The 2009 Garden Continued

I want to say thank you to the readers that send emails. Several readers asked me if I would tell more about my 2009 garden. If I must.

I think it was a great year for Rose of Sharon. Everywhere I went their striking late summer flowers made a beautiful show in the late season garden. We have a Proven Winner Blue Satin It looked striking next to the rose garden contrasting with the Bonica roses. It bloomed for several weeks and is a true blue unlike many other flowers.

I was so pleased with the Anthemis 'Susanna Mitchell', a lovely cultivar with daisy like flowers that reminded me of chamomile It grew into a lovely mound. I cut it back after its first bloom and it rewarded me with a second bloom of fewer flowers but still quite lovely.

The turtlehead Chelone Hot Lips was a striking pink at the front of one garden in late summer. I finally remembered to pinch it back early in the season so it bushed out and produced lots of flowers. For those of you unfamiliar with turtlehead the flower is unusual. Some folks call it snakehead! You can find turtlehead growing in the wild in the autumn of the year in the Eastern half of the United States. The wild turtlehead flowers are white with pink. Cultivars come in white, pink, and purple. I want all of them!

I am a huge fan of the Cranesbill geraniums so named because their seed heads resemble a crane. These are the perennial geraniums that return year after year in the perennial garden. We have Ballerina with its cup shaped flowers and purple centers. I also love Roxanne with its violet blue flowers with a touch of white in the center. This glorious geranium forms mounds of flowers. I also love the Light Pink cranesbills. They are such sweet plants. Not only are cranesbill geraniums lovely but if you give them some compost and cut them back after their first bloom they reward you with blooms later in the season. Such sweet lovely plants!

I was overwhelmed by the number of Kiss-Me-Over-the-Garden-Gate seedlings that came up in the spring. Well to tell the truth I should have thinned out more of the plants. They reached ten feet in height and produced incredible clusters of pink flowers right up to frost. This cottage garden plant is said to have been introduced to the New World by Thomas Jefferson from Asia. Kiss-Me-Over-The-Garden-Gate is in the buckwheat family and is closely related to knotweed. It is considered to be an heirloom seed as it breeds true... the offspring are identical to the parent plant so you can save the seeds. I will need help digging out the stalks next spring..... they remind me of bamboo and are really fibrous and tough! If you want to grow this incredible plant toss the seeds into your garden right now. They need to freeze in order to germinate. Otherwise you will need to put your seeds into your freezer for a week next spring before planting them in the garden. (The other alternative is find me..... I am going to have thousands...)

It is November though. When the ground freezes please go outside and place soil around your roses to protect them from winter winds. Please use fresh soil. Don't use the soil from around the roses as you may expose the roots.

Thank you for your emails. I love to hear from you

Forever Young Magazine - November 2009