Late Spring Garden Tour | Part 2

Hello fellow gardeners and crafters! Part 1 of my garden tour can be found here, and shows you the right side of my entryway flowerbed. For part 2, I’m going to show you the left side of my flowerbed, which is brand new. I also want to share with you my shade planters that sit next to my front door. Again for reference, I live in a zone 8a. You can check your zone here.

The first plant here on the edge of this flower bed is one I planted last year. It goes by many names, but some common ones are Blanket Flower or Firewheel. This plant is considered a wildflower and is prolific bloomer! The honeybees love it and so do I! Mine receives full sun and does wonderful in drought conditions. Grows 1-2 ft HxW and should easily reseed itself. I’m hoping to find seedlings in the future, wherever it chooses to come up. Zones 3-9.

Next to the blanket flower, I have planted another Autumn Sage. I shared information about this plant in my last post. While it’s currently small and new, it will definitely get bigger with time.

Next we have Gregg’s Mistflower, which is a butterfly magnet! I planted this last year from cuttings that my mom took from her own garden. It grows in a ground cover fashion and is native to Texas. It grows about 2 ft tall and spreads, takes full sun, and flowers summer through fall. I don’t have flowers to share yet, but I will update you when I see those beautiful lavender wispy blooms. Zones 7-10.

Another new plant in this bed is Black and Blue Salvia. This plant attracts hummingbirds and other pollinators. It grows 3-4 ft H x 2 ft W, takes full sun, drought tolerant, and produces electric blue flowers on black stalks. The foliage is dark green and textured, which is very beautiful as well. Zones 8-10.

Mom just bought each of us a perennial Butterfly Weed and I decided to plant it in front of the gregg’s mist and salvia. The monarchs use this plant to lay their eggs, offering the plant as a food source for the caterpillars. I think this little pocket will be an excellent butterfly magnet! It will grow around 2ft HxW and is drought tolerant, zones 4-9. Are you picking up on the theme of drought tolerant plants for my garden!?

Next is a trio of Fine Feathered ‘Parrot’ Coneflowers. This is a new hybrid variety with thinner foliage than the common coneflower. It also features striking bloom colors of red-orange and yellow. Takes full sun, zones 4-9, 2ft HxW. The flowers are a little raggedy right now, the bugs are loving their taste apparently, but I think it will grow stronger in the upcoming years.

Some of the blooms are a little faded in color. I will need to do some research here.
Eaten petals, but look at the vibrant colors!

Garua is one of my most favorite perennials. I have two other varieties in the garden. This third variety is new to me and I’m excited to see the flowers once it starts blooming. Belleza Dark Pink Gaura is a shorter variety, but still wonderfully drought tolerant. The foliage is green and red and is stunning on it’s own. The flowers will be dark pink as the name suggests and I will have to share an update when they show. Zones 6-9, 1-2 ft HxW, blooms summer through fall.

For now, that is all I have planted in this bed. I just continued the bed around to the east side of my home. I have laid out cardboard, topped with mulch, and prepped with soaker hoses. Hopefully it will be ready to plant this fall.

Now onto my shade planters that sit under my covered front porch. I’m generally not a fan of potted plants, only because I’m bad at keeping them watered. I definitely want to invest in self watering containers that I’ve been seeing on Garden Answer on Youtube. Highly recommend her channel for all your gardening fixes! There are containers with water reservoirs at the base, which means you fill it up and not have to water daily as you would normal planters. Anyhow, my shade planters don’t have to be watered as frequently since it’s in the shade, but nonetheless, I need to keep an eye on them as our summer heat sets in.

In the back of the planters I have one Dracaena Spikes ornamental grass plant that is evergreen in the winter. I planted them last year and survived my poor watering habits! While it can reach 3ft tall, mine stays smaller due to the container and shade conditions. This plant can take a sunny location if you desire. Hoping it gets a little bigger this year as I try to keep up with watering. I’ve been doing better at it since my front flowerbeds are doing so well that I find myself out there more than normal. Flanking either side of the spiky grass thriller are red leaf pink begonias. They did very well for me last year and so I decided to plant them again. In between the begonias, I planted one polka dot plant which is new to me this year. So cheerful, I love the pink spotted foliage! This plant prefers moist soil and so, I have already witnessed it’s dissatisfaction with my watering habits. It quickly bounced back with watering, but now I know!

We’ll tour the backyard garden on my next post. Thanks for reading and happy gardening!

Late Spring Garden Tour | Part 1

As we approach the end of spring and we’ve had many spring showers, I thought I’d go out into the garden today and document the stages of all my pretty plants. Today was an overcast day and the plants are looking super refreshed with the rain we’ve had. I’m breaking my tour up into multiple posts to keep this as short and sweet as possible. I hope you love what you see. For reference, I live in a zone 8a. You can check your zone here.

