Kerry's Garden 2010
See photos of my garden throughout the year.
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 and 2009. To see photos of John's garden click here. To see photos of Dave's garden click here. To see photos of Julie's garden click here. Please note that most of the plants in my containers will not be available at retail garden centers until spring 2011.
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.
I was asked to include a photo of myself. The picture was taken at P. Allen Smith's garden near Little Rock, Arkansas. I am on the right. Danielle Ernest, our PR director is on the left. Allen's garden is truly incredible and it would be impossible to find a more gracious host.
November 4, 2010
Last month the weather had gotten colder, but we hadn't had a good frost yet. Well, we've now had several pretty hard frosts and most of the rest of my containers have gone to the compost pile. On October 28th they were calling for highs in upper 20's so I grabbed a few photos. Yesterday, November 3, I went back and took photos of what the plants looked like after the hard frost.
Here you can see Spitfire™ coleus, looking good on October 28th (left) and more or less mush a week later (right).
On the left, is Graceful Grasses® King Tut®, Cherry Cordial coleus and Luau™ Hibiscus looking quite good, although King Tut® did get tied to the deck railing. It had turned quite windy and he was very top heavy! On the right, you can see that none of the plants look good, although King Tut® looked good at the base, his pom-poms were quite crunchy and tattered.
I missed this container last week when I was taking the good photos. The coleus in this one, Rebel Rouser™, had already been damaged by previous cold temperatures. This bout of low temps has taken out everything else except Supertunia® Sangria Charm Petunia and Graceful Grasses® Blue Mohawk™ Juncus. Until recently this pot sat on the corner of the sidewalk, but I moved it into this bed because my honey wanted to power wash the sidewalks while the temperatures were still warm. Despite the two plants that still look good, this one hit the compost pile thanks to the rest of the plants biting the dust.
This is one of the few containers that still looks quite good. This combination used to reside on my deck. I pulled out most of the annuals in September leaving only Supertunia® Sangria Charm Petunia. Once I had removed the tired annuals, I added four plants of NeonSedum, which has bloomed quite nicely for at least six weeks. A week ago, on left, it was still looking very good. A week later, after multiple frosts, it is still looking pretty darn good. The Sedum has quit blooming, so my next step is to pull the Sedum out of the container and plant it in the landscape. Neon is quite hardy and despite it being quite late in fall, I think it will survive the winter if I transplant it soon. I will leave the Supertunia® until the cold takes it down, before tossing it in the compost bin.
On the other hand, the Pansies I planted in September looked great a week ago (on left) and are still looking quite good now (on right).
Back in Early October, I reworked the flower beds surrounding the porch - moving and dividing perennials and adding a ton of compost. However, the 'Limelight' Hydrangea bed was still going along reasonably well with some decent, but not spectacular color. The recent frosts pretty much took care of that! Graceful Grasses® Vertigo™ Pennisetum (left) went from dark and gorgeous, to brittle and silvery. There's a bit of color on the Supertunia® Vista Petunias, but mostly the color is gone from the bed. I will remove the debris from this bed and add some compost as soon as I have a chance. I will, however, leave the 'Limelight' flower heads standing through the winter. I think they look good even when they are brown!
Even in November, all is not lost. The Dolce® Blackcurrant Heuchera (left) and Silver Sceptre Carex (right) are both still looking good. In fact, as the temperatures fall Dolce® Blackcurrant will add more plum and purple tones and look better than ever.
We have three crabapple trees in the yard. Two of them have beautiful foliage from spring until fall. The third doesn't look as good in spring and summer, but come fall it is decorated with brilliant red apples. It is a true bright spot in a world slowly turning brown for the winter. That alone is reason enough for me to keep it around.
October 1, 2010
Shortly after I took the photos last month I composted many of my containers. The sweet potato vines had gotten huge and overgrown everything else, they took a ton of water and I was no longer enjoying them so I tossed them. This left me with just a few containers. Here we see Graceful Grasses® King Tut® (photo on left) looking really great. It is now at least as tall as I am, 6 feet tall. I put two pots in front of King Tut® because if it gets at all breezy, the wind blows the plant over. The two pots help keep it upright. I also trimmed back several planters to rejuvenate them including the Cherry Cordial coleus in the photo on the right. It came back strongly and is looking great.
