Monday, December 15, 2008

Winter Container Gardening

I decided to add an evergreen to the containers on my stoop when the summer and fall plants bit the dust. I figured I could move the plant to my perennial border in the spring and start all over again. I found these Dwarf Hinoki Cypress (Chamecyparis obtusa 'Golden Sprite' that were about the right size. They are very compact and do just the trick to bring some green into the otherwise bare containers.

Grasses (miscanthus zebrina)

Ornamental grasses have year round beauty. They come up with new green shoots in the spring, grow tall and striking in the summer, send up beautiful plumes in the fall, give structure to the landscape in the winter. I never cut mine back until early spring, just when the new shoots begin to appear.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

New Dawn Roses Climb Kay's Fence in Raleigh, NC

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Kay's Rose Garden in Raleigh NC

My friend Kay has been growing roses in a lovely space beside her home with a backdrop of New Dawn's on a fence and a collection of nearly twenty varieties including St. Patrick, Touch of Class, Mr. Lincoln, Voluptuous, Mr. Lincoln, Garden Party among others. Her home is filled with vases of the finest roses and she gives away roses to friends and family. One of her rose photos was featured in the Raleigh News and Observer.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

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Iris Farm in Winston-Salem, NC

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Friday, May 16, 2008

About -

About - My blog is primarily and educational blog based on my experience as a botanic garden staff, community gardener and an home gardener. Current topics include, roses, rain barrels, drought tolerant gardeningI have a garden coaching service in Winston-Salem, NC where my blog is Thanks for your blog; it's a great service to all.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Plant Shares....just after I wrote about the "white garden" with the Gaura and possible Shasta Daisies, my neighbor across the street brought me several Shasta Daisy transplants from her garden. Now they are added to the Gaura and the white Annabelle hydrangea in the backyard garden. I gave her a handful of cosmos volunteers to make the swap complete. I have discovered that plant swaps are a great way to spread the wealth of our gardens and to get to know our neighbors. Shasta Daisies are another of the plants that do extremely well in drought and have a long blooming season.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Favorite Plant Today

Gaura does extremely well here in Winston-Salem. It's tall, blooms all summer, stands up to drought. Looking for pure white, I found 'So White' at the Farmstand on Peace Haven Rd., one of the best small nurseries I have found here in WS. Since I want to use lots of white in the backyard garden so we can enjoy in the evenings, I am planting these in several places around the border along with white Annabelle Hydrangea (which the rabbits ate last year, but so far my Deer Off is working), white vincas, etc. Another white plant that does extremely well in the drought and heat here is the Shasta Daisy, so I'm going to move some of those from other places into the back.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The RED Garden

I wanted something in front of the house that would blend in with the red brick of the house. There's a spot in front of the porch where there are large shrubs and a flower bed in front. So...after some thinking I decide on two red Knock Out Roses, verbena, dianthus (yes, there is red dianthus). Richard adores boxwoods so he planted five small English ones for the very front of the bed so that we'd have something there in the winter. My Brooklyn hostas (huge leaves gold and chartreuse) were there too but, alas,had to be moved again. (They were in my garden in Brooklyn in the shade and we just can't find the right spot for them here..can always raid more from Brooklyn if needed). On the stoop I put red caladiums and begonias. Hopefully all of this will give some color without going overboard in front of the house. To top it off I'm adding touches of We'll see. Photo to be added when everything starts to fill in. Orange is supposed to be the "in" flower color this year and seems to blend in well with the red. We'll see...can always move it out.

Our path is laid

It was exciting to make a stepping stone path through the new perennial border. Richard and I got the stones at Lowe's and he laid them. It's amazing how much it enhances the design and helps me with planting, weeding and watering.

Spring 2008 "The Path is Laid"

Now in the second year of gardening in Winston-Salem, I realized we are about six weeks ahead of New York, maybe even a bit longer because of the full sun. Daffodils were up in February. today is May 10 and we've got salvia, nepeta and roses in full bloom.
Richard put in a wonderful path with stones we got at Lowe's (See photo above). They look so real and add a practical and lovely addition to my bed which is about 15 x 10 ' and visible from the street. It's fun to talk to people when they walk by.

I've used purple and blue as my theme with some wine thrown in. Some of the plants are nepeta,snapdragons,salvias(three types),verbena,monarda,peroskia,pansies,mugo pine,boxwoods, abelia (Little Richard!), nandina, malva, balloon flower,sedum Autum Joy, echinacea,lavender (Provence), cosmos, ....

Richard also gave me a great idea to put names of the plants on small rocks so I've been trying to keep my list current. This is a great idea cause it's free or cheap, permanent, easy to see (they are on the ground), and helps to "mark the spot" for the winter.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Poll Results for December

Welcome visitors to my blog. Thank you! I am running a monthly poll to get an idea of your thoughts on each month, a la gardening. For those who participated in December, here are the results:

Thoughts about December:

Too dark: 2
Too cold: 2
Too hot: 0 (where are all the southern hemisphere folks?)
My favorite season: 0
Love evergreens: 2
Want more evergreens: 3

If you want to vote on the January poll, please check the preferences at the top right of this page. Results will be posted in February. Happy New Year to all!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

February Poll...Vote Soon!

My February poll is almost finished. Please add your voice; poll results to be announced in early March... spring is coming!

Poll Results for January

Thanks for your interest in the January poll. Look for February in the top right column. Cast your vote early and often.

Here are the results

January is too dark......11
Too cold.........................15
Too hot............................0
My favorite month........0
I enjoy snow..................6
I leave seed pods, grasses, etc.................12
I cut everything to the ground................2
I continue my compost.............................11

Participation went up this time from about 10 in December to 57 in January. That's a good sign.

Many folks leave their seed pods, grasses, etc. for winter interest. I notice how few people in my neighborhood do this leaving ugly "chopped off" grasses when they could have beautiful stems and pods blowing in the wind or providing a fabulous sculpture when it snows. Between the evergreens and the grasses, with a bit of planning, the winter garden can bring the garden alive. I even see the birds rustling around the grasses or perched on top. It was also great to see how many people keep their compost going. I remember one time turning my compost in sub freezing weather and finding a whole cluster of worms even though I could have sworn they went underground in the coldest time of winter. The compost pile obviously was still active enough (thanks to those worms) that the heat level maintained an environment to keep the worms a live.

Please take a look at the February poll. Vote for as many as you wish.