Thursday, May 10, 2007

Pleased and Proud...

...of how well my front flower bed is looking at the moment, through almost no recent effort on my part, save a little weeding and pruning. Everything that is currently blooming was planted several years ago or was self-sown from last year. Gotta love perennials and self-sowing annuals!

(^ click for big, and please ignore the weeds!)
Those reddish roses in the foreground used to be blue-ish colored hybrid teas, (I wrote about them several years ago), but they've reverted back to their humble root stock, and I haven't had the heart to replace them when they're such happy bloomers. Maybe this fall....

These peonies have performed fantastically,
ever since I first planted them about 7 or 8 years ago.


After being moved three times, my false indigo, (Baptisia australis),
is finally happy where it gets the most sunshine.


And my birdhouse may be getting a tenant:

(^ click for big)
Papa Bird came by and inspected each apartment, and then called for Mama Bird, who remains to be seen....

The ever-present tall purple bloomers in that bed are Dame's Rocket, (Hesperis matronalis), which make a ridiculous amount of seeds and self-sow everywhere. They're about the same color, grow taller, spread better and bloom longer than money plant, (Lunaria annua); therefore I highly recommend them for a cottage or wildflower garden.

The 32 Delphiniums I planted two weeks ago seem to be taking hold. I water them every few days, and although they haven't started to shoot up yet, they're surviving and growing new leaves and not dying, which is all I can ask for, at this point.

I still need to plant my recent plant sale purchases, and perhaps Sunday might be the best day for that, weather-wise. It's only supposed to get to 72ºF, whereas the rest of the week will be in the 80's. I just need to be able to extract myself in a timely fashion from the Mother's Day visit at my parents' house. And at some point I need to put in my mother's annual flower bed, which I often do on Mother's Day, but it may have to wait until next weekend. We'll see.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Spring Plant Sale 2007

I suppose it's a good problem to have, when you're a multi-hobbyist and two big events for two of your favorite, but very different hobbies fall on the same weekend.

One of those big events is the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden spring plant sale, which, conveniently for me, is held Thursday through Saturday, allowing me to attend it on Thursday so that I can spend the rest of the weekend at the other long-anticipated event.

It does pose a dilemma for me, though. My mind is definitely conflicted, as I walk from vendor to vendor, admiring table after table of beautiful plants, and the voice in my head says, "You're leaving town tomorrow for three days. You won't have time to plant everything you want to buy. Keep it simple." The little voice tends to win, especially if I have only my two arms, rather than a big cart to carry my purchases.

There are other things I tell myself, to keep from grabbing every pretty thing I see. Such as, "You've planted that before. It didn't last more than one season."

Or, "You can buy that at a local garden center."

Or, "Just admire these for inspiration. Keep them in mind to purchase later, when you have the time to really put more effort and plants back into that flower bed."

And finally, "Just take a picture of it. You don't need to own it to admire it."

So that's what I did:
Spectacular flowering maple (Abutilon sp.)

Foreground: "Knock-out" Roses.
(Note to self: buy these at local garden center.)


It seems every vendor had a plethora of Heucheras and Tiarellas

Pretty purple columbines

I love this guy's birdhouses, which he makes out of scrap wood and old garden tools:

He sells them for dirt cheap, too. I don't think anything was much more than $20. I own two, but would have bought more, except that all of the really tall ones were already gone.

Anyone in a serious plant-buying mood should go to the Recycled Plant Tent first, as you can find many items there for about half of what the other vendors are charging:

I didn't leave the plant sale completely empty-handed, but I was a very good girl and came away with just a few purchases, albeit ones that make me very, very happy.

First of all, I got a Dappled Willow (Salix integra 'Hakuro Nishiki'), which I've wanted for ages, but wasn't willing to pay Jackson & Perkins prices for it. I got mine for less than half of what J&P charges for it.

And I bought two 'Nikko Blue' Hydrangeas:

to replace the ones that died during the summer of hell. I vow to try to do better about watering them this summer, even if it means another feeble attempt at drip irrigation.

Finally, I broke down and bought this Gardener's Pouch:

but it's not for me. It is for my friend Susan, a rabid Arkansas gardener who raises dogs and cats and goats and chickens and miniature horses and cattle. She's always talking about how much weeding she does around her garden, and how her animals love when all the fresh green weeds are thrown in their pens, so I thought this just might help her do the job. The girl selling these also had a booth at last Saturday's Herbs Galore, and I figured if I see something twice in one week, and both times it makes me think of how much another person would like it, then I'd better just go ahead and buy it for that other person.

I will pop it in the mail to her tomorrow. Hope she likes it.

Looks like I've got some things to plant when I'm back in town next week! Here's hoping the weather is nice.