Saturday, January 26, 2013

Shade Loving Plants for the Woodland Garden

The Woodland Garden in the Summer
One of my favorite gardens is the Woodland Garden.  Woodland Gardens appeal to me because they are not formal, take less work to maintain and it is a garden designed to appear the way that nature would have made it.  They are relaxing, slightly unkempt, and lush with plantings. Woodland Gardens are places where you just want to sit down, watch the birds and squirrels and enjoy the life around you. 
If you have a wooded area in your landscape, consider designing a Woodland Garden.  Start with an entrance to the garden, like an arbor or gate.  Add a pathway to lead you into and around the garden.  A path can be river rock, mulch, or just dirt.
This garden can be all native plantings or it can contain selected shade loving perennials, shrubs, trees and bulbs that you like.  In my garden, I prefer a combination of natives and plants that I enjoy. I try to add plantings that add year round color in leaves, flowers and bark.  I also add early blooming shrubs and bulbs to start this garden into bloom after a long cold winter.
Plant selection is important in the Woodland Garden.  Plants need to be shade loving and able to survive in low light conditions. They also must be able to tolerate dry conditions that can occur in the summer and competition from the surrounding trees.  Here are a few of my favorite plants in my garden.
Annabelle Hydrangea
Assorted colors of  Hosta
Ghost Fern

Japanese Painted Fern

Forget- Me- Not
Virginia Bluebell
Assorted Foam Flowers

Oakleaf Hydrangea with fall color
Oakleaf Hydrangea with Ostrich Ferns

Variegated Solomon's Seal and native Solomon's Seal
Yellow Archangel  (AGGRESSIVE)

Assorted colors of  Hellebore for spring color
Wood Poppy
Sweet Woodruff
Marsh Marigold
Prairie Trillium
Grape Hyacinth

A shrub that I like in my garden is Witch Hazel, which can come in shades of yellow or orange for spring color. I also like  Dogwood and Red Bud trees for their spring color.  Look for shrubs and trees that have blooms and variegated leaves for added color that can be placed along the outside edge of your Woodland Garden.  Native plants that I like are Bloodroot, Mayapples, Jack in the Pulpit and Wild Ginger. Do your research on what plants are available in your area or that are native.

Next week, I plan to make a trip to the Indianapolis Home Show to visit their gardens. Check back for some new pictures of spring flowers.  Those of us who live in cold climates are ready for Spring to arrive!

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Happy Gardening!


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Senorita Blanca

Over the summer, I had the opportunity to try a new plant in the garden.  Proven Winners sent me three trial plants of Senorita Blanca, which is a Cleome hybrid. I have grown Cleome in the garden before, but this one was different. What I liked about this plant was that when it started blooming, it just kept on producing blooms till the first killing frost took the plant. The flowers are all over the plant and not just on the top of the plant. The plant performed very well in all the heat  and humidity that we had. Last year was a tough year in the garden due to a three month drought.
Senorita Blanca needs full sun and grows to a height of 24 to 48 inches with a spread of 18 to 24 inches.  The flowers are white to a pale lavender in color and last a long time on the plant.  This plant is sterile, so you will not have seed set and have cleome coming up all over the garden. It was easy to care for and no deadheading was needed.  An extra bonus to this plant was that butterflies and hummingbirds were attracted to it, a must in my garden.
I really liked this plant and was sad to see the frost kill it.  It was one of the few plants in my garden that performed well during the drought last year.  This is one plant that I will be adding to my garden again next season.
Happy Gardening!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

New and in Review - Luscious Berry Blend

Over the summer, I had the opportunity to grow a new trial plant from Proven Winners.  The plant was a Lantana hybrid called Luscious Berry Blend.  I planted one in the ground and one in a container.  The plant is advertised as drought, heat and humidity tolerant.  It did very well in my garden and was one of the few plants that bloomed all season considering Indiana was in the worse drought in over 100 years.
The plant produces beautiful flowers that were bright pink and yellow mixed into a dark green foliage. It grows in a mounded shape and will grow between 24 to 36 inches tall with a 20 to 30 inch spread. It does prefer full sun and in my zone 6a garden it is considered an annual. Luscious Berry Blend will attract butterflies and hummingbirds to the garden as an extra bonus. 
Did I like this plant?  Yes, I did!  Before the frost took the plants, I moved them into my greenhouse.  I plan to replant them into the garden and enjoy them again. I would suggest that you give this award winning plant a try in your garden!
Happy Gardening!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day - January 2013

This Garden Blogger's Bloom Day finds my garden cold, frozen and flooded.  I live on the White River and due to the heavy snow, recent warm up and rain, the river has flooded.
My duck topiaries that are planted in the ground, look to be swimming in the river.
The gazebo, which was the site of my son's wedding in October, is now sitting in flood water. The good news is that the river has crested today and all that water will be back where it should be in a few days.  My garden floods like this every year and I have never had a plant die from the flooding yet. 
The garden is showing signs of life.  The Witch Hazel is starting to show color  (top photo) and my Flowering Quince in the lower photo looks like it could burst into flower very soon.
This yellow colored Witch Hazel has already showed some flowering but has stopped due to the cold.
Inside the greenhouse, all the geraniums and begonias that were left over from last year continue to bloom.
The Lenton Rose in the garden has started to show future flowers, but it is also holding off due to the cold temperatures we are now having.

Last year I decided to add a small preformed pond I had inside my greenhouse.  Due to the size of my goldfish and their ability to reproduce, my outdoor pond was too small to leave the fish in during the winter.  The fish are very happy in the greenhouse and the pond provides a better environment for my plants in the winter.  The best part is that I can enjoy my fish during the winter and I don't have to maintain a heated section in the outdoor pond for winter. I plan to dig a much larger pond come spring.

I have not been writing as much as I would like.  Life sometimes keeps us busy.  I have closed my garden maintenance business and retired. I finished the DIY house remodel in time for the wedding and we had the wedding in October, which was beautiful.  I now plan to enjoy working in my own garden, take on a few DIY projects and start doing more garden writing (I promise).

Happy Gardening!


'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...