Kerry's Garden 2022
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.
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 see what I am doing. I will periodically add new photos. You can also see photos of my garden from 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019,2020 and 2021. Please note that most of the plants in my containers will not be available at retail garden centers until spring 2023.
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.
My garden still looks great and is in full color, but I'm starting to see signs that the garden is waning for this year. By the middle of September, the garden will be less colorful. For now, I'm enjoying the mass of color that fills the beds.
I'm starting with a photo of Summerific 'Holy Grail Hibiscus. Last time the plant was just starting to flower, but I wanted to show a photo of it in full bloom. This was taken about two weeks after the photo below. How awesome is that?
On to what the garden looks like now. Black-eyed Susans have taken over some parts of my garden. They kick in the color and fill in empty spots in the garden. This photo makes it look like the bed is nothing but Rudbeckia, but that isn't true. I have Vermillionaire cuphea, Color Spires® Crystal Blue Perennial Salvia, Fall blooming sedum, Supertunia Mini Vista® Violet Star, and Superbena Sparkling® Amethyst filling in the other parts of the bed. I have a couple of volunteer coleus plants there as well. This bed is slim, 3 feet from the sidewalk to the porch, so space is constrained.
The bed to the right of the front porch steps is much deeper and allows me to plant a larger variety of plants. I already showed a photo of the Summerific Holy Grail in full bloom at the very top of this post. It is planted right next to the porch steps. This is what that bed looks like now. it has good color. I have more perennials in this bed but filled in with many of the same annuals I used on the previous bed.
My favorite flower bed is the Big Bed and it is still looking pretty spectacular! I planted more annuals on the back side of this part of my garden this year. The Unplugged® So Blue® and Rockin'® Playin' the Blues are a great counterpoint to all of the yellow Rudbeckia. This is the most colorful the back of this bed has been.
Note the climbing Sweet Caroline Upside Ipomea in the container at the edge of the bed. They are SO cool! The deer have munched it a bit though...
I haven't featured my containers as much this year. They are doing well. This is an overview of them.
Our Hummingbirds love the Rockin' Deep Purple in these containers. I took these photos today with my phone showing the hummingbirds visiting the salvia. They aren't perfect photos, but I think they turned out pretty well all things considered.
It's been a month, I don't know where the time went! I was doing pretty good keeping the weeds under control, but that isn't the case at this particular time! The big bed is at peak color right now. I made a point of getting more color at the back of the bed, so overall there's just more color. The top color for my garden always coincides with when the Black-eyed Susans bloom. I've got a ton of them in the garden so when they are blooming that is when the garden is at its most colorful. They do multiply, so as I plant in the spring I do pull some of them out and compost them. But enough of that, on to pictures!
Since Summerific® week is coming up soon, I'm starting with a photo of Summerific 'Holy Grail.' It isn't quite in full bloom, but I'm getting flowers and the plant is HUGE!
This photo gives you a pretty good idea of how the big bed is looking as a whole. I've got strong color showing, despite losing four or five plants this year.
We'll take a walk from the top of the bed to the bottom. Supertunia Mini Vista® Hot Pink Petunia, Goldsturm Rudbeckia, and Profusion Zinnias are providing most of the color. The blue-green plant on the left of the photo is Baptisia Decadence® Lemon Meringue. Even without the flowers, it has a nice presence in the garden.
We are almost at the bottom of the bed. I used the same few plants along the length of the bed. I like this mix of colors, the plants are all tough and colorful.
I mentioned before that I've lost a few plants, right here are two of them...
I have Aquapots at either end of this bed. The star of these containers is the vining Sweet Potatoes we are introducing for next year. This container has Sweet Caroline Upside™ Black Coffee and Sweet Caroline Upside™ Key Lime. They are vining versions of the sweet potato vines we use as trailing plants. I think they are going to be super fun to play with!
I just glanced out of my office window and our resident hummingbirds are feasting on the Rockin'® Deep Purple Salvia we are adding to our collection next year. The new one has more flowers than the original and is just gorgeous.