I also rejuvenated one of my planters by trimming out plants that were no longer looking their best and replacing them with Neon fall blooming sedum. It is looking great mixing with Supertunia® Sangria Charm. After the sedum is done blooming I'll transplant it into one of my beds.
Big Red Judy® coleus is now more than four feet tall and still looking good. Despite the date, she still hasn't started blooming which is helping to preserve her foliage.
The Honeysuckle bush is still flowering quite well.
This has been one of my favorite containers all summer and it is still looking good.
This corner of the garden is still looking great. GoldDust™ Mecardonia is flowering profusely. I love the way it is framed by Little Spires Perovskia and Garnet Brocade™ sedum. The photo on the right shows the rest of this bed. I still have some decent color in this bed. Unfortunately, I am going to be pulling up the annuals and trimming back the perennials in order to dig and divide the perennials in this bed as well as moving several plants. I am also planning to raid my compost bin and work several inches of organic matter into this bed.
The hanging baskets still look very good from a distance. Up close you can see something has been munching on the Illusion® Midnight Lace. Still for October 1st, they're looking great.
I replanted several of my newly empty pots with that great fall stalwart - pansies. I love the contrast of the yellow pansies and the cobalt pot!
The bed on the right side of the porch is also gtting dug up this weekend with plants getting moved and perennials being divided. I hate to lose some of the good color remaining, but sacrificing this fall color should help the bed look it's best next summer.
The shade bed is still looking good also. If I get enough time I might make a few adjustments to this bed this weekend too, although it isn't a priority.
The 'Limelight' bed is still showing some decent color, but I never loved this bed this year as I have in the past. I am going to make a few changes to try and jazz up the color for next summer. I'm not sure yet exactly what I'm going to do, but I'll let you know when I decide. I do love the way the zinnias and Lantana are mixing right now, they're putting on quite a show (photo on left).
September 1, 2010
I decided this past weekend to get a jump on my fall clean up and composted a lot of the containers on my deck. I made this decision for a couple of reasons. First, the sweet potato vines had rather taken over and the containers had become boring. Second, the sweet potato vines were HUGE and they needed a ton of water to keep looking good. When the temperatures were pushing the century mark for a couple weeks, it was hard enough for me to keep up. Throw in week long business trips for both my husband and I and the plants weren't looking too great anymore. Mom did a great job watering, but even my large pots really needed more than one watering a day with that weather and the size of the plants. This is the view from my office window and I wasn't enjoying it anymore, soooo.....
I composted all of the containers that included sweet potato vines. The coleus that made up the bulk of two other pots were kind of overgrown and tired looking, so I trimmed them back rather drastically and one pot I pulled out some tired plants and freshened it up for fall with sedum. The end result, I am liking my view again! I can really see Graceful Grasses® King Tut®, everything feels nice and neat and watering is now super simple and doesn't need to be done more than every other day. I do have containers in other spots that I left alone, they are still looking good and going strong.
I meant to take a before picture to go with my after photo, but I forgot. This photo is of a container where I removed some of the tired plants and added some fall blooming sedum, the variety Neon, to freshen things up. It should be really nice when the sedum blooms and then later this fall, after I've pulled my annuals and dug up and divided my perennials I'll move these plants to the garden.
To give you a better idea of how big those sweet potato vines had gotten, I thougt I'd show you these photos. It's pretty impressive!
The honeysuckle bush continues to push out blooms and the hummingbirds continue to use it as a 24 hour all-you-can-eat buffet.
'Little Spires' Perovskia continue to look really good. I'm impressed with its flower power, I did tie it up a bit to keep it from falling on the plants below (photo to left). It's always good to have new plants blooming as the season gets later. Garnet Brocade™ sedum is one plant that is newly in bloom in my garden (middle and right photos). GoldDust™ Mecardonia is still blooming, as well.
This container continues to be one of my favorites, it's been a champ all season.
The hanging baskets on the porch also continue to look very good, with Supertunia® Lavender Skies in the starring role. The two photos on the right are of the one shade basket. I'm really liking the way it looks. I am planning to bring it inside for the winter and then put it out again next year.
