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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Potting Troughs

Today at Old Country Gardens we're going to have some fun!

This week I purchased a number of beautiful hypertufa troughs. Hypertufa is a mix of cement, peat moss and sand. They look and feel like concrete but they are just light enough that I can lift them.

There's two different sized rectangular ones here, I've already potted up the smaller one and it's just darling (photos to follow). This larger one will be a bit of a challenge, I don't want to fill it all the way, I'd like the plant material to fill in over the season.

The round container is getting me very excited. I think I'd like to mound the soil in the center and find a cool stone to use as an "outcropping" in the planting.

I've purchased all kinds of cool plant material and also dug many different things from my garden so I have no idea yet what will get planted.

If you are in the area you are welcome to come by and watch me work.

Of course we'll also be open for sales. This week I dug some of the plants that customers have been asking for such as Convallaria (Lily of the Valley) and a few small pots of Asarum europeaum (European ginger).

Best of all, we have lots and lots of pots filled with glorious ferns. The japanese painted ferns came from my own garden, the huge pots filled with other ferns are from Fox Hollow Farms.

Then there's the mini hosta, but that will have to be a post on its own!

Off to play in the fog and mist,

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Invasive Plants

What is an invasive plant? For that matter, what is a weed? Is it just a plant that grows in a spot you don't want it to grow in?

Some plants reseed easily such as the charming Viola 'Bowles Black' and the unusual yellow blooming Sedum aizoon 'Lemon Snowflakes'. Does the fact that they self sow make them invasive? At one time I thought I had too much 'Lemon Snowflakes' but now I have hardly any of them here at all.

What about all the little creeping Sedums such as Sedum acre? They creep into little cracks and crevices and I just adore them all.

The dark purple plant in this photo is Eupatorium rugosum 'Chocolate'. It is a total thug. It is also absolutely beautiful. What do you do with this plant? In my garden I have only myself to blame as I begged a friend for multiple pieces.

I refuse to pull it all out as I do so love the foliage color but I've learned to never let it get as dense as you see in this photo. Once it establishes itself like this it has a root system that you need a pick ax to get through. I let single pieces of it emerge in spots though and then try the year after to remove a few of the runners so there's only bits and pieces around here.

My poor mom was given the job of attacking a massive patch of this plant. One thing in it's favor, it will grow in full sun and also grow in dense shade.

There's quite a few plants growing in my garden that people might consider "invasive". The Lysimachia clethroides (Gooseneck loosestrife) seen in the backdrop here is one of them. I have had this plant contained in a spot of the garden for many years but this year I see it has finally broke free of it's underground prison.

Yesterday I pulled up some of the stray runners, they come up easily and so I decided to leave a few behind.

When it comes to potting these plants up for sale, I don't know what to do. Many times people tell me that they have a tough spot where they can't get anything to grow. I have some excellent, beautiful perennials that would fit the bill but I still hesitate to share the wealth.

What do you think? Do you grow plants like these and do you share pieces of them?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day Mom!

Every year I get to spend mother's day with my mom. She is amazing, she helps me in the garden, cooks, cleans, shops and does so much more. I'm always a lunatic at this time of year and never have a card and a beautiful gift for her. But my mom never complains, today she spent the day with us in the garden, backbreaking work as usual.

We took a two minute break to snap a few photos in my glider (that of course mom happened to buy for us). We have no make-up on and our dirty garden clothes but that's how it is.

If you look closer you'll see my muddy knees, thankfully you can't see my dirty fingernails too. Does anybody have a magic remedy for those fingers? Last week I had to shake 128 hands at an award ceremony and I was mortified at the thought that somebody would see the dirt I can't get out of my hands.

Happy Mother's Day all, especially to my wonderful mother!

(Hope you like your card, I made it myself :-))


Ferns! Just came home with a car load of ferns, some for me, some to sell.

I must get out there and play with them, I can't wait to figure out where they are going to go.

Happy Mother's Day to all!