Gardening With What You Have

A Thanksgiving Ode To Plants Gone By

Christine Froehlich 11/19/2018 Comments

 You can't blame me for being a little bit crabby - who was expecting snow to hit so early? Okay, I know the garden was on its way out but I was enjoying the end of my containers. As I scurried around pulling out the dead bodies I felt kind of sad - they gave me such pleasure! I guess I should be grateful that I had them for so long. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I'm giving thanks to them. Here's my ode to a few I want to include in next years garden.



winter garden


I always think some of the best things that happen in gardens are accidental.This summer I ran out of space in the vegetable garden so I planted basils and lettuces in the long wooden containers on the back patio. It was one of my better ideas, I don't know why I didn't think of it before. I guess I had the notion that it would look boring, but it was anything but that.


This pretty little combo was a taste treat - Columnar basil (love the shape) and 'Red Butter' lettuce (love the colors). I socked in a new find - Ipomea 'Solar Tower Lime' (sweet potato vine) behind them. Claiming to be a climber, I thought it would behave, even though I know from previous experience that sweet potato vines hog all the space.





This one was only a little bit better, but it did climb - and rapidly. I had a bright gold wall of foliage behind the lettuce and basil in no time. It's behaving itself here, but that was early in the game. Maybe next year I'll plant it on an arbor or somewhere it can really rock and roll.




I planted more vines in the back of the some of the other wood containers on the patio. I had minimal luck with the jasmine on the left, but the clematis on the right, Clematis alpina 'Stolwijk Gold' performed admirably. Being it's first year, it didn't flower much.




But I'll be a happy camper if I can get it to do this next summer! I'm a sucker for blue flowers. 


clematis alpina gold


 I've gotten a little jaded when it comes to sedums, but I was looking around for something tough that would add a little pizazz to the container by the front gate. The iridescent foliage of Sedum 'Sunsparkler' was just the ticket. An added bonus is that it doesn't flop over the way many of taller varieties tend to. This one is of medium height, about 18-24". Must have more of this one.


perennial combos



Sedum 'Sunsparkler'

Hydrangea paniculata 'Bobo', is a new hydrangea that came out last summer. Is this thing cute or what?  It's compact - about 2 ft. tall and quite floriforous. What more could a girl want? I want it to appear somewhere in my garden for it's next act. Note to self - make sure to buy more.



hydrangea bobo


When I came upon Coleus 'Stained Glassworks' at a local garden center, I was taken in by it's intensely colored foliage - deep magenta tones fading out to a pale pink edge. I stuck it in a container with Weigela 'Czechmark Trilogy.' I liked the color combination but the weigela didn't flower long enough to suit me. Next year I'll try a pale pink something else.




I guess you could call this one as a spiller. It weaved through the other plants and I liked the trailing habit.


coleus looking glass


As we move into the virtual gardening season and all I have to entertain me are fond memories of plants gone by and catalogues full of plant porn, it's a comfort to have a jump on my list of wants and needs for the coming year. Yes, I'm greedy. How about you? Looks like we have a  long cold winter ahead.






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