Luckily, the other 1/2 of my containers are hooked up to WaterWise and a timer and still look great, see above. Next year, all of my containers will be watered by WaterWise!
After what seemed like three straight weeks of rain and temperatures in the 60's, the rain stopped and it finally warmed up the last week and a half which has been great for our plants.
This picture shows the Snow Princess™ hanging baskets (new for spring 2010) continuing to fill out and flower nicely. Their sweet fragrance is a great bonus when we open the door to my wife’s office.
Also shown in this picture are the Diamond Frost® planters which have flowered non-stop with virtually no maintenance other than watering.
One of the most stunning plants in my garden is 'Tuscan Sun' - a Heliopsis from the Proven Winners Perennial line. I planted this last summer and was curious to see how it would handle our winter in Chicago. As you can see, overwintering wasn’t a problem at all! This plant is roughly 30-inches tall and has about 30 open flowers with at least that many flowers buds. 'Tuscan Sun' has been in full flower for the past two weeks and I’m anxious to see what happens the rest of the summer.
This image shows the mass planting of Broadway Lights™, a creamy yellow Shasta Daisy in the Proven Winners Perennials line. I planted these in the middle of May and have been so excited to see the abundance of flowers. They started flowering about two weeks ago with new flowers opening daily.
Another plant I’ve been really pleased with is Stratosphere™ White, a Gaura/Wand flower from the Proven Winners® Perennial line. I have three of these planted in my bed of white flowering annuals adding some height to the bed (they are roughly 24-inches tall). Each plant has been covered with flowers since I planted them in mid-May and show no signs of slowing down. I really like that the flowers move back and forth with the slightest breeze, providing some movement in the garden. While I have these planted in the ground, they would make a really nice addition to larger combination containers.
The sun (and some Proven Winners® Premium Water Soluble Plant Food) has really helped my bed of Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum and Supertunia® Vista Silverberry fill out and mix together. This planting is along the road and makes such a statement as we enter our driveway.
My containers in the backyard have filled out so well the past two weeks and are full of color. The picture on the left shows 4 of the 18 containers I have on the back deck and patio. They all look this nice. The container on the right filled with Supertunia® Bordeaux, which if you’ll remember from the last update, was started with a Proven Winners® 30-Second Planter. It has filled out so well, you can’t even see the original container that we popped the bottom off and dropped on the soil in the larger container. The picture on the right shows that original container under the canopy of the plant. The 30-Second Planter is so cool and easy – I’d highly recommend it to anyone.
The four window boxes hanging on the railing of the deck have exploded and have taken a drab railing and made it “alive.” These are watered with WaterWise® and have been so easy to care for.
Also in flower right now are my Let’s Dance® Moonlight (photo on left) and Let’s Dance® Starlight (photo on right) hydrangeas from the Proven Winners® ColorChoice® line. Let’s Dance® Starlight looks really nice planted with Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum – as would Let’s Dance® Moonlight.
A new addition since my last update are three hanging baskets of Mandalay™ Pearl, a new begonia hybrid that Proven Winners® is working on bringing to market. About a week and a half ago, I hung these at three different levels from the branches under a very large White Pine tree in my backyard and they have really brightened up a dull space. My only concern is if these are going to get enough sun as this is a pretty shady location and they do best with more sun than what they are going to get.
These two photos are of a large bed that runs along the street and on either side of my driveway. They are of the same bed – first one is looking from the street, the second one towards the street. Planted with a mix of Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum and Supertunia® Vista Silverberry that are just starting to fill out a bit (it has been cold and cloudy the last few weeks).
There are some Proven Winners® ColorChoice® shown in the picture on the right. In the lower left part of the bed, the two purple bushes are Midnight Wine® Weigela. The lime green bush in the middle of the picture is Little Henry® Itea. And the lime green bush on the right towards the end of the Vista plantings is Let’s Dance® Moonlight Hydrangea. All of these bushes were planted in August, 2008.
The picture above shows 10 'Limelight' Hydrangeas that were planted last week – these are on the right hand side of the picture. To the left of the Blue Spruce is another Little Henry®. The two Midnight Wine® Weigelas are struggling for some reason...
These pictures are of the beds closest to the front door as well as a circular bed under a River Birch leading up to the house.
The middle photo (above) shows a bit of the bed under the River Birch on the lower right. I have a mass planting of white Geraniums (couldn’t find Daredevil unfortunately) as well as a mass planting of Diamond Frost®.
On the porch, I have three containers of Diamond Frost® with two baskets of Snow Princess™ (not available until spring 2010) hanging above. As you’ll see, we went with a white monochromatic design in this area.
The photo on the left (above) has a mix of Proven Winners® annuals, Proven Winners® Perennials, and Proven Winners® ColorChoice® shrubs. In the bed, there is a mix of Supertunia® White, Superbells® White, Snowstorm® Giant Snowflake®, Diamond Frost® and Stratosphere™ White.
