Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Flocks of Phlox

It is that time of year when the phlox start to bloom in the garden. This year, they are putting on a really good show of color. Phlox or Phlox paniculata are easy to grow and they are a favorite with butterflies and bees. They come in a wide assortment of colors like white, pink, orange, blue, red, purple and mauve. Some phlox will have a contrasting eye color and variegated blooms. Phlox are easy to grow and will provide blooms in the garden from summer to fall. To keep your phlox blooming, remove spent flowers as they start to fade.

Phlox is a perennial plant that grows from 16 to 36 inches tall, spread rapidly and look great in a mass planting. Always keep taller varieties to the back of the bed and shorter varieties to the front. Phlox prefer full sunlight with some protection from winds. They prefer well-drained soil. Add plant food in the spring and some mulch made from compost or aged manure to keep your plants happy.

One problem with phlox is that they can get powdery mildew. If you have this problem, spray with a fungicide.

Propagation of phlox is by division and best done in the fall. After your phlox have completed blooming in the fall, clean them up for winter by cutting them back.

This white phlox has a contrasting eye color of pink.

If you do not have phlox in your garden, give them a try. They add lots of color to the garden and they will attract bees and butterflies to your garden. If I didn't mention, phlox can make a good cut flower to enjoy in a bouquet inside your home. They have a wonderful fragrance.

Happy Gardening!


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Echinacea for the Garden

It has been a very busy year! Between a bathroom remodel, garden redesign and endless weeding of the gardens (due to lots of rain), I have been working on lots of projects. Time flies when you are having fun! I just went outside and started weeding a garden when it started to rain. Rain was not in the forecast for today. Since everything is wet, I decided to write a blog post and allow the garden to dry before starting to weed again. My post for today is on Echinacea or coneflowers, which is an old garden favorite for many of us and a plant that is looking great in my garden this year.

Coneflowers produce very pretty flowers that bloom for a long period of time in the garden. It is a plant that is hardy, drought resistant and now comes in many different colors like pink, yellow, peach, and white to name a few. Coneflowers grow to about 39 inches tall and look wonderful when planted in a mass planting. Blooming is from mid-summer into fall.

Coneflowers prefer full sun and should be sheltered from strong winds to protect their flowers. They prefer well-drained, rich soil to grow in. Propagation is by division of the plant or from seed. These plants are great for borders, cut flowers and the birds love the seed heads in the fall.

Small birds enjoy feeding on the seed heads of Echinacea.

One of the many new colors of Echinacea.

A new variety of Echinacea
If you do not have coneflowers in your garden, you may want to grow a few. I hope everyone is having a great year in the garden and ........ 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...