Friday, March 27, 2009

You'll be seeing these plants

Looking out my window onto my still mostly brown landscape, I’m dreaming about how great a bank of richly deep, orange- red coneflower – Echinacea ‘Tiki Torch' - would look behind my lavender by the garage.

As we all think of ways to add the best, most rewarding plants to our landscapes this season, Garden Splendor offers nine plants for our serious consideration.

According to Harrisburg Resident, David Wilson, Director of Marketing with Overdevest Nurseries – the parent company to the Garden Splendor brand - these are some of the Garden Splendor plants offering great promise for 2009:

-Dicentra “Candy Hearts,” a compact heavily flowering bleeding heart.

-Echinacea ‘Tiki Torch,’ a wonderfully rich orange flowering coneflower.

-Sedum ‘Angelina,’ a yellow green ground cover thriving in a variety of growing conditions including dry and sunny locations.

-Veronica ‘Purpleicious’ is the deepest purple of the speedwells.

-Sorbaria ‘Sem’ offers warm colored variegated foliage with cold hardiness.

-Hakonechloa ‘ All Gold’ is a yellow green charming part shade grass.

-Phlox ‘Peppermint Twist’ offers a variegated pink and white bloom on a compact plant.

-Salvia ‘Eveline’ adds bi-color flower power to sage and on a compact plant.

-Penstemon ‘Red Riding Hood’ is a compact and heavily red flowering.

Once my garden starts to green, I know I will want to stick with my relatively simple monochromatic color scheme. But for now, it’s great to browse.

If you google Garden Splendor, you’ll find a informative website. Ashcombe Farm and Greenhouse carries Garden Splendor plants.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Growing Pains

I am infatuated with plants. My particular crush of the moment is on vegetable plants. But I have room in my heart for them all. Sometimes even weeds make me blush. I just can’t choose one type to court.

This indiscriminate love has led me to Punk Rock Gardens. I have the opportunity to take a full time horticulture journey. I’d like to take you with me.

This space has room for discussion of many aspects of gardening and growing. Please know I am a student, learning and discovering everyday after gardening for more than 20 years. While I find certain gardening directions more attractive than others, I embrace tolerance and set no rules.

My garden reflects this. No typical landscape architect would consider plant pairings that suit me fine in my garden. Self-expression has led to a visual adventure in my landscape. There may be more noise than harmony. And honestly, there is very little purity.

I can’t seem to move my thinking past veggies this spring. This is new. I keep asking myself why. I think I finally have part of the answer. My relationship with vegetable plants is simple.

I am conflicted about ornamental plants. I am torn between what I’ve known and enjoyed and what I am learning.

Growing Pains

Judy Bono, The Gardener of the Owl Valley, and Jan Getgood, of Meadowood Nursery, have already taught me much about use of native plants. I have two grassy areas in my garden. I plan to replace the sod with native plants in the spring.

While I am swayed by the multiple reasons to rely on native plants, I can’t promise to tear out my beloved euphorbia or sedum. I love their refreshing architectural shape and interesting foliage colors.

Perhaps the first infatuation with a new plant is what leads some of us to a passion for gardening. You spy a plant across a crowded garden center. It’s a new green in the shade section. Bravely, you edge close to the plant, gently pick up the tag, read the light and soil requirements and think, “ Ahhh, maybe this is the one.” You take it home. Nurturing and watching the plant develop brings either joy or disappointment.

Rules can limit a creative gardening experience. Varying mindsets dictating that planting beds must be certain dimensions or that certain plants should serve only as background plants, while others belong in the vegetable garden, are all under suspicion in my mind.

I leave room for a change of heart. As I learn more, I suspect I will become a bit more of a purist.

There is one solidified aspect of my appreciation of growing. It is my vision of the soil as a commune of living organisms and of the interdependence of all living things.

I hope you grab your shovel, come with your own passions and questions, and join me on this journey. This spring is my first step and I’m loving it.