Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Plant Of The Year

The 2012 plant of the year is Jack Frost Brunnera.  It has been marketed since the year 2000 so it has had plenty of time to prove itself.

Brunnera Jack Frost in my summer garden

It is not inexpensive and unless you order it online it most likely will be in the double digits, worth the price because it looks fantastic for at least three seasons.

Three others received honorable mention this year including my favorite grass, Panicum Northwind, which I would call a four season grass.

Panicum Northwind

Panicum Northwind in its winter color in the alley garden

Heuchera Carmel also received honorable mention and I also have this one in my garden.

Heuchera Carmel is a tight leaved variety and looks good all summer and fall.

Heuchera Carmel is hardly a vision of itself in the winter, not sure I would have given this one an honorable mention.  However, I am judging them on looking good in all seasons maybe not the criteria for the Perennial Plant Association.

 Heuchera Peach Flambe certainly looks great at the end of December!

Heuchera Autumn Leaves

Heuchera Pistache

Heuchera Southern Comfort (shadier area)

Heuchera Southern Comfort (sun)

Southern Comfort is one of my favorites because of its coloration throughout the winter even in the snow.  Snow, what is that, we really haven't had any yet, hard to believe with the new year approaching.

The last honorable mention for plant of the year was Chelone lyognii Hot Lips.  I do not have this one but would certainly consider it for my shadier moist area.

Chelone Hot Lips

As you can see I do not totally agree with the heuchera choice, but that's okay I'll just keep trying the new ones that come out each year, if I can find a space for them!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Night Before

Have a wonderful holiday everyone!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Visions Of Sugarplums

It is difficult to be a gardener this time of year but our efforts in the colder climates need to move indoors.  I have never done as well with indoor plants and assume that they just don't like me!

I brought the dracena in from the patio this fall because I love the magenta stripes in the leaves.  So far it seems to be thriving.

I can't count how many indoor plants I have lost from too little or too much water or maybe too much or too little fertilizer.

The Ziva Paperwhites are pretty foolproof and never disappoint.

I am never going to plant the amaryllis again in the water and colored beads, potting soil it is from now on.  The water developed a major odor and I had to dismantle everything and wash the beads and the glass container, don't remember this being a problem last year.

Candy Floss Amaryllis is ready to open after changing the water.

Red Lion Amaryllis

My little birds are already nestled between the faux greens on the dining room table.

Vintage mirror adorned in the corner

Cyclamen still alive and flourishing


Sunday, December 11, 2011

In The Eye Of The Beholder

As I drove up my driveway in the back garden, my granddaughter, who I had just picked up from school, said "your garden is so bare grammie."

Structures and grasses add interest in the winter garden.

This is the same area in July with the pathway and bench only visible from another angle.

Trees also add structure to a garden even a small garden needs winter interest.  The Pagoda Dogwood is a very nice shape even when bare.

This is the south border and I guess it does look sort of bare.  When you have roses there are only sticks in the winter.  I do not have a groundcover on this side so maybe some small grasses would add interest!

This same garden is lush during the summer but it obviously needs some fall and winter interest.

I left the Miscanthus Udine up again this year, can't bear to cut it down when it looks so good.  However, with the first heavy snow it will flop and be more difficult to cut down in the spring.

The structures seem to speak to us during the colder months reminding us of what is to come.

Pink Meidiland in the same island garden

 Clematis Fireworks

Lavon Lilies and phlox also in the island bed

The boxwood by the back patio looks lush and healthy.  Maybe I should spray this with Wilt Pruf to prevent any browning.

This is Green Velvet Boxwood and I find it hardier than the Chicagoland Boxwood that I have out in front.

I will cut Rainbow Knockout back so it does not break in the snow, not too much but enough to give it stability.

Two varieties of parsley are all that remain in the veggie bed.

The garden is asleep but it should still be noteworthy even in the cold weather, conifers, structures, benches, grasses, standing seedheads, fences, pathways, raised planting beds, trellises, decorative sheds and obelisks all add charm to a four season garden.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

A Wow Of A Catalog

I have never seen this seed catalog before, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds,

It is filled with magazine quality photos, articles and recipes.

The veggies look like you could eat them right off the page!

Pages of flower seeds also

Lots of unusual tomatoes

They even have a sense of humor!

The prices of the seed packets seem competitive and if you can get hold of this catalog you are in for a visual treat!

Saturday, December 03, 2011

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like ....

I can't believe how fast this has all come upon us, the 2011 Holiday Season!  I met my gardening friends at a local nursery and it is so pleasant to shop there because they have an indoor greenhouse.

This was a huge container and very pricey, just pick it up and carry it away to your home.

There were some smaller versions which were more affordable.

Winterberry is beautiful, very expensive and hard to keep for the winter season.  If you can find faux that will withstand the weather or use pepper berry which will last throughout the season.

On to a great shop later in the week known for its creative decor.  I couldn't pass up a beautiful runner for my sideboard.  I have made my own previously and know this was a deal if only for the trim.

I couldn't pass this one up as I know what it would cost me to make this, sometimes buying ready made is smarter.

I found a few more treasures like these gilded pine cone candle holders, reasonably priced and unusual.  The three candles in the front are battery candles which flicker and are lovely without the worry about burning candles.

I can never pass up little birds, good luck you know, to put on my table by my living room staircase.

A round tablecloth from Home Goods, I trimmed it in braid, gathered up on four sides with a tassel.  The tablecloth was reasonably priced, trim and tassels from Hancock Fabrics.

I love having seasonal pillows but I always try to purchase them after the holidays at reduced prices.

I found Father Christmas at Hobby Lobby at half price for the top of my little tree by the fireplace.

On the other side of the fireplace I have faux, not very big on having a lot of real greens in the house until a few days before Christmas.

Continuing on yesterday to another local nursery which grows all of their own poinsettias.  This is preferred to those that are shipped in from other locations because they are set to bud later, last longer and will enhance your home throughout most of the winter season.

Poinsettias, mums, ivy

Smaller cyclamen with variegated leaves

Larger flowered cyclamen

I could not ignore the Amaryllis that was blooming, think this one was called Elvas.

The Paperwhites are beautiful but you don't want to buy them like this now or you will not have blooms for Christmas!

The tall amaryllis are blooming but may not be blooming for Christmas.

Some baskets are already made up with ivy, cyclamen, schefflera and poinsettia.

Poinsettias, cyclamen and Norfolk pine

I bought a red Poinsettia for the living room.

White Poinsettia in the container on the living room coffee table

I am trying another cyclamen, smaller variety, in the dining room.  We'll see how long I can keep this one alive - cool, light, moist not wet!

I couldn't pass these up, half price, and was able to plant them in the pre-frozen soil.