At the entry way of my home, I have a small area that’s part sun to shade. I’ve had many plants do poorly here and so I’m hoping what I planted this spring will last. Heuchera ‘Purple Petticoats’ now lives here and I love the purple foliage. Zone 4-9, 2ft spread in both H x W, blooms June/July.

Gomphrena is growing right in front of the coral bells. While it’s an annual, it comes back for me every year. I’m also spotting some seedlings growing around it. Flower buds are just starting to show. Zone 9-11, 2.5′ H x 1.5′ W, full sun and drought tolerant, blooms all summer long.

As we circle around the edge to the front of this bed, I have a gaura and spreading dianthus. Gaura is still growing in and some portions of it are dying, so I did not include a photo. Hoping it fills in as we enter the summer months. Dianthus ‘Bath’s Pink’ is also not shown since the blooms have already faded and it now looks like a grassy ground cover. Behind this dianthus however, I have two Liatris Spicata, or Blazing Star perennials growing. I had three, but the dianthus may be taking over. I will need to move these beauties later. Zone 3-8, 4′ H x 1.5′ W, summer blooming (you can see it starting to bud as well. It’s not growing as tall as prior years and again, I’m thinking it’s due to the dianthus taking over the space.

Next we have Autumn Sage that struggled last year and I cut it back a lot. I thought for sure I was going to lose it, but this year it bounced back! Zone 6-9, 3′ H x 3′ W. It has been blooming all spring and going strong.

Mom shared with me a purple coneflower a few years ago and it finally reseeded itself last year. I now have 4-5 coneflowers growing here and they are so tall and beautiful! Blooming just started within the past couple of weeks and you can see there’s more to come. Zone 3-8, 5′ H x 2′ W, drought tolerant.

Next is my pride and joy, Big Red Sage. It’s native to Texas and I’ve never found another at the nursery. If I ever do, I’ll definitely buy more. The foliage is big, deep green, and gorgeous all on its own. The flower stalks are still growing in, what I’ve captured is only half the size in height. It does look fuller this year, as it does more and more each year. Zone 6-10, 5′ H x 2′ W, attracts hummingbirds. I look forward to sharing the red flowers with you once it starts blooming in the summer.

New to this flower bed is a red dianthus. This one grows differently than the ground cover ‘bath’s pink’ that I have at the beginning of the flowerbed. This ‘Rockin Red’ Dianthus has a more of an upright shape. It’s brand new to me and i’m not sure how it will spread. Zone 5-9, 2′ H x 1′ W, fragrant blooms.

I tucked the dianthus in a little bare spot that is in between the big red sage and my evening primrose. I have 2 yellow evening primrose plants, followed by 3 santolinas. I love the pop of yellow and the two contrasting foliage textures side by side. Lemon Drop primrose is zone 5-9, 1′ H x W, drought tolerant. Santolina is zone 6-9, 2′ H x 3’W, fragrant and evergreen.

That’s mostly everything I have growing in this flowerbed. It’s positioned to the right side of my home’s entryway, in front of boxwood shrubs, and faces North. Slowly, but surely, I will continue growing this flower bed onto the west side of my house. Stay tuned for part 2 of my garden tour!

July 2019 WIPs

Well, July was our true Summer start this year. On my last update I told you about our very mild summer in June and all the rain we were receiving. July was the complete opposite! We experienced so many hot humid days and we only saw 0.24″ of rain, so practically nothing. We don’t have irrigation installed and I’m not the best at keeping up with watering in the garden. That’s why it’s so important that I plant drought tolerant plants. I did lose my beautiful hibiscus plant that I had in my front yard. I may buy another during the Fall Plant Sale this year and make some watering resolutions for next year!

GARDENING

The jalapeno and bell pepper plants continued to produce in July, the mint is bushier than ever, and the zinnias are rock stars in the summer heat!

The zinnias have also been the home to a little anole lizard. I named him Prince of the Zinnias. I’ve enjoyed chatting with him from time to time.

STITCHING

Not much stitching got done this month. I continued working on Christmas Dollhouse. I started a new section to the left of the dollhouse, which is meant to be the outside of the dollhouse. I wasn’t looking forward to this part since the design is very symmetrical, but it was a quick stitch nonetheless and I was able to finish it.

I also made a start on one of the minis from Where There are Bees. As you can see, Neko is totally impressed with my progress.

August is almost over and I feel pretty good about a major project completed. Looking forward to sharing it with you next month. Happy stitching everyone!