Saturday, July 15, 2023

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-Up July: Welcome: "It's Into the Garden I Go!"

Welcome to my July Garden!
There is a wonderful saying which describes me to a tee. "It's into the garden I go to lose my mind and find my soul." July is a perfect time for a stroll in the garden to find peace and tranquility during the heat of the summer. After a very cool June and the first spring like conditions we have experienced in a long time, July is here with an onset of higher more summer like temperatures in the 80's and low 90's. The garden is my refuge and brings me joy. I hope it brings you joy too!
We start our stroll as we enter the backyard along the patio. This is a place where I spend much of my time sitting under the overhang and gazing out into the garden, that is until I see a branch out of place, a weed to be pulled, or some other item that needs tending to, which will get me out there into my happy place. There is something about a garden that allows one to clear the mind, and simply be happy.
Patio Perennial Border
Let's get onto a tour of my Long Island garden. We start with a greeting party of two frogs hanging out with a cup of tea, surrounded by the developing blooms of Hosta. It is the view I have each morning from my patio and find it to be quite entertaining.
Back Northern Perimeter!
Looking out to the north perimeter of the property is a combination of Emerald Green and Green Giant 'Virescens' Arborvitae, along with Gold Lace Juniper, Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar, Double Knock Out Roses and a Kousa 'Greensleeves' Dogwood, which was filled with greenish-white blooms in spring. Soon its bright red fruit will form, which is a treat for the birds.
Knock Out Rose
The Double Knock Out Roses are in full bloom. Here is a closer view!
Pool Garden
If you visited last month, I had just completed the pool waterfall/planting renovation along the back of the property. The Weeping Norway Spruce, Upright Variegated Boxwood, and other plantings are adjusting nicely to their new home, and there is New Wave Petunia adding some color for now, with perhaps some long blooming perennials to be be added in the future. It is still a work in progress.
Allium 'Globemaster' Dried Flowers
Here are the dried seed heads of Allium 'Globemaster' which bloomed during  late spring. Every time visitors come to the garden they are intrigued by the dried remains, so I leave the stalks as a conversation piece until they are at the point which they can be pulled easily out of the ground.
Shade Garden
In the shadier side of the garden, the spotted foliage of Pulmonaria can be seen along with Heuchera 'Caramel' Coral Bells, which are now producing their dainty flowers rising above the plant.
Sunny Pool Border!
On the sunnier side of the pool border is a combination of Sedum 'Angelina', 'Dragon's Blood', 'Coral Carpet' and 'Blue Spruce, with Encore Azalea in the backdrop.
Sedum Groundcover Mix
I enjoy the various blooms of the Sedum and it just keeps on giving!
Pool Border Western Side
Towards the western side of the property is this combination of Sky Pencil Holly with Rhododendron and Coral Bells and a semi hidden statue of children playing in the background, which can seen through the Coral Bells as passers go by.
'Low Glow' Red Pine
Around to the back patio area is a view of the light green foliage of 'Low Glow' Red Pine against the darker green foliage of Peony. This variety of red pine got its name from its beautiful "candles", which almost glow in the sunlight.
Echinacea (Coneflower) 'Cheyenne Spirit'
Along the pool border is a personal favorite of mine,  Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit', a form of Coneflower which displays multiple colors of blooms on the same plant. Here is a close up of some of its golden colored blooms...
Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit'
and two colors right next to each other on the same plant!
Perennial Border
Along the perennial border is the new addition of Abelia 'Kaleidoscope' with its multi-colored foliage and white blooms, which are now appearing.
Abelia 'Kaleidoscope' Bloom
The blooms will continue throughout summer into fall, adding interest to the perennial/patio border.
Perennial Border: Echibeckia
Also in the perennial/patio border is Echibeckia, a combination hybrid between Echinacea and Rudbeckia, which I found at the local farm stand three years ago. It has become a favorite, producing blooms throughout summer, while supplying a bounty of color.
Salvia 'May Night'
Perfect for pollinators, Salvia 'May Night' draws a lot of activity during the summer months and continues to do so every year.  I deadhead it to keep the blooms coming for the bumble bees. 
Hosta 'Golden Tiara' Blooms
The pollinators also enjoy the tubular blooms of Hosta 'Golden Tiara', and I am hoping the hummingbirds find them too, as they have visited in the past!
Perennial Border: Lamb's Ear and Coneflower
For a little bit of pinkish-white blooms above white foliage, here is Lamb's Ear along with Echinacea Pow Wow 'Wild Berry' in the perennial border...
St. John's Wort 'Magical Universe'
while St. John's Wort 'Magical Universe' displays deep green to burgundy foliage, bright yellow blooms and ornamental red berries in the back garden.
Hydrangea 'Tokyo Delight'
Winding down the tour, it just wouldn't be the same without some blooms of Hydrangea. These are both varieties of old fashioned hydrangea that I have had in the garden for as long as I can remember. Above is Hydrangea 'Tokyo Delight', a lace cap variety and below is 'Nikko Blue'. 
Hydrangea 'Nikko Blue'
Even though this old fashioned Mophead Hydrangea blooms on old wood, I think I am partial to the richness of it's deep blue blooms!
Front Walkway
As our stroll comes to an end, along the front walkway is the large heart-shaped foliage of Weeping Eastern Redbud 'Lavender Twist', with Weeping White Pine in the backdrop and a mix of Variegated Liriope and Juniper...
Thank you for Visiting!
and a little garden whimsy to bid farewell...unit we meet again.
Thank you for Visiting!
I hope you enjoyed the stroll through my July garden. I so appreciate you being here, look forward to your comments and look forward to seeing what you have blooming 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 had hosted Foliage Follow-Up, a meme I will continue to honor. I am also linking with some other wonderful hosts and hostesses at Floral Friday FotosFriday Bliss at Floral Passions, Macro 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. Wishing all a wonderful summer with gardens that thrive!

