Thursday, April 15, 2021

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow Up: Bring on Those April Blooms!

Welcome to My April Garden!

Welcome to Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and Foliage Follow-Up for the month of April, a time to venture out into the garden and appreciate all the beauty that nature has to offer. The skies have been for the most part sunny with temperatures in the upper 50's and into the lower 60's on some days, signaling that spring is here, and creating the perfect working weather. While the world was in so much uncertainty a year ago, the daily routine seems to be slowly getting back to just a little more "normal". Being fully vaccinated, I can feel a bit more at ease when meeting with clients and getting to create beautiful gardens, a passion which I most enjoy! Ready for a tour? Come along and see that my Long Island garden has to offer!
Crocus
It just wouldn't be spring without the traditional crocus! I love how these purple beauties just pop up out of the ground and open to glorious blooms almost overnight. I cannot get enough of them, as they really do have a way of brightening the day.
Magnolia 'Royal Star'
Another April delight is this Magnolia 'Royal Star' in the back pool garden. It produces an abundance of outstanding fragrant white blooms every spring right on schedule. Magnolia 'Royal Star' is hardy in USDA zones 4-8.
Forsythia
Here is the Forsythia which I planted years ago on our front street median. It thrives in the harshest of conditions and continues to please every year with its cheerful yellow blooms.
Japanese Andromeda 'Cavatine'
On the front island bed is Dwarf Andromeda 'Cavatine'. It has become a favorite evergreen shrub for its delicate bell-shaped white blooms in spring, followed by decorative seeds head in fall. 
Grape Hyacinth & Miniature Tulip Collection
I couldn't resist purchasing this bulb mixture and planting them last fall, only to await the surprise in spring. I have been watching this spot everyday and almost overnight, the grape hyacinths appeared. The tulips had appeared when I arrived home from working all day...what a nice surprise!
Miniature Tulips
Here are those wonderful miniature tulips up close!
Purple Hyacinth
Here are the traditional Hyacinth. I have two varieties, purple and pink... 
Pink Hyacinth
and they are oh so fragrant!
Daffodils
To add to the color palette, here are some yellow miniature Daffodils to brighten the day!
 Helleborus orientalis 'Merlin'
I continue to enjoy an assortment of Helleborus (generally hardy in USDA zones 4-9, or 5-8, depending on the species). Here are three varieties, Helleborous 'Merlin' (rose pink), Helleborous' Dark & Handsome' (dark purple-black) and Helleborous 'Champion' (yellow-green). 'Shooting Star' (pale pinkish-white), which I highlighted during the winter months is still blooming in the northern shade garden.  
Helleborus orientalis 'Dark & Handsome'
Hellebore Tip: Remove any winter-damaged foliage in spring to promote more blooms and encourage new growth.
Helleborus orientalis 'Champion'
Helleborus 'Champion' is the later blooming variety, going right through the end of April.
Prunus 'Krater Vesuvius' (Purple Flowering Plum)
Flowering Plum blossoms are also signaling spring. Prunus 'Krater Vesuvius' produces delicate pink blooms in April. 'Krater Vesuvius' is very similar to 'Thundercloud' Plum, only the foliage is a deeper burgundy.
Flowering Plum Blooms!
Here are the dainty blooms up close!
Peony 'Bartzella' on the Way!
In the perennial border, Peony 'Bartzella' is displaying its new brilliant reddish-pink foliage, that will turn to green before those glorious blooms arrive in May!
'Stella D Oro' Daylily and Allium 'Globemaster' Combination
Allium 'Globemaster' is also preparing for its May display! 'The foliage of Daylily borders the Allium bulbs, creating a pleasing combination, while serving the function of covering the spent lower foliage of the Allium later on in the season.
Rosemary Blooming in Springtime
Here is one happy Rosemary plant in the herb garden. It has been producing random blooms during spring and fall over the past year.
Montauk Daisies (Foliage)

Montauk Daisy displays its foliage, which will be followed by blooms during late summer into fall. There is always something to look forward to in every season. By the way...I'm celebrating the three month anniversary of my fourth and latest book, Gardening By Month: A Monthly Guide to Planning the Northeastern & Mid-Atlantic Garden!๐Ÿ˜ŠAfter finally accomplishing my goal of creating 12-months of garden interest, my labor of love inspired me to write this book. I am hoping it will inspire readers to create their own 12-month garden!
Thanks for Visiting!๐Ÿ˜Š

