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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!

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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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Alstroemeria, also known as Princess Lily or Peruvian Lily, is new to my garden this year. These plants are not really lilies at all, but are tuberous perennials. I bought one of these as a thick root in a tiny 3 inch pot in early May and have had it in a container on my patio. I had it in full sun and it very quickly filled the pot with foliage but very few blooms. I moved it to an area with only morning sun and it looked much healthier and has bloomed repeatedly since.

Astroemeria
Alstroemeria

These dwarf hybrids reach about fifteen inches tall in a pot, and are hardy only in Zones 8-10. I’ve read that the rhizomes can be lifted and stored over the winter though, and I’ll probably do that with mine. The flowers are gorgeous.

Alstroemeria Sara
Alstroemeria Princess ‘Sara’

Alstroemeria
Princess Lily in a container

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