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Kerry's Garden 2021

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

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, 2013201420152016201720182019 and 2020. Please note that most of the plants in my containers will not be available at retail garden centers until spring 2022.

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. 

July 15

I had a work trip at the beginning of the week, so I took photos before I left for my trip. Well, a week in July makes a pretty big difference in size.  The photos I'm showing are from July 15, but I may throw in some photos from July 22.  When I do add photos from the 22nd, I'll be sure to let you know. I'm going to concentrate on the garden beds this month, but a few photos showing my containers seemed like a good place to start. The plants are getting bigger and more colorful and the deck is pretty much packed with color!

Here are closer up photos of the planters on the deck. Starting with the ones next to my office.

And along the perimeter of the deck, which took two photos.

Last photo of the deck planters.

And now a photo of the deck from July 22. Just that one week of growth made a lot of difference!

I had meetings with the Proven Winners team this week, and I drove six hours to the meeting.  I love the AquaPot that I already had, and while I was there I decided to add three more AquaPots® to my collection. The tall pot on the right and the shorter one on the left are both a Diamond pattern and the color is eggplant - which is a mix of earth brown and lavender blue. There is some color variation. The tall one has more lavender, while the shorter one has more brown. The eggplant color is gorgeous, but I don't think it translates well in photography. If you want to see the color here it is. The middle pot is also the Diamond pattern, but the color is Peacock - which isn't teal and isn't cobalt - the closest I can get for a description is blue with a tinge of teal... Peacock is actually pretty evocative of the color. Weirdly, both of the colors I really love aren't among the more popular choices. I don't know why, they are both gorgeous! Now I just need plants and potting soil.

Ok, on to the garden beds, finally. We'll start at the breezway steps and work our way to the Big Bed.

As always, the foliage contrast has this small bed looking great.

 This heirloom Honeysuckle (propagated from one my Grandma planted 8 decades ago) remains a hummingbird favorite, blooms like crazy and needs nothing from me other than keeping the vines from getting too unruly. It's not invasive at all, but it is vigorous and likes to grow long stems. I do selectively trim as needed. The Black-eyed Susan's are blooming too. The blue in this photo is Rockin'® Playin' the Blues® Salvia. There are a couple of Profusion Zinnias in this bed as well.

I'll show you photos down the length of this bed. Black-eyed Susans, Rockin' Playin' the Blues and Profusion Orange and Cherry Zinnias.

From left to Right: Invincibelle White® Hydrangea, Rockin'® Playin' The Blues Salvia, Goldsturm Rudbeckia, ColorBlaze® Torchlight Coleus and Color Spires® Crystal Blue Salvia.

Moving down this bed, you'll see mostly repeats of the Torchlight coleus and the Rudbeckia and the Rockin' Salvia. The purple in front is Superbena® Sparkling Amethyst Verbena. It's a total rockstar!

And this is the rest of that bed. It has some perennials and Wee White and then I fill in with annuals. 

I have shade planters on the porch and two pots of Be My® Calla Lilies (they are new) in the pots on either side of the steps. We've been cutting and giving them to friends and using them ourselves as well. I've always thought of Calla Lilies as fussy, but so far they've been super easy!


Summerific® 'Holy Grail' Hibiscus is now blooming, which adds a real wow effect for this bed. It is looking good, but I feel like it could have been better... 'Holy Grail' is amazing though! It's in bloom just in time for Summerific Week.

The shade bed is getting decent color variation from the foliage.

 The big bed from the "bottom" of the bed - it runs downhill. Showing great color.

And from the top of the bed.  There's a ton of color!

A close up of the Heart to Heart Caladiums as well as my AquaPot®. If you look to the left of the pot, you'll see an open space.  I am planning to use one of my new AquaPots to fill in that open spot - if I can find plants.

And the back side of the big bed is also quite colorful as well. And that is the tour for this week!


