Tag Archives: Mixed Sedum

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – January 2014

Buxus microphylla var koreana 'Wintergreen' (Wintergreen boxwood)

Buxus microphylla var koreana ‘Wintergreen’ (Wintergreen boxwood)

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD) crept up on me this month.  We had snow last night but well before midnight it had stopped and the ground was still green, so there are no snow pictures today. Deep cold has settled in for the next few days.

For several years a pair of Wintergreen boxwood have been growing in large blue pots by the front steps and I think it is time to transplant them to the garden.  These shrubs were labeled Buxus microphylla var koreana ‘Wintergreen’ but I came across information today that indicates that name has been replaced with Buxus sinica var. insularis ‘Wintergreen’.  Would it be useful to have an app that notifies us when the names of our plants change?

These boxwoods have formed buds and the eventual flowers are supposed to be insignificant but fragrant. I do not remember them blooming last year. These shrubs have a loose, open habit which I like, but they can be tightly sheared and shaped as well. The leaf color is quite bronze during the winter, a deep green at other times of the year.

Buxus microphylla var koreana 'Wintergreen' (Wintergreen boxwood)

Buxus microphylla var koreana ‘Wintergreen’ (Wintergreen boxwood)

Buxus microphylla var koreana 'Wintergreen' (Wintergreen boxwood)-3

Elsewhere a small pot of mixed sedum purchased a couple of years ago has spilled out and spread into an interesting ground cover. These seem tolerant of winter temperatures that have reached down into the ‘teens.

Mixed Sedum-2

Mixed Sedum

Mixed Sedum

Five new gardenias were planted a year and a half ago in the heat of August, all appropriately named ‘August Beauty’. The expectation is these will grow into a 5-foot tall evergreen hedge to screen the air conditioner units located next to the northeast corner of the house.

During the past summer they filled out slightly, gained a couple of inches in height and looked healthy and green. These gardenias are hardy to zones 8-11 and some sources list zones 7-11, which is good because pbmGarden is in planting zone 7b.  There has been some damage to a few leaves but I am optimistic the shrubs will survive the cold weather.

Signs of cold damage on Gardenia jasminoides 'August Beauty' (Gardenia)

Signs of cold damage on Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’ (Gardenia)

This garden is definitely designed with spring in mind, so to show it in its wintry garb is to lay it out bare and unprotected.  My tendency is to want to show carefully posed images that present the best features of the garden.  Winter though imposes a hard dose of reality. The sparseness makes the garden look lonely and in retreat. The grass is green though and a few evergreens enliven the view. If the various trees could speak they might explain what happened to their planned, but long-lost partners—which drought year, poor pruning decision, or other problem doomed these survivors to try their best to stand tall and go it alone in a spotty arrangement.

With objective eyes I see the awkwardness, the unrealized potential and I readily acknowledge winter brings a good opportunity to examine the structure of the garden and make plans.

Garden View In WInter

Garden View In WInter

But looking down on the garden this morning with my subjective eyes, I notice a special, if imperfect, place. Three bluebirds line up ready to make their moves toward the feeder. Red cardinals flit in and out of the bare spirea branches and chickadees, Carolina wrens, towhees and many other birds find momentary shelter in the brown, stalky remnants of the previous season as they forage for food or await a turn at the feeder. The sun spreads through the garden as it rises, highlighting portions until finally enveloping it all in the best warm glow it can muster on this frigid day. And I find walking along the meditation path in winter brings a particular clarity and peacefulness.

So on this Foliage Day I must remind myself it is ok to just be content. There will always be space for improvement in this garden, but already it is a good place and happy one, even in its winter clothes.

Thanks to Christina for hosting GBFD on the 22nd of each month. Visit her at Garden of the Hesperides to discover what foliage displays she and other garden bloggers are featuring today.

Summer Beginnings

Summer Solstice 2013 was at 1:04 AM (ET) on Friday, June 21.
Summer is my favorite season so I welcome its official arrival today. The weather is glorious—clear and sunny, only 78°F., humidity is low at 40%.

Summer is not the best time of year for my garden, that would be spring, but the weather has been fairly moderate with ample rainfall, so the garden is in stronger condition than usual as the seasons transition.

