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Author Topic: Any Home and Garden news yet?  (Read 6562 times)


  • Guest
Any Home and Garden news yet?
« on: February 12, 2011, 10:46:10 AM »
I am surprised with the opening of this topic that there has not been more comments on home and garden projects. Of course, gardens and such are always on my mind being a nursery worker; and it is still winter after all. But this is a perfect time to curl up with a cup of tea and those wonderful garden catalogues. Any plans for a fabulous garden this year? What are you all going to plant?


  • Guest
Re: Any Home and Garden news yet?
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2011, 11:25:52 AM »
I am very much afraid that this coming spring will see me digging out broken shrubs and replacing them. The snow has been so deep and so heavy ...  I am positive that there will be a great deal of damage to contend with when the snow melts. My perennials will all pop back, but what I see barely emending  from the snow now that it has settled some with the rain last week and former a hard crust, is showing me a hearbreaking scene of splayed and broken branches.

I am anxiously awaiting the thaw so I can examine the plants that look the most damaged, most of which appear to be the first ones I installed in my gardens in the spring of 07. So far, these look the hardest hit, but many are still completely submerged:

My Syringa 'Miss Kim'
At least one Leucothoe 'Girard's Rainbow' (looks completely flattened)
One of my Ilex glabra 'Inkberry'
Several kalmia angustifolia (those slow-growing tiny babies don't stand a chance, and I have 8 of them)
One of my Andromeda 'Dorothy Wycoff'
Possibly all of the tender woody shoots of my many hydrangeas

I usually put up tent frames over the plants directly beneath the eaves and wrap others in burlap, but 1) I didn't wrap this year because there are no more deer and 2) I got lulled into a false sense of security about the weather. From what I hear, it has not snowed this bad since the 60s. I remember more snow when I first moved into this house 7 years ago, but I thought that was an aberration, because since then, winters had been relatively mild (or at least not much snow).

So this spring will be major cleanup and repair and/or replanting, so I will have to save my money so I can buy larger, more mature shrubs (so I don't have to wait another 4 years for them to grow).

I also have a lot of transplanting to do, and I am planning a retreat in the corner of my yard. Here's what I would have been focusing on if I were not facing such a major cleanup:

Install gravel and bluestone flooring under the oaks and maples in the southwest corner of the yard.
Put trellises behind it for privacy and plant clematis and climbing roses (haven't decided what yet/have to figure out the light, which changed when the developers cut down the trees)
Plant a shrub border, something dense and evergreen, so the space feels like a secret hideaway
Put a couple reading chairs back there, now that there will be fewer mosquitoes. Probably Adirondack in teak so I can leave them out year round (covered in winter)

Otherwise, I will be transplanting some of my more exuberant perennials: geranium macrorrhizum 'Spessart' and 'Bevan's Variety'; alchemilla mollis; pachysandra (love that stuff!) and tending to my relatively new English cottage garden, including sowing some new seeds.


  • Guest
Re: Any Home and Garden news yet?
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2011, 11:27:24 AM »
That was rather a gloomy post, and I suspect hopflower had different intentions. To cheer myself up, here are images of the garden that I grew from seeds last year:

Ageratum houstonianum 'Blue Horizon'

Anagallis monellii 'Gentian Blue' (Pimpernel)

Browallia americana 'Blue Lady'

Centaurea cyanus 'Jubilee Gem' (Cornflower)

Chrysanthemum parthenium (Feverfew)

Cleome hassleriana 'Rose Queen'

Consolida ambigua 'Giant Imperial' (Larkspur)

Cosmos bipinnatus 'Seashells'

Cosmos bipinnatus 'Vega'

Cynoglossum amabile 'Mystery Rose' (Chinese forget-me-not)

Dianthus barbatus (Sweet William)

Digitalis purpurea 'Alba' (Foxglove)

Eryngium alpinum 'Blue Lace' (Sea Holly)

Gilia capitata (Queen Anne's Thimbles)

Hesperis matronalis (Dame's Rocket)

Impatiens balsamina (Balsam)

