Kerry's Garden 2008
Photos of my garden.
Photos of my garden.
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.
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. 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.
After the October newletter, Brent from Alabama emailed me and asked if I could put together planting diagrams for my front flower beds. It sounded like a good idea to me. If you are interested in seeing the planting plans click here.
I did get the outdoor holiday decorations put up over Thanksgiving weekend. I tucked white lights into garland and used classic red bows to dress it all up.
This is the view I look out on from my office. Due to concerns that the freeze/thaw cycles of winter would break the pots I dumped the soil out of the pots, added it to the compost pile, and stored the pots in the garage for the winter.
The front porch is also decked out in garland with white lights and red bows as accents. I am really pleased with the way it turned out. We live a bit out of the way so pretty much the only people that see the decorations are my husband and I, our neighbors Matt and Kim, plus the FedEx lady and the UPS guy that come and deliver packages. Totally worth it:-) Now I just need to get the tree up and decorated...
As I was writing the newsletter today I thought I would go see what there was out in the garden adding late fall/winter interest now that the leaves are pretty much off the trees. I found a few things that made me smile. Here they are...
Red berries are adding fall color in two ways. On the left is the holly by our garage. Past experience tells me the birds will come by sometime this winter to take a taste. The photo on the right is one of the crabapple trees, showing off its fall color.
Dolce ® Blackcurrant Heuchera showing nice fall color on the left and the forsythia bush showing shades of red, purple and yellow even after the trees have lost their leaves.
'Limelight' Hydrangea dried flower heads are still adding interest, they'll look even better with a blanket of snow! We live on the edge of the woods and just past the backyard we have these great, moss riddled, rocks. I've always loved big rocks like these and with nothing much else going on they are drawing my attention more than ever.
October 21 and October 28
We had our first hard frost on the night of October 27. I am going to show you a few before and after shots so you can see what came through with flying colors and what really wasn't liking life on the 28th.
The photo on the left is before the frost, the one on the right is after. Everything still looks pretty good except the Elephant Ear which mushed and it now in the basement waiting for spring.
Both the pink bed (left photo) and Supertunia® Vista Silverberry (right photo) looked pretty much the same before and after so I'm only showing one photo of each. You might notice that Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum isn't showing up like usual in the pink bed. The frost didn't get to her but the bud worms did a number on her blooms. Her foliage looks great but there is hardly a flower left.
You can tell that the stuff that loved the heat really didn't like the frost. The Red/Orange/Yellow bed looked like the photo on the left until October 27 though, pretty impressive! The Profusion zinnias and lantana are toast now, center photo. The Garnet Brocade™ sedum is still holding on and Tukana® Scarlet Star verbena is still looking pretty good, photo to right. I removed all of the dead plants that weekend and tossed them in the compost pile. One side is now brimming with dead plants. I'll smoosh some leaves into it and fill the other side with leaves too. By spring I should have decent compost to use again.
This one might be a bit hard to see. This is Mandalay™ Pearl, you can tell she hangs under the eave of the porch. The photo on the left is before the frost, she is looking good. The photo in the middle is after the hard frost and shows the side that sticks out from under the porch over hang. The plant is brown mush on this side. The photo on the right, you can see, barely, that the foliage to the left is mush (stuck out from the cover of the over hand) and the foliage on the right is fine. Just the fact that the back side of the basket was covered by the porch was enough to keep the frost from getting the plant. Covering your plants really can keep them from dieing from even pretty hard frosts.
The overall view of the beds around the porch. The beds are still full of color and the hanging baskets keep looking better and better. With the great fall color the gardens continue to look really good. I've been really fortunate to have very few pest and disease problems in the garden this year. I did have one massive invasion of the caterpiller stage of the Snowberry Clearwing Hummingbird Moth on the honeysuckle bush. Now I'm willing to share my garden with the critters but in less than a week dozens of the caterpillars had defoliated close to 2/3's of the honeysuckle. Rather than spray chemicals or smoosh the caterpillers I pruned the bush back and tossed the stems, with the caterpillers attached, into the compost bin. The caterpillers were far enough away they couldn't find the honeysuckle bush and that plant is tough as nails. It will bounce back.
Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum continues to thrive (the bright pink in the corner of the left photo). I originally planted 3 - 4.5 inch plants in this bed. The plant you see here is now 5 feet by 3.5 feet, no extra watering and other than a lot of compost incorporated into the bed in spring I used no supplemental fertilizer. The Victoria salvia and Profusion zinnia also continue to flower like crazy.
The left hand photo is the bloom of a Strike It Rich Rose from within the pink bed and blue bed. The right hand photo is a close up of 'Jolly Bee' geranium. Both of these plants have had color all summer with very little input from me. The only thing I've done to either of these plants is deadhead the rose.
