Sunday, June 19, 2011

Hodge Podge and Some Ranting

I took lots of photos Saturday to find one for a new header photo.  I thought I'd post some that I took that I didn't choose, and some I just took knowing they wouldn't be considered for the header.

I have stated that my garden style is hodge podge, and now with the new planting area, it is even more so.

I have an early blooming yellow daylily that is  finished, and this is the first of the rest to bloom.

I was telling a friend my yard has been eating plants, and even though I keep planting more, the yard stays "hungry".  I decided to put more perennials in so that they will have the summer to grow, and then, hopefully, they will get bigger next year.  It is starting to look a bit busy, but I'm happier with that than bareness.

There is another kind of clematis growing on the other side of the arbor.  It is about half as far up as the one that's full of blooms.  It may bloom this year.  I like the knautia and baby's breath on each side of the sidewalk.  I cut the asters way back, and will again, hoping for healthier plants.  The stems turn brown each year, but they still are green the top half, and bloom fine.  I've been thinking about taking them out, but keep giving them more chances.  The insects love them.  The yellow flowers in front are butterfly milkweed, 'Hello Yellow'.

Soon, the daylilies will provide lots of color to the yard.

I have lots of young echinacea plants that are a result of the different ones that have bred with each other.  This one looks like the original white one I had when we first moved here.  I had divided it, and put some in this area of the east bed, and it reverted to a light purple.

I like the native ones on the left.  The big pink one in the right side of the photo is either 'Kim's Knee High' or the offspring of it and the one that had been originally white.

Larry has a bloom in his water garden.

It's pretty!

I decided to go out Sunday morning and take more photos of the front yard so I can say more of things that are on my mind.  The big plant on the lower right is a nicotiana sylvestris.

 I mentioned that I have been getting more perennials.  It's been difficult, because most of the perennials this year have, "Do not propagate." on their tags.  I know a number of hybrids have been around awhile, and I've purchased plenty, but I don't think they have always had that on their tags.  I used to avoid plants that had that statement, but would get something if I really loved it.  Now that I'm seeing so many, I am irritated, and have decided I am no longer buying these plants.  That means I am limited to where I can buy them.

Last week, Larry and I went to Omaha so he could purchase a motorcycle with some retirement money he's cashed out, and to go to a couple large garden centers that have had a nice selection of native plants in the past.  They sure didn't this year!  I vented to one of the workers at the first place, and she agreed with me.  I don't mind if they want to have plants like that, but don't take away the choices of the orignals of the plants!

The second place we went had some Dalea purpurea, 'Stephanie', purple prairie clover in large pots with no price on them.  It was the only native thing they had, and I have one small plant in the new planting area, so I was tickled to get three of these with flower buds on them.  They had lots of natives that had been changed into hybrids that have those nasty do not... labels on them.  When I went to check out, a young lady did not think the label in them was correct.  I told her it was, and she tried to find the price on the cash register computer, but when another worker came close by, she asked her if the plants were what was on the tag, and I told them both, yes they are.  They ended up being a couple dollars less than other plants in the same size pots.  Cool!  One of the new plants is the one in the lower left corner.

Oh, and the rabbits are still munching on certain plants, so I am putting up barriers and continuing to spray Liquid Fence every few weeks.  I put more up this evening, because they found one of the prairie clovers.  I was not very happy at all!

It is going to take time for the new area to be filled in like the one across the sidewalk.  I planted lots of things that were supposed to get 4 or more feet tall, but I guess they won't this season.  Oh, I remembered that one of the places I've posted about before, B&B Greenhouse has a lot of plants that are not the do not propagate kind, and a number of natives.  I went there the other day, and filled in some more spaces.

I planted a millet plant on either side of the sidewalk.  They were supposed to get over 5 feet tall, but the bloom stalks are coming up, so I'm guessing that's not going to happen.  I moved the chair that was facing the house because Larry thought the area was too cluttered, and I decided he may be right.  We still need to have the broken sprinkler head capped, and maybe some drip irrigation heads put in the other ones.

The annuals I planted until I figure out what to plant in front of the house are doing OK.  I accidentally bought 3 lead plants at my last shopping day, because I had them in my container, and I was going to check to see if that's what they were, as only the scientific name was on them, but forgot to.  I had asked the lady working there if she knew if they were lead plants, but she didn't know.  They are very late in leafing out, but I could plant more bulbs in there.  I'd probably move the other hellebores out.  The first ones I moved are doing fine.

Four out of six of the dahlia roots I planted came up.  I don't think I'm going to plant them anymore.  I get tired of all that dirt showing, and having to keep the area moist.  I planted some narrow leafed coneflowers and rudbeckias in the area, and successfully transplanted a foot tall false baptisia plant that was coming up on the east side of the house.

The few larkspur I moved from the veggie garden are blooming.  I hope they come back from seed next year.  Behind this one, is the largest of the Mexican sunflowers I grew from seed in the house.  There are also a few coming up that I direct sowed.

I had given the little white blooming baptisia to the left of one of the tree ring steps lots of room, but it looks like it will take a few seasons for it to get to full size.  I forgot what kind of sunflower seeds I planted where all the bare dirt is, but they have just come up.  One the right, I planted a couple native purple coneflowers I got from B&B.  I haven't seen them anywhere else this year.

The butterfly bush and beauty berry bushes are doing fine, and the plants in the pots are growing well.