Thank you for visiting my April garden. As always, I enjoy hearing from you and seeing what's growing in your neck of the woods! Special thanks go out to our hostess Carol at May Dreams Gardens, who makes it possible to see blooms on the 15th of every month with her meme Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Also, special thanks to Pam Penick at Digging who has hosted Foliage Follow-Up for all these years, a meme I will still continue to honor. I am also linking with some other wonderful hosts and hostesses at Floral Friday FotosMacro Monday 2, Mosaic Monday at Letting Go of the Bay Leaf, Nature Notes at Rambling WoodsImage-in-ing weekly photo share every Tuesday with NC Sue and Gardens Galore Link Up Party every other Monday with Everyday Living. I am also happy to join the Weekly Photo Link-Up at My Corner of the World on Wednesdays and Garden Affair at Jaipur Garden

Thursday, April 1, 2021

12 Groundcovers for Your Gardening Space

12 Groundcovers for Your Garden
Welcome to This Month in the Garden! Groundcovers are a welcomed addition to many a garden and are known for their relatively low maintenance and adaptability. Many are drought tolerant once established, will thrive in a variety of soil types, and often serve as the perfect addition for those trouble spots. While planning your gardening season, you may want to consider some of these interesting selections.
Lusimachia nummularia 'Moneywort' (Creeping Jenny)
First on the list is Creeping Jenny. This evergreen perennial with lime green foliage will create a carpet of color. Hardy in USDA zones 3-9, this vigorous groundcover grows to a height of 2-4 inches tall and has a spread of 18-24 inches wide. Plant this perennial in full sun to partial shade in a moderately moist soil and give it space to grow. Bright golden-yellow flowers are produced late spring into summer. Creeping Jenny is perfect for planting in rock gardens or surrounding  a garden statue.
Ajuga 'Burgundy Glow' (Bugleweed)
Ajuga or Bugleweed is a quick growing, easy to maintain groundcover, which is excellent when planted in shady locations where other plants may have difficulty. Hardy in UDSA zones 3-9, Ajuga 'Burgundy Glow' is one of the most popular varieties of ajuga, known for its low mounding foliage which is dappled in hues of green, cream and smoky pink to burgundy. Spikes of blue-purple flowers appear in mid-spring to early summer on a 4-6 inch tall by 12-18 inch wide plant. 'Burgundy Glow' is excellent as a groundcover in smaller areas. If you are looking to cover a larger area, either bronze or green-leaved varieties, such as 'Catlin's Giant' are recommended. Plant ajuga in full sun to full shade in a location with moderate watering. Ajuga is butterfly friendly and deer resistant.
Ophiopogon japonicus 'Nanus' (Dwarf Mondo Grass)
Hardy in USDA zones 6-10, Dwarf Mondo Grass is perfect as a groundcover, edging or mass planting. This variety forms a mat of evergreen foliage 6-12 inches high by wide and prefers to be grown in filtered sun and a moderately moist soil. In summer, small stalks with purple flowers emerge. Mondo Grass is low maintenance, often used as a lawn substitute and is deer resistant.
Liriope muscari 'Variegata' (Variegated Lilyturf)
Hardy in USDA zones 6-11, Liriope 'Variegata' (Lilyturf) is a clump forming evergreen perennial, displaying striped green and creamy white grass-like variegated foliage on an 8 to16 inch tall by 8 to 12 inch wide plant. Liriope is perfect as a groundcover in areas of partial to full shade where ornamental grasses may have difficulty. In mid-summer to early fall, short spikes of deep purple flowers resembling tiny Grape Hyacinths appear, adding late season interest to the landscape. To promote new growth, remove any winter damaged foliage from this perennial in early spring once new foliage starts to emerge.
Phlox subulata (Creeping Phlox or Moss Pink)