Graceful Grasses® Vertigo™ Pennisetum has gotten larger and is really adding a nice architectural element. The 'Viette's Little Suzy' Rudbeckia have finished flowering and I need to trim them back. The 'Limelight' Hydrangea blooms have turned a bit brown, a function mostly of drought brought on by extreme heat. I struggle to keep them hydrated enough for the blooms to stay really white.
August 5, 2010
Today was the day of the butterflies, they were everywhere! I spotted two showy versions within minutes of each other. Fortunately, they stuck around long enough for me to put down my watering can and grab my camera. I'm not very good at butterfly ID, but after some googling I think the black and yellow one might be a Giant Swallowtail and the blue and black one might be a Pipevine Swallowtail. The Giant Swallowtail practically posed and I got my photo the first try. The Pipevine Swallowtail fluttered like crazy and it took me forever to even come close to getting a good photo. If anyone knows which butterflies these are for sure, let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org). Add in the hummingbirds that are almost always sipping from the honeysuckle vine and it was a great day to share my garden with the critters - for once the good kind!
This bed continues to be one of my favorites. The rich red is really stunning especially in the sunlight. I also like the texture contrast between the larger foliage of Big Red Judy coleus and 'Sweet Caroline Purple' sweet potato vine and the frilly foliage and flowers of Diamond Frost® Euphorbia.
The Goldsturm Rudbeckia (black-eyed Susan) is in full out color and has been for several weeks. I took photos from each side of it. From the one side you see Goldsturm contrasted against the soft texture of Little Spires Perovskia (Russian sage), both are prairie plants and are well-suited for the same conditions. You can also see GoldDust™ Mecardonia still flourishing as a groundcover. From the other side you can see the purplish black of 'Sweet Caroline Purple' adding contrast to the golden yellow of Goldsturm. I love this grouping of plants, the center of this bed is less successful, but this section is really lovely.
Most of my porch is in sun and I use sun plants. However, one of the seven baskets is in a shady location. It's pretty hard to find plants that will do well in both locations and it really limits plant selection, too. This year I tried a new approach. The six sun baskets are all made up of Snow Princess® Lobularia, Supertunia® Lavender Skies Petunia, and Illusion® Midnight Lace Ipomoea. The sun baskets are still looking quite good. For the shade basket, I raided the houseplant aisle of my local garden center. It relies on foliage color and texture differences for interest. I keep forgetting to include a photo of it, but it has been doing great. The extra added bonus is it is super easy to care for. It needs a lot less water than my other baskets, I water it maybe once a week. My other baskets I am watering at least once a day right now. I am also going to overwinter it indoors in my office and use it again next year. I think it might be the perfect hanging basket!
The shade garden is holding it's own. It has loved the rain we got in July and hasn't minded the heat. Now that we're into August the rain appears to be slowing down and in order to keep this bed looking good I'll need to start watering. Since these plants have to compete with the trees for water they will get dry before everything else. I also know, because I've been mean to them before, that I can fail to water even though it is quite dry and while the plants won't look that great, they won't die either. I really like plants that will forgive me for abusing them!
Now we are moving on to the main event. The 'Limelight' Hydrangea bed is looking really spectacular right now. The 'Limelights' are in full bloom and have been for several weeks. The flower heads are huge, again this year. For the past week it has been super hot, heat index in the hundreds with actual temperatures in the upper 90's with one day hitting triple digits. The humidity has also been really high. The rest of the garden wasn't watered during this heat wave, however, for the 'Limelight' flowers to remain fresh they need to be watered when it gets really hot. You can see a bit of browning on the flowers in the foreground of the photo on the right. I'll water with a soaker hose once or twice a week in an attempt to help the flowers stay nice, unless we get sufficient rain. Unfortunately for me August is our hottest and driest month, which is when the 'Limelight' flowers are at their height and it is a bit of a struggle to keep them looking their best. Some afternoon shade would help with the drought stress for this plant.