Saturday, July 1, 2023

This Month in the Garden: Seasonal Planters

Seasonal Planters

Welcome to This Month in the Garden! While traditional garden beds offer a more permanent option, seasonal garden planters have become increasingly popular due to their versatility, mobility, and ability to be altered with different displays throughout the growing season. Based on the time of year, plant choices can be combined for an ever evolving display of color and foliage, from robust blooms in springtime, to colorful foliage and autumn-like colors to bring in fall, and perhaps evergreens to carry on through wintertime. Seasonal planters play an important role in the garden and provide additional interest even beyond landscaping. 
Spring/Summer Planter Combination
We often hear the terms, "thriller", "filler" and "spiller" used in container gardening. A "thriller" is defined as the main central focal point in your planter (usually taller), surrounded by the medium-sized "fillers", which take up the majority of space in the planter, to the "spillers', which can create a dramatic effect by trailing over the sides of the container for added interest. For starters, this spring/summer arrangement consists of the variegated foliage of Canna Lily Indica Tropicana 'Mactro Gold' as the center "thriller", or focal point, four assorted Coleus and four New Wave Petunia as a second layer, or "fillers" and four Sweet Potato Vine (Purple and Gold) with four Tradescanthia Pistachio White, as "spillers", which will cascade over the rim of the planter as the season progresses.
Summer Planter Combination
Container options come in a variety of sizes, shapes and materials and can be aesthetically pleasing, adding interest to your arrangement. Several options are available, including cement, resin, ceramic, terracotta, or perhaps boxes or barrels constructed of wood. For areas of limited space and changing sunlight, portable planters give you the flexibility to rearrange your garden and create interest. When planning your arrangement, be sure to use a good lightweight all purpose potting soil mix containing a balanced blend of organic matter, such as compost, peat moss or coconut coir, drainage and aeration materials such as perlite or pumice, pH adjusters and a source of nutrients for healthy growth. A container with drainage holes is best, but if not possible, be sure to use a layer of  a course material, such as gravel or pebbles in the bottom of the planter to allow excess water to drain away from the plant's roots. This cement urn is the ideal candidate for a combination of two varieties of flowering New Wave Petunia and Sweet Potato Vine for all-summer interest. River rocks were placed in the bottom (more narrow) section of the urn for drainage purposes. 
Shade Foliage Planter Combination
For a shady location, try a combination of miniature Hosta, variegated liriope and Black Mondo Grass for a striking display of foliage. This birdbath, turned planter, is tucked away in the garden as a hidden surprise. Helpful Tip: Be sure to choose plantings which share similar lighting and water requirements to ensure success!
Shade Patio Planter Combination

Another shade combination for under a covered patio is a combination of Coleus and Sweet Potato Vine. Try combining Coleus varieties of different heights and colors to create a layered look and add the Sweet Potato Vine as a "spiller" to cascade over the edges of the planter. This is just one example and the possibilities are numerous. Maintenance Tip: Once the Coleus starts to flower, I keep the plant deadheaded to prevent it from going to seed, thus extending its season into fall.
Full Sun Succulent Planter
For an area with full sun, you can get adventurous and choose a selection of succulents which appeal to the senses. I enjoy using the terracotta strawberry planters for aesthetics and use combinations of groundcover such as Sedum 'Blue Spruce' (blue-green), 'Angelina' (yellow), Sedum 'Tricolor' (green and pink), and 'Dragon's Blood' (deep purple). There is an endless supply of interesting succulents, so just have fun!
Full Sun Succulent Planter
So what are you waiting for? Add some planters to your garden this season and enjoy exploring new selections, including annuals, tropical species, evergreens and succulents and create the perfect combination to suit your taste and style. Seasonal planters are the ideal addition to your space and bring charm, versatility, and adaptability to your garden throughout the seasons!

I hope you enjoyed This Month in the Garden for the month of July. Be sure to stop by on the 1st. and 15th. of each month as I continue to share gardening tips, information and horticultural adventures! Also, be sure to check out my author page and books for gardening information and helpful advice, all based on my 27 years of experience as a landscape designer and ongoing involvement in the horticultural field. Until we meet again...Happy Gardening!

Author: Lee @A Guide to Northeastern Gardening, © Copyright 2010-2023. All rights reserved.