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Dave's Garden 2010

See photos of Dave's garden in 2010.

Contributors: Kerry Meyer, Dave Konsoer
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See photos of Dave's garden in 2010.

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.  You can also compare Dave's garden this year to the garden last year.  If you have questions or comments for Dave, email him at dave@provenwinners.com. For photos of Kerry's garden click here.  For photos of Julie's garden click here.

July 15

 

It has gotten quite hot and sunny here in the Chicagoland area. With regular watering and sunshine, the gardens look the best they have all year! Everyone that stops by our house assumes keeping up with everything is hard work, but one of the things I love about Proven Winners plants is how they really don’t have to be touched other than keeping up with watering and fertilizing - I haven’t deadheaded or pinched a single plant!

The above image shows the progress of my mixed planting of Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum, Supertunia® Vista Silverberry, and Supertunia® Vista Fuchia. These have fully filled in during the past week and look fantastic in my opinion. As someone that stopped by today said, “there was no way I was going to miss your house with those flowers out front!”

My 'Limelight' Hydrangea bushes are fully in flower as you can see above – this is just a portion of the mass planting I have and the number of flower heads is truly amazing. Other than a good pruning in early March, I haven’t had to touch these plants.

The picture above shows an update of our front garden bed. The plants have filled in so well and have done exactly what I hoped they would do – large clumps of color.

One of my favorite plants at the moment in my front garden bed is Supertunia® Citrus, which is shown above. The flower color is really nice and has blended well with the other colors in the bed.

As I wrote earlier, it has been hot here in Chicago - it was 90+ degrees yesterday and today which typically can be hard on traditional annuals. What makes Proven Winners plants so special is they don’t behave like traditional annuals! The picture above shows an in-ground planting of Snow Princess which technically is an Alyssum. I’m sure many of you have used the traditional Alyssum that comes in little packs but maybe have stopped using it because it dies as soon as the temperatures get above 80-degrees.

Snow Princess® is unlike any Alyssum the world has ever seen for two reasons: first of all, it holds up to the heat and secondly it spreads aggressively. The old seed Alyssum would be toast by now in my yard and Snow Princess® is flourishing!

On a similar note to Snow Princess®, the plant I want to point out in the above images is the blue colored flower called Laguna Sky Blue Lobelia. Like the old Alyssum from seed, the traditional seed Lobelia sold in flats and packs won’t hold up to the heat and would be completely dead by now. But as you can see above, Laguna Sky Blue is thriving even in the harsh afternoon sun and hot temperatures. Even though Proven Winners® plants are more expensive than the old seed varieties sold in flats and packs, because they don’t croak in the heat and don’t need any “deadheading” or pinching, they are totally worth the investment!

The image above shows the progress of my window boxes on our back deck. They just continue to get bigger and bigger...

Our three 30-Second Planters are shown above. The plants are nearly touching the ground already and I’m guessing by the next update they will have reached the ground. And remember, the cool thing about the 30-Second Planter is that I didn’t have to plant a thing – I just popped the bottom off of the container and set it on the soil.

This planting, as shown above, has really come together. The Ghost Weigela bushes are performing as advertised – the leaves are turning an almost iridescent color and the individual plants have filled out quickly making a nice mass planting.

Also, the Infinity® Pink New Guinea Impatiens have filled out and are flowering like crazy.

And the last picture for this posting is above. This planting hasn’t panned out as nicely as had hoped and got off to a slow start, but it is starting to fill in. I mixed four colors from our Superbells® Calibrachoa line: Superbells® Saffron, Superbells® Red, Superbells® Dreamsicle, and Superbells® White. On the left side of the picture, one of the Superbells® White plants didn’t make it which sort of threw off the color scheme a bit. All in all, not bad, but it is not exactly what I was looking for.

June 28

We have had wicked thunderstorms seemingly every day lately, but as I type this on June 28, they are calling for 5 days of sunshine without rain so I’m hopeful our plants will explode this week. Even with all of the the rain and the ground being saturated, our gardens ARE progressing nicely. Our Broadway Lights Shasta Daisies have finally come into flower and are a joy to look at as we walk in and out of our house. As you can see in this picture, there are probably 100 or so open flowers with more on the way.

This picture shows the progress of the large bed leading up to the front door. The other day, I stepped in this bed to pull a weed, and the ground was so soft from all of the water that my foot sank about 3-inches! My concept with this bed was to have it look like an in-ground combination with the plants merging together with large clumps of color and it’s finally starting to happen. Even with all of the rain, I’ve been forcing the Proven Winners® Water Soluble Plant Food on these plants and you can see that it’s working given the way the plants are filling out and how green the leaves are. Be sure to tell your garden center to stock Proven Winners® Professional Plant Food and Potting Soil products.

