What worked...what didn't ?

lavender_lass(4b)July 27, 2010

This year I found that getting rid of the hybrid teas and replacing them with old-fashioned shrub roses and a few hybrid musks has been a good idea...at least, so far :)

I also added a lot more blueberries, butterfly bushes and other shrubs, which have done very well, been low maintenance and don't mind being watered with a sprinkler.

The cosmos I planted (once they quit getting hit by late freezes) have been amazing! Each one has turned into a big bouquet...of course, it might be all the horse manure. (LOL) Alyssum, salvia, the hidcote lavender and stock have all done very nicely, too.

What hasn't worked so well....hybrid teas, which is why I replaced them. The annual geraniums I bought are okay, but not great, so I probably won't get those next year. The impatiens and snapdragons are okay, but don't seem to like the heat we've had lately. The tomatoes are happy, but the squash and melons seem to be sulking. The herbs are getting overgrown with weeds, so I'm moving them to a better location.

What about your garden?

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Lilyfinch z7 mid tn

I got a little big bang coreopsis plant at a local nusury, it was so small i didnt expect too much from. Its now 3.5 x 3.5 ft tall and wide, and way too big for its spot! I was impressed!
One thing im dissapointed in is my iceberg rose. It gets a little blackspot then completely lost its leaves . for some reason it still blooms on naked branches! Ihave it in a nice spot, so as soon as i can find a replacement its gone.

i feel like the summer is slipping away....so much to do though! I really wish i had sown my cosmos seeds. i could use the bouquets of flowers. But next year ill make sure to do it!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 7:05PM
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Lavender, don't give up on those snapdragons - I always find them unimpressive and then it cools off in the fall and they are great again and wow the next spring they are even better....worth keeping...

I have few roses - my heart yearns for more but generally they are japanese beetle magnets and relatively high maintenance even the shrub varieties so I am holding off...although I am amazed at how much improvement there is in them with good care this year - the rugosa Blanc Double de Cobert (or something like that) has bushed out with fresh foliage and I know it will be great next year. I want to replace the old Hansa I had the bloomed with the double snowflake mock orange - the combo was gorgeous in color and fragrance!

My annual zinnias, cosmos, cleome, and sunflowers are quite wonderful. Especially love those BIG bennary hybrid zinnias. I also am terribly fond of the big elephant ear caladium - they take forever to show but once they pop up they give a real tropical flair around the deck - love 'em.

Definitely don't like the nasturtium in the front borders - they are too "red" and they just don't thrive for me here like they did in Ohio where they were marvelous.

I definitely need to move the too tall hibiscus and asters from the front borders - wild men that need to be tamed. Vivid and eye catching but rangy and messy.

I put in sunflowers out by the pond - they are way too tall - I need to watch varieties next year and get the right ones. But that bed out there has weigela, siberian iris and yellow flag iris in May and that was lovely (after the big display of spring daffies) and now it is full of zinnias and sunflowers and it really does work.

I am not at all happy with the pink dahlias I got - they were supposed to be vivid PINK and they are little ball peachy colors and just don't stand up to the demands in front where things are big and you need to be bright. I will say the things are full of bloom and prettier than I thought when the first blossom opened. I adore the big informal purple ones.

What doesn't work mostly is I need a full time cabana boy who responds with a smile and flexed muscles to the command DIG, MULCH, WEED, EMPTY THE CART. I have to figure out what catalog you order those from...

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 7:33PM
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alisande(Zone 4b)

In my case it wasn't hybrid teas, it was Austins and Bucks. The Bucks are still a possibility for me, but I had to face the fact that I'm not attentive enough to be a good rose gardener. Getting over my rose addiction took a while, but it was a good thing. This year I enjoyed my rugosas--although everything suffered from a freeze we had in June.

I think I've replaced some of my rose addiction with an attachment to hydrangeas. Two that were planted last year and did wonderfully well over the winter and into the summer are Limelight (paniculata) and Sadie Ray (macrophylla).

This year instead of direct-seeding zinnias, I started them in little pots. I did three trays worth, and discovered that Isabellina and Exquisite germinated far better than the others, which included State Fair, Giant Cactus, my favorite Big Tetras, and something else I can't remember.

Planting zinnias in a new bed seems to have worked well; however, the ones I planted in their usual spot, the sunflower patch, were eaten by critters. Fortunately, they found the gloriosa daisies less tasty.

This was The Year of the Foxglove, but I can't claim credit for any of it. They just took off on their own.

Last month I brought home two clumps from my late cousin's garden. One of them, salvia "Purple Rain," has settled in nicely. The other, Lady's Mantle, hasn't done well from the start. It was dug in very dry conditions, and I'm sure that didn't help.

I started out talking about roses, and I'll end with one. I never thought "Crimson Sky" would be a big success story for me, but I couldn't get over how vigorous and beautiful it was this year. I'd been thinking of moving it, but now I don't dare.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 7:34PM
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aimeekitty(9-10, SW 18)

cindy, maybe you could try a different nasturtium? There are pale yellow ones, too.

