Sunday, May 1, 2016

What's New in the Garden

Hello! I thought I would share some developments in our garden. This weekend's weather was quite a change from what we had all week long. Yesterday was a chilly and drizzly day, but as it turned out, it was the perfect day for gardening. We visited a nursery not too far from our house that I recently heard great things about from a neighbor. They sell only perennials and have been in business 25 or more years.

Paul and I had such fun wandering around, admiring their beautiful selection of plants. They were all incredibly healthy, and the prices were very affordable. The variety of hostas, coral bells, ferns and other shade plants, as well as all the sun-loving flowering plants, was amazing. The staff was helpful and friendly. We left with 13 plants and a bag of potting mix for less than $160 (not counting the ornamental dwarf pine my husband splurged on, which was $66; the man raised it from a "baby" plant, so he had many years invested in it). 

When we arrived home, Paul immediately got busy digging holes, which was quite a task considering the massive tree roots along the back fence line that come from the large water oak in the yard behind ours. But he was a real trooper, getting all but three plants in the ground. I was so proud and so appreciative of all his hard work at the end of an already busy day.

To the shade garden we planted:
  • Two hostas: "Empress Wu" and "Goodness Gracious"
  • Three astilbe: "Visions" (pictured below) and "Fanal"
  • Two heuchera (coral bells) "Snow Angel"
  • One ghost painted fern
I plan to return to the nursery in the fall (or whenever he has his next sale) to buy more shade plants (no, I'm not telling Paul just yet!). We'll see how these plants fill in and then add a few more to create a fuller garden.

For the sun garden, Paul chose a hardy gardenia, below. I can't wait until it blooms. The flowers smell wonderful and they will look pretty at night ... some day we'd like to have a "night garden" with all white flowers that glow in the moonlight.

Paul also chose two sun-loving varieties of coreopsis (common name, tickseed): "Jethro Tull," below, and "Zagreb."

The dwarf Japanese white pine (pinus parviflora "Adcock's Dwarf") is planted beside the temple and Japanese maple. I guess we could now refer to this area as our "Japanese garden."

Other plants that Paul added to the garden a few weeks ago are two new hibiscus (they die each winter, and new ones are planted each spring). There will be even more dahlias in the garden this year -- Paul surprised me and planted more tubers! I was thrilled, as dahlias are my favorite flower. The Asian lilies are also doing nicely and are ready to bloom.

The hydrangea my husband planted last May, below, appears very happy, and is going to flower this year! This is a plant a coworker of my husband's gave him. How nice is that! To see how much it has grown in one year, see this post and scroll to the bottom.

Spring is such a pretty time in the garden. Temperatures are cooler and there is a good amount of rain. Soon though, summer heat will be bearing down on these plants. I hope they continue to thrive. We'll do our best to take good care of them. 

What's blooming in your garden?


  1. I love, love all that you (and Paul)have done here! Nice variety and textures. My peonies just bloomed today!! Yes, spring is here and this is really and truly the best time of year. I spend hours and hours in the garden and these drizzly, gray days have been perfect! Hope you will take pictures as the season progresses? Have a great week, Claudia.

    1. Oh, thank you, Libby! Paul and I chose the plants together, but Paul did all the hard work. I was the "designer." I will definitely post photos of the garden's progress over the coming months.

  2. Everything looks wonderful! I love your choices and can't wait to see how things fill in. Be sure to keep us updated as the season progresses.

    We had the coldest April in 60 years. Things are just starting to poke through, the daffs are up and opening slowly, and the peonies and hostas and daylilies are finally starting to shoot up. It's a slow start here this year. I was at the garden centre this week looking for inspiration, but we might have frost later this week, so I'll mull over my options and return next week to buy. I have such a hard time making up my mind.

    Enjoy your weekend! Hope the weather cooperates!

  3. All of your plantings are so beautiful and healthy - and hooray for Paul! That's hard work in the heat. I think your wishbone plant (torenia) is especially gorgeous, and the bonus with them is that they don't need deadheading!


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