Here’s how GoldDust® has progressed. This plant has filled so well and is completely covered with an abundance of tiny bright yellow flowers. The plant is now 2-feet x 2-feet and is roughly 1 or 2-inches tall. The flowers open in the morning and close up at night.

Here’s the progress of my large bed running along the road, a mix of Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum, Supertunia® Vista Silverberry, and Supertunia® Vista Fuchia. With the sun we’re expecting this week, I’m going to give these a strong dose of Proven Winners® Plant Food and they hopefully will have completely filled in by the time of the next posting.

The window boxes on our back deck continue to grow like weeds and look fantastic.

I haven’t shown this bed in past postings because the plants were so small and there wasn’t much to look at. This is another difficult bed for me as it has one of my downspout drains right in the middle of it. With the rain we’ve had this year, it has been soaking wet. I planted very young Infinity® New Guinea Impatiens in this bed hoping they would be able to tolerate all of the water and the shady location. So far, they’ve held their own and with the warmer temperatures, have started filling out and flowering the last two weeks. The variety is Infinity® Pink and with all of the buds that are on the plants, this bed should look really nice in the next couple of weeks.

If you scroll down the May 28th posting, you can see these same three containers and see how much they have grown. As a reminder, these containers are filled with Proven Winners® 30-Second Planters.

I planted two containers with strawberry plants because I thought it would be fun for our 2-year old to see them color up and be able to pick the fruit. We’re starting to get berries on a regular basis now which is pretty fun.

This is an Early Girl tomato plant that is loaded with fruit – looking forward to them turning red and pairing them with some leaves from our basil plant and some fresh mozzarella cheese!

The Let’s Dance® Moonlight Hydrangea bushes are filled out and flowering right now with large pink blossoms. Behind the two Let’s Dance® Moonlight plants are three Graceful Grasses® Baby Tut plants. And the rest of the bed is filled with Rockapulco® Pink Double Impatiens which should start filling out now that we’re getting some warmer temperatures.

This bed is also filling out nicely. The yellow flower is Superbells® Yellow Chiffon Calibrachoa, the blue flower is Laguna Sky Blue Lobelia, and the Petunia is Supertunia® Bermuda Beach. The green leaves in the center and upper part of the picture are  Lo & Behold® 'Blue Chip' Butterfly Bush which should start flowering in the next few weeks.

June 16

It seems like we’ve been unable to go  two days in a row without some sort of precipitation here in Chicago.  The lack of sunlight has slowed down the growth of my flowers a bit, but all-in-all things look really nice. This picture shows one of my window boxes that is on the deck railing in the backyard. All four of the containers look perfect right now – the three varieties have mixed nicely and the color combination is also nice, in my opinion. If you look at the May 28 posting, you can see how quickly these plants have filled out. If you are interested in this combination for your home, the varieties are: Diamond Frost® Euphorbia, Supertunia® Bordeaux Petunia, and Superbells® Dreamsicle Calibrachoa. It’s a 24-inch container and we planted two of each variety per window box.

Last year, I planted five small Ghost Weigela. They were “pruned” very hard by the rabbits this Winter, but as you can see from this picture, they are filling out quite nicely. The foliage is really cool in that some of the leaves are turning almost iridescent. These Ghost plants are in a shady location and the light foliage brightens up the area.

These four containers are also filling out nicely. I really like the one on the right – it has some varieties that won’t be in garden centers until Spring 2011, but the color combination of yellow, white, and light green works very well.  The varieties in the container are Snow Princess® Alyssum (white flowers), GoldDust Mecardonia (small yellow flowers), Goldilocks Rocks Bidens (larger yellow flowers), Colorblaze® Alligator Tears Coleus (green and yellow foliage), and 'Sweet Caroline Light Green' Sweet Potato Vine.

This is GoldDust Mecardonia - a new variety that will be available in garden centers for Spring 2011. I planted two 4.5-inch containers one month ago and they have filled out very well. It’s covered with a ton of tiny bright yellow flowers and grows very close to the ground as a groundcover would. I’m really impressed with GoldDust and would recommend telling your favorite garden center to carry it next Spring.

This is a portion of the bed as you walk up to my front door. The ground has remained saturated since I planted these so I haven’t been fertilizing as often as I regularly would, but the plants are starting to fill out. Moving from right to left, this picture shows: Supertunia® Royal Velvet Petunia, Surfinia® Red Petunia, Snow Princess® Alyssum, Bluebird Nemesia, Solaire® Yellow Bidens, Angelface® Blue Angelonia, Diamond Frost® Euphorbia and in the left corner, Superbells® Red Calibrachoa and Supertunia® Citrus Petunia.

