Kerry's Garden 2013
See photos and commentary on Kerry's garden for the 2013 season.
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 actually see what I am doing. I will periodically add new photos. You can also see photos of my garden from some past years. 2009, 2010, and 2012. Please note that most of the plants in my containers will not be available at retail garden centers until spring 2014. The photo at left is of Miranda and I in April 2013.
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.
I took a week off to overhaul a flower bed that has been in desperate need of help for the past 3 years.
This is what the bed looked like this summer. It looks pretty good in the photo, it wasn't quite as good in person and it isn't performing nearly as well as it did 3 or 4 years ago. I established this bed 8 years ago with a hedgerow of 'Limelight' Hydrangeas that I first used as decorations for our weddingƒ and then transplanted into our landscape. Last summer's extreme drought and heat, and my desire to only water my landscape plants once a week, combined to be too much for many of the Hydrangeas. I also inter-planted my perennials with daffodils, there are clumps like what you see in the photo, throughout the bed. They are obviously abundant and had begun to negatively impact the perennials, which also needed to be dug and divided. So I needed to replant shrubs and rejuvenate perennials.
I used a shovel to turn the whole bed over, straightened the edges and made sure everything was nice and even. The bed is now 8.5 feet wide and 50 feet long. After turning everything over by hand, I ran my rear-tine Troy Bilt tiller through the soil, dodging the plants I left in place. After that I replanted what I had, or at least some of it. I do still have a few plants to add to the bed, but haven't found the time to tackle that yet. Planting in just tilled soil is always so easy.
In the end I left 6 plants in place and removed everything else. I replanted at least some of each type of plant back into the bed, but there were left overs.
So the leftovers. The photo on the left shows Karl Foerster Calamagrostis and a few daylilies, but mostly Goldsturm black-eyed Susans. The middle and right hand photos show most of the daffodil bulbs and Irises that I dug up from the bed. I do want to add some of both back into the bed, but still that is a ton of plant material I need to find homes for. The irises were pass-along plants from my Mom who inherited them from my paternal Grandmother, when Mom and Dad took over the family farm. They are an old variety (I have no idea which one) and quite prolific. I had two 5-gallon buckets, plus two diaper boxes (one of which I had already given away when I took this photo) full of the Irises.
The other 5-gallon bucket in the photo and the pull-ups box are basically full of daffodils. The daffodils are a mix of small, very old, very early, bright yellow daffodils that also originated with my paternal grandma. The second type are larger more modern type that my mom planted (Mom planted hers around 40 years ago, grandma planted her original ones closer to 80 years ago.) Dad randomly showed up one fall afternoon after taking a load of grain to the elevator to be sold with a brown paper bag of daffodil bulbs as a present for his bride. Very sweet. Both of these daffodils have great sentimental value to me and perform super well. There is a third type that is a yellow and white bicolor that I picked up at a local garden center 6 or 7 years ago, because I wanted something a bit different. Before I took these photos I had already given away another Pull Ups box about 2/3 full with daffodil bulbs.
I am looking for homes for the orphans, if anyone needs irises or daffodils:-) I am teaching a Master Gardener class in a few weeks and I'll bring them along and see if anyone wants some! I'm excited to see how things look next year and to add more shrubs and perennials to the bed next spring.
This bed is still rocking it! The close up of Blue My Mind® shows how well it is holding up through the summer.
I've been talking the past two newsletters about plants that add interest for late summer and fall. The fall blooming sedums are one of favorites for this purpose and this photo clearly shows why. This specific one is named Neon and I love it.
The hanging baskets are still doing well also.
I am going to mostly concentrate on my combination planters this month, but I wanted to show these two photo of one of the front beds. When the Rudbeckia (black-eyed Susan's) are in full bloom, this bed is at its best. The photos on the left is of Miranda running along the sidewalk. She likes to race me or her dad from one end of the sidewalk to the other, or if we aren't available, she'll just run by herself. On the right, she does like to help me water, using her Mickey watering can.
This is an overall view of the deck, where the majority of my containers are located. There are 10 containers on the deck. I am going to work my way around the deck from right to left (from the photo above).
