Kerry's Garden 2011
See photos of my garden throughout the year.
You hear me talk about my garden every month in the newsletter, so I thought I would show you a few photos so you could actually see what I am doing. I will periodically add new photos. You can also see photos of my garden from 2008, 2009 and 2010. Please note that most of the plants in my containers will not be available at retail garden centers until spring 2012. The photo at left is of me a few weeks before Miranda, my daughter, was born.
Kerry lives and gardens in central Missouri on 10 acres, half of which is a rocky wooded hillside. She and her husband bought their house in 2005. They now live mere miles from the small family farm where she grew up, near her hometown of around 300. Both of her grandmothers and her mother loved flowers and passed this passion on to her and she plans on passing this on to her baby daughter. She expects her garden to continue to grow as she has time to add to and improve existing beds. Kerry has a BS in Horticulture from the University of Missouri and an MS in Horticultural Science with a minor in Plant Breeding from the University of Minnesota. After graduation she lived for 5 years on the Central Coast of California before returning to the Midwest.
December 16, 2011
I know I said in the newsletter that I didn't add any new garden photos. Well, I couldn't resist a photo of Miranda with Santa!
October 20, 2011
The sweet baby keeps on growing like crazy. She is really alert now and really looking around at everything. She is too much fun and a joy every day. OK, on to the garden.
I still have several containers looking really great. Graceful Grasses® King Tut® is still looking really good, although with the cool temperatures it isn't really growing anymore. Superbells® Sweet Tart Calibrachoa is also still doing well, considering how late in the season it is.
This is probably the last hurrah for both of these containers, since they include Coleus. Coleus isn't the least bit frost tolerant and I suspect they will be headed to the compost pile soon. However, for at least one more day they are looking great.
Diamond Frost® remains a work horse, looking great even at this late date. This container on the corner of the sidewalk remains in full flower and looks excellent.
The front beds aren't looking great anymore, but they don't look bad either. Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum has lost some flowers thanks to cool temps and overcast days. However, if we get a few warm, sunny days they will be back in flower in no time.
The shade bed is looking a bit tattered, but still showing well - it is after all, the middle of October. The 'Limelight' Hydrangea bed looks a bit forlorn. This is the bed I am planning to start rehabbing as soon as I can. It should be back better than ever next year.
September 21, 2011
We once again start out with a photo of Miranda. I took this one yesterday, just look at those chubby cheeks! She is playing with her favorite toy, Rupert the elephant. This is her "I am so excited I can hardly stand it" look. She is so much fun, smiling and laughing at mommy a lot. She also tries to talk to me, so far I've heard her saying agoo, who and every now and then hi. I'm not sure what, exactly, she is telling me, but it is fun to hear her try.
Rockapulco® Coral Reef Impatiens (new for 2012, photo on left) has been doing quite well on my sunny deck. Impatiens are often thought of as shade plants, but doubles like this one can take quite a bit of sun as long as they are well watered. It is doing better now that the sun is less intense than it did during the heat of the summer. You can tell how much it has been flowering by the petals scattered on the deck. The color is great, a really vibrant coral and pink. You don't really get that from the photo. The coleus I used for height is Cocoa Mint. Graceful Grasses® King Tut® is also still looking great. I need to trim out a few stalks that are arching over (I like the more upright look), but other than that all is good.
Keystone Kopper™ coleus (new for 2012, photo on the left) has looked great, pretty much all summer. It did get a bit sunburned when the heat was really bad and the plant had a tendency to wilt before I got it watered. After the heat broke, I trimmed it back and it has flushed back out beautifully. On the right, is a close up of Superbells® Sweet Tart Calibrachoa (new for 2012). It is also the plant cascading out of the middle photo. She has been a stalwart all summer, with constant color even when temps were over 100 F. I love the unique color too!
This container on the corner of the sidewalk has been a workhorse. Earlier in the summer a caterpillar of some type completely defoliated the Superbells® Tequila Sunrise Imp (new for 2012) that is in this container, but they left the Caliente® geraniums alone. I did nothing, just waited to see what would happen. It took a few weeks, but plants bounced back and look better than ever. It is really eye-catching when you turn into the driveway.
