Thursday, June 28, 2012

Annual Report

Let's see if there is anything left out in the garden. It's been hot and dry, and I"m inside recovering from minor knee surgery, so who knows what's really going on out there. But I still have a few photos left from last week that I haven't shared here. One thing I can depend on is that the annuals will keep on blooming as long as they are kept watered. The mandevilla on the front porch is just as lovely as ever. Has anyone figured out how to overwinter this beautiful plant? I've tried many times without success, but I admit that I've never tried cuttings.
I've kept this cute little polka dot teacup planter for a few years, but I never found just the right plants to set it off until now. I put a lantana in it, with portaluca around the edges. Now it blooms in bright orange and yellow, and just glows there sitting on the bright green bench. Do you get the idea that I subscribe to the clown pants theory of gardening?
I've never used torenia before in my container gardens, and I've been quite pleased. This is a really pretty blue.
And here it is in the urn pot on the front porch. This pot has really filled in nicely already.
I put a few different coleus in a shady spot out front, and have really been enjoying the splash of color it provides without flowers. Kong coleus is the large one here, and the big leaves really show it off. It's unusual for me to eschew the use of flowers in favor of foliage, but once in awhile I do.
Although I did this container without the use of any flowers, and it's gorgeous, if I do say so myself. I know I've shown it off here again, but I like to update it's progress over the summer. I always use this red/purple/lime green theme here in next to the garage, and it is my absolute favorite container every year.
My tithonia Fiesta Del Sol is blooming early this year, so I hope to see it attracting butterflies soon. This Mexican sunflower will have to do since my regular sunflower seeds didn't even come up. I suspect the birds dug down and ate them up! And yes, there is a giant weed growing in the window well behind it.
I usually plant zinnias in the theme color out front every year, but these multi color ones were extras from the neighborhood, so I planted them instead. I do like multi colors, of course, but I really did want white!
Another annual that I often use is Pretty Much Picasso petunia. Look at the great color combo! This one is in my new garage wall planter, and is really filling in quickly. I love it! I usually plant it on the ground to wander, but in the future, I'll let it cascade out of a container like this. Fabulous!
I always keep two pots flanking my front walkway with arborvitea in them, and a few annuals around the edge. This time I've got nemesia and callibrocha in them, along with the random leftover pansy. They haven't filled in very well yet, but I'll be glad come late fall when the callibrocha scoffs at the cold like they usually do. Yes, that is a flat of zinnias behind the pot. Long story, but suffice it to say, that's where the multi color zinnias came from.
So that's the "Annual Report" from here. Hot, dry weather, but the annuals still bloom on!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Heat Wave

It's awfully hot for June. It's also very, very dry. According to the paper, the drought in Columbus is mild compared to the rest of the state. That's hard to believe! We did have a storm last week, and received 3/4 inch of rain here in my town. While it was a lovely thing, it was hardly enough. The garden has mostly thrown up it's hands in surrender. The first flush of roses is over, and there are only random blossoms. Here are a few of those last blossoms, for now anyway.
Don Juan climber
 Tahitian Sunset
Zepherine Drouhin
Oranges and Lemons
In their place are daylily blooms,
 Little Grapette
Pandora's Box
various coneflowers,
 Coconut Lime
Ruby Star
Pow Wow Wildberry
and the bee balms.
 Monarda Cambridge Scarlet
Monarda Grand Parade
Now the butterfly bushes don't mind the heat and drought. Although I must admit that the bicolor blossoms always droop in the mid day sun, but they perk up later.
 Bi Color Buddliea
Unknown Buddliea
I've got a few other flower friends who don't mind the heat. The various hyssops don't even blink. This first one, I started from seed last year. A real triumph for me.
Sunset Hyssop
 Golden Jubilee
Anise hyssop
And this Gay Butterflies milkweed I started from seed last year actually has a few flowers on it! I'm always excited when I have good results from seed.
 Now this one is a new one on me. So far, so good. The blooms seem to last a long time, and they are unfazed by the heat and dry weather. It's called Lysmachia Beaujolais.
The creeping thyme growing as a ground cover through my arbor never complains about the heat either. And you can walk right on it!
 The hot and dry weather doesn't seem to be keeping the butterflies away. They aren't bothered one bit!
Red Admiral
I guess I'd better go drag the hose around the yard like I do every day. I love summer, but some rain would sure be nice!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Just Plain Pretty!

While I'm looking through my June garden pictures, trying to figure out the theme for today's post, I realize that beauty is all the theme I need. It's just plain pretty out there in the garden! From the Fourth of July roses clamoring up the trellis,
to the arrival of the hydrangeas,
to the blooming of the daylilies,
and the return of the nigella, I find new pretty spots every day!
Daisies are popping up everywhere.
Patiently waiting for the arrival of the first coneflower. This one is Pow Wow Wildberry.
Munstead lavender continues to delight! But it's so covered in bees at all times that I can't get anywhere near it.
So even though it's painfully dry out there, it's still just plain pretty!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Man Made Garden

Not all of the pretty spots in the garden come from plants. Now don't get me wrong, plants are the most important part, especially flowers. But there are lots of other touches made by man that can give your garden personal style. Containers are probably the most common way to add this personality. Both the container itself and the plants you put into it are important parts of the look. My front porch faces north, and is usually shady until late in the evening. So I generally put a fuschia in my wrought iron hanging basket. This year I found a pretty cream and pink version, not as garish as the usual hot pink and purple.
I also bought a wrought iron urn for the front porch, then had fun filling it with shade loving plants. I can't wait to see how it fills in throughout the summer.
An annual favorite for me is to have a mandevilla plant. I've tried several times to over winter them in my basement, but without success. This time, I've given it a more substantial and interesting trellis to climb up.
I love my new window box style container on the side of the garage along the front walk way! Because it's a big, blank wall, I wanted something to break up that big expanse. And I think it will still look interesting in the winter, even without greenery in it. Again, it should fill in nicely throughout the summer.
Do you get the impression that I like to use purple plants in my container gardens? This pot next to the garage is always done with bright green and purple, and is always my favorite. I no longer even bother using flowers for this one, just colored foliage.
 And don't you love the bright coral color of these zinnias? 
Other than containers, I don't have too many other man made touches in my garden, just a few things here and there. I do like my gazing ball.
 My kids bought me these wind chimes for Mother's Day.I think they suit my bohemian vibe.
One of the best man made touches to have in a garden is a bird bath. We have this right outside the back door, and enjoy watching the birds drinking and bathing while we eat. I think this juvenile robin feels right at home here in Robin's Nest!