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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Plantings Around the Garden Shed

In my last post on the garden shed page I mentioned that I would show you in two parts the plantings. Well...I'm afraid I may have to expand that to three, we'll see! After taking some pictures today and on previous days I'm happily astounded by the neat stuff I'm seeing. Please don't take that as bragging since most of the cool stuff is a result of pure random luck that just fell into place and happened to improve my ideas. Let me show you what I'm talking about.

My original plan for this area had two ornamental grasses on both sides of the main pathway. I followed that plan by planting two Shenandoah switch grasses which are at their peak right now. The leaves turn a beautiful red color that extends down from the leaf tips. The happy accident here was when one of our extremely heavy winds knocked a sunflower down to the ground. I planted the sunflower from a seed but I really intended it to stand on its own as sunflowers do - the whole wind thing changed everything. The sunflower continued to live after the fall and since I didn't want to deprive the bees and the finches their favorite food I let the sunflower stay put. Here is how it appears now:


The fallen sunflower branched upward and created a bushy sunflower peeking above the switchgrass.

This photo is a little closer and you can take a look at the foliage of the switchgrass. Switchgrasses make great substitutes to miscanthus which can be invasive in some areas. Switchgrass is a native which are always great to add to the garden.


Just to the right of the switchgrass is a planting that uses Russian sage, rudbeckia, and Shasta daisy. The Shasta daisy was a trade brought home from a plant swap last year. It was one of those plants that I really didn't have the right spot for so I stuck it in this garden. In this instance I think I got lucky since it blends so well with the rudbeckias and the Russian sage behind them both. Next year this display should look fantastic as all three plants are in their second year in this spot. I've found that the third year is when to expect great things from perennials!


The rudbeckia and the daisies are almost inverses of each other. The yellow centers of the daisies blend nicely with the yellow petals of the rudbeckia.


 And one more gratuitous garden shot... you're not opposed to gratuitous gardening are you?


These small zinnias are a very cool find this year. They are called Persian carpet and even though they aren't carpeting the area it would look very awesome if they were. I only ordered one pack of seeds but you can count on the fact that I'll save the seeds from this group for next year. Each flower looks like a tiny little fire lighting up the garden.


And here's the last gratuitous gardening photo for this post: a Monarch butterfly on a cosmos flower. 


Stay tuned for the next post to see the rest of the plantings near the garden shed!

9 comments :

  1. Very nice combinations here Dave. You should brag some, you work very hard around your home!

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  2. Wonderful rich colours and textures, Dave. I love the sunflower juxtaposed with the delicate panic grass. Aren't they (panicums) awesome? I have 5 cultivars now, most added this year, each one different.

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  3. I have taken on a new love and appreciation for shastas this year. I finally got my 'Broadway Lights' into a happy location and I'm testing 'Paladin' for Terra Nova. Both types have thoroughly impressed me.

    Rudbeckias -- I have so many 'Goldsturm' but the bunnies keep them from looking their best. Think of a tree-shaped rudbeckia with blooms on the umbrella top and no lower/side leaves below the blooms. That's what little bunnies do here!

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  4. So pretty, can't wait to see what else you have planted around your new shed. Now I need to read further to see what I've been missing out on, catching up. :)

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  5. Yeah for the monarchs. It is looking really good Dave. Sometimes those accidental plantings are the best. btw, I finally got myself a switchgrass. They had 'Prairie Sky' at the Summer Celebration. You know I jumped on it. Thanks for the suggestion to get a switchgrass. I really like the grasses and don't have enough-mainly due to not having enough sun but I manage.

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  6. It sure looks good Dave. I have that same switch grass in a half whiskey barrel {resin} with Mums & an Echinacea. The grass is not growing like I expected. The combination of the Switch grass, Echinacea, & Gillardia were supposed to be a good combination for pots. I guess it would help if I re potted it.
    I'm finding I'm really drawn to the grasses. I have several. I pot them up to see how they act here. They really are low maintenance.

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  7. I love Russian sage, it's so pretty. The daisies and black eyed susans look great too.

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  8. Thanks Darla! I am pleased with the things I've done overall I just don't want to sound like I'm bragging though.

    Jodi - The panicums are awesome grasses. I like them much better now than the miscanthus. I only have two varieties 'Northwind' and the 'Shenandoah above but I do plant to increase my collection!

    Cameron - The Shastas are something that aren't extremely interesting but I think if you use them the right way they can definitely add something to the garden!

    Racquel - Directly around the shed I haven't planted much yet since I want it painted first. I propagated some hydrangeas I hope to place on one side of it later with maybe some other evergreens I've propagated.

    Tina - I bet you'll really enjoy that switchgrass. I would have to say that from the switchgrasses 'Northwind' is my favorite. Feather read grass ('Karl Foerster') is great too but it's not a switchgrass.

    Lola - The grasses are really great for low maintenance. Just a haircut in very early spring and they are ready for a new season. You should try the 'Karl Foerster' grass in a pot that I mentioned in the comment to Tina. It might work really good.

    Thanks Meems! Russian sage is one of my favorites. It will forever be in my gardens somewhere!

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  9. Hi Dave, I already have the 'Karl Forester' in a pot. Just waiting to see how it will do in this heat & humidity.

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Dave

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