Sunday, June 30, 2013

What Works

Lately, I've been trying to evalutate the things that are working best for me in the garden. I've been doing that a lot this year, culling those plants that do not please me and adding more of those that do. For instance, coneflowers are one of those easy care workhorses that I want to use more often. So I added several to the landscaping around the new patio.
I've been getting rid of a lot of plants that just don't work well for me. Either they are too needy, or they only look good for brief periods of time. The neighbors have mostly been the recipients of my garden clean up frenzy, but I also donated some to the Master Gardener projects. To be honest, some simply went into the compost. But the ones left behind have earned their keep, like Endless Summer hydrangea. It blooms over and over again, all summer long.
In the past, I've been known to be a plant collector. That means that every time I saw a new specimen, I had to bring it home. The only problem with that is not knowing where I was going to put it, so it would get stuffed in just anywhere. When you have a lot of single plants, your garden can look messy and cluttered. Repeating elements give you cohesion, so I'm trying harder to use that theory. Out went a lot of "singles". Instead, I'm using more multiples, like sedum Angelina. I have this stuff everywhere! It takes full sun, with no extra water needed and even though it's a lovely spring green all summer, it really shines in winter, turning red and orange.
I also find room for those plants that like to multiply themselves without being pests. It's always nice to get free plants, but if the price is that they take over your garden, well, it's not worth it. Nigella is an annual that acts like a perennial. It will continue to drop seeds nearby as long as you give it a little bare dirt.
In order to put in the new patio, we had to remove a very old and large butterfly bush. There was just no way to save it, as it was so huge we had to take an axe to it. But I can't do without a butterfly bush, so it was the first item added to the new garden. It may not look like much now, but I have faith.
Here are a few more plants that I can depend on, phlox David,
Moonshine yarrow,
geranium Johnson Blue,
and lots and lots of coleus.
Because making my garden easier, gives me more time to enjoy it's visitors.


  1. I really love your choices, Robin! I am working on 'making things easier', too...(although it always seems like there's more and more to do in the garden!) I've never tried Nigella so will keep this annual in mind. Also, I need to try those reblooming hydrangeas, I've been 'eyeing' them in my neighbor's yard!

  2. Your flowers always look so good. Mine are dismal to say the least this year. I have been evaluating my plants also with losing so many over the winter. I lost so many of the fancy echinacea plants and tall phlox. The pink echinacea are doing so well that I am going to move a few out of the woodland bed into other beds to take up the slack.I am looking toward the more dependable survivors that I do not have to constantly replace since I am getting older. LOL! Love your little turtle!

  3. I love your last two photos of the birds! I know they are one of the reasons you garden, as they are for me as well. I also am adding more coneflowers this summer. I love workhorses. Endless Summer is great for me, too!

  4. Robin girl ! We have the same birdbath .. cast iron ? heavy ? .. but mine came with a warning not to use it with water or seed .. that the finish was .. toxic ? now how silly is that .. so I use it as a plant stand and it looks quite pretty !
    I understand the part about trying to make things easier .. so many of us "baby boomers" that became gardeners need to make things easy now that we have more aches and pains?LOL
    I am sorry about the butterfly bush .. I have Nanho Blue and a new variety (can't think of the name at the moment .. another duh? in my brain pattern? haha)
    But since we have had so many gray days .. the garden isn't doing as well as it should with "sun" plants .. but great for my shade garden !
    Yours is looking wonderful .. so you are doing something RIGHT girl !
    Joy : )


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