Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Purple

Just in time for Great Britain's Royal Wedding, a lot of purple is popping up in my garden, and I'm lovin' it! The Alliums are looking stellar...

..., and my Mailbox Butterfly Garden is really starting to pop with the purple blossoms of Clematis, Iris and Salvia. I am always looking for an excuse to run out to the curbside to check out my newest garden, and it is evolving each and every week.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

2011 Container Gardening

With so many wonderful ornamental and flowering plants on the market these days, I am always looking for more space to grow things, and it is through container gardening that I have found the room to let my imagination run wild. I can grow fragrant roses on my sunny deck, and experiment with exciting new annuals on the front stoop. The possibilities are endless, and this is what I've cooked up for Spring/Summer 2011!

Ingredients: Cordyline Australis 'Red Star', Marguerite Daisy, Mandevilla Dipladenia

Ingredients: Snapdragon, Annual Dianthus, Vinca Vine

Purple Container: David Austin Rose 'Harlow Carr', Salvia 'May Night'
Golden Yellow Container: David Austin Rose 'Falstaff'
Brown Urn: t.b.d

Ivory Tan Container: Elephant Ears
Brown Urn: David Austin Rose 'Mortimer Sackler'
Burgundy Container: Blueberry Bush

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Pastel Delights

The National Arboretum

Neighborhood Trees

Friday, April 22, 2011

Growing and Growing

It was only 20 days ago that I planted up my Mailbox Butterfly Garden, and so far all the plants are really thriving in their new curbside spot. There have been several days of rain throughout this period, and that really helped things get off to a great start. Flowers will be plentiful I believe, as the Clematis already has many buds formed, and the Yarrow is set to burst into bloom any day now. I can't wait for the show to start!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Season of Azaleas

The Washington D.C. area is now on the cusp of peak Azalea Season, and I will definitely be venturing off to the National Arboretum this upcoming weekend to see the famed Azalea Collection, which came pretty close to being destroyed due to budget cuts. While not my favorite shrub, I always look forward to the blooms of the many many Azaleas that reside in my garden, and they have grown on me. The first to bloom are the 2 large shrubs midway between the floating deck and the shed, and today they are smothered with flowers and looking positively divine.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Freshening a Bouquet

After the recent arrival of my sweet baby girl, I received several gorgeous bouquets of fresh spring flowers. They lasted an impressive two weeks (the delicious fruit lasted only two days)...

and then after their inevitable decline I freshened the bouquet by combining the remaining holdovers (white daisies and pale pink carnations) with daffodils and flowering branches from my garden.

These flowers now reside on my entryway shelf, serving as the perfect Springtime Greeting every time I step inside my door.

To keep flowers fresh, it is important to change the water every 3 days, to re-cut the stems at each change-out, and to use the florist food that comes in the packet. These simple steps can really help to stretch out the life of a bouquet.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Early Spring Renewal

My rock garden was quite an eyesore one year ago, but last Fall I installed a Serviceberry, and then today I dug out all the weeds and honeysuckle seedlings and put in some Creeping Phlox. I re-arranged several rocks and mulched the area to give it a nice unified appearance, and as a finishing touch, I spread some Sweet Alyssum seeds beneath the tree.

(Phlox subulata 'Purple Beauty')

(Phlox subulata 'Emerald Blue')

(Phlox subulata 'Mcdaniel's Cushion')

Upon wrapping up work in the rock garden, I planted my first container of the season for the front door stoop: 1 Snapdragon, 2 Annual Dianthus, 1 Vinca Vine

While adding new plants to my garden is always a pleasure, nothing beats seeing the old ones come back again. The Viburnum Burkwoodii has just begun to bloom, and the wonderfully strong fragrance knocks my socks off.

My Bradford Pear, which has a (distastefully) unique scent of its own, is covered in blooms. I find this stately beauty to be among the most graceful of all trees.

What a great day in the garden!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Creation of a Butterfly Garden

April is the sweetest month to me, a month full of so much hope and promise. And so it is only fitting that I begin the month by breaking ground on my long-planned Mailbox Butterfly Garden. I prepared the garden bed last Fall using the lasagna method to smother the grass, and today I planted up a whole range of perennials using mostly divisions or transplants that I already had. In addition to adding in the plant-life, my husband installed a brand new mailbox and post, and so this entire area just got a full face-lift. Below is a listing of the plants I used:

7 Daylilys (yellow)
1 Clematis (purple)
3 Shasta Daisy 'Becky'
1 Peony 'Louise Marx'
3 Bearded Iris (purple/blue)
2 Yarrow 'Coronation Gold'
1 Butterfly Bush 'Nanho Blue'
3 Black-Eyed Susan 'Goldstrum'
30 Acidenthera bulbs


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