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Kerry's Garden 2018

I am once again writing about my garden each month. You'll get to see the good and the bad, after all gardening is a different adventure every year.

Contributors: Kerry Meyer
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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 20092010, 2012, 2013201420152016 and 2017 Please note that most of the plants in my containers will not be available at retail garden centers until spring 2019.

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, along with their daughter, 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 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.

 

October 30

Unless I get some great Fall or Winter photos, this will be the last time I post on my 2018 garden. Let's start with the color that still remains. There isn't much color left, but there is some.

 

 Berried Treasure® Red Strawberry is looking really awesome.  It has quite a few flowers and a decent fruit set.  Now, I don't think the fruit will mature - it's too cold for that. The foliage is deep green and super healthy looking.  I plan on overwintering the Strawberry in the container outside.  it should be hardy enough to do that.  I will likely need to water some through the winter to keep the soil from becoming too dry.

 A wider view of the Berried Treasure® Red Strawberry.

The mums are looking a bit battered - at least half my fault since I forgot I moved them under the porch and that they would need me to water.  I did give them a drink and they are back to being relatively happy, but still they are getting to the end of their blooms period.  I won't complain, they've been blooming for close to 6 weeks.

I did trim back the Vermillionaire® next to the sidewalk to allow my husband to power wash the sidewalk, but it is still showing great color.  The bees, butterflies and hummingbirds are gone, but the plant is still blooming happily.  This plant is close to the house which has provided some protection from the colder temperatures.

This is Vermillionaire® in my large flower bed, which is out in the open with no protection.  if you've ever wondered if protection makes a difference, I think this is pretty good proof that it does!

 

Luscious® Citrus Blend Lantana is red, orange and yellow in summer.  Now that the temperatures are quite chilly it has turned solid, deep red. The foliage has lightened up too.  It is still showing decent color though. This plant is also up against the porch.  The Lantana in the big bed away from the house are dead.

Speaking of the big bed, here it is with most of the color gone. You can still see the blue of Rockin'® Playin' the Blues®  Salvia. When I went out to take this photo it was the first time the plants weren't teaming with bees and butterflies.  Just one lone butterfly on one plant.

A better look of the color still hanging on with Rockin'® Playin' the Blues®.

You've seen pretty regular photos of my honeysuckle all spring and summer.  I cut it back quite drastically a week ago. Believe it or not, it will bounce back. My daughter almost cried when she saw it.  I think she thought I killed it. It'll be back next year, as big and beautiful as ever!

This isn't a great photo, but we do have some decent color in the woods behind the house.  None of our trees and shrubs were chosen for Fall color, but the leaves have been gorgeous everywhere.

Red foliage deeper in the woods (and a glimpse of the river in the background.)

This is a gratuitous photos of rocks and moss, because I like rocks and moss. We are really fortunate to live at the edge of the woods where large, very cool rocks abound. Knowing they are there makes me happy!

October 2

Most of my summer annuals and perennials have faded away.  This will likely be the last time I add photos of my garden for the year, but if there are plants still looking good come November, I'll add a few new pics.

Let's start with the remaining containers on the deck.  The two mums came from a school fundraiser. Graceful Grasses® King Tut® continues to do his thing in the corner. The pink flowered combo is still showing decent color.  The Berried Treasure Strawberries are looking better than ever - lots of flower color and the foliage looks fantastic. The Amazel Basil that broke off while I was on a work trip has come back and is almost 2 feet tall again! I still have the 3 combos along the wall as well.  I am still waiting to see if Rockin'® 'Golden Delicious' Salvia is going to bloom with red flowers this fall or not.  No flowers so far!

Berried Treasure® Red is looking awesome. It's blooming well and setting fruit.  I plan to overwinter them and see how they do in spring.

Rockin'® Fuchsia Salvia is still blooming. If you look closely you can see that the cool temperatures have hardened the foliage and the plant is getting a bit woodier and open. It is still however, blooming.  This is the plant right outside my window and with the nice weather I've been leaving my windows open. I hear the hummingbirds when they come (they are surprisingly loud). When they stop coming by to sip from the blooms, I'll compost the plants.  Until then I'll keep them for the hummingbirds. I do have lots of cuphea and other salvia still doing great in my garden beds, so the hummingbirds and other pollinators still have pretty plentiful options for refueling.