Ipomoea tricolor 'Heavenly Blue' (Morning Glory)

Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion)

Nigella damascena 'Persian Jewels' (Love in a Mist)

Papaver laciniatum 'Lilac Pompom'

Papaver orientale 'Princess Victoria Louise'

Papaver rhoeas 'Corn'

Papaver rhoeas 'Dawn Chorus'

Papaver rhoeas 'Shirley'

Papaver somniferum 'Imperial Pink'

Papaver somniferum 'Lauren's Grape'

Salvia sclarea var. turkestanica (Clary Sage)

« Last Edit: February 12, 2011, 11:50:03 AM by Zuzu's Petals »


  • Guest
Re: Any Home and Garden news yet?
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2011, 11:29:36 AM »
Here they are again, all grouped together! I can't resist looking at all the pretty colors!

Of course, they won't all bloom at the same time. Figuring that out, and which colors to plant with which, took far more time than preparing the garden bed and tending to the seeds!


  • Guest
Re: Any Home and Garden news yet?
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2011, 11:49:25 AM »
That was my seed garden. The images that follow are from my cottage garden, where I used mostly perennials/some annuals.

When paging through my beloved Cottage Living magazine (now defunct), I kept daydreaming about my little Cape, with its grey shingles and white trim, sitting on our street with other Capes ... and how nice it would be to have a tall, loose, wild, English cottage garden look to set it apart from the requisite euonymous, purple azalea, and forsythia (yuck--OK not really but so common as to make me almost blind to the sight).

The 100 square foot cottage garden I installed follows the lines of the shrub border on the side, expanding into the middle of the backyard. I left a 3-foot strip of grass between the gardens so I can move around between them to weed and water. Right now I have to mow that strip, but eventually I'll consider gravel edged with cobblestones.

When I installed the garden, the space got sun from 10-12 and tree-filtered sun from 12-2, but after the developers took away our lovely woods, it now gets full sun from 10-5 so I can indulge my papaver obsession!

Not knowing this at planting time, I chose perennials that could handle part sun, and they did great last year. Oddly enough I took no full pictures of the garden. In fact, I did almost no gardening last summer, and now I remember why. I was going to the dermatologist each month for laser treatments, and I was supposed to avoid ANY sun 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after my treatment. So that explains where my summer went.  :rollseyes:  I weeded at night or at 6AM.

Click to enlarge images.

Achillea 'Corination Gold' (Yarrow)

Alchemilla Mollis (because you can just never have enough Lady's Mantle!)

Anemone tomoentosa 'Robustissima' (Windflower)

Aquilegia 'Yellow Queen' (Columbine)

Campanula persicifolia 'Alba' intermingled with 'New Giant' below (Bellflower)

Campanula persicifolia 'New Giant' intermingled with 'Alba' above

Crysanthemum superbum Brightside (Daisy)

Crysanthemum superbum Highland White (Daisy)

Clematis Josephine (to climb [hide] the hideous fence between the 2 clematis terniflora 'Sweet Autumn' currently residing there along with the clematis 'Mayleen' planted last season)

Coreopsis Tripteris (Tickseed/Butter Daisy)  -- HATED these! I dug them out this past fall.

Delphinium 'Dusky Maidens'

Dianthus barbatus 'Novena Clown' (Sweet William)

Digitalis grandiflora 'Carillon' (Foxglove)

Geranium cranesbill 'Johnson's Blue' (I don't love these. I'll replace with 'Roxanne,' which bloom until a hard frost)

Helleborus 'Carousel' (Lenten Rose)

Heuchera 'Patricia Louise' (Coral Bells)

Heuchera 'Raspberry Ice'

Hollyhock 'Black Beauty Alcea'  -- I ADORE these deliciously dark blooms!

Lavendula Munstead (Lavender)

Monarda 'Aquarius' (Bee Balm) -- Not a big fan, and the experiment didn't go well. I can't keep the leaf mold down.