I think if we all had cabana boys or girls, we'd sit outside all day. alisande, hydrangeas and foxgloves are wonderful wonderful things and certainly just as pretty as roses.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 7:59PM
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Yes, I'd also like to know which catalogue has those cabana boys! I'm exhausted, especially with all the watering, and the summer is not over yet. However more has worked than hasn't so I can't complain.

My new roses are a joy! After months of indecision whether to buy roses I had decided they would be too much trouble to do this year when we are renovating the old beds. However on a trip to the city at the end of June one of the 'good' nurseries had them on sale so I bot 5 in large pots. Of course that necessitated making a new bed for them which was an enormous job. They have looked good from the start and I left a few blooms on them initially but then deadheaded seriously. They are now reblooming despite the hot dry weather we have been having. Of course I'm watering frequently and they seem to like frequent drinks of diluted alfalfa tea. I'm still concerned the deer might find them but we made the bed next to the house in the dog's large grassy yard so perhaps that will deter them. I'm soon going to move some of my lavender plants there as extra insurance. I know they are not necessarily easy plants and I'll have to mulch heavily in the fall but they are very pretty.

The lilies I planted last year are blooming profusely, multiplying, and looking fantastic.

I'm pleased with my new shade garden altho it's only had superficial weeding and needs a thorough one. Coming up on the to-do list - I've just been grabbing weeds that are blooming or threatening to take over as I hand water. I thot it might be too dry with the large trees taking all the moisture but with amending and occasional watering it's doing fine. Love all the heuchera and will buy more.

I love my potted annuals, they've been a real pleasure when some parts of my garden have looked so 'destroyed' during this renovation process. Even in this heat they are still looking great with daily watering and frequent deadheading and fertilizing.

I'm quite disappointed in the nursery that planted the azalea I bot. I thot the roots looked fine when I planted it but it didn't do well so I dug it up and there were a lot of wood chips in the center of the root ball! So I hosed the roots clean, planted it in good soil, and after frequent watering it's coming back. All of the other new plants have done really well.

I'm not very happy with one of the new beds further out as I haven't spent enough time on it. Probably shouldn't have made it this year but it will survive. It has all deer resistant establish perennials I moved from my main garden so I didn't think I needed to baby it too much. The spirea looked as if it had died but is finally coming back. It really needed more water than I gave it.

I've had a problem with too much direct sun in parts of my garden since we had some large trees removed and some of the Lady's Mantle have not done as well as usual. So I'm moving the young ones to semi-shaded areas and discarding the others. Just part of the evolution of a garden one has to adjust to.

I'm disappointed I may have few sunflowers this year. We usually have lots as the birds are messy eaters and seed them all over. We usually transplant some to better locations. However there were very few coming up so I planted some and the chipmunks dug them up and ate the seed! I planted more and kept them indoors til they were a few inches tall. Put them out and those little !@#$% ate all except for the red flowering ones. So I have them in larger pots but not sure whether they will flower as were planted late with all the tomfoolery!

The thistles the birds seeded around the feeder did extremely well!!! LOL This morning I thoroughly weeded and mulched so that bed looks nice again! Wonder how long it will last. I don't usually get thistles in my garden but there must be some type of bird that eats them in the wild and deposits them here.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 9:21PM
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what didn't work - my whole west facing fenceline is still not working. I put in yellow loostrife that got really tall and flopped. I think they did not need the fertilizer. Not happy with how little time they bloomed either. I also have some "whirlwind" anemone back there. They are tiny mail-order plants that I got last year. I've had to replace one, and now 2 out of the 3 are struggling to still stay alive. The other one looks happy and will probably bloom this year. Probably because the loostrife flopped over it to give a little more shade. I think I'll be moving them to more shade next year.
What worked? My foxglove 'patch' is really taking off. I planted two camelot creams last year that re-seeded like crazy - and many of the seedlings have bloomed already this year. I added a couple of the strawberry ones this year that are huge plants - hopefully they will reseed too.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 11:23PM
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The lion's tail I planted last year put up a spectacular show this year. All my lantanas look gorgeous.

I planted two London Planes last year. They're growing like weeds.

My Dynamite crape myrtle is gorgeous.

Now the north fenceline. Ugg. Very hard to get anything to do well there. Perhaps it's because there was once an oleander hedge there. The lady banks roses are surviving but not growing very quickly. Some of the cape honeysuckles are doing well. The California Rose loves it over there but it's a naturally scraggly plant. I intended it to mix with the other plants to discourage fence hoppers (I live on a corner) I just put some lantana in hoping it will make a nice colorful blanket under everything.

There is also the perennial 'more weeds that I can keep up with' conundrum.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 2:13AM
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Last year I put in a largish new bed in the front - this year it is magnificent ! Right now it is full of Echinacia purpura that I planted as seed last year, Liatrus and dwarf thistle (on sale mail-order plants), all blooming like mad, all purple, all about 4 ft. and a wonderful combination of shapes. In front of them yellow and rose Coreopsis and then lobelia at the very front edge. In the same bed earlier this year were gorgeous red lilies, all of which doubled from last year, and a variety of spring bulbs, all of which did well.