One last container - my 'all ColorBlaze' coleus container. It's a bit insect munched - take a look at the Sedona Sunset with pretty good sized holes munched in it. That is the first flower I've seen on any of the coleus, which is awesome.  In coleus flowering tends to cause the foliage to degrade and we want the colorful foliage. So our goal is to have no to very late flowering.

This is the front flower bed on the left.  The Vermillionaire® cuphea and Luscious® Citrus Blend Lantana are still in full bloom. You can see Snow Princess® Lobularia peeking out next to the sidewalk. The fall blooming sedum is pretty much done blooming - a run of hot weather contributed to the flowers aging quickly. However, the annuals are covered with blooms that pollinators like and they are still going strong.

This is the lower part of the bed and it is chock-full of Rockin'® Playin' the Blues® Salvia. This has been the favorite plant for pollinators in my garden - bees, butterflies and hummingbirds all love this plant. It has been in flower from shortly after planting straight through till now. It'll keep going until a really hard frost stops it.  It sometimes overwinters for me, but I mostly start over each spring.  This is a  plant that is worth every penny I spend on it for both my enjoyment and the critters enjoyment.

I like blue and orange as a color combo. Here's another look at that same spot in the garden bed.

This time from the orange side of the equation. Vermillionaire® is in the foreground, Luscious® Marmalade Lantana is on the midground.  I love Vermillionaire, but it isn't a plant that is showy from a distance.  Marmalade is showy from a distance and it is a showstopper at this time of year.  The color is perfect for October too!

A closer look at Luscious® Marmalade Lantana.

 

This really allows you to see how many flowers are still gracing Vermillionaire®.  It's a pretty awesome display!

Now on to the bug photos.

I ALMOST caught this Monarch with its wings outspread, but it started to take off just as I snapped the photo. You can see the edges of the wings are a bit blurred.

A nonblurry, but not completely straight-on photo of one of the Monarchs. I first noticed them on Saturday and have enjoyed them every day since. I know they are just migrating through, but I've thoroughly enjoyed having them around.

Here's a photo of two bumblebees working on the same Rockin'® Playin' the Blues® plant. There had to have been at least 2 dozen bumblebees on the plants and quite possible twice that many.

One of my best bee photos of the year!

And for variety a bumble bee on a bloom of the fall blooming sedum.

 

if you've been following along through the summer you know I love pollinators - I especially have a fondness for bumble bees, which have been plentiful. But I also like other cool bugs, like this praying mantis that appeared on one of my containers a few weeks ago. About a week ago there was a HUGE praying mantis on one of the spindles on our porch.  I didn't get a picture of that one, though. Praying Mantises are straight up predators, but they are deeply cool.  Walking sticks are pretty common around here as well. Last weekend while i was mowing I saw a spider with a bug caught in her web, she was showing down.  I checked when I was out taking photos, but the bug had been consumed and the spider was nowhere to be seen either. My daughter likes nature and is usually game to come see what bugs I discover and she likes to point them out to me when she finds them first!

September 5

This won't be my last update of the year, but by the next time I send a Winners Circle, my garden will mostly be over the hill. It's partly there already.  Let's start with a few of my favorite containers.

Right now this planter is pretty much the most colorful thing in my garden! this 16" planter has two ColorBlaze® Torchlight and one each ColorBlaze® Golden DreamsColorBlaze® Royale Cherry Brandy and ColorBlaze® Sedona Sunset.

These two planters that have merged together continue to be favorites as well.

These two combos are mostly just Sweet Caroline Kiwi at this point, but they add a LOT of color to this mostly shady spot. It's a really bright shade, with some morning sun and the mass of chartreuse is really eye-catching.

This planter is a mass of Sweet Caroline Kiwi Ipomoea along with Rockin'® Fuchsia Salvia.  To the left is another combination that features Sweet Caroline and the Salvia.  Even though both of them have a lot of foliage, I will leave both combos until the Salvia perish - the hummingbirds love them! We had a few cool, rainy days recently and I had my windows open while I was working. Despite the rain the hummingbirds kept visiting these two plants.  The roof overhang kept most of the rain off of the plants and since it wasn't raining hard the hummingbirds ventured out looking for a snack.