Under the porch pillar, there are two Wine & Roses® Weigela that are are nearing the end of their flowering. The boxwood were planted by the builder and I don’t really like them – plus, I need to prune out the winter damage... To the left of the Wine & Roses® is a mid-height green plant – this is 'Tuscan Sun' Heliopsis and is budded and I’m guessing will flower in the next few weeks. I planted this last year to see how it would overwinter which it obviously did very well. With its yellow flowers though, it’s going to stick out with our white colored theme.
On the other side of the stone path, there are two Black Lace™ Sambucus plants that are a bit difficult to see in the shade. They are underplanted with white Impatiens.
The picture on the right (above) shows that River Birch bed looking back toward the street. You can see some of the pink Vista plants in the back. This River Birch mainly shows the Diamond Frost® mass planting, but also includes the white Geraniums, about 50 Broadway Lights™ plants (they are planted in a circle around the trunk of the tree) and some Oso Easy™ Roses as well as some Knock Out® Roses the builder planted.
On the back of the house, we have a deck and stone patio. I have 13 containers on the patio and 4 window box planters on the inside railing of the deck (more pictures of that later).
For the patio planters (photos above), we went with a purple, white and silver color scheme. The containers are mixed with Supertunia® Royal Velvet, Superbells® Blue, Superbells® White, Angelface® Blue, Opal Innocence®, Helichrysum Petite Licorice, Graceful Grasses® Red Riding Hood and Snowstorm® Giant Snowflake®.
In the photo on the right, the container on the far right is a 30-Second Planter. This was set in the container in mid-May. Even as cold as it has been, it has already pretty much filled the container making it difficult to see the original 30-Second Planter container.
The photos above are of the containers near the lattice, these are all watered by WaterWise, which I set up this past Saturday. This was super simple to set up and has made watering a breeze.
The two photos above show a timer I bought for automatic watering with WaterWise. I ran the tubing into the mulch and towards my back yard. The last picture shows the tubing coming up under the deck, along the posts, under the railing, and up to the window boxes on the railing. The tan color of the tubing makes it blend in really nicely.
Here are the containers on the back deck.
The photos above show 4 containers that are all watered by WaterWise. The photo on the right shows how the tubes come up into the containers. I drilled a small hole in my deck to bring the tube up from underneath, then split off multiple tubes from the original tube to water the other containers. In a few weeks, the plants should fill in enough to completely hide the tubes.
In these containers are Laguna™ Compact Blue w/Eye, Opal Innocence®, Superbells® White, the new Snowstorm® Blue (available spring 2010), Graceful Grasses® Red Riding Hood and Graceful Grasses® Quartz Creek.
The picture above shows the four window boxes – also watered by WaterWise. These are filled with Diamond Frost®, Superbells® Scarlet, and Superbells® Plum. Cathy wanted to add the Superbells Scarlet to pick up the red in the pillows and cushions.
Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum 'USTUNI6001' US PP17,730, Can. PBR 2871; Supertunia® Vista Silverberry 'USTUNI60-01M' US PPAF, Can. PBRAF; Midnight Wine® 'Elvera' US PP12,217, Can. PBR 2643; Little Henry® 'Sprich' US PP10,988; Let's Dance® Moonlight 'Robert' US PPAF, Can. PBRAF; 'Limelight' US PP12,874, Can. PBR 2319; Diamond Frost® 'Inneuphdia' US PP17,567, Can. PBR 2830; Stratosphere™ White 'Gautalwi' US PP16,565, Can. PBR 2571; Supertunia® White 'Kakegawa S30' US PP13,862, Can. PBR 1041; Superbells® White 'USCALI386-2' US PP19,734, Can. PBRAF; Snowstorm® Giant Snowflake® 'Danova906' US PP17,886, Can. PBR 2861; Wine & Roses® 'Alexandra' US PP10,772, Can. PBR 2642; 'Tuscan Sun' 'Tuscan Sun' US PP18,763; Broadway Lights™ 'Leumayel' US PP19,242, Can. PBR 3028; Supertunia® Royal Velvet 'Kakegawa S28' US PP13,887, Can. PBR 1039; Superbells® Blue 'USCALI51' US PP14,874, Can. PBR 1931; Angelface® Blue 'Anblauzwei' US PP14,189, Can. PBR 1921; Opal Innocence® 'Fleurame' US PP17,035, Can. PBRAF; Laguna™ Compact Blue with Eye 'Lobetis' US PP16,112, Can. PBR 1975; Superbells® Scarlet 'USCALI411-12' US PP19,753, Can. PBRAF; Superbells® Plum 'USCALI99' US PP17,679, Can. PBR 2869; 'Tuscan Sun' US PP18,763; Mandalay™ Pearl 'Innbolwhi' US PPAF; Can. PBRAF