Whether you are a garden novice or a veteran gardener, you may be aware of the sad fact that our shade garden annual favorite is being denied life by the nasty downy mildew that spreads
all across our nation now. Even if you save your own Impatien seed and keep other garden center plants away from your carefully and lovingly tended imps, you are still vulnerable as this is an airborn pathogen that will stay in your soil from one season to the next. It starts on the underside of the plant where you don't always see it. You won't notice until the leaves turn yellow and fall off, the plant withering and dying. There is nothing as of yet that effectively will combat the virulent attack.
This is my list of alternatives to the dilemma of what to plant to give that same heavenly splash of color in the shade garden.
My top picks are
1) Begonia , green wax leaf, tuberous , angel and dragon wing
4) New guinea impatien
8) Shade coleus
10) Euphorbia 'diamond frost'
15) Fan Flower(Scaevola)
There are a bunch more that will take part shade such as Nicotiana, Salvia, and Sweet Williams.
I will miss the sweet sweet impatien, but while the experts search for a cure, it gives us all the opportunity to step out of our garden box and into the wild new territory of DIFFERENT and awesome plants that will put a smile on our garden faces.#itchingforspring
correctly and you will be in a random drawing (10 winners!) for 10 mystery seeds each to be sent to you by me. Come get your #gardening game on! Of course i expect pictures of your growing babies to be posted here on Hometalk. Contest will run through Sunday noon. You can guess as many times as you like. If a plant gets no correct guesses I will give some pretty blatant hints. Some of these pictures you have already seen here and 'may' already be ID somewhere else on Hometalk #plantid.....happy hunting! PS- common names or botanical will be fine. Please put your guesses on the post and not on the pictures so I can keep up!
There are two kinds of kids (well ok there are all sorts ofin-betweeners) that I see in the nursery/garden center, the one who is fearfulof the great outdoors and the one who isn't. Both
types greatly benefit fromthe most wonderful parents who give them a safe outdoor environment chock fullof surprises and delights.
Here are a few pointers in creating just such a place togive your children a place to explore, grow and take delight from our awesomeworld around them.
Make your children's garden size appropriate. Give the youngchild a small space with boundaries of a small fence. Create a place with somesoft grass, maybe a fine zoysia to take his or her favorite doll or actionfigure for a picnic. Put a sizeappropriate garden bench in their very own special garden. Give them a few pots to grow their own seedsin the garden. Carrots and strawberries are great starter plants for kids togrow. Lettuce works well to in the early spring for a quick and easygermination. Add a few flowers, but keep it simple, and don't worry about HOWit looks to you. Maybe a money plant andsome snap dragons.( Show them how to pinch the bloom to create a mouth openingand closing. )
Grow the space with the child, expanding thecomplexity. Add color and texture to thegarden, and things that make noise when the wind blows like a money plant and even some corn (There are some reallygreat variegated leaf ornamental color corns you can grow in small space thatare even popcornable.
Much as I love them, there are some plants that just don'tbelong in a children's garden. The Yuccaplant can be down right deadly to theunsuspecting eyeball bent over with rapt attention. Another dangerous plant waiting to turn yourperfectly sweet little pumpkin into screaming in pain urchin is the Pampassgrass if they run their hands up and down the serrated bladed leaf. Even with choosing your plants carefully thereare LOTS of awesome plants you can use to give your kids the gift ofgarden-love.
Add some butterfly attractors such as Butterfly bush andButterfly weed (and some parsley & copper fennel for the caterpillars toeat). Make an area for them to 'feed'the soil with egg shells and tea bags . A frog hut made from an upsidedown pot with a small 'door' is another great addition. Pet rocks are an awesome and fun adventure too. You might even add a small water elementfor the sound and texture, maybe a fountain that pumps water. I love it whenkids want to know HOW the water flows in a fountain. They are fascinated when I show them the pumpthat pulls the water back up the to go down again.
We can share and teach our kids to either fear the great outdoor environment or to embrace and become stewards of theearth, to respect and enjoy nature forthe shear wonder of it all. Come to think of it, gardening reminds and keeps usclose to the wonder of the child curiosity.
Last week we received to our nursery in Georgia our first west coast order for spring as well as our first shipment of Encore Azaleas for the year.. So Saturday we spend the day taking it
most of it into the greenhouses due to the weather forecasting of below 25 degrees. The red Maples had already begin to bust open the leaf bud.But I did take some time to take a couple of pictures of the venerable Cherry tree that is our harbinger of spring and a crazy Rosemary who decided to bloom now.(The wind was blowing pretty hard so it was difficult to get really good pictures but I was afraid they would be gone by Monday!)And of course a stroll through the camellia house always entices a few pictures as well. I sure hope they all hang onto their blooms!
