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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Late summer bloomers

Late summer is a difficult time for the garden. Many plants have finished blooming, others show signs of stress depending on what kind of summer has just passed.

Still, if you plan your garden well, there are all kinds of perennials that shine at this time. I have a few types of Eupatorium, this one is Eupatorium dubium 'Phantom' which was planted in the spring of 2008. The description states that it will only grow 4' tall but in it's second year now it's easily broken 5'. Then again, many perennials this year are taller than usual because of the extreme weather we've had.

One of the stars of the garden right now is this sweet little Sedum 'Lynda Windsor'. I've been a big fan of this Sedum from day one although very few people comment on it when they see it here. It has never reverted (that is, never lost it's dark purple foliage), stays small and compact and as you can see, the flower color is a perfect compliment to the foliage color. Combined with Origanum aureum (golden oregano) it's just stunning!

I don't remember planning this combination but I must say it's pretty fantastic. The extremely late daylily 'Royal Jestor' and the beginning blooms of Begonia grandis (hardy begonia). I'm in the mood to do a write up on this fantastic begonia and will post it today on my other blog, Melanie's Perennials. Just click on the blog name here if you want to visit there.

Here's a close-up of 'Royal Jestor'. A real beauty in my opinion.

The Ligularias are beginning to bloom, this one is 'Britt Marie Crawford'. At this time of year the foliage loses some of it's purple highlights but it still has quite a bit to offer as a showcase plant.

The Agastaches are still blooming. I think they might have been the "bloomingest" perennials in the garden this summer. I'm madly in love with them and will keep my eye on the perennial market in the future to find any new introductions.

Of course the Helenium 'Mardi Gras' is blooming like crazy. If I took the time to get out there and dead head it I would get an even longer season but right now any time I spend outside should be on weeding (check out the right edge of this photo...WEEDS!).

Hopefully I'll get some weeding done this weekend, unfortunately I tried to weed for a few hours yesterday but was almost immediately attacked by giant sized mosquitos. Might have to break down and use an insect repellant for now.

Off to post to my other blog and then outside in the garden (if the rains subside).


Thursday, August 20, 2009


Heat and Humidity, it must be August. So what's a gardener to do when the mercury rises and all you want to do is stay by the pool?

Let's play with Herbs!

I grow a large number of herbs here at Old Country Gardens, some are perennials, others are purchased every spring. This summer though I learned a few new things about my herbs. First of all, they are just as happy (if not more happy) growing in pots.

In fact, as potted plants they are easy to maintain, rarely needing extra care. Just a simple pinch here and there and watering if we haven't had a recent rain. Better yet, put them in reach of your sprinkler system and you hardly have to do anything at all.

In this photo you are looking at a Thymus citriodorus (variegated lemon thyme), Mentha (basic garden mint that was here when we moved in) and Mentha suaveolens 'Variegata' (pineapple mint or also known as apple mint).

Just as an aside, I do not call them by their botanical names in the garden, I'm just including those here for readers in other countries that are looking for the same plants.

My mouth starts watering when I look at this photo. There are two different basils featured here (Ocimum basilicum in botanical terms) with the solid green leaf and the variegated Ocimum citriodorum 'Pesto Perpetuo' (let's just say citrus basil).

The citrus basil is a new variety and is patented so propagation is prohibited but what I've recently discovered is that most herbs have been around forever and of course, nobody holds a patent on them. This means that you can propigate most of your herbs till the cows come home and that's exactly what I'm going to do here.

It turns out that many herbs are quite easy to propigate with simple cuttings.

In this smaller pot are three plants, Cymbopogon (Lemongrass), Ocimum 'African Blue' (African Blue Basil) and Oreganum vulgare (true Oregano). Yum, all three are excellent for those fun summer dishes.

Here's a close up of the African Blue basil, a favorite of mine. I do admit that I let it go to flower as those blooms are just so lovely.

So tell me, what herbs are growing in your garden?