Friday, April 23, 2010

Good landscaping makes good neighbors.



Yesterday I planted a couple more 'Autumn Joy' sedum in the bed my neighbor and I are collaborating on (it straddles the property line, and camouflages the utility boxes). I had one sedum in there, and realized three would look much better. So far we've got a river birch, a couple red barberries, a couple rhododendrons (my neighbor's choice - nice idea, but I don't think they'll thrive there; we'll see, I could be wrong), a white variegated euonymus (a good idea from our neighbor), a couple mums that survived the winter, and now some daylilies. I'll fill in the open spots with annuals soon.

I also put a couple hosta ('Northern Hills') in front of the ground-level basement windows. I like hosta; they're great foliage plants. No high-ticket items here, just things that appeal to me. Gardening doesn't have to be expensive to be beautiful. I'm gardening to please myself, but I do enjoy seeing neighbors walking by and enjoying the flowers too.

Oh, I almost forgot: I planted a grape vine ('Reliance,' a hardy seedless red). I've toyed with the idea of growing grapes for a while, going back and forth about it. I had decided not to order any this year, but last night, at Lowes, they had the exact variety I had considered ordering. Sucker that I am, I bought it, and now that nice, sturdy vine is planted at the corner of my shed. I'll put up some anchors and wires to train it as it grows. I like the thought of enjoying my own fresh grapes (without synthetic pesticides - I garden organically).

On the art front, I'm going to start a couple miniature acrylic paintings, of cottage gardens. I want to give one to my husband's parents for their anniversary. I'd better get busy; we'll see them Tuesday!

Daylilies and laundry.


Gardening or laundry, laundry or gardening - not much of a choice, really, but I did start the laundry before going outside to enjoy the divine spring sunshine.

Today I planted some daylilies - 'Bright Sunset' (a favorite of mine, tall and strong, in bold burnt orange tones, a real workhorse - yes, I had it in the other garden, that's its picture above), 'Bertie Ferris' (small, persimmon-colored, feisty, new for me), 'Wedding Band' (gold and white blend, new to me), 'Island Hospitality' (tropical gold-melon shades, new to me), and 'Frans Hals' (a bitone, the petals dark rusty orange with a gold midrib, the sepals gold - totally striking, I had it before too). There are so many more I'd love to plant; give me time, I'll get there. As it is, I'll have to play "name that flower" when the daylilies bloom this year, since I didn't get them labeled before the move, and only a few bloomed after being transplanted last May-June. Gardening this year will have more than the usual element of surprise.

I ordered these daylilies from the Gilbert H. Wild nursery (www.gilberthwild.com). They sell healthy plants, albeit smaller than many daylily growers. BUT, you also pay a LOT less than at other suppliers, and if you buy during one of their sales, their prices can't be beat ($3-$5 per plant). If you like older varieties, or want to plant a lot at one time, this is a good place to look. I ordered from them specifically to get 'Bright Sunset' this time. Other daylily nurseries I like are Marietta Gardens (www.mariettagardens.com, the Shooters' family nursery, amazing selection, great plants, reasonable prices on older varieties, lots of great new intros too), and Oakes Daylilies (www.oakesdaylilies.com; they send BIG plants, more like clumps; middle of the road prices, good value). If you like auctions for plants, try The Lily Auction (www.daylily.com). I don't recommend eBay for plants, unless you know the seller.

(Confession time: I really, REALLY like daylilies, and had around 100 different ones in my other garden. I even started hybridizing my own the past couple years. The move forced me to choose a dozen mature plants and a few dozen seedlings to bring with me. I don't know that I'll wind up with that many daylilies again. Nah, who am I kidding - I'll probably be back up to that number in a few years.)