Wednesday, May 20, 2009


This is my garden and it has very little to do with bad mansards.  I usually post stuff like this on my 63104mom tumblr but it's hard to upload multiple images on tumblr.  I was a garden downer earlier this season.  "I don't even's an ugly mess....just rip it all out and let's put down tacky red foamy mulch."  A weekend with pruning shears and a shovel made a big difference.  Once the flowers start going I feel rewarded and motivated.  Also rewarding:  compliments from the neighborhood folks (who have tremendous gardens) and drivers slowing down to take a look.    Here is the standard purple palace coral bell with pachysandra (spurge)

Full disclosure:  I grew up in the horticulture business.  My uncle David owns Sherwood's Forest, your source for big trees and awesome perennials.

It would seem I have a thing for hostas and heuchera (coral bells).  About hostas:  divide those mothers up!  I split mine frequently.  Part the leaves (just like you'd part your hair) and split it in half.  I like a Henckels bread knife for cutting the rootball.  Replant the other half wherever you'd like a new hosta.

I also have a thing for boutique Japanese maples.  The top Jap is a standard upright, but the one on the bottom is a pinkish Full Moon (I think that's what it's called, but that's also the name of sushi so maybe I've confused myself.)  I have a groovy little Lion's Head Japanese Maple, but it looks weird right now.  Needs a pruning to address some winter deadness.

The sweet yellow flower is a Missouri Primrose- aka Ozark primrose (Onagraceae?)  Don't confuse the Missouri primrose with the borderline-weed-but-I-love-it-anyway Mexican primrose a few photos down (oeneothera?,  growing out of my sidewalk).

I have three colors of Knock Out shrub rose.  The light pink types looks great in the spring but the petals bleach out mid-summer to look dirty white.  Buy the darker pinks for better color. Cut this beast back almost to the ground.  Frequently

Bracken Beauty.  Hardy to zone 5 if protected from northern winds.  Phallic?

The combo to the left is a Maidenhair fern, cranberry impatien and hosta.  I dig the cranberry impatiens.  Color snob/Pantone junkie husband John describes it as "Rotamine Red."  It works for us- red enough to look red, but not so red that it won't go with pink.

Carrying on with the shade garden is a Japanese painted fern, Ostrich fern and begonia.  In 10 years of gardening, this is the FIRST time I've ever been successful with a fern.  The key:  put them near a water source away from dog traffic.

Totally love the Chocolate coral bells with the lime hosta.  This pair sits under a tree on the sidewalk.  I've seen many dogs pee on these two and they seem just fine.

Fuschia Peony, Miz-zou pansies, Mexican primrose, Knock-out Bleach-out rose, Allium (member of the onion family- I love these bulbs).

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