Saturday, March 31, 2012

Frost, Frost, Stay Away!

I remember covering up my containers in May last year because of a frost warning.  It is hard to believe what the garden looks like this year with trees blooming and leafed out, blooming shrubs and flowers.

Amelanchier Regent
A small Serviceberry about four feet tall

Viburnum Carlesi Compactum
I put this in last spring to replace one that became diseased.

It is difficult to find shrubs for the small garden but lately there seem to be smaller versions of many favorites.

I decided not to use fertilizer on the bleeding hearts or the carex grass this year.  Last year I fertilized and everything went crazy.  I could barely keep up trimming down the grass and the bleeding hearts were almost four feet tall.  They are still big but a more appropriate size for eight year old specimens.

Brunnera Angel Wings
Not as showy as Jack Frost but lovely with light blue flowers

Brunnera Jack Frost

Pulmonaria Raspberry Splash

The leaves of the Brunnera and the Pulmonaria remain showy in the summer border.

Heuchera Miracle
I purchased this last summer at Home Depot and the picture had the veining but the plant did not.  The new spring growth looks like the photo and this one will take full sun!

Heucherella Stoplight
The heucherellas (cross between heuchera and tiarella) are much hardier than the tiarellas and the foliage is stunning along with tall feathery blooms into the summer.

A view is important during all seasons and it doesn't matter if it comes from your garden or your neighbors!

Hyacinth Blue Jacket

Tulip Orange Emperor

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Around The Garden

It is difficult to believe that plants are popping all over this early spring garden, some almost a month early.

The Star Magnolia was a beauty this year but it is already beginning to wilt and brown because of the heat.

The PJM Rhododendrons seem to be able to handle the heat.

I almost didn't plant forsythia in the front garden because their blooms are so short-lived.  However Forsythia Greenstem is a winner, only three feet tall and bright lemon yellow flowers and long lasting.

One little primrose came back from last year.

Daffodil Itzim
Very early and lasts much longer than Tete-A-Tete

Daffodil Fortissimo

Daffodils Marieke and Mount Hood

Daffodil Spellbinder

Chanticleer Pear

The tulips are opening, ferns are coming up, bleeding hearts are blooming.  I had better take some photos, just hope we don't get frost!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Motivate - Hort Couture

This is the most important part of a garden show because we need to be motivated to incorporate new ideas into our future gardening experiences. 

Many times these regional garden shows are over-the-top and we can't imagine doing anything they display in our gardens.  I felt the Chicago show was a bit more realistic this year with some obvious flights of fancy.

I like all of these ideas for planter boxes but know the ferns cannot take full sun.  House plants are still big this year for outside and this doesn't bother me if you can find them for a reasonable price.  Bromiliads are expensive as are the ferns, maybe extensive use will bring the price down like it has for succulents.

Try to incorporate some sculpture into your garden this year, something homemade, garage sale, found or from one of the outlet stores.  It doesn't have to be expensive to add interest to the garden.

Water plants can be put in small fountains.  I have mine in a smaller area than this, so there is no excuse not to have that pond you have always wanted but lack the room for an in-ground one.

Create a vignette outside (not quite this fancy)

I have a few birdhouses but these were special, modeled after vintage homes.  A birdhouse might be something new for your garden this year!

This is from the "try a new weird plant" this year category.  I do not have room for a plant this big but I hear it is a beauty!

Save all of your old tires for this display?

Some Hort Couture to wear in your garden!

Can you imagine setting a table like this on your patio?

A bedroom to die for!

The above is the bling part of a garden show, but there is a lot of work that goes into executing one of these events and hopefully there is meaning in what the producers are trying to say.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Educate - Hort Couture

To appreciate a garden show, it should educate us in regard to a different way of doing things and this show certainly did that.

A pergola made out of logs

A small garden area accented by a piece of rusty fence

Conifers intermingled with perennials

We don't often think of planting conifers in the midst of a perennial bed.  Usually the evergreens are lined up in the back along the foundation with shrubs and perennials in front.

A class on spring potted arrangements

I love this berm with just about everything, conifers, perennials and shrubs.

The White House Raised beds were depicted in an even more upscale manner.  The garden show organizer actually went to Washington to see the White House Beds.  He was very proud of the fact that he even made them look better!  Raised beds are bigger than ever, and as you can see, can be placed right on the lawn.  I am not sure how easy this would be to mow!

Guess what?  Everything is in rows again, remember we were told to plant in threes and fives in triangle formations not soldiers!

I kind of like the look of these massed rows!  I have nothing planted in rows, just triangles but it looks like they may have incorporated the triangle formation within the rows.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Inspire - Hort Couture

I attended the Chicago Flower and Garden Show last weekend with the Garden Writers Association and was pleased to find out that the rights to the show have been bought out by a private company.  This company will have more control over the theme they espouse, Inspire, Educate and Motivate.

The TREND is oversized containers even in small areas used not just for planting but as part of the outside decor.

If you take a tour of your neighborhood you will find as I did that most people use containers that are much too small for their home, myself included.  Stand across the street and look at the scale of your containers with your home.

TREND, outdoor furniture is looking more and more like indoors, less metal, more upholstered and outdoor wicker.

I would guess this is how we are supposed to look in these elegant spaces!

TREND, eye-popping color, tropical plants and vines being heavily used on the patio and in garden beds.

Small garden areas (not sure about the crooked tree) can be very effective packed with perennials and again this year with "house plants."

"Found" pieces have been popular in the garden for years but now we are beginning to see them used as part of outdoor vignettes rather than stand-alone objects.

Well, I am inspired!  I just have to win the lottery to put all of these ideas to use.