Scorecard: plants vs. me, part two

>> Friday, September 21, 2007

Continuing my inspection of what survived this year, here is bed B3:

This bed was nothing but grass when we moved here in May 2004 and it wasn’t in real good shape. I had a general idea of what I wanted here as soon as I saw it. The bed starts as wide as the concrete pad, at the far north end behind the cherry tomato, and then narrows in towards the fence and will gradually curve back out and circle back to the fence at the south end to form a large round area for a tree. Currently the area is 26 feet long without the large round area for a tree and will, by next fall, be 36 feet long.

All of these plants, except the Butterfly Bush and the Tomato, both at the far end, were purchased as one of those instant garden deals from Bluestone Perennials.

Achillea Angels Breath

Also known as Yarrow. This Achillea was unknown to me and I really like its small bushy habit. The typical Yarrow, see next photo, stands much taller with long thin branches ending in a ‘platform’ that butterflies like to hang out on.

Achillea Coronation Gold

This is the typical Yarrow I am familiar with. I was hesitant about planting this because I am familiar with it from my childhood in Indiana. These grew wild in the fields behind my house and I had always thought of them as weeds. They attract butterflies like crazy but still I’m afraid of it becoming invasive. There are also red varieties which look pretty good. Maybe this is a different variety than the weed I grew up with. I’ll have to wait and see what it does next year.

Arabis Snowcap

Commonly known as Rock cress, this is supposed to be a groundcover with white flowers covering it from April through June. It has not flowered for me, but then it is only one year old.

Aster Alma Potschke

This Aster is one of the New England Aster’s, (sounds like one of those blue blooded sophisticates) it didn’t begin flowering until recently and has grown pretty steadily over the summer. It’s a semi-woody plant that should be covered with bright neon pink flowers until frost. This is another butterfly and bee magnet. Love having these around.

Buddleia Black Knight

I bought this one to replace the two that I killed this spring due to a miscommunication on pruning. I was under the impression that you should cut it back to the ground in spring to make it come back more bushy. The two I had last year were beautiful so I was really looking forward to them being even bushier this year, but alas, it was not to be. This plant is suppose attract butterflies by the hundreds. I have heard that it does, but my garden is so new that the butterflies must not know it is here yet. Yeah, that must be it. I just know they will begin flocking next year. I will NOT prune it as severally as I was told to next spring. Lesson learned.

Chrysanthemum Shasta Alaska

This is one of the main reasons I wanted a flower garden. This plant, along with the Echinacea, just exudes cheeriness. How can you not be a peace with a bunch of these free flowering beauties around? I’m pretty sure that next year it will bloom like crazy.

Coreopsis Early Sunrise

Another one of my all-time favorites. Coreopsis cannot help but brighten up any garden. This is an All-American Selections Gold Medal Winner and is fully deserving of the honor. The bright yellow contrasts so well with the dark green foliage that you can’t help but demand that this be a part of any garden bed.

Dianthus Agatha

This Dianthus is one of the most fragrant of the pinks. One description I read said it was one of the modern pinks. Now, I don’t know what that means but the picture showed flowers that looked double, although I don’t think it is a true double. Earlier this year I had planted some Dianthus Zing Rose in one of the front yard beds and they bloomed a deep rich red all summer. This one didn’t bloom but the foliage looks almost ornamental grass-like. I like it so far even without the blooms.

Echinacea Magnus

Purple Coneflower. As I mentioned earlier, this is one of those flowers that no garden should be without. It is robust, drought tolerant, native to the U.S. blooms all summer through October, excellent for cut flower arrangements and it can even be used medicinally. What’s not to love about it?

Nepeta Walkers Low

Catmint. Blue-violet flowers and fragrant, low-growing and a very prolific bloomer. I was afraid it would increase my neighborhood cat problem, what with all of the bird feeders I have hanging around, but that has not been the case. This plant does attract a lot of bees, for which I am very happy. I have never seen so many bees in my yard as I have this summer. Very nice.

Rudbeckia Goldstrum

This is another of those bright, cheery plants that blooms all summer until frost. Commonly known as Black-eyed Susan because of its large velvety brown center. Bees and butterflies love it and if you don’t deadhead it the birds eat the seeds. I wish I had a large field to dedicate to this plant because it looks really great in groups.

Salvia East Friesland

I have seen this called Meadow Sage, it has the typical purple spikes associated with salvia but is more compact. Last year I planted a couple Salvia Plumosa in one of the front beds and it became lanky and unsightly, this one is not supposed to do that, which is why I was willing to try another salvia. It is very fragrant and attracts bees by the dozens, always a good thing.

Sedum Autumn Joy

Sedum is also called Stonecrop. Someday I’m going to find out where these names come from. This plant surprised me. I am familiar with sedum from when I was a child, my grandmother always had sedum growing around her roses but they were short and I always thought of them as succulents and therefore more like a cactus without the spikes. I learned that this is known as an ‘upright’ sedum which explains why it is so tall. It looked more like a broccoli stalk than a true flower plant, but when the top began turning pink and then red it really began to come into its own. I’m planning on getting a few more of them.

Thymus Pink Chintz

This is creeping thyme. I’m a bit disappointed because it hasn’t ‘creeped’ as expected. It is commonly used in between paving stones and I don’t have very many pavers yet but thought I should be ready. I planted a flat of them after seeing a picture of it in bloom and was told that it can be walked on so I thought it would great to help combat my ‘creeping weed’ problem. It doesn’t seem to want to do anything so it’s another one of those plants that I have to have patience with.

Veronica Blue Carpet

I have always had a thing for spiky plants. Some psychologist will probably tell me something I don’t want to hear about it, but anyway, Veronica is one of those plants that has such a variety of beautiful blue flowers that I just had to have some. You couldn’t tell by these pictures but they do have pretty blue flowers. I started out with three varieties but one of them just shriveled up in this very same bed as these. I moved one of the plants into a front bed where it gets afternoon sun and it is doing much better than in this bed of full all day sun, it actually bloomed. So I think I will move the others there as well.

Veronica Sunny Border Blue

This Veronica has the best color of the three I planted. Honest, I've seen the pictures. The foliage is pretty thick and sets off the flower stalks very nicely. It thrives in clay soil so it will do well here once I get it into some afternoon shade.


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