The orange, red and yellow bed continues to put on a great floral show and had the added benefit of showing off the colors usually associated with fall. The rose color of newly opened Garnet Brocade™ sedum flowers has now transformed to rusty-bronze, a perfect fall compliment to the hot orange and yellows of the summer flowers. The Illustris colocasia pot is still adding a nice tropical feel to the corner of the sidewalk. I have been doing a baby lizard count and I think there are 5 baby lizards hanging out around the house. Three of the babies hang out on this corner and regularly risk life and limb scurrying under my feet. I really have to keep on my toes, I'd really hate to accidentally smoosh them!
A few closeups from the orange/yellow/red bed. The Profusion zinnias and Luscious® Citrus Blend are looking great. In the photos from September you can see Goldsturm rudbeckia flowering in the background, by the end of September Goldsturm was done flowering so I trimmed the flowers back, which left a few open spaces that have started to fill back in. The right hand photo is of Tukana® Scarlet Star verbena, which has been blooming non-stop all summer.
Mandalay™ Pearl on the left and Mandalay™ Flamingo on the right continue to put on a display. I was wandering around with my tape measure and each of these baskets are a bit over 2 feet long now! What great hanging basket plants!
Lo and Behold™ Blue Chip is a brand new kind of buddleia. After a full summer of growth this plant is an 18 inch tall mound of color. I've never deadheaded and it has flowered all summer long. It is a naturally compact plant so it won't try to take over your entire garden. It will be coming to garden centers near you soon...
Supertunia® Vista Silverberry continues to hold its own. It isn't flowering quite as much as it was a month ago but it is still showing a good amount of color. The other 2 baby lizards hang out on the stairs near this container. They too like to scurry under my feet when I walk from my office to the house. I hope they smarten up as they get older...
On request from my co-worker, Danielle, here is a photo of one of my five baby lizards. It is about 2 inches long these days...
I have replanted several containers with fresh plants for fall. The Elephant Ear in the back is going strong from summer the others are new. The pansies should have good long term color. The pot on the right incorporates ornamental cabbage. I think I should have put the cabbage in one of the large pots but I do like the color contrast with the pansies. The pot on the left uses pansies, liriope, and a hosta for long term color. This pot should look good deep into winter and then come spring I can transplant both the liriope and the hosta into my shade perennial garden. The last pot in this arrangement, the bright green, is leaf lettuce. My husband was wanting fresh salad greens for the fall and the seeding the lettuce in a pot means it is right outside the door when we want to pick a salad. The extra bonus is that the color is a great contrast to the darker colors in the other pots. Never forget that vegetables and fruits can be ornamental as well as delicious!
Four of my upright containers continue to look good. I have been taking monthly photos of Supertunia® Vista Silverberry and she continues to look good with little input from me. I do water her, more or less consistently, and have been using water soluble fertilizer as often as I remember since July. The extre feed helps keep her growing and blooming well.
My two colocasia (elephant ears) also continue to look great, they do love the heat. They have both gotten better as the summer has gotten longer. On the right is a 3 year old Illustris and on the left is a generic green colocasia. Both are great for adding long term foliage interest. The pot to the right of the green colocasia is waiting for me to buy some fall plants to replant it. I am hoping to find plants later this week.
My hanging baskets have gotten better and better as the summer progressed. I started using water soluble fertilizer on these in July (in addition to the slow release I used at planting) to really boost their growth. They've become thick, lush, and covered in blooms. Mandalay™ Pearl on the left and Mandalay™ Flamingo on the right have looked great in the heat of August. They are plants that prefer to be a bit on the dry side, so even when it was hot I never watered more often than every other day. That is my kind of plant!
An overview of the porch bed to the left of the front steps. These beds present a unique challenge. Our house was built without gutters so when planting these beds I have to allow for the drip line (I think we are going to have gutters installed soon, I'm very excited by the thought!). I deal with it by planting a back or and a front row of plants which is about all I can manage in a bed that is 3 feet deep. I like the hot colors of this bed but would like to see more red added to the orange and yellow.
A few close ups of the bed shown above. This bed has continued to look fantastic all summer. I have literally done nothing to these plants. I've never watered, never fertilized (other than a good dose of compost in spring), never deadheaded - absolutely nothing and it has been a sea of color for months. The blue you can see in the left hand photo is a new buddleia called Lo and Behold™ Blue Chip. It is a compact plant that I've had planted in a low cobalt blue pot all summer, I placed it in the bed to fill a bare spot when Luscious™ Citrus Blend™ lantana decided to grow out over the sidewalk instead of filling sideways too.. Blue Chip is super branched, about a foot tall, and has been in constant bloom with almost no deadheading or trimming back to keep the size in check. You can't find it at retail yet but it should be coming soon. If you like buddleia but they tend to get too large this is the plant for you. The burgundy-pink plant is Garnet Brocade™ sedum started blooming a few weeks ago and will help add fall color to the bed. I can't decide if I love this bed the most...
