Thursday, April 30, 2009

Stunning Tiarellas


One perennial plant that adds lots of flower power in the spring garden are Tiarellas. Tiarellas or "Foam Flowers" are a rhizomatous perennial that can make a great groundcover for shade or part shade. In the spring to mid summer they produce spikes of beautiful fragrant white or pink flowers. The flower sprays can be cut and used in floral arrangements. Over the years there have been many new additions of Tiarellas offered on the market. The newer Tiarellas have wonderful shaped leaves with unusual markings or different colored leaves. This is a great addition to the woodland garden where color is needed for a shady area or mixed with Hostas. Tiarellas can be propagated by division or by seed. They prefer humus rich soil that is moderately moist but they will tolerate a wide variety of soil types. Tiarellas are also deer resistant and grow in zones 4-9. If you looking for something different in the garden, try a Tiarella!
Happy Gardening!
The Creative Gardener

Friday, April 24, 2009

Easy to Make Garden Projects

This past winter, I started work on several projects for the garden. Now that the weather has improved, installation has started. The garden door was created from left over cedar wood from my son's house remodel. The door gives the illusion of "Entry". The framing for the garden door was made from landscape timbers placed in cement. This door is hinged and can be opened and closed. The basket on the door will be lined in moss and have flowering plants added as the weather improves in my zone 5 garden.

This arbor project is simply three eight foot landscape beams. Two beams are cemented into the ground with the third beam bolted across the top. I added plant hooks for the two hanging flower baskets. The arbor is painted in a light green color to accent the plants. I made two matching arbors for both ends of the woodland garden. Each arbor was under ten dollars to make, but they make a big statement in the garden.
Happy Gardening!
The Creative Gardener

Mutant Dandelions?

While out gardening yesterday, I was removing a few dandelions that were popping up in flower beds. This dandelion really got my attention! I have seen mutations in dandelions before, but not this large. The plant had normal size stems and blooms and these two large stems with as many as a dozen flower heads per each stem. Good thing that I didn't use fertilizer!


Happy Gardening!

The Creative Gardener

Monday, April 20, 2009

Spring in the Garden

Spring is one of my favorite seasons in the garden. It's that time of the year when the garden renews itself. Over the long winter, I spend time reviewing the "bones" of the garden from my upstairs window where I can see the entire garden. From there I make my plans for the upcoming growing season. Spring allows me to see what survived, multiplied, needs help or didn't survive. When I first started the garden, my property was weeds, mature native trees and lots of Poison Ivy and Euonymus vines covering all the trees. I spent the first two summers removing vines and itching from Poison Ivy. Around two thirds of my garden is in flood plain and the first few years, I didn't plant anything in that area after seeing my first couple of floods. Now the gardens are large and extend into the flood plain. When it floods, the gardens are under water for about one week. Flooding occurs during winter to early spring, when the plants are dormant. I have never lost a plant from flooding. The gardens are about one and half acres of flowering trees and shrubs and a wide assortment of perennial plants. To create a garden of that size requires lots of plants. I buy many of my plants at the end of the growing season on clearance. I also grow my perennials from seed and start many shrubs from cuttings or layering. I also receive lots of plants from friends and family who don't want them any more for various reasons. Every plant finds a home in my garden. Each year, I focus on adding certain elements to the garden design. Last year I planted lots of flowering shrubs to create the walls of the garden. This year I am adding more hardscapes like arbors, a retaining wall and enlarging the pond and waterfalls. I like to do the work myself, which is part of the fun of gardening! My garden is very young and each year I find it exciting to see how it has grown and continues to mature into the garden I envision. The plants are young and small, but the vision of a beautiful old mature garden is there. As I see it, my garden and I will grow old together!


Apple trees in bloom


Magnolia


Sumac - Sutherland's Gold

Narcissus



Brunnera


Narcissus

Cleveland Pears


Happy Gardening!
The Creative Gardener




























Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Colorful Foliage for the Garden

If you are looking for colorful foliage, texture and flowers, here is an interesting new addition for your garden. Sorbaria sorbifolia "Sem" or Ural False Spirea offers beautiful colored compound foliage and creamy white blossoms in July and August. This shrub is a dwarf variety that is compact, well branched and more dense than other forms. It is hardy in zones 3-7 and is widely adaptable to different soil types. It has pinkish-red to green foliage color turning bronze in the fall. Sorbaria sorbifolia grows to 3-4 feet tall and 4 foot wide. It needs sun to part shade. This shrub is easy to grow and will thrive in any well drained soil. This plant would look great potted up in a dark blue ceramic pot. If you are looking for color, texture and flowers, this shrub has it all.





Happy Gardening!





The Creative Gardener

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Beauty of Azaleas


It is always nice to take a short vacation trip to a warmer climate. I just spent the last few days in Tennessee, Kentucky and Georgia. While is Georgia, I had the opportunity to see some beautiful Azaleas. Azaleas will grow in my area, but they tend to struggle and are sometimes a disappointment. My soil pH is neutral to slightly alkaline and not what Azaleas really need. Azaleas can grow as large as 10 feet tall and I did have the chance to see some that large. Azaleas prefer acid soil and a sheltered site with partial shade. You can propagate this plant by sowing seeds or layering branches in the summer.









Since I have been home from vacation, I have been reading up on Azaleas. I think with some soil amending that maybe I will try my hand at growing Azaleas one more time!


Happy Gardening!
The Creative Gardener



'Golden Shadows' Pagoda Dogwood

Years ago, I purchased a very small tree that was only 6 to 8 inches tall. It was a 'Golden Shadows' Pagoda Dogwood. It had beau...