I usually have seven hanging baskets around the porch. Since they tend to be time intensive when it comes to water needs, I decided not to plant them this year. I knew it was unlikely I'd want to water every day or even twice a day with a brand new baby around. Six of the seven hanging baskets are matched and in the sun. The seventh basket is in the shade and cannot match the others. Last year I planted it with house plants, took the basket in for the winter and then put it back up this spring. I think it looks great and I plan on overwintering it again this year.
This bed by the stairs to the kitchen door still looks good, although it is better in person than it photographs. Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum is still flowering well and the Lantana is looking great. It is more colorful in person than it appears in the photo.
Diamond Frost® is adding a frothy "skirt" around my honeysuckle vine - which has been pretty chewed on by caterpillars. I picked off the worms I saw, but it is looking pretty bad right now. Ah well, it should bounce back next spring.
The left bed in front of the porch was one of my favorites this year. The black-eyed Susans finished blooming weeks ago. I trimmed them back to give Diamond Frost® more room to flourish. This is another bed where Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum is really strutting her stuff! You can pretty much see two blobs of pink in the photos. Each of those blobs is a single plant. That is some really bright color. The middle photo shows Neon sedum, can you imagine a plant looking better than that? I think it is fantastic. Last fall I used several Neon plants in a fall container. After the season I planted them in the landscape.
These two photos are from the other side of the porch. Here Illusion® Garnet Lace Ipomoea (new for 2012) is looking great. On the one side, three Illusion® Garnet Lace plants have overtaken the two Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum. The other side had two plants of each and they are playing well together.
The shade bed is still looking pretty good too.
The 'Limelight' Hydrangea bed is usually one of my favorites. This year it hasn't gotten a lot of attention from me and isn't looking as good. My plan is to really give this bed a makeover this fall. It simply needs to be renewed.
August 28, 2011
I have been focusing my attention on growing something other than flowers this summer, although the garden has been doing fairly well too. Miranda is now almost 11 weeks old and growing like a weed, make that growing like Snow Princess®! She smiles real smiles at me now. Most of the spare time I might have spent gardening, I now spend with my daughter. Next summer she will be able to come out in the garden and "help" me. That should be a lot of fun, but right now I'm enjoying the snuggly baby stage.
Despite my neglect the containers really did pretty well. I did keep up with watering, for the most part. This is one of my favorite containers. The coleus would be a lot larger, but one of the wind storms blew it over and broke some branches so I trimmed it back. It has come back really nicely. Superbells® Grape Punch Calibrachoa is one of my favorite new plants. I love the bi-colored flowers.
This is another of my favorite containers.
Graceful Grasses® King Tut® has bounced back from the trim and is looking good. We have had a storm or two since the last pictures and I've trimmed out a few broken branches. Even with all of that it is looking good.
The beds around the porch have grown well. Diamond Frost® has really filled in around the honeysuckle bush. The bed in front of the porch is looking pretty good too.
Sedum Neon is just about to bloom and add some fresh color to my late summer landscape.
This bed on the other side of the porch is also looking quite good.
This bed has changed quite a bit since early July. The Lantana has really grown a lot.
The 'Limelight' Hydrangea bed is often my favorite. However, this year it hasn't looked its best. I didn't do much maintenance on this bed in the Fall, I spent all of my time on the beds by the porch. I also cut back the 'Limelight' hedge row after the plants had already started their spring growth. That has resulted in the shrubs being really different heights. Next year I will cut them back at the appropriate time, which should help the size issue. This was also the bed that didn't get weeded for two months. The beds by the porch did. It is in full sun all day long so the heat stress was more acute for this bed. The beds by the porch get afternoon shade. It was the last bed I planted in the spring and the grass from the lawn has made a true effort to take it over. All together this has combined to have it not looking all that great. I am hoping to edge it with landscape bricks this fall. Even if I don't get that done I will be resetting the bed edges and moving plants and/or adding new perennials. This is the bed I am planning to spend a lot of time on this fall.