...or if I like this bed the best. This bed is on the right side of the steps and it is about 4 feet deep (there's no sidewalk to restrict depth on this side). I was experimenting with color and next year I will have the two different beds along the porch use similar color themes. I like both beds individually but the dissimilar color schemes don't work when both are along the porch.
Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum is the color pop in this bed but don't discount geranium 'Jolly Bee,' Profusion Cherry zinnia, Victoria and May Night salvia, Sunny Border Blue veronica, and Strike It Rich roses which have all been in bloom all summer. As you know, I am not partial to fussy plants so I tend to steer clear of most roses. However, I was given two bushes of Strike it Rich and they have done quite well. I moved them to this bed late this spring - they spent the previous year heeled into the edge of my vegetable garden while I tried to find a suitable place for them. They are the one plant I've deadheaded regularly but no other care has been given and they have been in constant bloom. Next season many of these plants may be making the move to a new bed I am planning to create in from of the 'Limelight' hydrangeas. We will see, I have the winter to contemplate what to move...
July 27 and August 4
This photo was actually taken as a storm was rolling in on July 22nd. I love watching storms!
At the beginning of July when I took the photo below (scroll down the photos from July 2) Mandalay™ Pearl was just barely over the edge of the top of the basket and barely blooming. I've been fertilizing regularly and the plants have started blooming well. The photo on the left was taken July 22 and the one on the right was taken on August 4.
A mix of Goldsturm rudbeckia, 'Tuscan Sun' heliopsis, Profusion Orange zinnia, and Luscious™ Citrus Blend took a bit to fill in but are looking nicely summery now. The photo on the left was taken on July 22 and the one on the right was taken August 4. I love the hot colors of this planting although I would like to see more red next year.
Two different views of the corner of the porch. The planting uses the same plants listed above plus Garnet Brocade sedum, the purple leaved plant in the center of the photo. The photo on the left was taken on July 22 and the photo on the right was taken August 4.
This is an updated photo of the "boulder bed" (you can see the one from early July by scrolling down). That is a single plant of Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum in the foreground. She is such a vigorous grower. One of those 75 mile an hour plants - if you drive by a planting of her at 75 miles an hour you still won't miss seeing her!
Hydrangeas love to stay nicely moist. The past two years have been very dry and keeping my 'Limelight' hedgerow (it's not really a hedgerow yet but it's getting there) happy has been challenging. All of the rain this year has resulted in a bountiful floral display. Just as it was getting dry enough that I was going to need to water we got 3 inches of rain. The top and left photos are from July 22 and the photo on the right was taken August 4. The plants are stunning right now!
Tukana® Scarlet Star will be new at retail next spring. I have been very impressed with the performance of this plant. It has looked fantastic in my garden and a half dozen trial gardens I've visited recently. It is bright red with a nice white eye, super healthy foliage and despite the rainy and humid weather I have seen no mildew! Now that I've grown it, it has become one of my favorite verbena. This photo was taken on July 22.
A month ago my veggie garden was protected by an electric fence and was full of lush growth. Four short weeks later the peas are finished bearing, the corn was picked on July 4th weekend just in time to have a true summer treat for the holidays (and I put 16 pints in the freezer), we took out the electric fence since its whole purpose was to protect the corn from maurauding raccoons, and I dug my potatoes in the middle of July. The only thing left are my green beans which are still bearing enough for a few meals each week. If anyone is looking for a really great bush type green bean look for the variety Strike. This is the third year mom and I have grown them and the beans are fantastic! I'm contemplating planting a cover crop to use as green manure once the beans are done but we'll see... This photo was taken on August 4.
I took this photo on August 4th and you can see in 4 weeks time you can no longer see the pot that Supertunia® Vista Silverberry is planted in (see the earlier photo right below). She is still covered in flowers although the color is a bit lighter and the flower size is a bit smaller. I thought about giving her a haircut just to tidy things up but she still looks good so I'm leaving her alone for now. I haven't done anything special to her, I've kept her watered and started using a water soluble fertilizer at least once a week to give her a boost.
July 2, 2008
Supertunia® Vista Silverberry (new for spring 2009) on July 2. Three plants placed in an 18" planter in mid-May. Watered as needed, Proven Winners Slow Release fertilizer added once. No deadheading or trimming at all.
The pot on the left is Totally Tempted® cuphea (brand new this spring) planted around June 1st with 3 large 4" plants in an 18" clay container.