The Berried Treasure® Strawberries really took off once I managed to learn not to water them too often. You can see here that they have a good number of strawberries coming on and they are producing well.

And another Berried Treasure® Strawberry photo.

The two Toucan® Dark Orange Canna are looking good and have mostly recovered from the Japanese Beetle infestation from earlier this summer.

I do love a good close-up of a Canna bloom.  They are such cool-looking flowers!

Vermillionaire® Cuphea has also recoverd from the Japanese Beetles and is looking great going into Fall.

 

I LOVE what Rudbeckia gives to my garden in July and August when all of that golden yellow really makes the garden shine.  But eventually the flower show ends and you get this. My 'To Do' for this bed is to trim back all of the dead flower stems to allow the Fall blooming sedum to shine.  You can see the pink blooming further down the sidewalk.

Once I trim back the black-eyed Susans, the bed will look a lot more like this, allowing the plants that are still blooming to shine.

Senorita Rosalita® is still looking really good from this angle. It would look even better if the beds hadn't gotten a bit too dry a few weeks ago or if I had trimmed them back a couple of weeks ago.  They will bounce back and bloom really well and look nice and fresh if you trim them back in late summer.  I might still try it, but it is a a couple of weeks later than I would generally want to do it.

You can see the reason I should have cut it back in this photo - the plant has split apart and would have filled back in by now if I had trimmed it back earlier.

The big bed from the base of the bed - the zinnia, Vermillionaire® Cuphea and  Rockin'® Playin' the Blues® Salvia are still showing some good color. If I trim back the Black-eyed Susans it would help the color punch.

 

And the view from the top of the bed.

 Rockin'® Playin' the Blues® Salvia is still attracting pollinators.  I got a bee in this photo without even trying!

 

One more pollinator - I think it's a Cloudless Sulphur. The first one I've managed to get a photo of this summer.  It is hanging out on Luscious® Marmalade Lantana.

 

August 7

The deck is jammed with color. About half of my containers are a nice mix of plants and the other half of them have been mostly taken over by one plant.

These three combinations are in the hottest spot on the deck. The sun hits the wall behind them all afternoon and bounces that heat back on the plant.  It is definitely hotter there than for the containers near the railing. I love the middle container.  It has one each:  Rockin'® 'Golden Delicious' Salvia, Supertunia® Blue Skies Petunia and Superbena® Red Verbena.

This is a close up photo of that combo.

This looks a lot like one massive oval or rectangular pot.  It's actually two containers where the plants have grown together. I love both of them.  The combo on the left has ColorBlaze® Golden Dreams Coleus, Superbells® Evening Star Calibrachoa and Angelface® Cascade Blue Angelonia. The combo on the right has ColorBlaze® Torchlight Coleus, Supertunia® Vista Paradise Petunia and Angelface® Cascade Pink Angelonia.

I like the mass of pinks here too.  The wispy plant (it looks wimpy, but it is super tough) is Truffula Pink Gomphrena, Supertunia® Vista Paradise Petunia and Superbena® Raspberry Verbena.

 

I love this coleus combination. There are 5 plants in the pot, 4 different varieties.  There are two ColorBlaze® Torchlight and one each ColorBlaze® Golden Dreams, ColorBlaze® Royale Cherry Brandy and ColorBlaze® Sedona SunsetFirst I had this one in mostly shade, but then moved it to a sunny spot when my husband started power washing the porch to get ready to seal the wood.  It's done great in both locations. Next up, in-ground beds.

 

This bed is looking awesome. 

 Here's the bed to the right of the porch. Senorita Rosalita® Cleome is still looking great and flowering like crazy. That mass of color is 3 plants. 

 

Here's a front view of  Senorita Rosalita® Cleome.

 

I usually photograph the big bed from the top, but this is the view from the bottom of the bed. There's tons of color.

Now the view from the top of the bed.

 

I had been doing a really good job of scouting for Japanese beetles.  I was keeping a close eye on the beds by the house figuring that would keep me on top of things.  Went out to the big bed and Japanese beetles were turning my Vermillionaire® cuphea into lace. I've been spot spraying again as needed and they should eventually recover.  A trim back would probably help the recovery process so I have that on my to do list.  Next up a pollinator tour - although I still haven't managed to get a photo of the hummingbirds!

