Sunday, May 23, 2010

Who Knew?

This is Geranium "Rozanne". I bought and planted it last year--talk about a garden workhorse. This is its first bloom of the season. Little did I know that it was awarded the 2008 Perennial Plant of the Year by the Perennial Plant Association. I did not even know such a group existed but I'm glad they do. You see, the organization gives its highest award to the perennial that successfully meets the sort of criteria that I'm always looking for. That is, a plant that survives in a wide range of climatic conditions, is low maintenance, is pest and disease resistant, and has multiple season ornamental interest.

Rozanne is a hardy (to zone 5), repeat blooming geranium. The violet-blue bloom is about 2 inches across. It likes full sun to part shade. Mine gets part shade because it's planted underneath a huge oakleaf hydrangea and butterfly bush. It grows to about 20 inches high and is exceptionally heat tolerant. It blooms all summer and shearing it mid-summer will encourage repeat blooms.

As soon as I finish this post, I'm going to the Perennial Plant Association's website to see other award winners. I love that they've done all the hard work for me.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Return of Jean Mermoz

Things are moving along in the garden. I was able to make some progress today. It was a very volatile week, temperature-wise. I hauled a bunch of things in the house because we had a few nights last week when the mercury dipped below 45F.

Meanwhile, many of my perennials have come back quite nicely. Here is Jean Mermoz, a delightful little shrub rose that grows to between 2 and 3 feet high. It's hardy to zone 5 and the bloom is but just 1" (maybe a tad more) across. I ordered it by mail last year from Antique Rose Emporium. Don't look for it this year, it's sold out. The early bird definitely catches the worm where this shop is concerned. They ship from September to mid-May and they sell out fast so you have to be one of those plan-ahead types. Mark your calendar now.

Bookshelf: Container Gardening Books

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Controlled Chaos

Actually, it looked worse about a week ago. But I'm making progress. Unfortunately, we're going to have a bit of a cold snap tonight (39F) so that means the container that I planted yesterday with the mandevilla and other plants will have to come inside. I'll have to wrestle it indoors with the trellis attached and everything. I'll also have to bring inside all of the little nursery pots of annuals that I have not yet gotten into containers. I hope that after this week, we'll be in the clear, temperature-wise.

Almost all of my plant shopping is done, with the exception of a few fillers here and there. I had many perennials return from last year but there are some gaping holes in certain arrangements where I had used annuals as companion plants.

I'm pleased to report that, as of last weekend, my local Lowe's had a fantastic selection of annuals, perennials, shrubs, vegetables, and herbs. I was so impressed. The big box stores are getting better and better every year.

I'll be back to planting next weekend after the cold snap and the forecasted rains pass.

Bookshelf: Container Gardening Books