The combination in the back is a large elephant ear (planted in a one gallon container in early May and then transplanted around June 1st) and 4 Mandalay™ Pearl begonias (available spring of 2009) planted into an 18 inch planter around June 1st.
The combination on the right is Laguna Heavenly Lilac lobelia and Mandalay™ Mandarin begonia (both available spring of 2009) planted in an 18 inch planter in Mid-May. Mandalay™ begonias prefer their soil on the dry side so all of the rain we had this spring has caused a few problems. Now that things are drying out a bit it is really starting to grow. I have been very impressed with Laguna Heavenly Lilac, it has put on a constant show since I planted it. I generally like orange and purple together (in plants anyway), in this case the lilac might be a little too light to look great with the bright orange of Mandalay™ Mandarin, it's not bad but I'm not sure I love the color combination.
The small pot in the front is filled with Retro Succulents planted the third week of June. I will over winter them indoors since they are not hardy here.
The small yellow and green statue is a frog in a raincoat holding a rain gauge. I am a farmers daughter and I feel the need to know how much rain we got right here, not at the official weather station, plus dad always asks, I need to have an answer:-)
Close ups of Totally Tempted®, it is compact, free branching, with large flowers for a cuphea. The bright red flowers (brighter than they look here) have a purple eye, it is a great color combination. This is one of my favorite new plants.
Mandalay™ Pearl in one of my hanging baskets. I use 14 inch baskets because with greater soil volume I need to water less often, always a plus. I have 4 Mandalay™ Flamingo (bright pink) and 3 Mandalay™ Pearl baskets around my wrap around porch. There are 3 - 4" plants in each basket, they were planted in very early June. I'll post new photos as the baskets get larger. I think they will be oustanding in a couple weeks, right now they are all just starting to bloom.
A photo of the boulder bed (there is a boulder buried about a foot deep in this bed, despite my, and my brothers, best efforts we were unable to remove it) that I planted for the first time this spring. That is a single plant of Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum in the foreground and you can see 'Jolly Bee' geranium in the background, in the middle is Profusion Cherry zinnia (one of my favorite non Proven Winners plants). I think I will add something with larger foliage to this bed this fall or next spring, I think it needs more contrast, most of the items in the bed have small foliage.
'Tuscan Sun' heliopsis is a perennial to zone 3. This is a plant that I didn't really appreciate until I had a chance to see it in its second season. Bright golden flowers on 18" plants in the second year of growth. These photos are from a trial area near my vegetable garden. This area has fairly compacted clay soil, gets very little supplemental water (I do use a drip irrigation system every now and then), has had no fertilizer and the plant still thrives. I must have more 'Tuscan Sun'!
Dolce® Blackcurrant heuchera next to blue fescue, a green hosta and the edge of a holly shrub. This one bed is completely full, no soil showing at all which helps control the weeds. Dolce® Blackcurrant was eaten back to a nubbin in late winter by the bunnies but has bounced back beautifully.
One last shot showing my veggie garden. The peas are on the left and are close to done producing. The green beans are next to them, I am getting about a gallon of beans every other day right now. My two rows of Sugar Baby sweet corn are just getting ripe, I think the bulk of the crop should be ready to pick this weekend. Sugar Baby is a short season corn, 65 days to maturity. I'll process any extra that we can't eat fresh and put it in the freezer after I share some with Mom and my sister. I dug my first hill of potatoes just yesterday, I do love new potaotes, the potatoes are the two rows on the right. You can see the two strands of wire for my electric fence to keep the raccoons away from the sweet corn. When the fencer is working the fence has been effective.
Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum 'USTUNI6001' US PP17,730, Can. PBR 2871; 'Tuscan Sun' US PPAF; Dolce® Blackcurrant 'PWHeu0109' US PPAF, Can. PBRAF; 'Jolly Bee' US PP12,148, Can. COPF; Totally Tempted® 'CUPED' US PPAF, Can. PBRAF;
Petunia SUPERTUNIA® VISTA SILVERBERRY 'USTUNI60-01M' PPAF PBRAF; Begonia MANDALAY™ PEARL 'Innbolwhi' PPAF PBRAF;
Begonia MANDALAY™ FLAMINGO 'Innbolpink' PPAF PBRAF; LAGUNA HEAVENLY LILAC PPAF PBRAF, Luscious™ Citrus Blend™ '2003.301' US PPAF; Garnet Brocade™ 'Garbro' US PP16,350, Can. PBR 2723; 'Limelight' US PP12,874 Can. PBR 2319; Tukana® Scarlet Star USPPAF, Can. PBRAF; Dolce® Blackcurrant 'PWHeu0109' US PPAF; Can. PBRAF