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2015 Garden

I (finally) decided to add some photos of my garden this year. :) The first is a photo of the creek bed. (Click any photo to enlarge) This is a large flower bed at about 64 feet long and averaging 12 feet wide, filled with a mix of shrubs, annuals, and perennials and a patio near one end (photo taken at a distance to get a wider shot):

creek bed
Creek Bed

Stump Bed

I always grow a lot of mixed coleus in this flower bed, along with hostas, coneflowers and more. We moved the purple obelisk to the top of the giant stump in this bed this year also, and I’m growing Gloriosa Lilies on it:

stump bed with coleusStump Bed

obelisk and gloriosa liliesGloriosa Lilies

stump bed with coleus, salvia, mixedColeus, salvia, mixed

Trail Bed

trail flower bedTrail Bed – with hostas, Japanese Forest Grass, fountain grass, iris, melampodium, salvia, dusty miller

melampodium 'Showstar' fountain grass and melampodium
trail bed pathway
Pathway and flower beds

Gazebo / Yard

gazebo and bedsWider view of gazebo and beds

gazebo and slope bed wider view of gazebo beds

Lamp Post and Front Bed

The Red Abyssinian Banana, Ensete ventricosum ‘Maurelii’, survived being stored all winter and we brought it out in April, potted the crown in fresh soil and it quickly started growing. (We cut the tree down after the first frost last year, stuck it in a bucket and it was stored in a basement all winter with no attention whatsoever!) It’s more than 7′ tall now and thriving in the front flower bed. This long narrow bed also has a mix of perennials and annuals, and is in the front yard along with the lamp post bed. The lamp post bed has Cheyenne Spirit Coneflowers, Celosia ‘Fresh Look’, and an awesome annual I grew from seed, ‘Park’s Whopper’ Salvia. I grew two flats of this plant and will probably have even more next year, I like it that much. It’s fiery red, much taller than other annual salvias, and is sturdy enough to not have to be staked. I have it all over my beds this year.

Red Abyssinian BananaRed Banana Tree

salvia in lamp post bed helenium, angelonia, pentas
coneflowers and salvia lamp post and front steps area

Creek Bed

back of creek bed, mixedBack side of creek bed, with cleome, salvia, sunpatiens, heuchera, oxalis, melampodium.

creek bed mixed mixed planting
Color Guard Yucca, salvia, coneflowers sunpatiens and heuchera
salvia, zinnias, mixed hydrangeas

Containers

veronicaVeronica in a container, fountain grass, petunias

container zinnias, etcZahara Zinnias, Melampodium ‘Showstar’, Creeping Jenny, mixed containers

container annualsHeliotrope and Dusty Miller

containers with coleus, torenia, heliotrope torenia in a hanging pot

mixed pots on side patio bubblegum supertunias

Misc.

creek bed mixCleome, perennial ageratum, japanese iris foliage, Pennisetum ‘First Knight’, celosia, salvia

patio and flower bedsPatio with mixed plantings (a work in progress), begonias, dusty miller, ornamental grasses, ‘Bobo’ hydrangea

caladium, shamrocks, heuchera, mixed sunpatiens, dusty miller
zinnias and veronica in creek bed mixed in creek bed

Whew, that was a lot of photos. :) Happy Gardening!

Plant Combinations

All my flower beds are mixed plantings, cottage garden style, and I enjoy mixing annuals and perennials together. Some years the results are better than others. :) One of my favorites this year was when the dark purple Japanese Irises, pink roses, and yellow daylilies all bloomed together along the fence. My yellow irises and bluebells bloomed together and were exceptionally pretty as well. I also really liked the dark purple fountain grass with the hot pink sunpatiens. Here are more plant combinations, colors and textures, that were pleasing to me this year. Click on any photo to enlarge.

Red Banana Tree

This is the first year I have ever grown a banana tree in my garden! I purchased this Red Abyssinian Banana online in early spring as a small potted plant. When I received it, I repotted it into a much larger pot and placed it near the small fountain/pond at the patio. It quickly outgrew the spot (and blocked the view) and we moved it into the front bed near the obelisk. It continued to grow amazingly fast and became the focal point of the entire front yard.

It’s over 8′ tall 9′ tall now and really needed to be in a much larger container. I got worried that it was getting so top-heavy that it might fall over, so we staked it with rebar and a string around the pot.

All summer, it has repeatedly unfurled enormous glossy burgundy and green leaves— the largest are four feet long and a foot wide. Not only has it been able to withstand full sun and our extremely high humidity, it has thrived, with lots of watering and feeding. I’m going to try and overwinter it (in a dormant state), and next year, I’ll plant it in the ground.

Red Banana
Ensete ventricosum ‘Maurelii’

Ensete ventricosum Maurelii
Red Banana in front bed

red banana
Huge burgundy leaves in front of purple obelisk

Botanical Name: Ensete ventricosum ‘Maurelii’
Hardiness Zones: 9a-11b, 5-9 if grown as an annual
Size: Will reach 18-20 feet tall in warm climates
Light: Full sun
Soil: Rich, fertile, well-draining
Care: Keep well watered and fertilized, cut off faded or tattered lower leaves
Fruit: Does not have edible fruit

Crazytunias

cherry cheesecake crazytunia
Cherry Cheesecake

Crazytunias are the newest thing in Petunias this year. Breeders were told to “go crazy” in their breeding and this series is the result. I bought four of these (out of 19 varieties) for my garden in early spring, Cherry Cheesecake, Mandevilla, Star Jubilee, and Terracotta. All of them are pretty, but for me, they have been a little disappointing.

Star Jubilee crazytunia
Star Jubilee

Of the four, Terracotta has been the heaviest bloomer, Cherry Cheesecake the most striking flowers, Mandevilla the weakest grower, and Star Jubilee the leggiest and largest-flowered. I didn’t find them  any more rain-tolerant than any other petunia, and although they are not supposed to have to be deadheaded, they really look bad if you don’t. They look fine from a distance, but up close, the spent flowers clinging to the plant really take away from their beauty. I did prune them back several times throughout the summer, and kept them well-fed and watered. They don’t recover well from rain, especially Star Jubilee, and they had to be clipped back a lot to get rid of the soggy spent flowers.. too much work if you had a lot of them.

Terracotta crazytunia
Terracotta

I used Terracotta in a hanging pot, the rest I used in containers on my patios. As is usually the case, none of them were as beautiful and prolific as I expected them  based on growers photos, but I’ll probably try them again next year in some of the other colors.

Mandevilla crazytunia
Mandevilla

To see all the available colors in a pdf file, go here.

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