Is Anyone Still Working in Their Garden?

lizbest1(5)December 8, 2013

If so, I envy you! We've had snow/ice on the ground since last Tuesday evening and extreme cold temps. I know we've broken at least 1 record cold for the date this year, haven't watched the news often enough in the last few days to see if we've broken additional ones! We're not supposed to be back above freezing at all until at least Wednesday. All I've seen of my gardens in the last few days is snow covered lumps and I'm getting a bit stir crazy. Are any of you still able to work in your gardens? I know we have some peony gardeners in this forum in warmer states, do you guys still have anything growing? If so let us know what! It'll be at least 3 months before we see the tiniest bit of green coming back up here....

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KarenPA_6b

It is currently snowing where I am. I can surely sympathize with you. I get some comfort looking at pictures of peonies. Hope this pic of Nick Shaylor will cheer you up.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 1:22PM
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amhkgn(7b)

Beautiful picture kousa, Nick Shaylor is one of the new peonies that I planted this fall.

Liz, we've also had crazy weather, 2 weeks ago, we were in the 20's with daytime temps no higher than the 30's. This week, we reached the low 70's. It's also been raining a lot, thank goodness it made the ground softer. I finally planted several plants and tubers yesterday. I'm looking forward to spring.

Also, all of my peonies have been cut back except for 3. I'll work on getting those done this week.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 3:10PM
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lizbest1(5)

Kousa, your Nick Shaylor is lovely! Amhkgn, I never did get all of my peony foliage cut back this fall. Typically don't most years because the early cold weather catches me by surprise; happens every year, guess I should just admit to being a lazy gardener!
I'm also going to post a peony shot, one of the few I took last year that wasn't just one bloom. Completely accidental but I think I like the dark pink of the Victoire de la Marne beside Singing in the Rain.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 10:00PM
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amhkgn(7b)

Both of the plants are just gorgeous, and so healthy in appearance. What do you use to fertilize the plants?

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 10:28PM
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KarenPA_6b

That is such a gorgeous color combo,LIZ. VdlM really brings out the color blend of SitR. Please post more photos of your peony blooms or beds.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 1:23PM
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lizbest1(5)

Amhkgn, I've never fertilized my peonies although I bought some of Adelman's peony fertilizer and azomite (based on raves by another forum member for the azomite!) to try next season. Our builder did bring in topsoil to build up the area those 2 are planted in and I raised the beds in this pic with planter's mix. The pic shows the bed not completed, the native soil in that area was hard as a rock so I covered the entire area with cardboard and put 12-24 inches of soil over it. I used 20 yards total. That's where the majority of my new peonies went this fall, hopefully I'll be posting pics of blooms next spring....The pic of the VdlM and SitR was taken from the other side of the house from this picture. This side is pretty barren, huh? A couple of ex-military guys I work with helped me put in the stone pathway going down the middle of the beds. The part closest to the house had some plantings in it but extended it's size by at least 30% so had lots of filling in to do.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 8:03PM
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lizbest1(5)

The front is more shaded by the pines. The angle is wrong to see it but there is a waterfall running behind the small pines and the red peony, think that one is Blaze. The area with the bathouse is now crammed full of peonies, too!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 8:07PM
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lizbest1(5)

Not a peony but clary sage instead! Wintersowed this one last year, didn't it get HUGE in just one summer? Unfortunately I think that one's an annual here but I'll probably plant it again, butterflies really seemed to like it. Saw a few hummingbirds checking it out, too.

Someone else's turn! Post some pretty flower pics to get us through this nasty cold week.....

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 8:12PM
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KarenPA_6b

Love your front yard with the pines. It provides such a nice backdrop for your flowers. Here are some of my favorite pictures that were taken this year. Here is a section of iris bed.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 9:53PM
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KarenPA_6b

Here is Raspberry Sundae.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 9:55PM
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KarenPA_6b

My favorite daylily Wachtyl Lavender Blue and Acquire the Fire

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 9:57PM
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KarenPA_6b

Acquire the Fire

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 10:00PM
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KarenPA_6b

Here is a charming spray of Cinco de Mayo Rose, The garden is rather young so the beds are not developed. I need to fill them with something like grass or spiky perenials as companion plants. I am hesitant to convert anymore lawn to beds as I don't know if I can manage it all. Wish I am still in my 30's.