Papaver 'Double Tangerine Gem' (Poppy)

Phlox paniculata 'David'

Phlox paniculata 'Franz Schubert'

Viola cornea 'Lutea Spendens' (violet)

I also have lots of Filipendula rubra 'Venusta' in another spot in my yard (such a friendly plant!), and so many others I can't remember (have to go get my gardening notebook).

As I mentioned above, this newer addition is parallel to an existing garden that contains 4 Rhododendron 'Cunningham's White', 1 Rhododendron 'Royal Purple, 2 Viburnum dentatum 'Autumn Jazz', 2 Pieris japonica 'Dorothy Wycoff', 1 Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy' (dead* and replaced), 3 Clethera alnifolia 'Ruby Spice', and tons of Geranium macrorrhizum 'Spessart' as groundcover. After this picture I dug up the Forest Pansy, which is not hearty to this area and put in a white crabapple, which blooms at the same time as my Cornus Florida 'Alba.' The shrubs have filled in and grown tall enough to not only hide the neighbor's chainlink fence but hide the fact that his house needs painting.  :wink:

Thanks for starting this cheerful topic, hopflower! I have changed my mind about what I want to do this afternoon.


  • Guest
Re: Any Home and Garden news yet?
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2011, 11:53:27 AM »
All together.



  • Guest
Re: Any Home and Garden news yet?
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2011, 12:09:26 PM »
Getting sick of me yet?

Here are some more random images of my yard that I saved to Photobucket. I have a bazillion more stored in iPhoto.  :Devil:

How my cottage garden started:

My favorite poppies of all time! Alpine poppies:


  • Guest
Re: Any Home and Garden news yet?
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2011, 12:12:42 PM »


  • Guest
Re: Any Home and Garden news yet?
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2011, 12:28:50 PM »
I could really use some help with my front yard. The aspect is mostly northeast, and it gets very little sun except for the far left side that gets late afternoon sun.

Posting full-yard pictures is almost as traumatizing as posting pictures of my face. We inherited really cute house on a yard that the former owners (who lived here since the 40s) did nothing to. I suspect he plopped a couple tiny yews in front to help sell the house, but we dug those up and put them out back for the deer to eat.

We have two large oaks in front, plus a dogwood that I planted our first spring here and is now over 15 feet high! I paid a garden designer to come up with a plan for me, but I executed the whole thing myself (sourcing plants, plotting the garden, digging, and planting).

I have never been in love with the plants she chose for me, as well as how closely she had me plant them, and since many will have been destroyed this winter, I am wide open to ideas.

The front of the house is light shade, and although the hydrangeas grow and bloom, they are not as happy as they could be.

I am planning a wide walkway from the bottom of the steps (which need to be panited) to the driveway, in a welcoming curve, but I haven't put one in because I can't decide between bluestone, slate, and brick. Maybe even crushed pea gravel. Which hardscape material is more cottagey? I fear the bluestone could be too formal unless I can install the slabs in an irregular pattern.

Here are some images before and after the gardens I installed. I dug them up in fall 07 and did all the planting in spring 08:


Look how neat and tiny everything is! The hydrangea has since taken over and flops all over the place. I am afraid I will have to stake it this year, which annoys me because I want my shrub borders to be very low maintenance, and I told my garden planner this.

This garden contains a hydrangea (Annabelle or Snow White-- I can't remember), 3 leucothoe, 4 sheep laurel, 2 kirengeshoma palmata, 1 ilex glabra, 8 waldstenia (taking over nicely as groundcover), and around 8 asilbe 'Hennie Graafland,' which are struggling. In fact, none of it is thriving. The holly is leggy. It's all leggy, and the astilbe have barely grown in 2 years.

Despite my heavily amending the soil, this is not a friendly garden. The soil feels compact and hard, which might be a reason plants are struggling--they are root bound. I am not sure what to do here to make it more plant friendly. Add liquid gypsum where it feels compacted? Gently dig up the soil around the plants and add more compost?