Today I am taking you on a tour of the Big Bed. The Big Bed is on a bit of a slope. I am starting at the bottom of the bed and we'll work our way up to the top of the bed. This year my daughter wanted to have some space in the Big Bed. She opted for the space near the bottom where she also has planted Marigolds from seed and Strawberries. Her space is the photo to the left and there is a lot of bare soil. I really need to get some mulch and spread it. The marigolds aren't blooming yet, but I think they should start soon.
The second photo is just beyond my daughter's plants. You can see the strawberry plants just below Supertunia Mini Vista® Indigo. You can see two plants but there was one more planted between the two you see in the bed. The middle one died. Why? I'm not sure. I think maybe when I planted. there was a subterranean tunnel at that spot and I suspect that some small critter has a tunnel in that spot and that is why the plant died. Am I sure? No, I am not. I'm guessing by the next time I post new photos the two survivors will have grown together. I love the Mini Vistas!
The first photo here, overlaps with the previous photo. I can see the Mini Vista Indigo at the very left edge of the photo. Next to that are 5 Truffula™ Pink Gomphrena. You can see the pink puffballs of the Gomphrena just below the 5 Suncredible® Saturn Sunflower plants. How awesome are the Suncredibles? Awesome!
The second photo below shows Suncredible® Saturn at the left edge of the photo. That is the same Suncredible plant in the previous photo. The lavender flowers you see next are Augusta™ Lavender Heliotrope. If you've grown other Heliotrope, this one is very different. There are two groups of the Heliotrope, with 5 plants in each group, with Lantana between them - Luscious® and Berry Blend. It's still a bit small, but despite the heat, all of the plants are doing great. Note the yellow Suncredible® flower in the lower right corner of the photo.
And finally, the very top of the bed. I have my Aquapot at the top of the bed again. You can see Supertunia Mini Vista® Hot Pink at the very top of the bed. There are 5 plants in this area and they are fantastic! That is SUCH an eye-catching color! You don't see them all that much in these overview photos. I also have Rockin'® Playin' the Blues® and Uplugged® So Blue™ Salvia planted throughout the bed. Some of the Rockin'® Playin' the Blues® overwintered and came up again this spring. Many of the plants in my garden are pollinator friendly and I regularly see all kinds of pollinators.
What a difference three weeks make in May! I've had some minor damage from critters munching on my plants - mostly the Black Eyed Susans... I am blaming Fred the groundhog though I haven't caught him in my garden. I did see him a couple of weeks ago running for the woods when I came out of my office door but, overall the garden is doing well.
This mini-bed is still going strong. I'm including it today because I love it and because Invincibelle Mini Mauvette® Hydrangea is budded and ready to bloom. This is the beginning of the third season for this plant and this year I think it will put on a floral show. It is often true that it takes shrubs or perennials a year or two to get established and then the third year they are amazing... Mini Mauvette is the dark green plant to the left of Sunshine Blue® Caryopteris. The photo to the right has my honeysuckle looking great. The one in the Big Bed is struggling and I think I need to treat it with something. I'll figure that out this week. The Asian Lilies are blooming as well. The foliage you see with the lilies are from black-eyed Susans and Peonies. The lily foliage isn't visible.
The big bed has filled out and is now showing color. This shows the lower 2/3's of the bed. You can see Suncredible® Sunflowers - it's a mix of Suncredible Yellow and Suncredible Saturn™. I have 5 plants grouped in two spots in the big bed. I love how they look when massed together. The big bed is mostly blue, yellow, purple, pink, and orange. The second photo shows the lower half of the big bed. You can get a bit of a better idea of the plantings. Once I have more color I'll get photos and ID the plants I used. A closer look with my daughter in the background. She claimed around 4 feet of the bed at the very bottom for herself. She planted Marigolds and Strawberries and a trio of garden gnomes.
This is the full bed taken witha sunbeam in the backdrop. I'll tackle a plant list for this bed soon.
I am heading out on a work trip, so I am adding photos of my garden a little earlier than usual. I have finished planting in my landscape, at least I think I have, but sometimes I end up with plants I can't pass up! I'm going to show you photos of all of the beds today.