Creeping or groundcover phlox is an excellent herbaceous perennial, forming a carpet of colorful blooms in mid-late spring. Hardy in USDA zones 3-8, this perennial grows to a height and width of 4-6 inches tall by 12-18 inches wide and prefers a location with full sun and a moderately moist well drained soil. This popular perennial is best suited for rock gardens, slopes and perennial borders. Depending on the species, blooms range from white to pink, rose, lavender and magenta. Creeping phlox does not require deadheading, but a slight shearing after bloom can make for a tidier plant and in some cases a second bloom.
Sedum 'Dragon's Blood'
Sedum Dragon's Blood may seem like a strange name, but it comes from the color of this interesting plant. This succulent perennial, hardy in USDA zones 3-9, exhibits deep rosy-red foliage that persists throughout summer and into fall. Deep red flower buds open to pink star shaped blooms in early to late summer and last for weeks. Sedum 'Dragon's Blood' prefers a well-drained soil in full sun and is drought tolerant once established. This plant is excellent in rock gardens and borders, quickly forms a carpet of color, and can be easily propagated from stem cuttings.
Sedum 'Angelica'
Hardy in USDA zones 6-9, Sedum 'Angelica' is a groundcover succulent known or its golden-yellow foliage and delicate yellow blooms that come about in mid-summer. Foliage is evergreen in warmer climates and turns to a copper-orange before dormancy in colder climates. Plant Sedum 'Angelica' in a location with full sun and a well-drained soil. This perennial is an excellent addition to rock gardens, waterfalls, borders and hard to grow places and is drought tolerant once established.
Sedum 'Aurea'
Sedum 'Aurea' is yet another variety of low maintenance succulent. Sedum 'Aurea' is hardy in USDA zones and forms a 2-4 inch high carpet of tiny pale yellow leaves followed by yellow star-like blooms in summer. Plant this perennial in full sun to partial shade in a well-drained soil. Propagation is easily accomplished through stem cuttings and this perennial can easily be used in hard to reach places, as in between crevasses on a waterfall or rock wall.
Sedum 'Lime Twister'
Hardy in USDA zones 4-9, Sedum 'Lime Twister' is a low maintenance succulent groundcover excellent for rock gardens, containers and borders. Two-tone lime green foliage edged with creamy yellow leads to the production of soft pink flower clusters in late summer. Plant 'Lime Twister' in full to partial sun in a well-drained soil. This perennial is drought tolerant once established. Average size is approximately 4 inches tall by 18 inches wide.
Dwarf  Golden Sweet Flag
Acorus gramineus ‘Minimus Aureus’ (Dwarf Golden Sweet Flag) is not a true grass but grows in tufts of golden grass-like leaves, forming a dense carpet of bright golden semi-evergreen foliage. Sweet Flag is hardy in zones 5-9 and prefers to be grown in partial sun to dense shade in a moderately moist soil. This dwarf variety slowly spreads by rhizomes and reaches a height of just 4 inches tall with a spread of 8-12 inches or more. Sweet Flag serves nicely in a pond setting, rock garden, or foundation planting, or as a ground cover under the canopy of trees.
Variegated Golden Sedge
Carex oshimensis ‘Evergold’ (Variegated Japanese Sedge) is a grass-like evergreen perennial forming low clumps only 6-8 inches tall by 9-12 inches wide. It prefers to be grown in part sun to full shade in a moist, loamy soil. Carex ‘Evergold’ is hardy in zones 5-9 and displays a green-yellow variegated foliage.  It serves nicely in a rock garden, foundation planting or perennial border.
Vinca minor (Periwinkle)
Last, but not least is Vinca minor, also known as Periwinkle. Vinca minor is a popular evergreen groundcover, hardy in USDA zones 4-8, that forms a dense carpet of trailing stems with dark evergreen foliage. Tubular lavender-blue flowers are produced in spring and early summer, which last for several weeks into fall. Vinca minor prefers a location with full sun to part shade in a dry to medium soil. Plants grow to a height and width of approximately 4-6 inches tall and spread to a width of 18 inches and more. This perennial is deer resistant and drought tolerant once established.
Sedum Groundcover Mix