The other side of the front door is doing slightly better, but it is overgrown because (so says my dad), this gardener likes to cram things in from the start to make it look full. Unfortunately, the three All Summer Beauty hydrangas have completely eclipsed the 4 other sheep laurel and two have died. I have another ilex over there, a enkianthus 'Red Vein' (yuck), filipendula rubra 'Venusta', and foamflower as ground cover (the latin name escapes me). For some reasons I didn't upload those images to Photobucket.


  • Guest
Re: Any Home and Garden news yet?
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2011, 12:48:09 PM »
Found some. Here are some shots of the other side of the front door, when the garden was first installed. That was 3 years ago so there has been a lot of growth.

I am thinking about transplanting all of it and putting something more low maintenance and heartier (the water spigot is on that wall, and so is the water meter, so town employees walk through it).




  • Guest
Re: Any Home and Garden news yet?
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2011, 12:49:53 PM »
Here are some pictures of my parents' house and garden, that I helped paint (house) and install (garden). They DO live on the beach!

I took these pictures 5 years ago, when the gardens were still relatively new. Since then things have grown in, and it is incredibly lush. In fact, much of what I have growing in my yard is from shoots from their gardens. When I visit in the spring and summer, it's very gratifying to watch cars slow down and the cameras flash. It's just that pretty.

Unfortunately, I took these pictures in early spring, before anything was blooming, so there's not much color at all. I'll have to get some new ones in July. They have anemones and peonies and all kinds of wonderful amazing perennials.


  • Ageless Beauty
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Re: Any Home and Garden news yet?
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2011, 10:17:59 PM »
I want to see who can top Zuzu, our consummate gardener. I'm out. :P

Your pictures are awesome. I have the opposite of a green thumb; fortunately DH likes to garden or I'd have to add gardener to my wish list of chef and maid.
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  • Ageless Beauty
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Re: Any Home and Garden news yet?
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2011, 10:45:15 PM »
I'm out.  I live in a townhouse with no garden space, just a few potted plants in my courtyard.

Back in MN, I had 5 raised garden beds where I grew veggies using the square foot garden method.  I miss my crab apple trees in the spring where they burst out in pinks.

So beautiful, ZuZu.  I'm in awe of the variety and voluptuousness of your blooms. 
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  • Guest
Re: Any Home and Garden news yet?
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2011, 08:15:58 AM »
Thank you! I am rather shocked that I picked it up so easily, not that I haven't made a lot of mistakes along the way.

After most of my adult life in rentals, I suddenly got gardening a few years ago, maybe because my yard was so plain and boring, zero curb appeal. It also helped that I got over my fears and insecurities (I used to kill every houseplant I owned with kindness) by helping my parents plan and install their gardens certainly helped. Planning (looking through gardening books) was the most fun!

I started with very low maintenance things (broadleaf evergreen shrubs) and a few perennial shoots from my parents' gardens. I had several failures (not planting things in the correct spot), but nothing has actually died, and I have moved every original shrub at least three times by now! I think that's what I find most liberating. Unless it's a tree that has put down significant roots, if I don't like where I put something I can just move it.

After realizing I wasn't going to kill the gifted perennials, I started out on my own two summers ago and went nuts with all kinds of different perennials. Last summer I noticed people slowing down when they drove by my house, so I must be doing something right.

I really enjoy it. I weed a patch or put down fresh mulch or compost and it's instant gratification. Or I think about buying flowers and then remember I can go outside and cut fresh flowers. And this summer I will be able to smell them, since I had no sense of smell in years past. :)


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Re: Any Home and Garden news yet?
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2011, 08:18:38 AM »
Your gardens are beautiful, Zuzu.  Now I know who to come to for gardening advice!  We have an abundance of deer in our area, who eat just about everything.  Even the plants that say "deer proof".  :lol:  But we try!  They won't touch daffodils.
However, at our house at the shore, we have quite a few plantings, and can grow just about anything.  (no deer threat there!)   Everything needs a really good clean-up now though.   
I will keep watching your posts, Zuzu, for the inspiration and push that I need.  :grin:

Here's one photo from the shore - a hibiscus in bloom.
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