Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dwarf Morning Glory "Royal Ensign"

I bought this plant just as a trial when I was placing my order with Select Seeds, and so far it is a real winner in the garden at the Big House.  It is actually "Convolvulus tricolor," which bears very little resemblance to a morning glory under than the shape (and perhaps the color) of the blooms.

In any case, it has stood up (and even thrived) in the crazy Atlanta heat, and is dancing in and out amongst some of the other things in the perennial bed.  It is fairly compact, and is a great stand in for the blue geraniums that fill that role during spring and fall. 

I started some inside and some directly outside in the beds, and both are doing beautifully.  This is definitely going to be on next year's shopping list, as well.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Taking Advantage of a Cool, Drizzly Morning

Now that the summer flowers are holding their own for a little while, it's time to get down to some serious garden work.  It seems there is no end to the pruning and fluffing, just following behind the latest things to bloom in various parts of the garden.

Carmen has begun the summer trek from one end of the creek to the other, pulling weeds, moving some babies that have self-sown themselves over the past few months, getting that close up look for diseases, bugs, and such.
In a heavily shaded part of the garden, there is a group of Gumpo pink azaleas (also known as "they're only two feet tall and the flowers are hidden under the leaves, so what's the point?").  In any case, they've spread sideways to the point of obscuring the path ("and the flowers are still hidden under the leaves so what's the point?").  In any case, Chuck gets to trim them back pretty seriously and move the landscape lighting that is now in the middle of the do I really feel about Gumpo azaleas? 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Nothing Succeeds Like Wretched Excess!

There are certain plants (most flowers, in my opinion) that simply have more punch when grown in large masses.  I'm not a big fan of "onesie-twosie" plantings, even with annuals.  If I'm going to buy a flat of annual salvia to beef up the perennial bed, it's all going to go into one large drift.  These few photos show how great a single  simple flower can look when installed in quanity.  As always, click to make them bigger if you want.

"Annabelle" Hydrangea arborescens, one of my favorites, which consistently puts on a great show at this time of year, and isn't as fussy about water as some of the macrophyllas.  These are fairly shaded at the Big House, but I have them at home in pretty intense sun, and they do just fine there, as well.
Plain old purple coneflowers.  It seems the more they get ignored, the happier they are. I've not had great luck with all of the new fancy cultivars, but these guys just go on blooming for weeks!  
Daylilies near the pool at the Big House.  This one might be "Bumble Bee," but then again it could be any number of hundreds of different cultivars.  They are so incestuous, I'm not sure that anyone really ever knows which daylily they truly are growing! 
Annabelles again, below.  This is a grouping that I really like, in a somewhat shady area.  From November until January, we have camellia blossoms, then the Blue Star Creeper carpets the ground for a few weeks. After that, an ornamental crabapple puts on its show  (it gets enough sun before the upper story trees leaf out), and then the Annabelles. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Few Containers and a Great Annual

All of this heat combined with the downpours of a couple of nights ago seems to have given the containers a little added "boost."  The tropicals are certainly loving the combination!
I used the "Bengal Tiger" canna mostly for the foliage, since this container really only gets about an hour of sun each day.  The blooms were an added bonus! 
The nesting birds have finally left this container in front of the house, so it was safe to water and "fluff" a little.  As invasive as it can be, the Jewels of Opar adds a great ethereal feel to the arrangment. 
At the pool, the "Spanish Flag" vine is beginning to take over the palms.  Fortunately it's a really delicate vine, so they coexist quite happily for the summer.
This one below is Proven Winners' "Supertunia Sangria Charm," which is holding up to the Atlanta heat and humidity much better than most petunias.  This is what they look like after a full two weeks of temperatures in the 90's.  I might be tempting fate, but this is the look with absolute ZERO deadheading or trimming since they were planted in late April! 
As always, click to make bigger if you want!

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

We spent the weekend with the family in New Hampshire, and I came across this window box in front of a store on Market Square in Portsmouth.  I think it's just beautiful.  Very simple, to the point, and perfectly adds a contemporary touch to this 400 year old city on the sea, while not losing that "sense of place".

Thursday, June 2, 2011

This Weekend's Garden Tour

This Saturday and Sunday are the days for the second of two tours I've been deeply involved with this spring.  Specifically this is the weekend of the GPPA (Georgia Perennial Plant Association) Tour, and it's a wonderful collection of nine gardens in different parts of Atlanta.  There is everything from the manicured giant Buckhead gardens to a topiary-filled tiny jewel box garden that is a mere 15 by 50 feet, to an "urban garden" in Grant Park with chickens, rabbits, and a huge collection of orchids!  More information at

Perhaps I can start weeding in the Stepchild Garden next week after these tours are finished?