Here's a good shot of a female Tiger Swallowtail, in all her glory. She is hanging out on Luscious® Pinkberry Blend Lantana.

Luscious® Pinkberry Blend Lantana is also the host for this Spicebush Swallowtail - at least I think it is a Spicebush Swallowtail. I have a photo showing 5 of the Spicebush and Tiger Swallowtails all on this Lantana plant, but they don't show up very well.  I love seeing the big butterflies and thought having 5 of them all together on the same plant was pretty cool. There are tons of smaller butterflies like painted ladies hanging out as well.

 

It looks a whole lot like a bee, but this is actually a hummingbird moth. I see them on my plants a lot.  I just saw two of our hummingbirds visiting the Salvia near my office window!  Did I get a picture?  No, I did not.

This time I did get a good bumblebee photo.  They are all over the plants in my big bed.  I see a lot of smaller bees and other flying critters as well.  On the not so fun side, I have tons of grasshoppers hanging out as well. Anytime I get close there's mass movement as the grasshoppers take off.

 

July 26

My garden beds really hit their stride in late July, so I had to go out and get some pictures.  My big bed is all about color. I do still need to establish a taller backdrop, which would really benefit this bed.

Here's a closer look of the big bed.  It's chock full of color.

This bed is looking good.  I love the Snow Princess® Lobularia spilling onto the sidewalk.When the sedum bloom, this bed will be swamped with butterflies!

Senorita Rosalita® Cleome is the star of the show here.  That big mass of pink is just 3 plants! Next up a little tour of pollinators I've seen lately.

These photo on the left is from one of the containers on the deck.  The one on the right is one of the beds in front of the house. After consulting a swallowtail butterfly ID guide, I think the one on the left is male Tiger Swallowtail and the one on the right is a female Spicebush Swallowtail. I see them regularly and they always make me smile!

These photos were taken at the big bed away from the house. The butterfly on the left I think is another female Spicebush Swallowtail and the one on the right is, I think, a closed Spicebush Swallowtail. I had a reader say that this butterfly is a Red Spotted Purple, which is awesome!  I do have the Spicebush Swallowtail as well, but it is great to know I have both!  The more the merrier!

 

This is a hummingbird moth, I know it looks like a bee, but it isn't. I had a reader let me know that I missed the ID on this one as well.  Karen suggested it is a Snowberry Clearwing moth and I would say from the photos i saw when googling is that she is absolutely correct! This time I didn't manage to get bumble bee photos or a picture of our 3 resident hummingbirds.  The most amazingt thing was out in the big bed I saw butterflies and bumble bees on the same flower stalk.  I tried to get a photo with both a bee and butterfly and I wasn't able to pull it off, but it's pretty awesome! The plant that gets the most polliinators?  Salvia Rockin'® Playin' the Blues®.  It attracts pretty much everything.

July 13

We are getting deeper into the summer and both the beds and containers are doing well. There are some spots in the landscape beds that could be filled out better, but overall I am pleased.  I have the soaker hoses running as I type this and need to switch to the next one in about 30 minutes. I do try to water deeply once a week.  I think it is better for my plants and it is less time intensive for me. I use quick connectors on my hoses, which makes moving the water from one soaker hose to the next a breeze.

Let's start with a few pictures of the landscape beds.

Snow Princess® and Vemillionaire® are looking awesome!  I am fighting off the Japanese beetles by spot spraying as needed with Sevin.  About once a week seems to be keeping them pretty much in check. By only spraying the plants that are having issues, I am able to be less impactful on the pollinators I want in my garden. The bumble bees are still all over the salvia, so I think so far so good. A few more weeks and our main Japanese beetle season will end - thanks goodness! In the meantime, treating early and watching carefully to reapply as needed has been keeping them mostly in check. The Sedum will bloom starting in August and add some fresh color at the end of a very long summer. Butterflies adore the sedum.

Rockin'® Playin' the Blues® Salvia always seems to have bumble bees mobbed on them. The plants will bloom all summer, which makes them a great food source for bees and other pollinators. You can see some bare spots, I think I should have added in a few more plants.  At this point, what I really should do is get some mulch to cover the bare spots and preserve moisture.  It's on the to-do list!