Combo 1: Superbells® Pomegranate Punch Calibrachoa and Superbena® Royale Whitecap Verbena. I like the red and white theme here and it has done pretty well. Other than watering and feeding, I've done no maintenance on any of our combinations.
Combo 2: This is a really varied combo, lots of different kinds of plants. Superbena® Violet Ice verbena, Surefire™ Rose begonia, White Knight™ Lobularia. White Knight™ went out of flower for a couple of weeks in this combo, not in the others it was used in. I couldn't pinpoint a pest, but I think it was likely an insect of some sort.
Combo 4: This is one of my favorites, all red tones. Superbells® Pomegranate Punch Calibrachoa, Summer Jewel Red Salvia, Superbells® Spicy Calibrachoa and Timeless® Orange geranium. If you are looking for a hummingbird attractor, our resident pair love the Summer Jewel Red Salvia! It isn't surprising, the flowers are red and tubular shaped. Just exactly what a hummingbird loves:-)
Combos 5 and 6: These are pretty similar, both primarily white, with just a bit of color. Both include Supertunia® White Improved petunia and Superbena® Royale Whitecap verbena. Combo 5 (middle photo) also includes Orchid Charm. Combo 6 (right photo) also includes White Knight™ Lobularia and Angelface® Wedgwood Blue Improved Angelonia.
Combo 8: Superbells® Pomegranate Punch Calibrachoa and The Whirlpool coleus. I have been so impressed with Superbells® Pomegranate Punch, it stayed deep red all summer. The hummingbirds, come visit it quite a bit too.
Combo 9: Superbena® Violet Ice verbena and Dolce® 'Blackberry Ice' Heuchera. The verbena has pretty much taken over the Heuchera, but the two (yes, that is right two) verbena are huge, well branched and a good amount of color.
This is the newest addition to the garden. It's not a garden bed, but it is located in view of almost all of my beds. I am hoping that it will help occupy the little girl while I work in the garden. She already loves the slide! Her baby pool gets filled every Friday and then early in the week I dip out the water and use it to water my containers.
I went out this morning to take photos of the garden and ended up making a list of things I needed to do in the garden. Daisy May® is bloomed out and needed to be trimmed back (left, photo), this tree sapling has taken up residence in one of my garden beds, the beds need to be weeded, the containers need to be fertilized and I need to compost the corn in the veggie garden. I ended up fertilizing everything, cutting back the sapling and deadheading the daisy (photo, right). Now, if only I can get the weeding and the corn composted this weekend.
This bed is really filling in. I love Blue My Mind™, but it does have a couple of things to keep in mind. It really doesn't get going until the temps heat up, which is why I am getting good color now, but not earlier in the season. The other thing to keep in mind, the flowers close at night (see photo on left taken right before sunrise) and it can take a couple hours for them to really open and show well (middle and right photos). I love the color contrasted to the silvery-green foliage.
Here are closer-up photos of the plant. It is never going to be buried in flowers like a Supertunia petunia gets, but it will perform well in hot climates, all summer long.
The beds on either side of the porch look fine, not fantastic, but fine. The shade bed is looking good, too. I do need to do a bit of a rehab on this bed this summer.
The big bed is showing a ton of color, but I do miss the 'Limelight' hydrangea hedgerow backing it. I have narrowed down my list of potential shrubs for the bed and am planning to plant in the fall. This bed needs a total rehab. It looks pretty decent, but can be a whole lot better. You can see Miranda's play set in the distance -- perfect for helping to make time for me to play in the garden. I am still really loving the color combo of Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum and Supertunia® Vista Fuchsia in this bed. That part of this bed is fantastic.
I am loving the hanging baskets. The colors are great. The baskets aren't as large and colorful as some I've had, but I LOVE them. They are beautiful, they can go a few days without water - even in our recent heat and they are super-tough.
The view from the front steps. Not that anyone ever sees it since we always use the kitchen door.
Catalina® Grape-O-Licious Torenia is looking great. The Heuchera was getting blasted by a bit too much sun, so I moved it to a shadier locale.