The color pop in the 'Limelight' bed is coming mostly from 'Viette's Little Suzy' Rudbeckia. I have 4 clumps of 3 plants and they are truly incredible right now and have been for several weeks. They contrast well against the 'Limelight' behind them. I have been less thrilled with the annuals in this bed. I used some of my favorite annuals in this bed. Historically these are some of the best performing annuals in my garden. I think the extreme heat coupled with lots of rain and really high humidity have taken their toll. The plants look fine, just not as good as they have in the past.
Graceful Grasses® Vertigo™ Pennistum, one of our new plants for next year, is large enough now to be adding a nice vertical element to this bed. I started a bit late in the season with a 4.5 inch plant. In the future, I will start earlier in the season (as soon as we are past the main threat of frost) and I will use a gallon size plant. I want the height and impact earlier in the season.
July 15, 2010
The hanging baskets are still looking quite good.
The containers on the deck are still looking very good, there's lots of color.
More of the containers on the deck, these all feature foliage and are some of my favorites right now.
This bed, which in previous years has been my least favorite, is my favorite bed this year. I am still really loving the Big Red Judy Coleus.
This corner bed is also looking fabulous. The honeysuckle bush (left photo) has been continuously flowering for weeks. We have a pair of hummingbirds that you can find hovering around this bush at almost anytime of day. I can sit on my Adirondack chairs and watch them flit by and when I'm lucky they'll land on the bush and rest a few minutes. The Little Spires Russian sage (Perovskia) is also looking great. It is difficult to tell in this photo (middle), but the bees love this plant. Snow Princess® is also still looking quite good (photo on right).
This container remains my favorite (please ignore the grass in desperate need of mowing). The coleus adds a really bright element and great contrast to the rest of the plants. Shortly after taking this photo we had a pour down with some wind, which broke out about half of the plant. I cut back the rest of the plant and the top of the plants were rather bare since they had been covered by the coleus. It only took about two weeks before Supertunia® Sangria Charm pushed up new growth to cover the bare stems. I love this plant!
The beds in front of the porch are looking very good right now. The daylilies are still blooming and the 'Goldsturm' Rudbeckia so they are very colorful right now.
The right side bed is also looking qutie good. Most of the color is coming from Senorita Rosalita® Cleome and Moonbeam Coreopsis.
The shade bed is holding its own. It still looks very good right now.
The 'Limelight' Hydrangea bed is also looking good. The 'Limelight' shrubs just beginning to flower profusselyl. Graceful Grasses® Vertigo™ Pennisetum (left photo) is really kicking in and becoming a presence in the garden.
July 1, 2010
The weather has gone from hot and steamy to low 80's with low humidity. Summer weather really doesn't get better than this. I've turned off the air conditioner in my office and opened the windows. I'm enjoying listening to the sounds of summer - the breeze in the trees, birds singing, insects buzzing, the drone of a bumble bee, wind chimes tinkling, the distant sound of a lawn mower and the distinct whir of hummingbird wings as our resident hummers come darting past. A day like today is pretty much my definition of heaven - minus the raccoons noshing their way through my sweet corn. At the very least they could share some with me, after all I'm the one who planted it!
I have a hard time capturing on film how rich the red is on the Big Red Judy Coleus. I've tried photographing her in sun, shade and early morning light and none of the photos really shows her color. The photo on the right is closer to the correct color than the one on the left. I like the contrast provided by the 'Sweet Caroline Purple' Ipomoea, it really makes the red stand out.
I have struggled to make this bed work. Last fall, I dug up the whole thing and reorganized. It's a lot better than it was, but it still isn't perfect. The Dolce® Key Lime Pie Heuchera isn't as sun tolerant as Dolce® Blackcurrant, so while the Blackcurrant flourishes the Key Lime Pie is struggling a bit. I'm going back to the drawing board this Fall. I think I'll be turning to sun perennials - I just need to decide which ones. I want this bed to have a base of perennials, with enough room to pump up the color with annuals. This is certainly the best this bed has ever looked, but it can be better yet.
The corner bed continues to look good. Snow Princess® and GoldDust™, new for 2011, are both full of flowers and the Little Spires Perovskia (Russian Sage) has started blooming, too. It had fallen over onto the border flowers, so I tied it up a bit. Little Spires is much more compact than other Russian Sages. I took photos in several different light conditions. The photo on the left is early morning light, the middle on is in sun and the right one is in shade.