A wider view of the big bed.  Another few days and the rudbeckia will be in full bloom and adding a ton of cheery yellow color.  Another few days and I'll also be elbow deep in sweet corn, helping mom and dad pick, shuck, clean and preserve 5 gallon buckets full of unshucked ears of corn.

Now on to some photos of my containers.

Here are the two planters flanking the front door.  From the front they look like a whole bunch of Sweet Caroline Kiwi, which to be fair Sweet Caroline Kiwi is doing great.  If you look at the photo taken from the top of the container you can see Hippo® White and Hippo® Pink Hypoestes and ColorBlaze® Rediculous Coleus are coming along.  They should over time get tall enough to add quite a lot to these combos.  That was the plan anyway.  I guess we'll see if that happens or not!

 

The Toucan® Dark Orange Cannas in the teal pots are growing well and have good color. You may notice some browning on the foliage.  That is Japanese beetle damage. I have it under control now, but I'm not willing to remove all of the damaged foliage at this point. If I get enough side shoots, I might do that, but right now it isn't feasible.  I do really like this look, although next time I might add something to spill over the edge.  Snow Princess® would look really good I think.

 

Over on the deck most of the containers are doing really well.  This one features Amazel Basil as the thriller.  You can see a bit of flowering, but I'll pinch those off and it will keep producing new leaves for use in cooking. in addition to the basil this combo includes Superbells® Cardinal Star, Supertunia® White Charm and Angelface® Cascade White.

This container is in a great deal of shade, but is in full direct sun most of the afternoon. ColorBlaze® Strawberry Drop and ColorBlaze® Chocolate Drop coleus are at the back of this container, with Hippo® White and Hippo® Pink in the middle and Angelface® Cascade White and Angelface® Cascade Pink at the front of the container. I really like this one, especially with the galvanized metal container.  I punched drainage holes in the bottom and the pot feet keep it up off the surface of the porch.

 

Sweet Caroline Raven is the perfect foil for the bright yellow of Lady Godiva Yellow Calendula and the luminous blue of Supertunia® Blue Skies. It's one of my favorite planters this year.

Sweet Caroline Kiwi stars in this combination as well as Lady Godiva Yellow Calendula and Rockin'® Fuchsia Salvia.

I really like the colors of this combination, but it is oddly narrow and sort of linear versus rounded. I'm not sure why.  I do plan to move it a bit to the left since it is crowded on the right side, but has plenty of room on the left.  I would say maybe that will help it round out, but I don't really know if that will be true.  The green is Salvia Rockin'®' Golden Delicious'. Here again, Supertunia® Blue Skies is a feature, this time along with Superbena® Red and Whirlwind Pink.  I really love the red, blue and chartreuse together.  Throw in something white and you'd have a patriotic combo.

ColorBlaze® Torchlight coleus is the thriller in this container and what a thriller it is!  I love the colors of this coleus. The rest of the plants are pink.  From left to right around the planter are Supertunia Vista® Paradise, Angelface® Cascade Pink and Superbena® Raspberry. I really like this one.

This combo looks pretty good.  It sits on the edge of the porch and it gets sun most of the afternoon.  At the back of this combo is ColorBlaze® Golden Dreams coleus.  At the front of this combo is Truffula Pink Gomphrena - it's kind of wispy looking and has the pink puff ball flower you see in the lower left quadrant of the photo. Now I want to show you two containers, one with ColorBlaze® Golden Dreams and one with Truffula Pink that are on the deck where they get almost all day sun.

Now here is ColorBlaze® Golden Dreams coleus grown in full sun all day. They were planted at the same time.  There may be different soil, I ended up using three different kinds of potting soil in my containers this year. I don't think that explains the difference in size between the plants in the two combos. The difference is pretty dramatic. The other plants in this recipe are Supertunia® Blue Skies, Angelface® Cascade Blue and Superbells® Evening Star

This all pink combo is a bit wild and woolly looking, but I really like it. Truffula® Pink Gomphrena here is large and full and quite impressive. Look at all of the pom-pom flowers in this combo! What a difference compared to the one is in much more shade. Also in this combo are Supertunia Vista® ParadiseAngelface® Cascade Pink and Superbena® Raspberry. I like this one, but I don't love it.  I think it needs something with large foliage for the Truffula Pink to contrast with - ColorBlaze® Torchlight would be ideal to add contrast to help make the other elements in this recipe pop. I really want to get Truffula® Pink planted in the landscape next year.  I think that will look awesome!

