There are several plants in my garden now in bloom. Most notable are the Asiatic lilies. I think they are wonderful and any garden that can grow them should have them. They start from bulbs which can easily be planted in the fall. I have also moved the entire plant (be sure to dig up the bulb) when they have stopped blooming. It is best not to wait too long to do this if you desire it. The later you wait the more likely the stalk and the bulb will separate, leaving you holding a useless stalk in your hand and a bulb that will soon be starving.
I prefer to design so that plants of the same kind and variety are all together in one mass, but I also like to move things around in the garden. Moving them about has caused for some lilies to be out of place and mixed up. I carefully worked out a color scheme last fall to be sure to maximize the best colors. I am disappointed this year that my mass turned out to be less harmonious than in my mind. These were supposed to be all white blooming at once after the orangy ones finished.
Apparently they didn’t all get the notice…and how did those pink and yellow get in there?
Another great plant is the red hot poker, but it is blooming early it seems or the asiatics are blooming later. I divided them last fall so they will not produce as many blooms this year. They are gorgeous in large masses.
I discovered this Indian Summer Black-eyed Susan a few years ago. I like them better than the Goldsturms for these reasons: they do not spread by root but multiply by seed which seem easier to control; they bloom earlier and longer; they have larger blooms. That being said I also like the Goldsturm for the opposite reasons. It all comes down to having the right plant in the right place. I have both Indian Summer and Goldsturm, but only the Indian Summers are currently blooming.
Another plant I especially love is the astilbe. This pink one reminds me of the color of cotton candy. They are in an unlikely place— hidden between my knockout roses and the chain-link fence. This was not where they originally were planted.
When we first moved here 12 years ago there were two large oak trees that bordered our property. The oaks were huge and provided lots of shade, as did the two large elms that grew in the front yard. Sadly the elms came down with Dutch Elm disease and died. The oaks met their fate (I believe) from the power company. Before the trees died, though, I had acquired and divided numerous hostas, astilbes, and other shade-lovers. The placement of the astilbes here is simply an attempt to find enough shade to preserve them (which right now is anything taller and bushier).
I like rose campion for its gray foliage but enjoy its blooms as well. It doesn’t take up a lot of space and it looks good just tucked in anywhere. Rose campion provides a kind of filmy, airy look…a similar effect to baby’s breath. They reproduce from seed and are biennials. Those little gray plants to the right of the picture came up this spring. They will not bloom, however, until they reappear next year, then they will seed and die. It is good to allow them to go to seed so you can keep them coming. They are easy to transplant. They also come in blooms that are a dark fushia, but I like the white ones best.
These are groundcover lilies, a type of daylily that will take over any spot it’s allowed to get started in. They are lovely for places where you want a large mass of something to fill in without a lot of maintenance. This is actually a section of land between my neighbor’s fence and the cal-de-sac. The older gentleman who used to live nearby asked me to do something with it to make it more attractive. I started out about ten years ago with just a few lilies. They have multiplied and are extending onto my other neighbor’s property. Everyone seems okay with them being there though. I had to cut out a few saplings that were growing among them this spring, but other than that I don’t do much but enjoy them.
I planted three of these Annabelle hydrangeas a few years ago. They are spreading out and look good in mass. I find it hard to keep them from flopping over though. Sometimes I place small stakes around the edges to help hold the heavier blooms up.
I love combinations of grasses and coreopsis. These are shallow rooted plants and are so easy to divide. If I want more I just pull them up and use a spade to chop the roots apart. Their ferny-like texture looks good among the grasses even when the plant isn’t blooming.
One of my finest purchases were these Snowcap daisies. They don’t get very tall so they look great mixed in with low growers like heuchera. When they aren’t blooming, they still have a nice green foliage that remains green throughout most of the year. I have tried to get more of these by collecting seeds, but they don’t germinate. Guess these are sterile. They can be divided but I have lost some trying to do this. They like semi-shade and moisture but have survived some dry summers.
This is another great little foliage plant that makes a semi-groundcover. It is blooming now, but I never grow it for its blooms. I just love the tiny little leaves and the color of it.
Another great groundcover is Santolina, sometimes called lavender cotton. It’s really a tiny shrub that gets wider than tall. The tiny little yellow button blooms appear about this time in June. Yet it is grown for its foliage which stays gray year round.
Another great groundcover is yellow creeping jenny. It gets tiny yellow blooms but they are insignificant for the most part. I love the color which gets greener in shade and more yellow in sun. This area gets a combination of sun and shade, making it the perfect color beneath my azaleas.
No blooms here, but I like the textures and blends of green in front of the azalea that has finished its blooms.
I also find this clump of sedum and heuchera very attractive.
I like the tiny yellow blooms that cover this sedum, but this is another largely foliage plant. The blooms are just a little bonus in June.
I also like to tomatoes and other vegetables, so I tuck them in wherever I can find a place that works. This may not be the most attractive place to grow them but it seems to be an excellent choice for production. I’ve added marigolds to add color and to repel bugs.
I like to mix petunias and allyssum around my cabbages. This one has some bug damage, but should yield a reasonable head. I left town for three days this week to visit relatives. When I returned I found this cabbage. Think it’s too late for him?
- 2011 05 09 – Summer Bulbs (johnsgarden.wordpress.com)
- Garden Bloom Day – June 15, 2011 (redgardenclogs.wordpress.com)
- April 27th in my garden (adnelg.wordpress.com)
- Allium adds Pizazz! (funflowerfacts.com)
- The Last Week of May (adnelg.wordpress.com)
- Asiatic Lilies (perennialgardener.wordpress.com)
- 100,000 Bulbs in Bloom! (flowergardengirl.wordpress.com)