This pot on the corner of the sidewalk continues to be one of my favorites. The Supertunia® Sangria Charm Petunia and Rebel Rouser™ Coleus are looking especially good. I love the dainty flower size of the Supertunia® Charms.
After a tough, aphid ridden start the honeysuckle has bounced back. I was just about to give it a severe cut back in an effort to get rid of the aphids when I realized they were gone! I don't know if my soapy water sprays finally worked or what, but it is blooming nicely now. Having it in bloom makes me very happy, you can almost always find the hummingbirds hanging out around the honeysuckle. Instead of hanging hummingbird feeders, I planted the honeysuckle!
The daylilies have burst into full bloom and have made this bed a real eye-catcher. I am still planning to thin them out in the fall to allow other plants more space to thrive, but they do look great now. The splashes of lavender you see are Supertunia® Lavender Skies Petunia, it is new at retail this year and I love it.
The light can make a huge difference in color. The photo on the left was taken in the afternoon, once the porch shades this area. The photo on the right was taken in the early morning when the sun was just barely up. I think the photo on the left is a truer representation of the actual colors of the plants, but I love the way everything seems to glow in the photo on the right. Superbells® Coralberry Punch (available in 2011) and 'Sweet Caroline Sweetheart Light Green' combined together for this combination by the front steps.
The right side bed has come into good color, too. The Daylilies are once again adding a ton of bright color. Senorita Rosalita® Cleome is still flowering like crazy!
The hanging baskets are really filling out and looking good. I still haven't trimmed them back, although I keep thinking I might. Sheer laziness might keep me from grabbing the shears - I'm not sure yet:-)
The shade bed continues to look good. It could use a drink of water and I'm debating whether to water it today or wait and see if it rains on Sunday.
The 'Limelight' Hydrangea bed is coming along. The Rudbeckia is about to start blooming, which will make a huge difference in color for this bed. I have decided that I will certainly replace the Agastache that winter killed with perennials. I haven't decided if I will replant Agastache or if I will change to something else. I'm planning on planting this fall. I think the annuals I used in place of the Agastache will eventually fill in and look great, but the Agastache was adding great texture and color by mid-June in previous years and I really miss it. In another two weeks the 'Limelight' will be blooming, I'm not sure if you can tell from the photo (on the left), but they are nicely budded.
The combinations on the deck are really filling in and growing like crazy. I've moved a couple of planters to make more room and turned one to show off the plants better. This is the view from my office windows - I love it!
Graceful Grasses® King Tut® Cyperus (photo on left) is growing well, but has turned a bit yellow, so I've started my program of applying water-soluble fertilizer to go with the controlled-release fertilizer I applied when I planted. This should green King Tut® up very quickly and help give all of my plants that extra boost to do well through the heat of summer. The middle photo shows my Supertunia® Pretty Much Picasso® Petunia combination. I turned this combination so that the Illusion® Midnight Lace is at the back of the container, which shows everything off to better effect. I like this combination, but I think I'd like it better if it was just Supertunia® Pretty Much Picasso® and Snow Princess® - since I love the look of these two plants together. I think I'll try that next year. The combo on the right is also starting to look really good. Goldilocks Rocks™ and Supertunia® Sangria Charm Petunia, both new for 2011, look good together. In real life, the color of the Petunia is a richer purple than it appears to be in this photo. The petite flowers are really cute.
I made up three containers that are shades of blue/purple with black accents. These three containers are looking great. The colors are, again, richer in real life. I've been really pleased with how these have looked.
The veggie garden is cooking along nicely. The potatoes are at the point where I can start digging them. I do love new potatoes! The green beans are still bearing, but slowed a ton during the heat spell. With the return of nice weather, I'm expecting them to pick up production again. The sweet corn is about a week away from being ripe. Unfortunately, the raccoons have decided the electric fence isn't enough of a deterrent. I cleaned up the mess they made and composted 6 dozen ears of corn they'd eaten. I've taken extra measures (sweaty shirts and liquid fence) to try and deter them so I get to eat at least some of the corn. One more midnight raid though and there won't be anything left to protect. The tomato plant is starting to bear, but something seems to be munching the tomatoes before they are ripe. The cucumbers are bearing well, too.