June 14

I am going to mostly be highlighting containers this time, but I am going to start out with a couple of photos of the garden beds. Mostly I just wanted to show that I'm getting good color in the beds now.

 

Pollinators quickly found their favorite plants and regularly visit the beds. I even had hummingbirds visiting while I was still planting!

Every time I wander by this bed I could take photos of bumblebees on the Salvia Rockin'® Playin' the Blues®.  This morning was no different and I snapped a couple of good photos.

Ok, on to the containers.  Here is my annual reminder that most of the plants in my containers are brand new varieties that will be on the market in the spring of 2019.  This is a bit of a sneak peek to see how they perform. New plants are often difficult to find at retail garden centers since it takes time for growers to learn about the plants and then decide to grow them. 

 

Toucan® Dark Orange Cannas are in these two pots that flank the front steps. I love the bright scarlet-orange blooms with the teal containers.  They are blooming well and growing great.  You can see side shoots coming up as well.

From a distance these two pots that bracket the front door look like green sweet potato vine - the brand new Sweet Caroline Kiwi Ipomoea. But from the top view you can see the Hippo® Pink and Hippo® White Hypoestes and ColorBlaze® Rediculous Coleus.  The other plants at this point aren't keeping up with Kiwi, but I think in the end these will be great planters.

Berried Treasure® Red Strawberry is looking great.  The foliage is super healthy and in the lower part of the photo you can see two strawberries - still green at this point. The flowers are red and double.  I'm really excited about this plant and so is my daughter.

 

On the deck, I'm going to show you a handful of pots that are showing good color. I like the black and white theme that is going on here, but that won't last long. The Rockin'® Fuchsia Salvia (in the back of the planter) will be blooming soon.  I suspect the verbena at the front is Superbena® Raspberry, but until it blooms I won't know for sure. I'll keep you posted.

This second planter is looking awesome. It features ColorBlaze® Golden Dreams Coleus as the thriller in the back.  The other three plants are Supertunia® Blue Skies Petunia, Superbells® Evening Star Calibrachoa and Angelface® Cascade Blue Angelonia. I think this one is going to be spectacular!

This is another one that I think is going to be outstanding. The pinks are just so bright! This planter has ColorBlaze® Torchlight Coleus as the thriller.  The other four plants are Superbena® Raspberry Verbena, Angelface® Cascade Pink Angelonia, Supertunia Vista® Paradise Petunia and Bright Lights® Pink Osteospermum (not blooming, in center).

 

Many of the new sample plants got bounced around in the box when they were shipped, unfortunately not everything made it - you can see one casualty above.  Ths container features Truffula® Pink Gomphrena as a thriller.  I think this is going to be a great heat tolerant, fun plant for gardeners.

This planter includes a repeat plant - Supertunia® Blue Skies Petunia, which we saw up above as well. The black foliage plant is Sweet Caroline Raven Improved Ipomoea.  To the right between those two plants is Angelface® Cascade Blue Angelonia and on the other side is Lady Godiva Yellow Calendula.  We are just getting started and it should be fun to follow these planters through the summer.

One last note on the containers.  Usually I use the same potting soil in all of my containers.  Since my samples were on the late side, when I went to buy more soil my garden center was sold out of potting soil.  I couldn't find the same soil elsewhere.  In the end I used 3 different brands of potting soil and I can see definite differences between them. Unfortunately I don't know which kind of soil each container has, or I could have made this my own little experiment!

May 31

I have the garden beds planted and am almost done with my containers.  I ran out of potting soil and I need to buy one more pot and then I'll be done.  My daughter is most excited about the Berried Treasure Strawberries we are introducing for next year.  We placed the pots of strawberries where she can see them every morning when we are leaving to head to her daycare.  The plan is to pick the ripe ones as we walk by!