12 Groundcovers for Your Garden
I hope you enjoyed This Month in the Garden-12 Groundcovers for Your Space. Be sure to stop by on the 1st. and 15th. of each month as I continue to share gardening tips, information and horticultural adventures! (Linking with: Floral FridaysMacro Monday 2Ruby Tuesday and Image-in-ing Weekly Photo Link-Up.

 For gardening info and tips: Visit my Author Page/Purchase My Books  ๐Ÿ˜Š
Author: Lee @A Guide to Northeastern Gardening,© Copyright 2010-2021. All rights reserved

Monday, March 15, 2021

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-Up March: Long Island Late Winter Garden

Welcome to my March Long Island Garden!
Welcome to my zone 7a northeastern garden. What a difference a month makes! While the month of February was one snow storm after another, the month of March came in like a lamb on the 1st. The announcement of the "windy month" here in the northeast was made on the 2nd and 3rd as winds gusted up to 50 mph, reminding us that March is an unpredictable month weather wise. The remainder of the week brought days that brought back thoughts of winter, followed by temperatures in the upper 50's to low 60's, signaling that spring is on the way! Today for Bloom Day, the cold winds have returned once again, but spring is just five days away, and the blooms are here to stay!
Hellebore (Lenten Rose) 'Shooting Star'
In the late winter garden, Hellebores continue to bloom from January and are doing well after being covered in snow. This evergreen perennial is quite resilient and holds up well in our cold winters.
Hellebore (Lenten Rose) 'Shooting Star'
Hellebore 'Shooting Star' is one of my favorite varieties of Lenten Rose and is also one of the longest blooming, from winter right into spring.
Hyacinth Foliage
There is spring in the air! In the perennial border, Hyacinth are pushing their foliage up through the ground a little more each passing day.
Golden Skylands Oriental Spruce
As spring blooming bulbs start to show their foliage, the vibrant pinkish-red stems of the Coral Bark Maple in the Front bed continues to "glow" against the golden foliage of Oriental Spruce.
Skylands Spruce Seed Cones Late Winter
Here are the older seed cones of the Skylands Spruce up close. Newer cones form in spring and take on a purplish hue. 
Weeping Pussy Willow Catkins
Pussy Willow catkins are a definite sign of spring. Every March, I look forward to the brown buds which open to expose fluffy white centers that last for weeks, before bursting open to expose their yellow pollen covered anthers later in the month and into April.
Evergreens in the Back Pool Garden (Oriental Spruce, Rhododendron and Azalea)

Gerards' Crimson Azalea
In the back pool garden, Azalea Girard's Crimson is showing off its deep burgundy foliage, which is most evident in late winter going into spring. Soon, buds which are now appearing, will lead to bountiful blooms.
Garden Whimsy
There are more Azalea behind this statue in the eastern side of the pool garden. Watch for their vibrant purple blooms in the upcoming months!
Nellie Stevens Holly Berries Late Winter
Ilex 'Nellie Stevens' holds down the fort during the winter months with its brilliant red berries, which continue into spring. The berries are also an important source of food for the birds.
Back Shade Garden
There is always something evergreen in the back shade garden. The foliage of Leucothoe 'Axillaris' is showing some burgundy highlights this time of year.
Leucothoe 'Axillaris- Late Winter
Besides the interesting foliage, Leucothoe will flower in later months.
Front Walkway Garden
Come along to the front eastern side of the property. Here is a view of the front gardens with Weeping White Pine as a prominent feature in this view. Golden Skylands Spruce and Coal Bark Maple can be seen in the backdrop along the driveway border. Beneath the Weeping White Pine are Golden Variegated Sedge.
Front Weeping Japanese Maple Late Winter
In the front is Weeping Japanese Maple 'Viridis'. If you look closely, you can see evidence of the sap  rising into the stems, giving a slight glow of green. With the warmer temperatures, it shouldn't be long until it leaves out.
Front Raised Island Bed Southeastern Side
In the front island bed, Osmanthus 'Goshiki' is showing some newer growth. Behind the variegated foliage of Osmanthus is Weeping Norway Spruce and the Weeping Japanese Maple we just saw up close.
Sedum 'Brilliant' rosettes
Sedum 'Brilliant' is showing signs of life, and Magnolia 'Royal Star' is showing its buds, which get bigger by the day!
Magnolia 'Royal Star' Buds

 Helleborus orientalis 'Merlin'
This variety of Lenten Rose, 'Merlin', is in the back border.  It starts blooming in February, after 'Shooting Star', has deeper pink blooms and lasts throughout April.
Winter Garden Bear

Helleborus orientalis 'Champion'
Hellebore 'Champion' has buds now in March, which will start opening very soon. Having the various varieties of Lenten Rose allows the gardening season to begin in January.
Thanks for Visiting!
Thank you for visiting my March garden. As always, I enjoy hearing from you and seeing what's growing in your neck of the woods! Special thanks go out to our hostess Carol at May Dreams Gardens, who makes it possible to see blooms on the 15th of every month with her meme Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Also, special thanks to Pam Penick at Digging who has hosted Foliage Follow-Up for all these years, a meme I will still continue to honor. I am also linking with some other wonderful hosts and hostesses at Floral Friday FotosMacro Monday 2, Mosaic Monday at Letting Go of the Bay Leaf, Nature Notes at Rambling WoodsImage-in-ing weekly photo share every Tuesday with NC Sue and Gardens Galore Link Up Party every other Monday with Everyday Living. I am also happy to join the Weekly Photo Link-Up at My Corner of the World on Wednesdays and Garden Affair at Jaipur Garden



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