June 23

It's been about a month since I planted up my container gardens. The super hot weather we had last week seems to have turbocharged the plant growth. Some of my in ground plantings suffered some drought related stress, but the containers were easy enough to keep moist. Using 18" diameter planters makes keeping plants moist a lot easier to pull off. This time I am going to show you my container gardens and list the ingredients. Most of the plants in my containers will be brand new and only becoming available to buy next spring. I get samples now so I can answer questions about the plants next year. Alhtough there are some existing plants included in these containers as well. I am starting with the 13 sun planters on the deck.  When I started planting, I was creating pairs of planters and putting them on the deck symmetrically. Then time got short and things got less organized and a lot more random. Despite the time pressure, so far I like all of these planters. Here they all are on the deck. I forgot to get a photo this morning when it was still shady, so it's full blasting sun in the photo.  We are going to start on individual photos with the one in the upper right hand corner of the photo.

 We'll start in the corner and then work our way out from there.

 This planter has Suncredible® Saturn Sunflower as the thriller and then around the edges are Blue My Mind® XL EvolvulusLadybird® Sunglow Calylophous, Laguna® Cloud White Lobelia and Laguna® Sky Blue Lobelia. I love this planter!


I started out planting pairs or near pairs of planters so everything would be nice and symmetrical. These are the two planters to either side of the corner planter. The both have ColorBlaze® El Brighto coleus and Supertunia Vista® Jazzberry Petunia. The planter on the left has Cake Pops Pink Verbena rigida and the one on the right has Cake Pops Purple Verbena rigida. They also each have a Ladybird® Calylophous, Ladybird® Sunglow. They have already filled in a lot and look nice and full. They're really colorful.


The next two containers actually include all of the same ingredients. The purple foliaged plant is Proven Accents® Persian Shield Strobilanthes. It is functioning as the thriller, although eventually ColorBlaze® Wicked Witch Coleus will take over that role. Also included are Angelface® Cascade Snow Angelonia, Goldilocks Creeping Jenny and Supertunia® Priscilla Petunia round out the rest of the plants. I don't think these combos photographed very well, but they are really nice in person.


These two also have the exact same three ingredients. The thriller is once again Suncredible® Saturn Sunflower. The other ingredients are Ladybird® Lemonade, Luscious® Citron Lantana and Artist® Pearl Ageratum. That is the end of my symmetrical pairs of plants, but it isn't the end of the planters. These two haven't filled out as much yet around the bottom of the Saturn sunflower, but they will eventually be quite full.


I usually get three plants of each new introduction, so these last combos are one of a kinds, although these two are very similar similar. Both Planters have Unplugged® Pink Salvia, Augusta Lavender Heliotrope, Violet Knight® Lobularia and Superbells® Double Twilight Calibrachoa. The planter on the left includes Safari® Sky Jamesbrittenia and Cake Pops Pink Verbena rigida while the one on the left has Safari® Dawn Jamesbrittenia and Cake Pops Purple Verbena ridiga.  Safari Sky is light blue flower with a white eye, while Dawn is deep pink with a yellow eye. Unplugged Pink hasn't really started flowering much yet, but it is going to look spectacular soon.


The planter on the left has Proven Accents® Persian Shield Strobilanthes the thriller. The other plants include Lusciuos® Citron LantanaCake Pops Purple Verbena ridiga, Angelface® Cascade Snow Angelonia, Blue My Mind® XL EvolvulusLaguna® Cloud White Lobelia and Artist® Pearl Ageratum. The container on the right has Laguna® Cloud White LobeliaSupertunia® Priscilla Petunia, Laguna® Sky Blue Lobelia and Supertunia Vista® Jazzberry Petunia.


Ok, last two and then we are done for this week. I'll tackle the shade combos and the rest of the sun combos next time.

The combo on the left has Unplugged® Pink SalviaAugusta Lavender HeliotropeViolet Knight® LobulariaSuperbells® Double Twilight Calibrachoa, Safari® Dawn Jamesbrittenia and Cake Pops Pink Verbena rigida. And last, but not least the combo on the right has ColorBlaze® El Brighto coleusSafari® Dawn Jamesbrittenia and two GoldDust® Mecardonia. And that is enough for today!