June 17, 2010
With the weather getting warmer, the plants have really been growing over the past two weeks. The containers on the deck are really starting to look good and I've been enjoying them when I look through the door of my office. Graceful Grasses® King Tut® Cyperus (middle photo) has really grown - two weeks ago it wasn't even over the top of the porch railing, now it is almost a foot taller than the railing. The photo on the right shows a combination in shades of blue. This combination features mostly plants that won't be available until spring 2011. The small flowered petunia at the front of the container is Supertunia® Indigo Charm Petunia. The other plants are Superbena® Royale Chambray Verbena, Angelface® Blue Improved Angelonia and 'Sweet Caroline Sweetheart Purple' Ipomoea.
On the left is Superbells® Blackberry Punch Calibrachoa, another plant that won't be available until the spring of 2011. How cool is that flower? The center of the flowers is true black and the flowers really pop against the chartreuse foliage. In the middle photo is Supertunia® Raspberry Blast Petunia, which has been around for a couple years, but still one of the coolest flowers I've ever seen. Supertunia® Pretty Much Picasso® Petunia, on the right, is brand new this year and contrasting nicely with the Snow Princess® Lobularia and Illusion® Midnight Lace Ipomoea.
Supertunia® Sangria Charm Petunia hybrid 'USTUN34803' PPAF PBRAF; ‘Limelight’ Hydrangea paniculata PP: 12874 Can.: 2319; Supertunia® Vista Fuchsia Petunia hybrid 'USTUNI8902' PP: 17895 Can.: 2875; Supertunia® Vista Silverberry Petunia hybrid 'USTUNI6001M' PP: 20903 Can.: 3866; Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum Petunia hybrid 'USTUNI6001' PP: 17730 Can.: 2871; Dolce® Blackcurrant Heuchera hybrid 'PWHeu0109' PP: 19574 Can.: 3774; GoldDust™ Mecardonia hybrid 'USMECA8205' PPAF, PBRAF; Garnet Brocade™ Sedum (Hylotelephium) hybrid 'Garbro' PP: 16350 Can.: 2723; Illusion® Midnight Lace Ipomoea batatas 'NCORNSP011MDNTLC' PPAF PBRAF; Supertunia® 'Lavender Skies' Petunia hybrid 'LAVENDER SKIES' PPAF PBRAF; 'Viette's Little Suzy' Rudbeckia fulgida PP: 8867; Diamond Frost® Euphorbia graminea 'Inneuphdia' PP: 17567 Can.: 2830; 'Sweet Caroline Purple' Ipomoea batatas PP: 14912 Can.: 2974; Snow Princess® Lobularia hybrid 'Inlbusnopr' PPAF PBRAF; Senorita Rosalita® Cleome hybrid 'Inncleosr' PP: 19733 Can.: 3290; Dolce® Key Lime Pie Heuchera 'TNHEU042' PP: 16735 Can.: 2564; Superbells® Coralberry Punch Calibrachoa hybrid 'USCAL66501' PPAF PBRAF; 'Sweet Caroline Sweetheart Light Green' Ipomoea batatas PP: 18572 Can.: 2901; Supertunia® Pretty Much Picasso® Petunia hybrid 'BHTUN31501' PPAF PBRAF; Goldilocks Rocks™ Bidens ferulifolia 'BID719' PPAF PBRAF; Supertunia® Indigo Charm Petunia hybrid 'USTUN29801' PPAF PBRAF; Supertunia® Raspberry Blast Petunia hybrid 'Temari' PP: 16588 Can.: 3314; Superbena® Royale Chambray Verbena hybrid 'AKIV5711' PPAF PBRAF; Angelface® Blue Angelonia angustifolia 'Anbluim' PPAF PBRAF; 'Sweet Caroline Sweetheart Purple' Ipomoea batatas PP: 18573 Can.: 2902; Superbells® Blackberry Punch Calibrachoa hybrid 'USCAL68604' PPAF PBRAF