Wednesday, April 27, 2011

More Poppies

Odd phenomenon: One plant - many red blooms, one white one.

My Iceland Poppies continue to brighten the landscape and the California Poppies are just beginning to send up their first blooms. Good site for information on how to grow the Icelanders. Mine began as plants from a local grower last fall.

The Californians were started from seed, from . . . you guessed it: Renee's Garden!

Garden Blues

Inspired by 'Orchid Lady' Peggy Herrman, who posted another memorable picture on her Facebook profile this morning, I decided to go walking around my garden to photograph my "blues" (and related colors). Here they are:

This Baptisia's origins lie in the State Botanical Garden of Georgia. Purchased three years ago, it's never the first perennial to emerge in spring, but once it pops out of the ground its growth is very rapid. Last year, I collected many seeds. Most have been given away, but I saved some that have now become a dozen new plants that will grace my garden for, I hope, many years to come.

Cerinthe 'Pride of Gibraltar' - not precisely "blue", but gorgeous nevertheless. Grown from seeds from Renee's Garden.

This Columbine ('alpine blue') has been in my garden for just two and a half weeks and is already a favorite! It came from the sale, in Athens, of the UGA horticulture students.

In my garden, the pansies and violas continue to hang on, but for how much longer? The thyme is clearly here to stay!

The catmint, in a pot near my backdoor, is a mess every morning. Something clearly sleeps in it at night (what, I have no idea, but the indentation is always there); the chives are growing in a discarded tea kettle :-)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Welcome Visitor

Ladybugs are among my garden's most welcome visitors. I've seen lots of them already this Spring. This particular one was making its home on a Mint, with Yarrow and an Iris nearby.

After spending an hour or so in my garden first thing this morning, I spent part of the afternoon in a nearby cemetery. Such a difference!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Clematis - had to have it . . .

For a long time I've thought I should have at least one Clematis in my garden and I finally bought one yesterday. Nelly Moser. I've given it a spot where it will get morning sun and be shaded during the afternoons.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Plantapalooza in Athens

Except for the State Botanical Garden, which had belatedly attached a .pdf to its web site, it was unknown what would be available where. But, remembering the horticulture club’s excellent buys last year, I decided to make that my first stop.

Of the plants on my list, the only one offered was a Yarrow (not the pomegranate I’ve been looking for, but a pink one: Dwarf Yarrow – Achilea millefolium ‘Cerlet’s Rose’). Paying $8 for a Yarrow seems a lot to me, but I did it anyway. Also bought a Columbine – Aquilegia ‘alpine blue’, since Columbines had been a recent Facebook discussion topic. The price, $5, seemed reasonable. Then I spotted a table with annuals, with 6-packs for $2 each and I bought 2 packs of Angelonia.

$17 so far, not bad.

Next stop: the UGA trial gardens. This was a situation of “well, I got here, so I might as well buy something”: an Ajuga (‘toffee chip’) and a Cuphea cyanea (‘candy corn’) - $5 each, which I thought was expensive, but there was nothing available for less than $5. Most plants were $10, $15 and $20 each. Dr. A was everywhere, with his bullhorn, recommending this plant and pointing out another. He said not to pay any attention to him, he often just talks to himself anyway, so I didn’t.

I had saved the botanical garden for last on purpose, thinking its plants were going to be more expensive than those sold at the other two locations (not true, it turned out), and this was a big mistake! Even though I got there shortly after 9 AM (the sales had all started at 8 AM), the one plant on my list that I really, really wanted (Carolina Jessamine) was all sold out! So, from a table staffed by Director Wilf Nicholls, I bought three tiny Amsonia hubrecthtii: $4 each.

By then, with barely a dent in my wish-list, I realized I should have bought all of the horticulture club’s Angelonia 6-packs, Angelonia having been my favorite annual for the past two years and once having paid as much as $5 for one plant at a neighborhood sale, so I went back to that location and was lucky enough to find two packs still on the table. Had they been in bloom, I think they would have been snapped up well before I returned, but an Angelonia before it blooms is nothing much to look at and shoppers in between my two visits probably had no idea what these plants were – or would become in summer.

So, now I had 31 plants for which I had paid a grand total of $39 – a good investment in my 2011 garden.

On the way home, I stopped at Shumake’s Daylily Garden and bought a few ‘Soft Summer Night’ – maybe the best purchase of the day, but it all depends, as is the case with everything a gardener does.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Colorful Poppies

Monday night's huge storm left my Poppies unscathed and even though I am still not convinced that they are perfect for North Georgia gardens, I must admit that the colors are irresistible.