Gladiolus In Northern Border

Gladiolus In Northern Border

I always keep a few Gladioli and they recently began blooming.

Gladiolus

Gladiolus

When I began this garden I encountered some snobbishness from a young horticulturalist about growing Gladioli and I remember it was an odd moment. Never before had I really thought much about why one chooses to grow (or not grow) a particular plant. It is an interesting subject to me now. Preference is one thing and the avoidance of invasive species is a necessity, but why would a plant carry a social stigma?

Gladiolus

Gladiolus

I love reading about what other gardeners are growing and I enjoy learning about new (and old) plants. The gardener’s personality comes out in one’s plant choices, it seems to me, and that can make each garden quite special.

Gladioli

Gladioli

Though I mention that incident from long ago, I actually I never worry what the neighbors might think if they spot a Gladiolus in my garden. The tall spikes of blossoms remind me of summer and of my maternal grandmother, who grew rows of glads, as she called them, for cutting flowers. As a child I loved helping her make large and colorful bouquets for her sun porch and that memory seems reason enough to grow a flower.

Gladioli

Gladiolus

As summer begins a few other plants characterize the garden. Echinacea and Salvia have been blooming for a few weeks now. Yesterday a friend offered me a piece of orange Echinacea ‘Sunset’ which I had recently vowed to quit trying to grow. I accepted without hesitation, of course, and will try to give it a good home.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue'

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

A small container of mixed Sedum from last year has spilled over the sides of its pot and is flowering for the first time.

Mixed Sedum

Mixed Sedum

Happy Summer!

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – December 2012

It is time to join Christina‘s Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD), a monthly tribute to foliage.

Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ has been a rewarding addition to the garden this year and GBFD would not be complete without including it. The tips have deepened to a captivating, velvety red.

Euphorbia 'Blackbird' (Spurge)

Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ (Spurge)

Euphorbia 'Blackbird' (Spurge)

Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ (Spurge)

The leaves of this Wintergreen boxwood have taken on a bronze hue for winter.

Buxus microphylla var koreana 'Wintergreen' (Wintergreen boxwood)

Buxus microphylla var koreana ‘Wintergreen’ (Wintergreen boxwood)

This bronzing effect is a normal coloration change for this shrub, but it seems more noticeable this year.

Buxus microphylla var koreana 'Wintergreen' (Wintergreen boxwood)-Detail

Buxus microphylla var koreana ‘Wintergreen’ (Wintergreen boxwood)-Detail

The bluish-gray leaves of Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood) are unaffected so far by the cold.

Artemisia 'Powis Castle' (Wormwood)

Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)

This Ilex crenatea ‘Drops of Gold’ (Japanese Holly) was planted in front of the house in October. It lost some of its gold leaves from the stem tips a few weeks ago, but the plant seems to have stabilized now. It formed attractive, black berries, but only a few.

Ilex crenatea 'Drops of Gold' (Japanese Holly)

Ilex crenatea ‘Drops of Gold’ (Japanese Holly)

Mounds of Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion) catch late afternoon sunlight along the Southern side path.

Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion)

Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion)

A pot of mixed sedum adds texture and interest to a corner just inside the garden gate.

Mixed Sedum

Mixed Sedum

Fern-like leaves of Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy) offer surprisingly fresh greenery to the southwest corner.

Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy)

Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy)

Daffodils already are sending up leaves beneath the brittle canes of Lantana camara (Common lantana). The lantana will be pruned back hard in early spring.

Daffodil

Daffodil

This cheerful little mound of green is Iberis Sempervirens. Although Iberis died out in the meditation circle this summer, it is growing in several other spots around the garden. This one may be blooming soon.

Iberis Sempervirens (Candytuft)

This potted geranium’s leaf is punctuated with tangerine edges and strongly outlined veins.

Pelargonium (Geranium)

Pelargonium (Geranium)

Thanks to Christina of Creating My Own Garden of the Hesperides for hosting Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD) each month. Check out her foliage observations and those of other GBFD participants.

Seeing Color and Texture In Mixed Sedum

A container of mixed sedum was irresistible during a quick stop at the garden center yesterday. The textures and colors make an interesting collection.