I haven't started on my containers yet since my new variety samples haven't yet arrived. My daughter, on the other hand, has created two planters. They're hers, so she could do whatever she wanted... She went with Marigolds, Superbells Pomegranate Punch and she was adamant that she wanted something green trailing over the edge. Not chartreuse, green. She found String of Hearts. She chose 4 of them, 2 for each planter. They were not cheap! I hope they do well.
We'll work our way around the house and end up at the Big Bed. The small bed next to the porch steps is gorgeous. The first photo is coming down the steps. I'll eventually add a container in the corner next to the steps. The other photo is approaching the steps to the porch. The three shrubs are Invincibelle Mini Mauvette®, Sunshine Blue® Caryopteris, and Spilled Wine® Weigela. I'm a sucker for Profusion Zinnias - my cheat plant when I garden - so you'll see zinnias in several areas in my garden. Even without the flowers added, I love this bed.
Grandma's Honeysuckle and the white Peonies are in full bloom while the lilies are fighting their way through the Peonies to get sun, and are nicely budded. I hope I don't miss them flowering while I'm traveling. As always, the resident hummingbirds adore the Honeysuckle.
This year I ended up with a mostly blue, purple, white, and orange color scheme for the two front beds. This is the bed to the left of the porch steps. Color Spires® 'Crystal Blue' is in the foreground and the close-up photo, which includes a bumblebee happily getting a meal. I'll add more detail for the annuals once they are a bit larger.
This is the right side of the front steps. I have more perennials in this bed, which is a much deeper bed than the previous bed. The purple/blue you see is 'Cat's Meow' Nepeta (Catmint), the orange is from the zinnias and the white you see is Supertunia Mini Vista® Violet Star, which is violet and white. This bed has a fair number of perennials and shrubs. Some plants that fill in this bed include Pink peonies, Summerific® 'Holy Grail' Hibiscus (just a few inches tall right now), 'Chantilly Lace' Aruncus which you can spot between the two peonies if you look closely at the photo.
The shade bed looks good right now with some nice foliage color variation. The flowers are from Dream Catcher Kolkwotzia, which we no longer sell. The bees are all over Dream Catcher. My plant struggled last year so I have trimmed out a lot of dead branches, with a few more to go when I have time to grab my loppers. I'll provide more details on this area later in the season.
And lastly two photos of the Big Bed. The first photo shows that the bed is filling in nicely. I planted the front side of the big bed first this year and several plants are already growing well, but everything is just getting going. The yellow flowers are Decadence® ' Lemon Meringue' Baptisia. They are low-maintenance perennials that bloom nice and early in the season. There are several groups of them blooming right now.
This week my garden has begun to burst into color. The peonies are about to bloom, the 'Chantilly Lace' Aruncus I planted last fall is up and starting to bloom, and to my utter shock, Summerific® Holy Grail Hibiscus is already coming up. I guess three days of 90's convinced it that the time was right! I have some of my garden planted but need to get back out there and finish installing my annuals. I'm excited to see how things grow.
The bed pictured below is by my kitchen and it continues to be one of my favorites. The gold foliage of Sunshine Blue® Caryopteris and Spilled Wine® Weigela have a such great contrast with one another. The spring-blooming phlox won't last long this year since it is already so hot, but I'll take it while I can! Invincibelle Mini Mauvette® is hiding behind Sunshine Blue. This small bed is by the entrance we always use. It's a great demonstration of how much color that foliage can add to your landscape.
A few steps down the sidewalk takes us to the honeysuckle vine that my mom started from a plant my grandmother had in the garden at the farm. I adore this plant almost as much as the two resident hummingbirds do! Peonies and Asiatic lilies fill out this bed. In a few more weeks, the black-eyed Susans will start growing there too.
Bulb-type Allium is a nice early spring plant to add color when most plants are still getting going. I've had Cat's Meow catmint (Nepeta) in my garden for 3 or 4 years now. 'Cat's Pajamas' has brighter flowers. Both of them bloom pretty much all spring and summer and into fall. You may need to give them a quick trim back a time or two, but you'll be graced with abundant flowers on nearly carefree plants. The soil in this bed is rocky with a lot of clay. It is about as far from good soil as you can get. Does 'Cat's Meow' catmint care? No, it does not. Such an easy plant!