You fall in love, You want it closer to You, You don't think You can live without it.
STOP!! Think with your green thumb and not your plant infatuations.
Been there, got the dead plant as a result. I see it, I want it, can't live without it. I think can 'change' the essential needs to conform to what I can offer it ...but alas....just not the environment it can survive in resulting in guilt, mourning and responsibility of another needless plant death.
Keep temptation at bay, is like going to the grocery store when you are hungry.. You know it's best to make a shopping list and stick to it. Trust me, as a Garden Center manager I WANT to sell you a plant,but as a plant geek I WANT you to keep your passion for planting by encouraging successful planting.
My top 3 'misplaced' plants. This is a compilation of my answers to my clients. (Disclaimer~ this is from the perspective of zone 7b southeastern USA)
*Lace Leaf Japanese Maples. Here in our southeastern zone 7b, you have to put most of these beautiful trees in some protection from the full force of our hot afternoon western exposure sun. They need a consistently cool root zone. I don't want you to plant this in front of your home where the sun is beaming through your dining room window at 5pm....brutal! You will bake those luscious delicate leaves to a crispy critter. She will be much happier if you place her in a less hostile afternoon shade with plenty of mulch over the root zone.
*Leyland Cypress. Yes I know you want a living screen as fast as possible to hide that neighbor mowing his lawn while wearing his Speedo! But if you only have a 15x10ft space from your patio to your property line, you don't have enough room! You will have no lawn left. Leyland Cypress will overwhelm most suburban/urban lots very very quickly
*Grass (yes grass is plant too!) Bermuda hates shade. Fescue hates heat and drought. St. Augustine hates cold. Bent grass hates heat.
Yes you can, but just be prepared for some high maintenance and replacement.
'RIGHT PLANT RIGHT PLACE = HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY
(and if you need advice ask your local garden center professional, they will be more than happy to help you choose the right plants for your landscape , or just ask me here on hometalk!)
I thought I would share with you a few things I found interesting at the Wintergreen trade show I attended this week. The pictures are captioned. What would you like to see in your landscape from these pictures?
When I was growing up, my Mother, after hearing someone complement a lady, would say 'she has good bones'. Winter time is a great time for looking at the 'bare bones' of your garden. It
is easy to enjoy the spring and summer garden with the full of color and bounty of green leaves. But what is there for you in the winter when the 'scape is nude of its covering of leaves and flowers?
What is your favorite thing to look at in your winter landscape?
I love winter gardens!. Less clutter, bare bones, stark and beautiful.
Think Texture and contrasts. This is when your garden art shines as well!
Plants with Winter color. It isn't all about blooms! Berries, bark and leaves all have value in the winter'scape. Top of my list is of course the Coral Bark Maple. Hollies with berries (Red or Yellow). Red, Yellow or Orange twig dogwoods. Exfoliating trees, white bark trees, Curvy trees such as a Henry Lauders' Walking Stick. Evergreen plants with colored leaves also add good 'backbone' to your garden. And yes, blooms are not bad either with the Lenten rose sand the Camellias!
Moss Rocks and boulders. Rocks are can be a place to draw the eye for a 'rest'. They don't have to be huge be a big hit in your landscape. Remember to bury some of the boulder into your landscape so that it does not look like you just threw a rock down. Play around with it, different angles, don't be afraid to experiment! Boulders are pretty resilient on the transplant (ok that one was pretty lame and lands me in the plant geek category)
Garden Art and interesting structures. Arbors, Pergolas, interesting pots all add an ambiance to the garden year round. Let your whimsical side loose with fun recycled and up-cycled objects d'art!There are plenty of awesome projects that are on my clip board and others here that will make your garden fun!
This is when you see more clearly the lines and curves (or lack of), the balance and flow of your garden structure. Take a look around at your garden, does it look lopsided? Has edge between the lawn and the landscape bed gotten a bit confused and hairy looking? Great time to tackle that! Grab the water-hose and pin it down with some sod staples and reestablish your bedlines. If you have any dormant plants you might want to make sure you know where they are before you do this). Clean those messy lines up while you have plenty of time. Good hard work in cold weather makes you warmer!
So folks get out there and dig it, ya dig? If you have any questions please contact me anytime!