August 10, 2011
This is the third year I've grown Graceful Grasses® King Tut® Cyperus in this spot in the corner of the deck. In the previous years it did great all summer long with hardly a broken branch. As you can see from the photo on the left, there were many broken stems this year. I think there are two potential reasons why the stems broke this year when they hadn't broken in previous years. First, we had stronger than normal storms and winds this year, which certainly contributed to the breakage. The second thing is I wasn't as diligent with fertilizing this year and I think that contributed to stems not being as thick and strong as they have been in previous years. The good thing is that you can trim out the broken stems and new ones will keep on coming. The middle photo shows the trimmed plant after I removed broken and sagging stems. The photo on the right shows the material I removed. I'm trying to be better about fertilizing once a week to help new growth be as strong as possible.
The coleus also took a bit of a battering in the wind storms, with the stems falling over. The plants were also a bit sun scalded from the extreme heat we had for several weeks in July. The nice thing about coleus is you can trim it back at anytime and it will push out new growth. The photos on the left and in the middle show the plants before they were trimmed. The photo on the right is after it was trimmed back. Two weeks later it is pushing out nice new growth with great coloring.
Here are two photos showing the deck after I trimmed back a few plants, you can tell it was before I hauled the trimmed pieces to the compost pile.
July 6, 2011
I didn't ignore my garden completely this summer. I did take a few minutes in early July to take some photos. I never found the time to upload them to the website, but I did take some photos. This photo shows most of the containers on the deck. Everything was looking good at this stage. Graceful Grasses® King Tut® Cyperus, is looking great as usual. The rest of the containers are also doing quite well.
This is two years in a row that I've liked this small bed. Last year I put a coleus called Big Red Judy in this spot. She looked fantastic! She was huge and a great, rich, red color. This year I put my favorite Petunia Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum and Lantana in this bed. In previous years I struggled to find plants that I really liked in this bed. I think I'm starting to get the hang of what looks good now though.
Last fall I completely redid this bed. I removed soil, removed and replanted all of the perennials and added a ton of compost to try and improve the soil. The honeysuckle bush, newly started from the old one, is smaller than it has been in years and my resident hummingbirds are probably wondering what the heck happened to one of their favorite food sources. However, overall I like the new bed. I'm already liking Diamond Frost® Euphorbia planted around the honeysuckle bush. It looks too bare if I don't put something around the honeysuckle, but none of the other things I tried before looked great. This time I think I've got a winner and more than likely I'll be using Diamond Frost® in this bed for the foreseeable future. You can also see the soaker hoses I installed to use when watering is necessary.
The front beds also got a bit of a redo last Fall, although I think I might do some more rehab this fall, if I have the time. The daylilies look great when they are in bloom, but don't really give me enough bang for my buck in this rather skinny bed (it is only three feet deep). So I think I might remove most of the daylilies and plant something that adds more long-term color. Other than that this bed is looking good. You can see Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum peeking out of the front of the bed.
This is the other side of the porch and this bed is looking really great. Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum is really adding a ton of color and you can see Illusion® Garnet Lace Ipomoea (the burgundy/red foliage), new for next spring, adding a nice hit of foliage color.
The shade bed always just seems to do its thing. The hostas are true work horses in this bed. As long as I occasionally weed and water when things get dry this bed needs nothing else done.
June 2, 2011
It is sometimes hard to tell that plants are growing unless you can compare them to what they looked like two weeks ago. That is the case with the Dolce®Blackcurrant bed (above, left) When I look at the photo from May 13, I can see that Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum Petunia has grown, although it doesn't seem like it when I look at the bed. With the current warm temperatures I'm expecting the plants to put on a ton of growth in the next couple of weeks. The middle photo shows hosta growing well in front of the hollies. This planting is across the sidewalk from the bed in the photo on the left. At some point this summer, I'll have to trim the hostas back because they will try to take over the sidewalk! The other hosta photo is of a large blue-green variety. I've had it planted in this corner (it is the end of the bed in the photo on the left) for several years. However, since we didn't have gutters until this fall, the falling water would just rip it to shreds. This is the first year it has ever looked good and it is doing just what I hoped it would do - filling in a dead corner that is tough to grow in.