This shows my mass planting of Broadway Lights Shasta Daisies fully budded and ready to burst into color. This should be in full flower in about one week – can’t wait!

Our Let’s Dance® Starlight Hydrangea just started flowering and I think it should be in full bloom in about a week. I planted this one when we first moved into the house two years ago and I have five more small plants that I planted last Spring that are starting to fill out. This plant grouping should look stunning next year.

Our two Little Henry® Itea bushes are in flower at the moment and has been for the last couple of weeks. These are about 2-feet tall and have a nice habit. The other benefit is the reddish-orange Fall color.

May 28

My wife and I (with assistance from our “I wanna help” 2-year old) have done a lot of planting the last two weekends and I’m amazed at how quickly all of our plants are filling out!  This picture shows the garden bed and porch leading up to our front door.  Last year, we had a monochromatic color scheme using primarily white colored annuals.  This year, we went for a more colorful look using the colors red, purple, yellow, and white.

The hanging baskets are the Liberty Bell combination with the varieties Superbells® Scarlet, Superbena® Large Lilac Blue, and Supertunia® White.  

In the planters below the baskets, I used
Diamond Frost® which was what I had in these same containers last year.  Diamond Frost® performed so well and looked so amazing last year I couldn’t resist doing the same thing.  Another major reason is I wasn’t able to hook these three containers up to my WaterWise watering system – Diamond Frost® is so drought tolerant that I can go days without watering these three plants and they’ll be just fine.  

This is a closer shot of the bed leading up to the front door.  I planted each variety in clumps of threes to show distinct blocks of color, but also have a ‘combination’ look.  

Some of the varieties shown (moving from the lower right to the upper left) include:  
Golddust Mecardonia (a brand new variety that will be in garden centers in 2011 that I’m testing this year), Blue Bird Nemesia, Diamond Frost® Euphorbia, Superbells® Red Calibrachoa, Supertunia® Citrus Petunia, Supertunia® Royal Velvet Petunia, Surfinia® Red Petunia, Snow Princess® Lobularia, Solaire® Yellow Bidens, and Angelface® Blue Angelonia.

This is the back half of the same bed leading up to the front of the door.  The white flowered plant is Snow Princess® Lobularia, and in the lower right is Superbells® Red Calibrachoa – these run right along the walking path.  

In the middle of the bed between some of the bushes, we planted some taller varieties:  Butterfly Argyranthemum (yellow flower), and
Angelface® Blue Angelonia (blue flower).    

 

The is a full shade bed where I had yellow Daffodils in the early Spring.  I cut back the Daffodil foliage a bit and planted white colored impatiens.  I used white impatiens in this same bed last year – they brightened up the dark shady area and really performed well.  With regular watering, the impatiens will quickly hide the Daffodil foliage.

 

My Black Lace Sambucus has just started flowering with three flower umbels open and many more to follow.  These two plants have been so easy – I give them a very hard prune in the late Fall and they look amazing every Spring/Summer.  

The last picture in my May 5 posting, I showed how my Broadway Lights Shasta Daisy plants over-wintered.  This picture is from the same viewpoint and you can see how quickly the plants have grown in less than a month (all of the green foliage surrounding the tree trunk).  These started flowering in Mid-June last year, so I hopefully will start seeing some color in 2-weeks or so.  

I have two large beds that run along the road in front of my house.  Last year, I used Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum and Supertunia® Vista Silverberry in these beds because I knew they would fill in the space quickly.  It looked so good last year, I didn’t mess with it and planted them again.  The exception is I added Supertunia® Vista Fuchia and mixed the three varieties together.  Similar to last year, with water, sun, and plant food, these three plants will quickly fill the entire bed.

 

 

The other roadside bed where I continued the planting of Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum, Supertunia® Vista Silverberry, and Supertunia® Vista Fuchia.  

This also shows the 5
Bloomerang Lilac bushes (in front of the Blue Spruce) that I planted this Spring (see May 5 posting).  After they finished flowering, I pruned them back for shaping but also to help them re-flower later this Summer.  

And behind the Blue Spruce, are 10 'Limelight' Hydrangea bushes I planted last Spring.  I pruned them quite hard in the very early Spring and they are growing like weeds right now and will be covered with flowers before long.  

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Fri, 04/13/2012 - 6:25pm

Now I see that you work for PW. mmmm

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Fri, 04/13/2012 - 6:24pm

Beautiful. How much do you spend per season on all those gorgeous annuals?

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous Thu, 07/21/2011 - 6:32pm

You have a gorgeous garden but how do you control the weed growth? I am having a horrible problem with weeds and every two weeks have to start all over again. Its exhausting.....help!
Thanks for any advice you can give me.
Frustrated in CO

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