Summer Storm Hibiscus is in full color. How can you not love that huge flower!
This is my "shrub nursery." I received some very small plants this spring as samples and rather than pop them directly into the garden, I am growing them in containers for planting this fall.
The planters on the deck are growing like crazy.
Close ups of a few of the containers.
I took the birthday girl to the playground to swing on her special day. I also let her choose her own outfit, stripes and non-matching plaid never looked so good:-)
As is usually the case with my containers, they are planted almost exclusively with items that will be at garden centers for the first time next spring. One of the best parts of my job is that I get to try these new plants a year before others get to try them and you can see how they do as well. The container on the left features Superbena® Violet Ice Verbena and Dolce® 'Blackberry Ice' Heuchera. Superbena® Violet Ice is a front runner for my favorite new variety this year. Although I usually have multiple favorites from any new crop of introductions.
Another lead contender for favorite new variety is Superbells® Pomegranate Punch Calibrachoa, which is in all three of the containers shown here. It is a velvety, rich-red color with a deep red center, that can deepen to almost black in full sun. The container on the left is 20-inches across and has three of the Superbells® Pomegranate Punch and coleus The Whirlpool as the centerpiece to add height.
The photo on the right has two Superbells® Pomegranate Punch, one Superbena® Royale Whitecap Superbena and one Supertunia® White improved Petunia. The rich red and the white are really great counterpoints to each other. I love this color combo.
The photo on the left has two similar containers, but they don't actually match. Both containers have a Supertunia® White improved Petunia and a White Knight™ Lobularia. In addition to these two plants, the combo on the left has two Orchid Charm Petunia. In addition to the two plants listed at the beginning, the right-hand container also has one Superbena® Royale Whitecap Verbena and one Angelface® Wedgwood Blue Improved Angelonia.
The middle photo, has Graceful Grasses® King Tut® Cyperus holding down the corner on my deck again this year, after I was too late last year to find one in the garden centers. I am, again, using a galvanized metal bushel basket without drainage holes to grow it. It does love water, so no drainage holes makes it easier to keep it growing well.
The photo on the right, uses Timeless® Rose geranium for a pop of bright color to add a bit of drama to the lighter colors of Orchid Charm Petunia, White Knight™ Lobularia, Supertunia® White improved Petunia and Superbena® Royale Whitecap Verbena.
The garden beds are coming along nicely too. The bed by the kitchen steps is filling in nicely. I planted Surefire® Rose Begonia, Blue My Mind™ Evolvulus, Diamond Frost® Euphorbia. The next time this should really be a mass of color. The middle photo shows the honeysuckle bed. If I spend more than a few minutes near this bed I am pretty much guaranteed to see a hummingbird coming to sip nectar and is otherwise growing well, also. The containers on the corner are doing well, Summer Storm is growing well, I can't wait to see how many blooms I get this year. It should be pretty spectacular.
Daisy May® Leucanthemum is looking great again this year. Last year I counted 6 dozen buds and flowers on a single plant and I think this year there are more. I'm not quite up to counting this year, but they are covered in buds and blooms that are just starting to bloom. The bed on the left of the front steps is looking full thanks to the perennials, but I don't have a lot of annual color showing yet.
The containers on the front steps are growing well. These are all perennials. The Sum and Substance hosta that flank the front door are permanent residents of their containers, but the others are slated to end up in the garden this fall, I am giving them a head start in containers first.
The bed to ther ight of the porch has quite a bit more room than the one on the left and is starting to show some good color.
The hanging baskets around the porch are filling out. The warm weather we are getting now should really get them growing (photo on left). Catalina® Grape-O-Licious Torenia is also filling out well in the shady corner on the porch.
The shade bed is still looking good and growing well. We got another couple of inches of rain last weekend and early this week, so those plants are super happy campers.
The "vista" Supertunia® petunias are filling in really well. I love the way they look from across the yard and since this bed is usually viewed from a distance it is a huge plus.
The veggie garden is looking great, but the weeds have invaded and I need to weed again.
