Thursday, September 25, 2008

Got Drought? Get Bulbs!

It makes sense. You plant bulbs in the fall, forget about them all winter and they will surprise you in spring – regardless of the weather they have endured in the intervening months.

I would not, however, have ordered more bulbs this year if I had not been at Jeannette Coplin’s xeriscape gardening class at the State Botanical Garden in Athens on Tuesday. Bulbs are among her favorite aspects of a xeriscape garden and, like I just wrote, it makes sense! So, I came home, retrieved a bulb catalog I had received a few weeks ago, picked out some choices, filled our the order form, wrote a check, and sent it in!

Typically, even though I grew up in “the land of tulips” (guess . . . .!), I am not enamored of bulbs. They are O.K., and I have lots of daffodils in my garden already, but their short blooming time does not recommend them to me. And tulips in the Deep South? That’s never been a good choice, in my opinion. Still, tulips are among the more than 100 bulbs I have just ordered. Alliums and hyacinths also, and even some lilies. I’ll plant them as soon as they arrive and I’ll let you know next spring how it all turned out.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Another 2008 Favorite!

This is a Plectranthus, isn't it?
P. ecklonii 'Tommy', to be precise.
Please, anyone who reads this, correct me, if this is wrong. I bought three of them early in the year, and they were simply marked "sun annual" - oh, well! Apart from the Angelonia (see an earlier post), nothing has bloomed as long in my garden as these no longer small "annuals". I am taking cuttings for next year (doing well), just to be sure I'll have some again in 2009, but now understand it's a plant that will come back in the garden year after year, as long as the winters aren't too severe. Who knows? For now, at least, it's a wonderful focal point in my garden and continues to attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

Rain Gardens

Today's segment in my "Advanced Concepts in WaterSmart Landscape Design" Advanced Master Gardener Training class (by the time this get done, I'll be so 'advanced' that it'll be hard to keep up with me!) focused on rain gardens. Excellent topic, and a lot to digest before I even think about attempting a rain garden on my property. The hands-on training includes the installation of a rain garden at Gwinnett Tech, but the project was not ready to move forward very much today. Still, a start has been made and the outcome, which may take till next Spring, will no doubt be spectacular.

Still adding to my garden . . .

I went to the Hall County Garden Expo on Saturday, just to look around, say "hello" to a few friends, and determined not to buy anything - because, really, my garden is pretty full. So much for my determination at a gardening event! I came home with a very pretty (and tall!) Phlox Carolina and a Salvia 'Cherry Queen', to add to my collection of Salvias.