Saturday, December 31, 2011

Winter Splendor

The U.S. Botanic Gardens had a knock-out Winter Display this year, but just as impressive were the wild array of interesting containers set among the grounds. I was captivated by their beauty, and wowed by the spectacular presentation.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Woodland Waterfall and Stream

I've longed to add the movement and sound of water to my garden, but with young children in the household, adding a pond is simply out of the question. While searching for alternatives, the idea of installing a Pondless Waterfall began to take hold, and now I am gathering ideas for inspiration. It would look so natural in my Woodland Garden, viewable from the deck and serving as an enticing shady retreat for both the birds and my family. I'm not sure how feasible (or costly) the project would be, as it would require adding a power source and perhaps lighting, but definitely this is a path worth exploring.

Probable Site for Water Feature:

Design Ideas (Google Images):

Monday, December 26, 2011

Terrariums - Tiny Tabletop Gardens

Interesting how an idea can implant in your head, and grow and grow until it becomes an obsession. I came across a $5 terrarium gift plant while at Home Depot many weeks ago, and then the latest issue of Better Homes and Gardens had an article on how to create terrariums, and so today I scooped up the supplies and decided to try one. I AM HOOKED! There are so many possibilities, so much opportunity to really get creative, and the final product is effortlessly elegant.

Creation #1: Jungle Tiger

Creation #2: Resting Birds

Creation #3: Desert Orchid

Creation #4: Silver Forrest

Whenever I glimpse these tiny wonders, I feel transported to a tropical fantasy world, and best of all they are a self-sustaining eco-system that practically take care of themselves. I now have a New Hobby in 2012!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Spring 2012 New Designs

As winter sets in, I am dreaming up grand new plans for my 2012 Garden. I will expand the Sun Perennial Border at the face of my house, to allow for 3 full rows of shrubs/perennials/annuals, and I will incorporate more plants that will create 3-season interest and a long bloom season.

Back Row: Satsuki Azaleas, Rose 'Harlow Carr', Itea 'Little Henry'
Middle Row: Sedum 'Autumn Joy', Lavender 'Munstead', Euphorbia 'Blackbird'
Front Row: Zinna Pinwheel 'Raspberry Lemondade', Garden Mums, Dianthus 'Baths Pink'

On the opposite end of this border, I will also widen it by about a foot and add a few additional plants.

Mid-Back: Baptisia Australis
Front: Fountain Grass 'Hameln'
Front Edging (left): Centaurea "Gold Bullion"

It will all be so AMAZING!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ice and Fire

As Christmas descends upon us, I find the greatest gift of all to be a simple day spent outside. These early weeks of Winter have been so very mild, often almost Spring-like, and the more time I spend outdoors the more I yearn to add more winter-interest to my garden. I have great appreciation for plants that manage to look good in the depths of December or January, and below are five favorites:

Carex 'Evergold'
This gorgeous evergreen mounded grass perennial is worth it's weight in gold. It literally requires no maintenance and is a standout in shady areas that needs a pop of pizazz.

Nandina 'Firepower'
While not my favorite shrub by any means, I can't dismiss the appeal of an evergreen that keeps a compact habit and glows red all winter long.

Mahonia Bealei
This burly yet beautiful shrub has some fearsome thorns, yet the most exquisite flowers and berries in Spring. Already the yellow flowers are waiting to unfurl themselves, and I can't wait to see it.

Euphorbia 'Rainbow ascot'
I bought this perennial on a clearance table last summer, and have been wowed ever since, so much so that I believe I may try to find a spot for it in the garden. Currently it's in a container on my deck and doing fine, but I'd love to add whole swaths of it in the garden somewhere.

Nandina domestica
The traditional Nandina, with it's graceful cleaved foliage and bright red berries, has now settled in nicely after being transplanted too many times to count, and I just love the bright red berries. They really sing *Christmas*.


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