You probably can't tell in the photo (left), but Miranda saw her first "rainboat," as she called it. The next morning she asked to see the rainboat again. We tried to explain that they are special and we don't get to see them all of the time, but I don't think she really got it. The photo on the right, was taken that same evening, but the other direction. The sky was gorgeous. Storms will do that for you.
The orphan plants are down to 6 shrubs that were late arrivals (left). My goal is to get them moved up to larger pots for the summer, for planting this fall. The containers on the deck are getting going, but are still quite small (right).
Here are some close ups of the containers coming into bloom. In another two weeks they should be looking pretty spectacular. I can't wait to see how they evolve.
Before we had our gutters installed this hosta languished, not without reason. Afterall, water did pummel it every time it rained. Three years after getting the gutters it looks great. The plants here are still small, but coming along.
This corner is filled with perennials, which means it is lush and full, when the annuals are just getting growing. The Honeysuckle (left) is still blooming as is Absolutely Amethyst® (middle). Daisy May® (right) Shasta daisy is fully budded and getting ready to burst. I'm not sure how easy it is to tell from the photo, but it is packed with buds.
This is a close up photo of Absolutely Amethyst®. On the right you can see the same plant through the bloom of 'Hocus Pocus' Veronica. This is the second year for 'Hocus Pocus' and it is looking good.
As with the other beds, the perennials are nice and lush and the annuals are just starting to fill. The containers on the sidewalk corner are coming along. We had quite a bit of rain last week - 8 inches worth. The peonies were in full bloom, so before the rain started to fall, I cut most of the flowers and put them in a vase in my office. Peonies are so fragrant and this vase full practically had me drunk on fragrance for a few days! I enjoyed them completely and it did keep the rain from beating them to the ground.
These pots are all potted perennials. I am letting them get some size this summer with plans to plant them this fall. The bed on the right is growing nicely.
The Double Play® Big Bang spirea is blooming nicely. I love it and so do the bumbles:-)
If you can ignore the weeds, both the large flower bed and the veggie garden are looking good.
The containers on the porch are doing well. for several years I've had a bird build a nest in one of my hanging baskets, which I don't mind except the little babies do not like when I water. I've read that rubber snakes can keep birds from building nests in the baskets. I figured $6 for snakes was a cheap price to try and keep from inundating baby birds with water. The bonus? Miranda thinks its very cool and loves to look at them. Almost everytime we are outside she has to peek into all 6 baskets, the snakes crack her up. That alone would make the $6 more than worth it!
I've gotten a lot of my containers set in place, but only a few planted. Planting the rest, is up next on my to do list.
Orphans. Plants and pots waiting for homes. Most of the ones in the photo from last time have been planted, these are NEW orphan plants.
The orphan plants in the last photo, went into my garden beds. They are still little babies, but have rooted in and are showing signs of growing.
The honeysuckle is in full bloom and our pair on hummingbirds are back and enjoying the feast set before them. If you are buying a honeysuckle, be cautious. Some types are rather rampant and invasive. The peonies are the rose bush are just coming into bloom. You can see the annuals in the foreground of the middle photo. The rose bush is a start from one my grandmother had planted on the farm. When my parents redid the front porch, the rose had to be uprooted and I was lucky enough to inherit part of it. It is SUPER hardy and easy to care for. I have no idea what variety it is, but the fragrance is wonderful!
Absolutely Amethyst® Iberis (left) is looking great and in full bloom. Love the color! The bed on the left side of the porch has perennials up and growing and the annuals are just getting settled in.
I love these two teal containers and I think these Sum and Substance hosta are the perfect plants to both highlight the containers and the front door. In the photo on the right, you can see my hanging basket almost planted. I had to run out for more Diamond Frost® and I haven't managed to finish the planting and get them hung up yet. The goal is to do it later today.
The bed on the right is planted and also getting settled in. It should be great once everything gets growing. Last summer, I planted a couple of Double Play® Big Bang spirea, on right. I love the color contrasts with the foliage and now it is budded and getting ready to bloom!
Here is the last of the garden beds. It was planted a week before the others and has already started to show good color. My other Double Play® Big Bang spirea is in this bed as well as two Oso Easy® Paprika roses.