The photo on the left, shows the honeysuckle bed. The honeysuckle is now blooming and I've seen the hummingbirds a few times. As it really gets to blooming well, I should see the hummers regularly. The Diamond Frost® Euphorbia took a bit of beating during the cool and rainy stretch we had in the middle of May. However, a few days of sun has helped the plants really perk up. This is another planting that should put on a ton of growh now that we are getting warm and sunny weather. The middle photo shows the bed on the left side in front of the porch. The daylilies and rudbeckia have put on a ton of growth, but aren't adding any color yet. The Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum and Diamond Frost® I used to fill in this bed are growing well, even though they aren't adding a ton of color as of yet. By the next newsletter, I'm expecting to see quite a bit more color in this bed.
The photo on the right, shows the bed to the right of the porch. You can see the peony in the foreground. This plant was really well budded last time and I was looking forward to the floral show. Unfortunately, when the blooms popped I missed it, for several reasons. First, I was out of town for 5 days for meetings, which is when the buds opened. However, even if I had been home it rained pretty much every day for a week or more while the plant was in full bloom. This is a nice sturdy peony with lovely, fully double, soft pink blooms (I don't know what variety since I thought I was buying Bowl of Beauty and this isn't Bowl of Beauty), but that much rain really took a toll on the blooms. I never got to enjoy the floral show this year. Well, I suppose there is always next year! The rest of this bed is coming along. I have decided to add a few more annuals to this bed. I should, hopefully, have that done tomorrow.
The bed that is looking the best right now is the shade bed, above. The hostas are really looking fantastic right now. I love the contrasts in foliage colors I get in this bed. I planted a jackmanii clematis in this bed also. It would do better with more sun, but it still puts on a good color show. In another few days the daylily planted in front of the clematis will start sporting orange blossoms. I love the contrast of the orange against the blue/purple of the clematis.
The 'Limelight' Hydrangea bed is coming along slowly. The shrubs look great, but the rest of the bed is lackluster. This bed hasn't had annuals added to it yet. It started raining and didn't stop long enough for me to plant until just this week. I'll tuck the annuals in tomorrow - a bit later than I prefer, but better late than never. There is some perennial Coreopsis (photo on right) showing good color.
I did get the containers planted two weeks ago. Mom came up and helped me do it. We were frantically planting, trying to get it done before the rain started again. We didn't quite make it. We planted the last few planters and cleaned everything up in the rain. But, no harm done and the plants seem to be settling in well. A few more days of sun and I should have good color showing on all of these.
The photo on the left is a close up of one of the containers on the deck. I'm really excited to see how this planter turns out. I've planted it with two of our new plants (available in th spring of 2012, so these are just a teaser!) The coleus in the back is Keystone Kopper™, which is a lovely bronzy/copper color. In front of that I planted Superbena® Royale Peachy Keen Verbena. Peachy Keen sports soft salmon/peach blooms. I think the two colors will look great together. I can't wait until the Superbena® is in full bloom to get the real effect of this color combo.
I've added a number of shade containers to the porch this year (photo at right). These containers are also showcasing new plants that won't be available until the spring of 2012. I like the combinations I've put together, but right now they aren't showing much color. I'm trying to decide if that is transplant shock or if this spot is a bit too shady for them to thrive. I may need to move them to a location that gets a bit more light. I'll give it another week or two and then decide what to do. I also need to go back and fertilize all of my containers. In the rush to get them planted, I didn't fertilize. I'll go around and add our Proven Winners® controlled release fertilizer to each pot tonight.
May 13, 2011
Last week Mom and I made our first foray into the local garden centers, or at least our first buying spree. I've been window shopping for a while! I came home with most of the plants I needed for the beds around the porch. The photo on the left shows Dolce®Blackcurrant still looking good. I added Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum Petunias and some Lantana to this bed for annual color. The middle photo shows the honeysuckle, now surrounded by Diamond Frost® Euphorbia. It didn't take long for the hummingbirds to find the honeysuckle. They buzzed me while I was adding the Diamond Frost® to this bed. The photo on the right is part of this same bed. The peony and rose have also both started blooming. The rose is one that my Mom gave me. My grandmother planted it decades ago on the farm. When Mom and Dad redid the porch, the rose had to be moved and she was able to give me a part of it. It is a gorgeous deep pink to red and very fragrant!