 June 8

It isn't meteorological summer yet, but here in my little corner of the world it is hot and humid and definitely summer--even if the calendar doesn't agree! Last time I reported on my garden, I had just finished planting my containers, with some still needing to find homes. I did find spots for all of the containers and I now have more shade combos than I've ever had, so I have more pots on the porch than usual. The planters are growing like gangbusters and filling in quickly so I am going to start with a tour of my containers. I'll get into plant lists as summer progresses and the plants mature a bit more. I'll start with my current favorite container, which is an all foliage container. For this container I will name the plants - Pegasus Begonia, Hippo® Rose Polka Dot Plant and Charmed® Wine Oxalis. I love it. It is on my porch in the shade.

Now for a pictoral glance at the rest of the containers. I'll start with the deck, which has sun containers.

This is my Berried Treasure® Pink Strawberry in the first pot and Vermillionaire® Cuphea along with Heart of the Jungle® Colocasia in the other.

This container shows the Be My Calla Lilies just coming up. I can't wait to see how they progress! The photo on the right is of three 'Bottle Rocket' Ligularia. They were small when the shipment arrived, so I thought they'd benefit from sizing up over the summer and I plan to plant them in the Fall. They looked a little rough coming out of the box, but they are looking great right now.

OK, now some photos of the beds. Please ignore the abundant weed crop that I'm growing. I'm hoping to get weeding done this weekend. I planted the beds by the porch first so they are further along than the big bed. Sunshine Blue® and Spilled Wine® are still adding a lot of drama right by the kitchen steps. Just down the sidewalk is the honeysuckle and the Asiatic lilies that have just started blooming. I love the bright cheery yellow poking up through the peony foliage.

Here is the bed to the left of the front steps. The chunk of white you see along the front side of the bed is Invincibelle Wee White® and it looks fantastic! I have a close-up photo too. The planter on the corner of the sidewalk has Berried Treasure® Strawberries.

This is the middle of the bed on that side. I love it, although the photo is a bit dark.

The bed on the other side of the porch. It is already bursting with quite a bit of color.

To the left is Summerific 'Holy Grail' Hibiscus and the photo on the right is of 'Chantilly Lace' Aruncus.  I planted it this spring and it is a happy plant. It's grown a ton already.

The big bed is still developing. It was planted around 3 weeks after the beds by the porch. It'll look a lot different two weeks from now!


May 27

I was out taking these photos this morning with storms rolling in later in the day. This first photo are my plant babies that haven't yet been planted. Most of them are destined to be planted in the ground, but a few are heading for containers yet. I also just had 3 Bottle Rocket Ligularia delivered. They are pretty small so I am thinking of potting them up and growing them in containers for the summer, before having them brave the garden. I haven't quite decided what I'm going to do. It's too wet to plant anyway, so I have time to contemplate what I want to do.


This remains one of my favorite plantings. I have had a couple of Profusion Zinnias perish, I think it just stayed too wet for them. Others planted a bit earlier are doing fine. A couple of the plants sitting on the porch are destined to fill in gaps in this bed. This is the second season for this bed and the plants are looking good. 


The Sunshine Blue Caryopteris looked fine last year, but I was bolder with early spring pruning this year and it looks fantastic. The shape is perfect. I'm so happy!

Last Sunday was container planting day, I spent a good 6 to 7 hours planting. I think I'm at 24 planters, with a few still to go. I would have just kept at it until I was done, but we had a graduation to attend, so I've got a bit more planting to do for containers as well. It's been almost a week, but I still haven't found homes for all of the planters and I haven't gotten pot feet installed yet either. These 5 pots are hanging out on the sidewalk waiting patiently for me to find them a permanent spot.

Our Proven Accents program has a lot of interesting foliage plants for shade. I had a lot of fun combining those elements into shade combos. Once things have time to grow a bit, I'll start showing specific planters and ingredient lists.

This is the bed with the pink peonies in bloom. The silvery blue that you see in this bed is Cat's Meow Catmint. It is opening up a bit, so once this flush of blooms are done, I'll trim them back. That will tidy up the look of the plants and bump up branching and thus flower power. I did the same thing last year and the little bit of effort on my part really paid off.

The big bed is getting going. When I was taking this photo the hummingbird was visiting the honeysuckle, which is now about 3 years old and is filling in nicely.