In addition to the two containers by the frost door, I do have a couple of other perennials in containers. The photo on the left is Summerific® 'Summer Storm' hibiscus, which I planted last year. It made it through the winter in our unheated dirt basement (under the garage) with no input from me. I had good intentions of watering periodically, yeah that didn't happen, but it survived nevertheless. I do like tough plants. The hosta on the right has survived for years in a container.
I FINALLY got my vegetable garden planted. Kept it simple with 1 row of potatoes (it is late for potatoes here), 6 rows of sweet corn (1 row of peaches and cream and 5 rows of sugar baby) and 1 row of green beans (strike is my favorite!). The box on the right is bare-root perennial samples from our perennial partner Walters Gardens. As soon as I get done with lunch, I'm getting these bare-root plants into soil. It just must be done ASAP.
Happy Memorial Day weekend for those of you here in the states.
April showers might bring May flowers, but if I'm going to have annuals blooming in June, July and August I need the garden to dry out enough to plant. In desperation, I did plant one bed on Wednesday. It was mostly dry enough to plant, but another two days would have been better. However, with 4 days of rain in the forecast, I didn't think I could wait. I planted 15 plants each of Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum™ and Supertunia® Vista Fuchsia Petunia and 12 plants of Big™ Rose with Bronze Foliage Begonia. I think 12 plants each of the two Supertunia® petunias would have been enough, but I preferred to overbuy than have to make an emergeny run back to the garden center. I incorporated controlled release fertilizer with each plant.
In the past, my garden would put on a pretty good early show, thanks to lots of daffodils, but I had a lull between the early color and the point when my annuals grew and started to put on a good amount of color. I've been working to bridge that gap, colorful shrubs and perennials are what I am targeting to add that color. The photo to the left shows Double Play® Big Bang spirea, I know you are thinking spirea, but hang with me here - I originally thought the same thing. These new spirea are so fantastic! Big Bang starts out chartreuse with bronzy/orange tips - as you can see in the photo. It will bloom with huge pink flowers, while keeping the chartreuse foliage. The foliage element means that this plant provides three season color in the garden. It only gets about 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide, so it isn't a huge plant, but it will add good interest. I added two to the garden last year and am thinking I might want 2 more - or maybe a different shrub, I haven't decided yet. But I LOVE it. It's super tough, too.
The photo on the right shows my irises fully budded and about to pop. I took the photo a couple of days ago and I've got good color now. Irises are also very tough plants. Mine are pass along plants given to me by my mom. They were originally planted by my grandma. So, not only go I get good spring color, I get a nice little connection to two other generations of my family. I consider that a nice little bonus.
As you can see, not everything I bought made it into the ground before the rains came, again. I have Blue My Mind™ Evolvulus, Diamond Frost® Euphorbia, more of the Big™ Rose with Bronze Foliage Begonia, Evolution salvia and 3 'Miss Molly' butterfly bushes waiting on the porch to be planted. Last night and tonight the low temps were/will be around 36 F degrees. The high is supposed to 39 today. Average high for ealy May in mid-Missouri? The low 70's! Yikes.
The redbuds and my crabapples have finished blooming, but the dogwoods are just now getting into full flower. The trees took forever, at least it seemed like it, to leaf out, but are fully leafed out now. The peonies are up and budded and most of my perennials are at least up and growing. Next week is supposed to be nice and I'm hoping to get the rest of my planting done before I leave on my next trip in a week and a half.
I just posted a new photo of Miranda and I, Bryan took it on Sunday after we finished several hours of gardening. Well, I gardened, she mostly wandered around. I'm just glad she is old enough now that she can wander around on her own, while I keep an eye on her and garden at the same time. One of the pluses of living in the middle of nowhere is non-existent traffic, not that I don't keep her off the road anyway.
This is the second picture he took, she really wanted to get away. I love that she can wear green, coral and hot pink with a touch of yellow all together. If I tried that it would be more clown than cute!