This post was edited by kousa on Mon, Dec 9, 13 at 22:15

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 10:06PM
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lizbest1(5)

Gorgeous, Kousa! I really like the spider daylilies, too. And the iris looks really good with the peonies. I'm also trying to mix other perennials in with my peonies, different types of foliage/blooms at the same time and more color for post peony bloom. I'm thinking of trying a few roses again--Colorado isn't a rose friendly environment, though. And the deer love them....Do you grow lilies, too? I added quite a few from Gilbert Wild last spring.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 11:42PM
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KarenPA_6b

I like what you did to the bed with the stones. How I wish that I have a nice ready bed to plant more stuffs. Do you mind putting a chicken wire fence around the bed with the stones? You may have to do that to grow roses if the deers eat up your plants. I do not have deers but I can totally understand loss of plants to animals. Last year i planted a hundred Angelique bulbs at my church and a few sparse plants showed up this spring. The voles or moles ate most of the bulbs.

I grow lilies too, asiatic and some orientals but I am not too crazy about the orientals because their scents are overwhelming and not too pleasant. This fall I bought some martagon lilies to experiment. From the pictures, they bloom an impressive spray of droopy lily flowers. Next year, I am going to try the blackberry and candy lilies that you recommend. It is so much fun to see new plants bloom.

I am really happy with the iris blooms because I had only planted them last year. Some varieties did not bloom for me but the majority did. Unfortunately they are susceptible to borers and my bed was heavily infested. I can't believe that the borers find their ways to my garden so fast when I had only started those beds last summer.

I love roses too esp. the ones that are disease resistant and bloom continuously. Well. all I can say is too many loves do definitely make for a lighter pocket. :) This is Tom Pounce.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 7:56PM
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lizbest1(5)

I agree about the lilies, Kousa. The smell can certainly be overpowering and a bit like a funeral....They sure are pretty, though.
I actually had some success keeping the deer away with fishing line last year, think I'll try that again next season. It's a menace for anyone walking through my garden beds but they shouldn't be doing that anyway, huh? Got the tip from a gardening magazine, 1 string of fishing line around 4' up and 1 around 1', they hit it when walking and it spooks them away.
I've been looking at the Palatine site for roses, they have several that are supposed to be good down to zone 3. We get a few days to a week each year that our temps probably bottom out around there! I think probably even worse though is our dry climate. I need to start haunting the rose forums some more to see if anyone else in the Denver area will give me rose advice! You're right about liking too many things getting expensive, easy to drop hundreds of dollars in just a few minutes shopping.
If you wintersow the blackberry and candy lilies (actually in the iris family) you should do Rocky Mountain Penstemon, too. It's a really pretty purple/blue spiky flower, low leaves with a long flower stem. They bloom with the mid and late peonies and look really pretty in cut arrangements with them. They're super easy to wintersow and increase in size quickly. This isn't the best picture, they're actually a bit darker than this shows and the stem is pretty much covered down one side when they're in full bloom.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 11:32PM
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KarenPA_6b

Based on your recommendation from previous post, I bought some penstemon seeds. But I can't find the post where you wrote about sowing the seeds in winter. Do you know where you posted that info? Rose forum is made up of many nice members. i have learned a lot from them, THey are always willing to help fellow gardeners with rose problems. I wasn't aware that the blackberry and candy lily are part of the iris family. I guess the lily in their names threw me off. i wonder if these plants are susceptible to the iris borers.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 11:42AM
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lizbest1(5)

Kousa, I only have a few irises and don't have borers so I'm unsure if the candy and blackberry lilies are susceptible. I don't know if I've talked about wintersowing either on this forum, I learned everything I know from the wintersowing forum here on Gardenweb. Most of the hardier penstemon have seed that require cold stratification. Wintersowing takes care of that step for you, don't have to refrigerate to get them to grow. The candy and blackberry lilies take forever to put up shoots, think I sowed them last year in early January and a few shoots came up as late as mid-May. That's a long time to keep planted milk jugs around, I know, but the process works well.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 1:26PM
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Nancy zone 6

Lovely photos everyone. It has reminded me of some things I used to grow that seem to have faded away without me even realizing it. I had clary sage & miss it. Rocky Mountain penstemon used to be beautiful, but it disappeared a couple of years ago when we had a really wet spring then a late cold snap. Lost lots of plants that year. Guess I need to get over to the seed trading forum & see if I can get those again.
We've had some really cold weather very early this year, but the last few days have been warmer & I've been outside a bit. Got the last of my daff bulbs I ordered planted yesterday. Unfortunately the warm weather is bringing in heavy rains starting tonight. On the plus side, I don't think they are expecting nasty storms, just lots & lots of rain which should clear out for Christmas.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 9:26AM
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lizbest1(5)

Ngraham, clary sage is annual here, are you warm enough for it to be perennial? I'm not much into annuals but I'll definitely plant that one again! It got huge and looked pretty right up until the hard frosts, not very much in my garden looked as nice for as long.
Kousa, I put in a small order at Palatine Roses for spring! Only have 3 roses in my entire yard so far, 2 low growing spreaders that I got on clearance several falls ago and a yellow from Home Depot, also on clearance. After haunting the rose forums for a while I decided to give it another go, hopefully these will last longer than my ill-fated David Austins; they never grew at all......