May 10

Over the past two weeks I've managed to carve out the time to visit my local garden centers and get most of my garden beds planted.  I spent both Saturdays planting my garden beds and managed to get in a 4-H Floriculture meeting too.  We planted Jellyfish planters. The perennials and shrubs are mostly leafed out and looking great.  Even my Summerific® Hibiscus have begun to grow. I picked the first three Peony blooms yesterday, which makes me happy.  We received 1 1/2" of rain Saturday night, that should have settled in the 60 or 70 annuals I planted earlier in the day. I have my AquaPot® sitting in place, now I just need to add the Heart to Heart® Caladiums to it. You can see the perennials and shrubs looking good. Some of the daffodill foliage is a bit of a mess, but as the annuals grow, that will cease to be an issue, since the annuals will cover the dying foliage. This photo is a great way to highlight why chartreuse to yellow foliage are so great in plantings.  Even way down at the bottom of the bed, it is eye-catching. Glow Girl® Spirea is about halfway down the bed and at the bottom of the bed is Double Play Big Bang® Spirea. I know right now the bed looks a little ho-hum. Give it 3 or 4 weeks and it's going to look very different!

Glow Girl® is planted near my honeysuckle.

And a look at the flowers.

Decadence® 'Lemon Meringue' Baptisia is blooming right now and looking great. I love the contrast between the bright yellow flowers and the purple buds. It's so cool.

And a closer photo of the flowers.

Double Play Big Bang® Spirea anchors the bottom of the bed.

The shade bed is filling in nicely. The Arctic Fire® Red Dogwood I planted this spring is growing well.  I added Heart to Heart® 
'White Wonder' to the front of this bed last weekend. I also planted a 'Chantilly Lace' Aruncus this past weekend. I'm excited to see how it does. I have a second one in a bed by the porch. I'm really excited!

The beds by the porch have been planted for a couple of weeks and have more color. This is the bed to the right of the front door. You can see 'Cat's Meow' Nepeta in full flower in the the foreground. Once the plants are larger I'll talk about the plants in this area a bit more.

Thes is the other side of the front porch.  The two beds don't match, but they do have some plants and colors in common. There's not as much color in this bed just yet and it is much narrower than the bed to the right of the front steps.

This photo shows the honeysuckle just to the left of the photo above. I did cut my first peony flowers from this area yesterday and the hummingbirds are visiting.

This is the bed closest to the kitchen steps and it has a TON of color.  Spilled Wine® is blooming nicely, the dark foliage adds a nice contrast to the pink flowers. Caryopteris Sunshine Blue® with the golden foliage is awesome.  I added a few annuals for more color and tucked in two Paint the Town Fuchsia Dianthus as well. They'll add good perennial color to this bed.  This is the first flower bed I planted and it is showing the most color.


And the view of this bed looking from the opposite direction.

April 29

What a difference a few weeks make! My garden exploded with growth, it has changed so much!  We'll start with the bed right by the steps to the kitchen door. In the foreground is spring blooming phlox. The dark foliaged shrub is Spilled Wine® Weigela and it contrasts wonderfully with Sunshine Blue® II Caryopteris. Invincibelle Mini Mauvette® Hydrangea is behind Sunshine Blue. I love the way this bed looks. It is a great demonstration of how colored foliage add color even before the plants flower.

The honeysuckle that I started from my Grandma's plant is looking great and packed with blooms. I haven't yet seen any hummingbirds, but we usually have a pair that stays around spring until Fall. The photo to the left is a close up of the honeysuckle.  The photo to the right is the long bed next to the porch.


This is a closer up photo of the side bed. It looks very purple right now. Most of that color is coming from Irises. Once they are done blooming the color scheme will change. I haven't planted the annuals yet, so I'm not sure what colors I am going to use yet.

The shade bed is also showing great color. Dream Catcher (which we no longer sell) is huge and the chartreuse is a true eye-catcher. I added an Arctic Fire® Red Red Osier-Dogwood to this bed this spring. 

The dogwoods in the woods are still blooming as well. 