I am trying to add a photo link which I have never done before. Shot from the back, side before the Coreopsis and Lobelia started blooming, but the potted Hibiscus and Lantanas contrast beautifully.

Here is a link that might be useful: front bed

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 7:59AM
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The new roses worked great! I added Young Lycidas and Lady Emma Hamilton in the front yard and in the backyard made a tribute garden for my old dog who died last summer. In that one I have Grandmother's Hat, Pretty Jessica, Glamis Castle, Mdm Mari and Enchanted Evening plus a hydrangea in the sunny part. It's worked out well except too crowded, so I have to move Ms. Mari.

In the perennial part of the yard most things have been a success except somehow I killed off all my germander. I thought the stuff was hard as nails and there's a huge planting of the same kind at the local library but I killed it completely.

My reblooming iris are another hit. Fantastic spring bloom and a few have already started getting ready for a fall bloom. These are great for my area because the leaves stay pretty good looking most of the time unlike regular iris which can get ratty.

My biggest challenge is winter interest. I haven't solved that problem yet. In February I was working in the front yard when the mailman came up to drop off the mail. He said "Pity about the yard. It looked so pretty. Looks like you'll have to bulldoze it and start over." I explained about perennials but made a mental note to self -- ADD WINTER INTEREST!!


    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 11:43AM
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I chopped down to about a foot the orange cosmos. I stuck them in a really stupid place in my garden and it got to the point they were almost 6 feet tall & they'd stopped blooming, probably because the plants around them needed more water and the C's got too much of it.

Next year I'll be planting the "regular" Cosmos...the one's that have more of a thin and feathery leaf with many colors!

My Red Salvia are always a disappointment. Not even sure why I planted them!

The Victoria blue salvia are great!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 11:52AM
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The angelonia is beautiful and the zinnias look like they are on steroids. I love the new pink butterfly bush and the Joe Pye weed has started blooming and I like the look of it. In fact, the new butterfly attracting garden is a real success. The clematis are doing just about as well as I could expect them to since most of them are fairly new.

The heat has taken a toll on the iris and the daylilies, but they seem to be recovering with a little more attention to watering and a little bit of rain.

Spraying the Japanese Magnolia with fungicide when I spray the roses has enabled me to have the first ever mildew free season with it.

The baby roses have suffered and some have even died, but the established ones have done well.
My three special butterfly bushes have a lot of yellow leaves, but the common variety is just fine.


    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 11:30PM
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Chris_in_the_Valley(z7 MD)

The new echinacea, "Pow Wow Wild Berry" has been a hit. When the nursery lady told me it was a neon pink, I was doubtful, but bought 3 anyhow. The delight is that it turned out to be the same pink as the Knockout Rose planted adjacent, and also the Iceplant a yard away. Only one of the coneflowers is blooming this year, but the others look healthy and I have great hopes for 2011.

New evergreen azaleas died quickly. Dead. Brown. Ugly. These were added to a bed with existing azaleas, so I don't know the problem. Maybe insufficient watering, or then again maybe too much.

Hostas divided this Spring and moved from full sun to deep shade have survived and while spindly at present, still are green and growing while the original clump has turned yellow already. I'm pleased.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 2:30AM
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j_k_w(WA 7B - Sunset 5/4)

Doesn't work:

Shasta daisies. I give up. They do well, but almost too well. I find myself pulling more daisy seedlings than weed seedlings anymore. Also, they throw out a bunch of lush growth, bloom gloriously for about 2 weeks, then the blooms all go brown overnight and this huge clump falls over, out from the center, like some big animal used the plant as a bed. I have a bare center surrounded by a ring of prone stems. Ugly, ugly, ugly. And I never see bees or any other wildlife interest in them. I'm ripping them out before the summer's over.

Also, the lavender has passed its prime. Cutting back in the spring no longer promotes enough growth to cover the fact that they're now mostly bare, brown branches with pathetic tufts at the ends. Time to go.


The plants I've been choosing solely for their foliage have turned out to be very valuable additions. Red sedum (with hot pink flowers), as well as 'Blue Spruce', 'Angelina' and a dusty bluish-purple variety; gold Creeping Jenny; a burgundy grass which I can no longer remember the name of; an apricot huechera; a burgundy ninebark; Alchemilla mollis; and Sambucus nigra 'Black Beauty'. When I shop, I don't even look at flowers anymore. Good stuff.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 8:48PM
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In general my entire vegetable garden is bleh. It's been such a hot summer and I don't think I watered enough. Potatoes and garlic were about the only good harvests.

Flowers - canna seem to be almost non-existent. Elephant ears are short. Strange because I thought they'd love the heat.

Good: Bee balm! (Crazy and huge) anemone are always reliable. Hibiscus are gorgeous.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 1:56AM
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