Sunrise this morning, with a storm rolling in.

This is half of the containers on the deck.  I haven't counted up the number of planters I have this year, yet. I'm a bit afraid to do so! It's a bigger number than it has been lately. I planted this last Sunday so they are still getting settled into their new homes. I planted on Monday and quite a few of these plants suffered a bit in shipping.  They are definitely shell-shocked right now.  I am hoping they are growing roots like crazy! 

My daughter created this planter.  It includes the Annual of the Year - Supertunia® Bordeaux and Superbena Royale® Plum Wine.  The dahlia is one she liked, so we planted it.  This is the one that has been planted for a few weeks, so the plants are settled in and growing well.

I went with a lot of orange in my beds this year.  These have been in the ground around 3 weeks, and they have settled in and are in growth mode. I had a few bare-root and small-size perennials arrive and I have tucked them into my beds where I could. I put flags in with them so I could do some extra watering if I feel the need.

 

I like the planters flanking the front entry to the house. I really like the Toucan Cannas in the teal containers at the end of the steps. You might notice a plastic snake in one of the pots. My daughter found it and several others with my stash of containers. I used the snakes in my hanging baskets for a few years to discourage birds from building nests in the baskets. Internet searching led me to that idea. They seemed to work.  After she heard that story she distributed the snakes through my garden beds and some containers.  They keep startling me when I catch them out of the corner of my eye.  I'm hoping I get used to them. They did seem to work to keep birds from building nests in my hanging baskets when I used them for that purpose.

You can see a couple of flags from recently planted bareroot perennials.  This bed is starting to fill.  This is the time of year I get nervous that I didn't plant enough plants in a bed.  But, I have planted enough.  I just need to be minimally patient.

Orange and blue is a major theme in my big bed.  These zinnias with the blue of Rockin'® Playin' the Blues® Salvia is stunning. At least I think so!

Here you can see the full bed.  I thnk it is going to look fantastic!  Next time I'll get you a list of the plants I used this year.

May 12

My earliest peonies are just about to pop in this photo. Two days later we had open blooms!

The bumble bees and hummingbirds are both loving the honeysuckle which is in full bloom.

See the bees buzzing below..


The front beds are planted now.  Things are just getting going but I'm excited to see how it goes.

The other side of the porch is all planted.

Cat's Meow Nepeta, which is Catmint, is aleady in full bloom and will remain in bloom through the fall.

This is when I was working on planting the big bed.  It's fully planted now and I'll get new photos soon.

Double Play Big Bang Spirea is such an outstanding plant.  The foliage color alone is worth having it in my garden, the fact that it has pink flowers is just pure bonus points!

Baptisia Decadence® Lemon Meringue is blooming already.  I just love the Decadence Baptisia.

The Storm Cloud Amsonia I planted last year is up, looking great and already in bloom.  True blue flowers too.

May 2

Spring has finally, truly arrived.  I have dogwoods blooming and peonies up and budded.  Do you remember the video from Laura at Garden Answer about how to clean out a garden bed?  If you don't here's a link. I did not get my garden beds cleaned out and I can really tell. Cleaning them out now will be more difficult, but I will get it done. Here's what going on right now.

The honeysuckle bush is in bloom already. It will remain in bloom until a pretty hard frost in the fall. We generally end up with a pair of hummingbirds during the summer and this is one of their favorite plants.

The Iris I inherited from Mom are in full bloom.  I love the purple!

Decadence Lemon Merigue Baptisia up and budded.  You can see dead branches from last year hanging out.  I'll need to clean those out.  I also massively need to weed!

One of the crabapples in full bloom.  The flowers have faded a bit, they were an amazingly rich color over the weekend and absolutely humming with bees.  I tried to snag a bee photo, but didn't manage to do it. My phone camera wasn't good enough and when I was out today taking this one, the bees weren't there much.

Dogwood in bloom in the woods behind the house.

I did make a garden center run.  I haven't gotten anything planted!  

April 3

I am starting things off with three photos that show signs of spring emerging.  Spring has been slow to arrive this year and I'm clinging to these daffodils and other signs that spring is here.


Lilies just emerging.


Mid-Season Daffodils in full bloom.


Crabapple foliage just emerging.

 

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