Tag Archives: sedum matrona

Grasses, transitions and a new destroyer of plants

A tour around my garden:

Ornamental grasses are the dominant feature right now as they round into their peak form. So why don’t we start there.

I’m sure you are well aware of my affinity for Panicum ‘Rotstrahlbusch’ by now but if not, here is some visible propaganda.

rots

 

rots 2

 

More Panicum love here as well.

driveway bed

 

Not only do the grasses put a smile on my face but they also serve a very tangible purpose. Here they are protecting the tomatoes from the deer and doing a bang up job I must say.

tomatoes grasses

 

‘Karl Foerster’, kicking ass in John’s garden since ’07.

karl

 

A recent addition to the grass collection, Pennisetum ‘Burgundy Bunny’ has phenomenal color right now. I am going to liberally add these wherever I can find the space for them. Love.

burgundy bunny 2

 

Soghastrum (Indian Grass) has announced its presence in a big way of late but I’ll hold off on photos until they are just right. By just right, I mean when all of the blooms have arrived. For now, here is a taste of one of those blooms. Love.

indian grass bloom

 

Speaking of blooms on the grasses. Here is one of the Andropogon (Big Bluestem) ‘Red October’ blooms. I now get why this grass is often referred to as Turkey Foot.

andropogon flower

 

Yes, there are plants other than ornamental grasses that tickle my fancy right now and some of these newly emerged this week. Like seen here with the first blooms of Chelone lyonii. This plant truly loves my often waterlogged soil and for that I am indebted for life.

chelone

 

This Boltonia bloom could be heard yelling “first” this morning.

boltonia

 

Sedum ‘Matrona’ is playing nicely with Veronica ‘Royal Candles’ and my little hide-it-from-the-deer-game is still going strong.

sedum veronica

 

Transition of seasons. It is coming.

Look at what we have here. The seedheads of Baptisia are slowly opening and that makes me think winter is around the corner and that makes me cold which in turn makes me both mad and sad.

baptisia seedhead

 

Speaking of a transitional period, I just noticed this week that the stems on the Redtwig Dogwood are well, red and that also is freaking me out a bit. I love the red stems in winter and it is welcome winter interest, but for god’s sake, not yet.

redtwig

 

This Rhamnus (Buckthorn) ‘Fine Line’ was inundated with Japanese beetles just a few weeks ago and looked nasty. Now I know how resilient and tough she is and that will be noted on the trusty plant spreadsheet.

rhamnus

 

This spring I ordered a massive quantity of small plugs of Packer Aurea (Golden Ragwort) from Izel Native Plants¬†and while they all initially struggled with the heat and the humidity, they have all bounced back like a champ. I love the foliage. And I’m banking on mass blooms in early spring next year and post bloom, I plan on it being the plant to hide the ugly legs of others like Bee Balm and Sneezeweed.

ragwort

 

I cannot for the life of me successfully grow Cimicifuga (Bugbane). It is official now. I’ve tried in full shade, mostly shade, partial shade and full sun. I’ve left alone for years and remained patient with no success. I’ve kept them consistently moist and no dice. It may be time to move on.

cimici 3

 

cimici 2

 

cimici

 

One last one before I go. I spotted this bloom of Hydrangea ‘Little Lime’ just laying in my front lawn this morning and thought it curious since it wasn’t actually eaten by the deer.

hydrangea

Upon closer inspection, there were Bee Balm plants knocked to the ground near it as well.

Upon closer inspection this was not the act of deer or any other animal.

Upon closer inspection, a certain 14 year old boy seemed awfully nervous around me this morning.

Upon closer inspection, said 14 y/o boy likes to hit a baseball across the front lawn and this area happens to be right in the way.

QOTD: How should I appropriately handle this situation?

Random garden musings

Some thoughts as I walked through my garden recently:
Thuja (Arborvitae) ‘Rheingold’ continues to grow on me each year. The foliage color and texture are friggin stupendous:   

Cornus (Red Twig Dogwood) ‘Arctic Fire’ may be the shrub I’m most excited about for next year. I bought the tiniest plug last year and actually forgot about it. It was lost amongst the weeds in spring but I babied it in a container and now she is ready to fly on her own. Get those twigs nice and red now, ya hear:    

Perennials I can’t grow due to poor drainage are now being kept in containers so I can move them around at will – sort of like rearranging furniture. This Sedum ‘Matrona’ is temporarily in front of Hydrangea ‘Lady in Red’ … I kind of dig it:

Berries on trees = good times:

Just thought this was kind of a cool shot – Lobelia siphilitica (Blue Cardinal Flower) through the blooms of a Panicum (Switch Grass):

This Asclepias Incarnata (Swamp Milkweed) is thriving at four feet tall:

But I liked it better when it was destroyed by the caterpillars:

I still prefer containers with only one plant in them – like this series of Cordyline. One day I’ll graduate to the big leagues and learn how to use thrillers, fillers and spillers:

Each morning I run, I look forward to seeing the blooms on Tradescantia (Spiderwort) ‘Sweet Kate’ and I’m cool with them disappearing soon after:

Have a great weekend and for all of you in the path of Hurricane Irene, stay safe. We’re already preparing here in NJ as we’re expecting 8″ to 12″ of rain.

John

Photographic journey

It is hard for me to believe how little I had photographed my garden and it’s surroundings prior to this year. I spent all my time on digging out new beds and moving plants around with reckless abandon, never stopping to enjoy it all – very task driven.

Well, I now find myself taking out the camera and wandering aimlessly, not really sure what I want to photograph, yet by the end of the sojourn (like that term, huh?), I’ve got a ton of photos to look at and it allows me to sit back and actually enjoy what the garden and the creatures who live in it have to offer.

Here is the latest collection of said shots, and while I am aware of the fact that it may be overkill, I am still too geeked up to stop.

Enjoy.       

The butterflies are in full effect and I’ve even started to attempt to identify them. Good times. 

Monarch

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

I admit to being relatively clueless when it comes to bird identification but I will work my way there soon because I have seen so many different species this year and homey needs to know what they are. Just a few shots I took on a whim.   

Letting nature take it’s course – I have been monitoring the ladybugs to make sure they are properly disposing of the aphids and so far they have been graded out as a C+. They need to get their asses in gear before I step in and take care of business. 

I have actually allowed some “weeds” to mature just to see what they really are, and in some cases, I am digging the results. I don’t know exactly what these purple flowers are, but they have remained within bounds so they can stay.  

My first year with a Yucca (loving it) and the first sign of a new rosette forming next to the plant. Sweet.  

And finally, some blooms to round it all out.

Sedum ‘Matrona’

Phlox ‘David’

Clethra ‘Ruby Spice’

Zinnia mix