The best thing about both pictures is that the lawn actually looks pretty good. You can't tell at all that at least 1/3 of it is chickweed. Boy, do we need to do some lawn renovation!
The honeysuckle is leafing out, but looking chilly. This is the garden bed I cleaned out on Sunday. I took around 20 5-gallon buckets of leaves and weeds out of it to the compost pile. It looks good now though. I uncovered the peonies and other perennials just coming up.
The trees are blooming. From left to right, one of the crabapples in full bloom, a serviceberry blooming, the wild redbuds just starting to bloom. The dogwoods, however, have yet to pop.
The first flowers, daffodils, started blooming in my garden a couple of weeks ago. Miranda and I went out to take a look. I picked one and handed it to her. She thought that was cool and decided to pick some too. Only she doesn't get the stems, she just pops the flower off the stem and hands them to me. I started to suggest she leave some in the garden, then I looked around and realized there are probably another thousand daffodils that will bloom this spring and she couldn't possibly end up picking them all! Even if she does, if it starts getting her to love gardening, then I am all for denuded daffodils.
Shortly after the daffodils started blooming, winter came roaring back in. It's a good thing daffodils are so tough. The snow was gone by three days later and the temps are going up. I'm expecting to see some new flowers tomorrow!
Four days makes a big difference!
I have a list of garden chores going. It includes raking leaves out of my beds, trimming off winter damage, initial weed pulling, transplanting of some ornamental grasses and planning my beds - including the shrubs I want to add to my mixed border. I know I am adding 'Miss Molly' butterfly bush and one of the forsythia, I think Show Off™ Starlet, but I could change my mind. I'm contemplating one of the viburnum, I'm not sure yet... choices, choices!
Patent Info: Show Off™ Starlet Forsythia 'Minfor6' PPAF Can. PBRAF; Miss Molly' Buddleia PP: 23 Can. PBRAF;Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum Petunia hybrid 'USTUNI6001' PP: 17730 Can. PP: 2871; Supertunia® Vista Fuchsia Petunia hybrid 'USTUNI8902' PP: 17895 Can. PP: 2875; Blue My Mind™ Evolvulus hybrid 'USEVO1201' PPAF Can. PBRAF; Diamond Frost® Euphorbia hybrid 'Inneuphdia' PP: 17567 Can. PP: 2830; Absolutely Amethyst® Iberis hybrid 'IB2401' PP: 23048 Can. PBRAF; Diamond Frost® Euphorbia graminea 'Inneuphdia' PP: 17567 Can. PP: 2830; Double Play® Big Bang Spiraea 'Tracy' PP: 21588 Can. PP: 4073; Oso Easy® Paprika Rosa 'ChewMayTime' PP: 18347 Can. PP: 3401; Summerific® 'Summer Storm' Hibiscus hybridPP: 20443; 'Hocus Pocus' Veronica hybrid PPAF; Superbena® Violet Ice Verbena hybrid 'RIKAV18302' PPAF Can. PBRAF; Superbena® Royale Plum Wine Verbena hybrid 'RIKAV14704' PPAF Can. PBRAF; Supertunia® White Petunia hybrid 'KL 1117' PPAF Can. PBRAF; Dolce® 'Blackberry Ice' Heuchera hybrid PPAF Can. PBRAF; Superbells® Pomegranate Punch Calibrachoa hybrid 'USCAL08501' PPAF Can. PBRAF; Sundaze® Blaze Bracteantha (Xerochrysum) hybrid 'Flobrabla' PPAF Can. PBRAF; Superbells® Spicy Calibrachoa hybrid 'USCAL09301' PPAF Can. PBRAF; Timeless™ Rose Pelargonium 'Cante Ros' PP: 15834 Can. PP: 2217; Angelface® Wedgwood Blue Imp Angelonia USPPAF, Can PBRAF; Supertunia® Orchid Charm Petunia hybrid 'USTUN51501' PPAF Can. PBRAF; White Knight™ Lobularia hybrid 'Inlbuwikni' PPAF Can. PBRAF; Daisy May® Leucanthemum 'Daisy Duke' PP: 21914 Can. PP: 4376;