You can see peonies and daylilies in the back of the bed pictured below. In the front are two hydrangeas and a 'Chantilly Lace' Aruncus. They were planted last year and I'm excited to see how well they do during their second seasons. The large flowering shrub is Dream Catcher® Kolkwitzia, which is no longer available. I've loved this plant for years. Last year, it struggled and I had to trim out quite a few dead branches last week as a result. It looks good right now, but I'm not sure how good its long-term prospects are. I'll wait and see what happens and hope for the best.
It finally feels like spring! We've had some nice sunny weather and last weekend was gorgeous. That meant a trip to the local garden centers to plant hunt for this year's garden. I found almost all of my coveted plants and have them hanging out on the porch until I can get them planted.
If you've followed my garden in previous years, you know how much I love this bed next to the kitchen door. Sunshine Blue® Caryopteris and Spilled Wine® Weigela has gold and black foliage, so even when there aren't any blooms this flower bed has a ton of color.
The honeysuckle has been blooming for a while now, but so far I haven't caught sight of the hummingbirds that usually take up residence in my garden. I'm hoping that the oddly cold spring is the reason for their delay. I've chosen many plants that bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds will love. To the right of the honeysuckle is a peony and in front of that are the Asiatic Lilies that should bloom soon.
This is the last hurrah for the daffodils. 'Cat's Meow' Nepeta is one of my favorites too.
The big bed is starting to show color, but at this point, it is still mostly dirt. The forsythia is still looking good and the honeysuckle is blooming, but that is about it.
I'd like to introduce you to Fred - the groundhog. He climbed up a full set of steps to get to the deck and then proceeded to stare into my office like I was a zoo animal. He left once and then came back to look into my office again. Hopefully, he won't cause issues in the garden, but I'm betting he'll cause at least a little havoc. Sigh.
It is 80 degrees today with storms predicted for tonight. Three days ago, it was cold and the wind was whistling. It's all typical of early spring in Missouri. I did finally manage to get out in my garden. I set the bed edges for most of my beds, with the shade bed still needing my attention. This is about the time we are usually frost-free. As soon as I get a chance, I'll start looking for plant material. For now, here are a few photos showing what is going on in my garden right now.
I love forsythias because they add such cheery colors early in the season. Show Off® Sugar Baby® and Show Off Starlet® are compact versions that fit in smaller spaces and melt into your larger plantings. For me, it's the best of both worlds. I get my forsythia fix and it doesn't take up too much space. The crabapple trees are budded up and a day or two away from being spectacular...
Photo of the crabapple tree one day later in full bloom.
I've been talking about the serviceberry trees in the woods. They are still in full color.
Lastly, here is a photo (left) showing Iris foliage, Lilies emerging, and Black Eyed Susans just coming up. The photo on the right is my Decadence® 'Lemon Meringue' Baptisia that is just coming up. Look for the red arrow in the righthand photo. The emerging stems of Baptisia are a pinky-purple color.
The weather and too much going on during the weekends has me behind on early spring garden tasks. I need to trim back the ornamental grasses, rake leaves out of the flower beds, remove old perennial plant debris and trim back shrubs that need spring pruning or shaping. Have I started any of those things? No, I have not. Hopefully this weekend... But, all is not lost. The daffodils are in full glory, the crabapples are budded and starting to leaf out and I'm starting to see signs of perennials adding growth. Here are a few photos of the garden that I took yesterday after work.
The daffodils are cheerful, as usual. They would look a lot better if I got the leaves out of the bed, trimmed down the grasses, and removed the old Black-Eyed Susan stems. I'm ever hopeful - maybe next weekend it'll happen!
Fall blooming sedum remains one of my favorite plants (photo left below). They are tough as nails and bloom at a time when most of the rest of the spring-planted flowers are looking rather tattered and faded. The crabapple trees are leafing out and getting buds. It won't be long now!
Our first daffodils appeared about a week ago. For the first time, my daughter saw the first daffodils before I did. She wore one in her hair to school that day. It doesn't feel like it right now - we are supposed to get snow tomorrow - but as far as I am concerned the emergence of daffodils means spring is here! I also have a photo of one of my fall blooming Sedum, which is showing new growth. It is still early spring, but I'll take even the smallest hints of warmer weather as good news.