You may have noticed that I have a very limited repertoire: I read, garden, and preserve many of the things we grow in our garden. I used to cook like a maniac (and was very good at it!) but keeping off all of weight I lost is more important to me now than time in the kitchen. So, gardening!
I wanted to share with you, in case you hadn’t already clued in, that perennials are a great investment. They will bloom year after year, and quite often reseed themselves. I got a small chunk of black-eyed susans a few years ago from a friend who was moving away, and now we are moving big chunks of it all over the yard. We actually dug some up and transplanted it, only to have that really hot weather hit. Well, they looked terrible, and required a little extra water, but are now beginning to bloom.
Keep your eyes peeled for really rough looking perennials at your nursery or home improvement store. By the end of the season they are usually drastically marked down and all they need is a good “haircut”, planting in good soil with plenty of room for their roots to increase, and some water. You will be surprised at all of the plants you find the following spring.
Except for the hanging baskets on our wrap-around porch, which my husband puts together every year, perennial plants are all we get ever buy. These are added to the flower garden beds. Even if you ignore them, like I did for the last few years, they will keep on blooming. After several years of barely stepping into the garden, I have finally got it back in shape. I do the big flower garden and my husband does the vegetables, and I have to admit that the flower garden had really gone to seed (literally!) I uncovered plants I forgot that I had back there. The best find of all was a small red clematis vine. The vine was gigantic, but the flowers are small. I don’t know the variety, but I do know that it’s beautiful and blooming like crazy. I also was rewarded for doing the big cleanout with a wonderful blooming of white campanula and pink prairie mallow, which looks like a miniature hollyhock.
We added some “features” to the garden this past weekend, and I’m sure that I’ll be sharing them with you in another post. This time of year, for me, is all about the garden bounty, whether it’s fruits and vegetables, or wonderful, fragrant flowers. The library has plenty of books that tell you all about growing perennials. One of my favorites is Perennial All-Stars, by Jeff Cox. It tells you the when, where, how, and possibly why of each plant. And of course The Sunset Western Garden Book is the bible of the gardening world. I never visit a nursery without it. I hope you enjoy these photos (and maybe recall those I posted from earlier in the season when the gardens weren’t quite so lush!)
Until next time, Judy