At the bottom of this photo are two kiss me over the garden gate plants that I moved from the east bed.  The small one was moved awhile back, and has not grown much, and the larger one, I just moved a few days ago to see if it makes it and continues to stay larger than the first one.  I did plant some of the fancy new rudbeckias that are sold as annuals, but sometimes come back, then read in a book about having a natural looking garden, that these flowers are too unnatural looking, and not to include them.

I bought the Culver's Physic, not realizing it was Culver's Root.  I planted it across from where I have another Culver's Root.

I went on another garden tour today.  This one was where folks had gardens planted with wildlife in mind.  I took lots of photos, but they are still on my camera.  I'm glad I went.  I was feeling like my garden is having a personality conflict.  There are plants that are dainty and delicate, and need more water than others, some that are old fashioned flowers, others new hybrids, some wild, and even rough looking.  There were combinations like these at some of the gardens today, and that made me feel better.  Well, I do tell others I have a hodge podge garden.  It's always a work in progress, and there area always areas I want to change.  That's probably true of most of us.

I need to stop with all these words.  My pity party is over, and I told Larry tomorrow I plan to spend most of the day in the garden.  I also need to catch up with visiting the blogs of folks who've left comments on my latest posts.


  1. It's looking very lovely. Great Job!

    Happy Gardening,
    -Kristina K.

    Urban Farm Wife

  2. Growing perennials from seed is always an option. There is a LARGE selection and then you can avoid those fancy hybrids. I agree that it's irratating going to garden centers anymore. Those fancy hybrids may look pretty, but have you noticed the bees, etc. don't seem at all interested in them either?

  3. Hi Sue,
    It seems like a lot of gardeners are down on their gardens this time of the year -- the big spring bloom is over causing the garden to look less beautiful. I bet in two weeks you will have lots of new flowers in bloom and you will love it again.

    I know I go up and down about the garden all summer long.

  4. Sue ~ You have a lovely 'cottage style' garden. I love it! You've done a wonderful job with your new area, and next year it will be even more wonderful as things grow and fill in. Gardens take time, and we learn patience in the meantime.

    Enjoy and have a great week ~ FlowerLady

  5. Your gardens are always so interesting to me. Such a collection of modge podge is pleasing to my eyes.

  6. Check online for native plant nurseries and you may find some lovely little businesses. There is one I like ran by 2 sisters near Spenser Iowa.I am sure there may be some closer.I am out near Valentine coming back tomorrow if the weather lets us finish here.

  7. You have so many different plants. I love the look of your landscaping in the front. So pleasing to the eye.

  8. Sue, I love your garden~If I may offer a suggestion? You could add a few panicums and Little blue stem grasses. They would look good popping out of the snow, come winter. gail ps the water garden is inspired and inspiring!

  9. After I came home from a garden tour all I could see were all the things WRONG with my garden. I tend to compare and am an unmerciful critic of my own work. Maybe this is normal for gardeners. Your garden looks great Sue. I sure wish I could find Dalea around here. Please post a photo when it blooms. As for those "Do Not Propagate" tags, I think it's like copying CDs. You can do it for yourself but you can't sell copies. At least this is how I see it. Have a great day in the garden.

  10. Hang in there. .your garden will mature and you won't even remember the bare spots!! Keep picturing the better homes and gardens pictures of those 20 year old gardens!! That's what I do!I'm trying to do more natives here too and get a lot from High Country Gardens out of Santa Fe New Mexico. I'd be in DEEP trouble if I lived too close to ANY garden center!! I guess that is a blessing! Have a great week.

  11. Your garden is like mine. Except I call mine onesie and twosie garden . LOL. I am a strong critic also.
    The propagation thing is about selling propagate plants commercially.
    my wife won't let me go into more garden centers this year.

  12. I'm a hodge-podge gardener, too, Sue. I like native plants, but I also like daylilies and hydrangeas and heucheras many other plants:) The result is a mish-mash of different types of plants so that my garden defies any kind of style.

    I've never noticed the "Do not propagate" on tags before--do you suppose it's like a copyright? I can't imagine that anyone could prohibit you from propagating it for yourself. Of course, with hybrids, the offspring don't always turn out the same as the originals.

    I've never noticed your tree ring steps before--did these come from the tree you had cut down this spring? That's a great way to recycle, and they look great. I might think about copying that idea, if you don't mind.

  13. I always like looking at your garden. I have to confess I don't always read everything that you write, but I really like the pictures.

    There's always a buzz of activity going on in your garden.

    Never a dull moment.

  14. I think your garden is just delightful. That is the direction I would like for my garden to take. I too have nicotiana sylvestris coming up. Last year it just appeared in one of the flower beds (I never remember planting it.) The leaves grew to an enormous size and the flowers were so unusual. I sprinkled its seeds all around the yard and now I'm seeing the little plants everywhere.

  15. Sue, the gardens are coming along! You will be amazed in a couple of years how lush and full everything will be, but you know that.

    Not hodge podge; you are a collector....that's what I tell everyone I am, a plant collector. We should both try to count all the different plants we have.....we would be stunned!

    I love the pictures of the wee one being carried through the garden!

  16. Sue, I glanced at your photos yesterday, but wanted to have time to sit down with a cup of coffee to really read all your wrote.

    Don't be discouraged by anything. Your gardens looks wonderful and you have so many interesting varieties.

    I have never seen 'Do Not Propagate' on a tag. At least never noticed. I'm not sure what they are saying...can you please explain.


  17. It's gorgeous! If I saw this house, I would think - wow, this is a very very well-loved garden. The watergarden is so pretty.

  18. I absolutely concur with Wendy! You really have no need whatsoever to doubt your own efforts and creativity.


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