April 9

Several days of unusually warm and sunny weather made a huge difference in plant growth. In the woods around the house we usually get serviceberry trees blooming first, then the redbuds with the dogwoods starting last. This year the serviceberries were just starting to bloom, the warm weather hit and everything bloomed at once, even the crabapples in the yard. It's a pretty spectacular show and the flowers are very prolific too.

I took these photos first thing in the morning when a storm was closing in.  The light was really fantastic and the sky was a great backdrop. Usually the two Crabapples bloom at different times, with the light pink one blooming first and then the darker pink coming into full glory when the first one starts to wane. With the unexpected warm days they bloomed at the same time.

We no longer sell Dream Catcher Kolkwitzia, but it remains the anchor in my shade bed. This photo makes the plant look golden, but it is usually more of a charteuse color. The bees flock to it when it blooms in early spring.

If you compare this photo to the one from last time, you can see that the daffodils are starting to wane, but the Sugar Baby Forsythia is looking great. 

A close-up look at how densely Sugar Baby is blooming.

Double Take Scarlet Quince also blooms. It doesn't last long, but the yellow and red together are awesome.

'Cat's Meow' Nepeta is looking good. It will bloom with pale blue flowers all summer long. Sometimes it gets a bit open, when that happens I trim it back and it plumps up and looks great again.

The lilies aren't budded yet, but they will be blooming before long. I love the cheery spring color that they have fairly early in the season.

I don't usually plant pansies, but I was out visiting garden centers and while I could resist how pretty the pansies looked, they smelled SO good I couldn't resist buying enough for a planter.

On one of the really warm days, I hauled my Caladiums that I have been growing in my office outside for a "spa day."  I had them in mostly shade with some dappled sun. Heart to Heart® 'White Wonder is on the right. In the middle is Heart to Heart 'Dawn to Dusk' and hiding on the left is Heart to Heart 'Mesmerized.' Once it warms up enough I am going to plant them outside.

March 31

A lot has changed in my garden over the past two weeks. We had some rain and some really warm sunny days. A lot of tender new growth is happening.  The first Serviceberries are blooming in the woods behind our house and I can see buds starting to swell on the wild redbuds and our two crabapples as well. I did finally get out and do spring clean up in my beds and weeded most of Mom's garden as well. Here are just a few photos of my garden today.

The Daffodils and Show Off® Sugar Baby® Forsythia are adding most of the color at this point. Although The Double Take Scarlet Quince is also just starting to bloom.  The leaves will follow shortly.

I love the bright yellow of Sugar Baby with the soft yellow and cream of the daffodils.

The Asiatic Lilies are also emerging. I love the early color they provide.



March 16

It was raining yesterday evening with the sun shining bright, the rainbow was gorgeous!

After an unusually mild week of weather, we are back to our normal spring temperatures, so the garden hasn't changed all that much. The daffodils are in full bloom and my daughter has been picking them and gifting them to her teachers, which makes me happy.

I still need to get out and do some garden clean up, too.

The fall blooming sedum is making good progress.

While the garden isn't showing a lot of color just yet, Mother Nature has been putting on a show.  This photo I took when taking a walk with my daughter, the sun was setting and the sky looked gorgeous.

March 2

I have found the first signs of spring emerging in my garden. It is a very welcome sight, the usual suspects are the first plants to emerge.  Let's start with Hellebores. I planted a couple of Hellebores two years ago, my first foray into that genus. I need to add some additional colors and learn a bit more about maintenance for them. I love the dark maroon flowers, but the darker color does tend to recede, so adding some lighter colored flowers or chartreuse foliaged plants will make a nice contrast.

The Narcissus is budded. We are supposed to be sunny and mid-50's today. I'll have to check and see how much they develop with such great weather to spur them on.

My daffodils are bit behind. I have several different types and they bloom at different times. Between the Narcissus and the Daffodils, I'll get some nice early spring color over multiple weeks.

The redbuds and dogwoods in the woods around the house aren't starting to bloom yet, nor are the crabapples in the yard.  My fall blooming sedums are showing new growth though. I'm hoping it will be nice this weekend and I'll be able to get out and get some spring garden clean up going. For instance, the sedum needs to be tidied up a bit.

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