New Plants, New Troubles in my Garden

New Plants, New Troubles in my Garden

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Time for some mid-summer photos! Here in my front yard I’m loving the potted coleus, especially the pot that’s sitting IN a border, serving as a focal point in an otherwise pointless arrangement. It’s paired with the same coleus in another pot nearby – under the hanging petunias.

A Garden NOT for the Birds

About that hanging pot. I used to hang bird feeders there – until a neighbor complained about them attracting too many birds, which then crapped on her car. I want my neighbors to be happy so I stopped feeding the masses of birds in this spot (I still have a thistle feeder in the back yard which attracts a manageable number of birds) and gotta say – what a relief! I have my garden back – from all the dropped seeds that germinate, from the daily chore of filling the feeders, and most especially, from having to arrange the entire garden so that squirrels can’t get to the feeder. In a tiny space like this, that’s no easy task – squirrels leap in bounds, as you’ve probably all observed.

I actually used to avoid sitting in this garden sometimes because I didn’t want to disturb the birds!

So thanks to a neighbor complaint, I have my garden back.

Here’s something I tried something this year – planting a skirt of Sedum sarmentosum (which grows like a weed around here) in my pots. So it’s the spiller in the popular thriller/filler/spiller categories of plants we’re supposed to stuff into containers. I like to keep things simpler than that, though, having found that three species are too hard to keep looking good in a container, but one main plant with some spiller I can handle. The pots are now completely covered by the Sedum.

Something else I’m trying this year? Zinnias, a plant I’ve never liked the looks of, but pollinator gardeners have convinced me it’s a boon to those critters, especially before and after the other plants do the job.

So I was inspired to find a Zinnia I like and did – this ‘Profusion Cherry’ variety fills out nicely and has lovely flower colors.

In my back garden, this evergreen combo of a Bignonia vine, Aucuba ‘Picturata’ and Sedum takesimense is looking good – except that the Aucuba is reverting to its more common self. So I’m carefully removing all the reverted leaves, but is it a losing battle? (Anyone know?) ‘Picturata’ is supposed to have big blotches of solid yellow and a green edge, not all-over speckles.

I”m loving this this next combo, too – Hosta ‘Frances Williams’ with an unknown, hand-me-down Geranium. As fate would have it in gardens, a tree shading this area had to be removed last fall, so I’m waiting to see if my Hostas burn to a crisp in the sun, in which case I have no idea where I’ll put them.

We gardeners are the soul of flexibility, aren’t we? Of necessity, not choice.

Meanwhile, check out the bee action in the Hosta blossoms! I love watching them scurry up in there.

And here’s a plant I decided to get rid of and promptly did just that. It’s a bloomless Climbing Hydrangea. I wish I’d chosen Climbing Hydrangea VINE instead, but that’s not what I replaced this with. I chose a native honeysuckle ‘Blanche Sandman’ for its red-orange, hummingbird-attracting blooms.

Now this is new in my gardening experience – sweet potato vine leaves sheered uniformly. I posted this photo to a local gardening group and everyone recognized it as the work of rabbits. Oh, goody. But at least it’s not deer, right? My neighbors have deer damage but my more enclosed garden has been spared – so far.

This last scene is at the rear of my back garden, along the inner sidewalk leading to the center of town. So though I can’t see it from my house or garden, it’s pretty public and a great place for me to stash freebie plants that growers send me to review. This ‘OSO Easy Double Red’ rose would clash with my chosen color palette but isolated in this spot, I say go for it.

To its right is a very promising plant I’d never seen before – a ‘Double Play Blue Kazoo’ Spirea. A mouthful, but the point seems to be its tricolor foliage.

That’s all for now. I’m in Minneapolis for the Garden Blogger Fling, seeing gardens and best of all, old friends.

Posted by

Susan Harris
on July 15, 2016 at 7:15 am, in the category Real Gardens.

    • Evelyn Hadden
    • 25th August 2016

    Susan, I’m loving the photos of your garden! Wow, it has filled in so much in just a few years. Beautiful shot up into the hosta blossoms. Thanks for sharing.

    • John
    • 6th November 2016

    I’m with you, I’ve never really liked zinnias, at least the double zinnias. I have several varieties of the single zinnias like you have, I enjoy their range of colors.

    • Gail
    • 9th November 2016

    You picked a great zinnia – Profusion Cherry is a 1999 Gold Medal AAS Winner! That means that all the AAS judges gave this zinnia in their independent trials the highest score possible! Be sure to check out all the Double Profusion that are AAS Winners as well!

    • bittenbyknittin
    • 9th November 2016

    Oh, I love zinnias, the bigger the better. The best hummingbird photos I’ve captured were of a hummer perched on a zinnia. Re sweet potatoes, I would vote for woodchuck. Sweet potatoes are one of their favorites, along with broccoli and Brussels sprouts (but only after the latter have been sweetened by a frost).

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