Gardenwise on Icicle Pansies and Violas

Move over Mums! 

Now you can have garden beauty in late fall and early spring from spectacular ICICLE Pansies and Icicle Violas. Icicle pansies and violas are selected for their ability to overwinter when planted in the fall. Bred for cold climates, this tough new breed is guaranteed to survive the harshest winters, wherever they are sold. Planted in late summer or early fall, you’ll enjoy blooms until the snow flies and again in early spring

 

Larkspur is a Late Spring Garden Beauty

Larkspur – A Late Spring Bloomer 

If you didn’t sow Larkspur seed in October for flowering in late spring 2013, no worries.  You can buy the plants at your local gardening center.  Larkspur (Delphinium consolida,) which symbolizes an open heart, tends to be a bit fussy, and I’ve not had much luck in the DC-area.  But if you have success, Larkspur is a beautiful addition to any garden.   And for those born in July, this is your birth flower! Each color has a different meaning: the color white symbolizes joy;  the purple symbolizes sweetness: and the pink flowers = fickleness.  There is no better personal touch to your garden space than Larkspur if you’r e a July baby.  

I would be remiss if I didn’t  include in this post that all parts of Larkspur are poisonous.  Please be very careful about where you decide to include Larkspur in your landscape. 

 

 

Look Ahead to Fall Day 3

Dwarf Burning Bush is GardenWise

This week, GardenWise is looking forward with our five favorite  Garden Delights, in no particular order, for Fall 2012.  Yesterday we marveled at the Toad Lily, and Monday we fell in love all over again with Pink Muhly Grass.  Today is day  three of our series, and we’re showing off the Dwarf Burning Bush

Don’t call the fire department because that’s not a fireball in your garden!  The Dwarf Burning Bush  (Euonymus alata “Compactus”) is a low-care, beautiful shrub.  With its upright, bushy and vase-shaped habit, it’s a Fall garden’s best friend with its brilliant and intense fiery scarlet Red foilage.  Your guests will do a “double take” when they see your Burning Bush as it really is that visually appealing.  It is such an incredible garden wonder, it can serve as your Fall focal point. 

The Burning Bush ranges from 6-10 feet high, and 6-10 feet wide, and it’s insect, disease, drought, heat, AND deer resistant, and tolerant of shade (but for the most intense fall color, plant it in full sun. )  It’s also versatile enough to use as a hedge screen en masse.  

Look Ahead to Fall Day 1

Pink Muhly Grass

For the next week,   GardenWise is looking forward with our five favorite Garden Delights,     in no particular order, for Fall 2011. 

Today it’s all about one of my favorite Fall show stoppers — Pink Muhly Grass (Muhlenbergia capillaries.)  It reaches about four feet high and three feet wide, with a nicely cascading, fountainous habit of cloud-like foliage.  It also has   billowy and profuse blooms.  Pink Muhly is a North American native, and looks great en masse in a sunny garden border with hot-pink Knock Out Roses, or as a companion to fall blooming Sedum ‘Autumn Joy.’   Pink Muhly Grass is drought tolerant, so planting this beauty is a nice green garden step, and it’s a real “problem solver” for any landscape architect/designer.  

GardenWise on Larkspur for Spring

A Late Spring Garden Delight

If you didn’t sow Larkspur seed in October for flowering in late spring, no worries.  You’ve missed the distinctive, feathery seedlings that appear by late winter, but you can order the plants online or at your local gardening center.  Larkspur (Delphinium consolida,) which symbolizes an open heart, tends to be temperamental, and I’ve not had much luck in the DC-area.  But if you have success, Larkspur is a beautiful addition to any garden.   And for those born in July, this  is  your  birth  flower.  Each color has a different meaning: the color white symbolizes joy;  the purple symbolizes sweetness: and the pink flowers = fickleness.  There is no better personal touch to your garden space than Larkspur if you’re a July baby.  

It’s important that remember that all parts of Larkspur are poisonous.  Please be careful when including Larkspur in your landscape. 

Storing Clay Pots is GardenWIse

Storing Clay Pots for Winter 

Now is a good time to add storing clay pots to your list of garden chores to do before the cold weather sets in.  It’s important to empty, clean and sterilize your clay pots for winter storage to give them a longer life.  Clay pots must be stored in a dry environment to prevent cracking –  old soil can be used for compost, but don’t save it for next year’s pots.  Be sure to scrub your pots with a bleach solution to remove salts, algae and any lingering plant germs before storing.  A cold location is fine as long as the pots stay dry.  If you take care of your clay pots now, you’ll enjoy them for many years to come. 

Look Ahead to Fall Day 2

The Toad Lily

GardenWise is looking forward with our five favorite Garden Delights this week, in no particular order, for Fall 2011. Yesterday we started with an all-time eye-catching favorite, Pink Muhly Grass. Today we look at what I think is a garden must have, one that I’ve blogged about many times and just cant get enough of, Toad Lily.

With its beautiful orchid-like white flowers with purple flecks and graceful arching growth habit, Toad Lily (Tricyrtis hirta) compels anyone who gazes upon it to stop for a closer look. A must have for any  Fall garden, the Toad Lily blooms from late summer through the fall season and happily grows in the shade, providing an unforgetable eye-catching colorful interest.  The plant  typically stands 1.5-3 feet tall and 1-2 feet wide, and can be planted in a border with moist well-drained soil, or in a shady nook under a grove of flowering trees for a fantastic fall display.  Toad Lily – a “must” for Fall 2011!