Just around the corner from Grandma's rose is the left bed in front of the porch. I have the annuals added to this bed also. You can see Diamond Frost®, but there are also a couple of Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum that you can't really see yet. Last time, the allium were in full bloom. The recent spate of hot weather finished off the blooms, but I think the seed heads look really cool too (photo above, right).
The bed to the right of the porch has also been planted. I added several Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum Petunia. I may still decide to add a few more plants to this bed. I'm trying to decide if I'm patient enough to wait while the Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum fills in the whole area. The 4 plants I installed will fill the bed, but it will take a bit to do it. Hmmm, just how patient am I? The photo on the right, shows how beautifully budded the peony is in this bed. I can't wait for it to pop!
The shade bed continues to look fnatastic!
Even without the annuals though, this bed is adding color. One of the Coreopsis (photo left, above) is blooming and the first Peony bloom has also opened (photo middle, above). The real showpiece plant right now is the Oso Easy® Paprika Rosa, (photo right, above). I noticed it glowing with color as I drove into the driveway yesterday!
April 28, 2011
The Dolce® coral bells are also looking great (above, left). I love the foliage contrast between Dolce®Blackcurrant and Dolce® Key Lime Pie, in this planting. The cheerful yellow pansies I planted in this cobalt blue pot came back quite nicely this spring (above, right).
Two years ago I planted Dream Catcher™ Kolkwitzia in my shade bed. It is really starting to add another dimension to this bed. I love the foliage color and the contrast between the larger hosta foliage and the frillier foliage of Dream Catcher™ . It is probably in a bit too shady of a spot to put on a floral show, but the foliage is enough for me.
Most of the perennials are up and growing, but the hostas are really strutting their stuff.
I have 4 main flower beds that I seem to photograph every month, so I thought I'd start out this year with overview photos of all 4. This will allow us to all track them through the summer. The top two photos are the front beds that flank the front steps to the porch. The bottom two photos are the 'Limelight' Hydrangea bed (left) and the shade bed (right). The perennials are up and I have a bit of spring color in most of them, but they need time and annuals to really get them in shape. The one exception is the shade bed, which is looking pretty good. Ignore the weeds, I swear I'm going to work on them this weekend!
I missed photographing the forsythia, daffodils and crabapple trees, but I did get the second wave of spring flowers. The honeysuckle just started blooming (above, left), the irises are starting to finish up and the alliums are coming into good bloom (above, right). The peonies are budded (above, right), but it will probably be a few weeks before I start seeing flowers.
Usually the dogwoods bloom for a week or so, but warm weather usually has the flowers finishing fairly quickly. The extended cool spring this year has given us an extended show of dogwood flowering. Weeks after they first started showing color (April 15, two photos to the left, above), they are still flowering away (photo right, above). They're starting to slow down now, but the show is still pretty good. These are all native dogwoods that are growing where nature decided to have them grow. We didn't plant any of them. You can also see how much more the trees have leafed out in the past two weeks.
'Limelight' Hydrangea paniculata USPP12,874, Can. 2319; Dolce® Key Lime Pie Heuchera 'TNHEU042' USPP16,735, Can. 2564; Dolce® Blackcurrant Heuchera hybrid 'PWHeu0109' USPP19,574, Can. 3774; Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum Petunia hybrid 'USTUNI6001' USPP17,730, Can. 2871; Diamond Frost® Euphorbia graminea 'Inneuphdia' USPP17,567, Can. 2830; Oso Easy® Paprika Rosa 'ChewMayTime' USPP18,347, Can. 3401; Superbena ™ Royale Peach Keen USPPAF, Can PBRAF; Superbells® Sweet Tart Calibrachoa hybrid 'CBRZ0003' PPAF Can. PBRAF ; Superbells® Grape Punch Calibrachoa hybrid 'USCAL84704' PPAF Can. PBRAF ; Superbells® Tequila Sunrise (Imp) Calibrachoa hybrid 'USCAL88203' PPAF Can. PBRAF ;