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 11:49AM
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KarenPA_6b

Hi Liz! If you are interested in buying roses, Heirloom Roses is having a sale. They sell own root roses, not grafted roses. I have ordered from them and they offer very nice bands.

Here is a link that might be useful: Heirloom roses

This post was edited by kousa on Fri, Dec 20, 13 at 18:26

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 6:24PM
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Nancy zone 6

I wonder if there are different types of clary sage. The one I had I thought was perennial, but might have been a biennial. I know foxgloves are supposed to be biennial but usually come up one season & bloom 2 more years.I know it reseeded for a while then disappeared finally.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 6:28PM
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lizbest1(5)

I'll have to check them out in the spring, Kousa, our ground is completely frozen now and will be until probably April. Looks like they ship year-round, certainly wouldn't want to try to keep a rose alive in a pot now!
Ngraham, looks like it's supposed to be a short lived perennial but it's grown as an annual here, too cold to survive. Hopefully it'll self-seed, though!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 10:53PM
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KarenPA_6b

The rose bands are shipped whenever you want to receive them even if you order now.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 8:14AM
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lizbest1(5)

Kousa, went back on Heirloom's site and placed an order for 5 roses to be delivered in the spring! Keep your fingers crossed for me; haven't had much success with roses but got some very specific advice for my area this time. Now I'll just have to figure out how to keep the deer away from them, might have to invest in one of those motion activated sprinklers.....

    Bookmark   December 22, 2013 at 4:05PM
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KarenPA_6b

What did you get? What is your favorite color of roses? As for peonies, do you have a favorite form or color? Can I ask whether you have Japanese beetles in CO? This past summer, the Jap beetles stripped one of my rose bushes almost bare to the canes. It looked really ragged and sad. I wish you lots of luck with the roses. As a newbie myself, I can't offer much help but I think part of the fun is discovering what works and what doesn't through trial and error.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 7:46AM
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lizbest1(5)

I got Ambridge Rose, Constance Spry, Desirée, Magnificent Perfume and Memories. I don't know if we have Japanese beetles; no one on the Rose Forums from this area mentioned them so I hope not! I think my biggest foes are going to be our crazy summer hail and the late winter weather we have.
I think all of the roses are beautiful, even the spreading like a noxious weed wild rose we have here, I had to move peonies because it's completely taken over one big area of my garden near the house, but all of the ones I ordered from both places are the super full David Austin/cabbage rose looking ones, just because they have such an old fashioned, beautiful look to me. If these survive I'll probably add some Floribundas and Grandafloras. I actually had Australia's version of Jacob's Coat when we were stationed in Alice Springs and absolutely loved that one, the changing colors were absolutely amazing.
4 of the ones I ordered are supposed to be continuously blooming through the summer, can't wait for that! I have things that bloom all summer already but it's stuff like penstemon, nothing you'd want to cut and bring inside. Penstemon stinks to me and the blooms are insignificant but the hummingbirds love it so it's a keeper in my yard.
I'm not as sure about the trial and error method; I'm one of those people who agonize about killing plants, especially the really pretty blooming ones! But if I can keep the majority of my 2 orders alive I'll consider it a success and build a collection from there. If I lose most or all of them (lost all of the 1st David Austins I tried) it'll probably be another 10 years before I'd be ready to try again.....

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 11:48AM
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lizbest1(5)

I also got anemones, both spring and fall blooming types, last year through various plant exchanges. I'm really hoping those survive, such a pretty, delicate looking flower.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 11:49AM
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KarenPA_6b

I agree DA roses are captivating and addicting! Their scents are incredible. I hope you will be successful with the above plantings. I regret that I discover these beauties only this year. I too just started anemones this fall, some singles and semidoubles. Well, I wish you and your family a Joyous Holiday Season and many delights in the coming New Year(particularly from your garden).

    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 1:25PM
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stevelau1911

It may be the coldest part of the year, but I still have some more plants to pot up. It's in the 20s outside, but under the tarps, the potted soil seems to stay unfrozen.

I know the pots may be a bit small for the plants I'm putting in, but that's fine for a season until I can get them planted once they start stressing for water.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 9:26AM
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lizbest1(5)

Which ones are those, Steve?

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 10:19AM
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stevelau1911

These are champion fragrance, or Guan Qun Fang, a Chinese tree peony.

I could have split the one on the bottom in half again, but I decided that 1 split was good enough in this case because I still want to see flowers pretty soon.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 2:07PM
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