Rainy days

Talk about hostas, hostas, and more hostas! Companion plant topics should be posted in the Shade Garden forum.

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Postby Linda P » Aug 24, 2007 10:39 am

Hmmm, where to start? First, thanks, everyone for your kind comments. No, I don't mind at all if you keep them for inspiration. I'm flattered!
Willowy, I can tell you a few of my favorites. I have a lot of crabapples (Prairie Fire, Weeping Candied Apple, Indian Magic, sargent, dwarf sargent, and Summer Snow) because I like the color in the spring, and most of those have persistent fruits so they don't litter the ground. The robins clear out a lof the fruit late in the fall, but some stay on til spring. I have viburnums everywhere. They make excellent large shrub/small tree plantings. I prune them up as they establish to allow for planting under them. Hydrangea paniculata...I have many varieties, Pink Diamond, Quickfire, Limelight, Unique, and also Hydrangea Quercifolia, the oakleaf hydrangea . The viburnums and hydrangeas are spread around the property, so that they provide some continuity when they're in bloom. I also have several varieties of ninebark...Diabolo, Coppertina, Summerwine.
Redbud, though it struggles here, I finally have a good sized one that hasn't died back in the last few years. Lilacs..can't live without them, but they're not best friends with the hostas! I have a couple of mockorange (the latin name escapes me right now), dogwoods, both shrub and tree forms. My favorite of all the large shrub/small trees is heptacodium miconiodes...aka Seven Sons Flower.
It's got lovely fragrant blossoms adored by hummingbirds, just coming into bloom now. Those are followed by bright red bracts, and it has nice shreddy bark for winter interest.
I have a couple of japanese maples in protected areas. There's a volunteer choke-cherry that woudn't die, so I decided to let it grow. Serviceberry, bottlebrush buckeye, aronia melanocarpa, the ubiquitous burning bush, fringe tree (chioananthes virginica), beautyberry (callicarpa), and a bunch of others I can't think of right now!
In the large tree area, I have Autum Purple ash (though I wouldn't plant an ash tree now, with the threat of the emerald ash borer encroaching) oaks, river birch, purple-leaved birch, hawthorn, katsura, gingko, a curly willow (terrificly fast grower, but rather messy), a Red Sunset maple out in the middle of a big greenspace) and a large assortment of evergreens. Many of my plants have come from the 'bargain bin' at the local nursery, especially the evergreens. Almost everything I've planted here has been very small when I planted it...I wanted too many plants to put in large specimens. I know there are many others that I've missed, but that's the basics.
Marlys, yes, the secret trade plants are all doing very well. I haven't been out in the garden much the last couple of weeks, but when I do go out I go to check on all of them!
They were all such nice big plants...I can't wait to see them in the spring. Can you believe that I don't have any of my hostas in the ground yet from the get-together or the convention? They're all out there in a group, just growing away in their pots. I have to get them planted soon, or they'll be down to one eye each. I've been trading some pieces of some of them with friends.
Sounds like the cold is making the rounds. I'm going to head to town today (out of my cold remedies!!!) and I'll try Theraflu. I thought mine was an allergy to start, too, but it just kept on going.
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Garden Path

Postby Marlys » Aug 24, 2007 4:45 pm

Linda,

I've been considering doing away with grass pathways in my garden. I get so tired of fighting dandelions and seeding crabgrasses, etc. I bought a push mower with a bag but still the weed seeding continues. :evil:

Ron wants to do wood mulch pathways. I was thinking pea gravel but I really hate to loose the GREEN grass or the natuaral-ness of the grass. I really like your bricks but the expense is bothersome, not to mention the labor :!:

Ron made me a really nice flagstone path that I love and now have thymes, sedums, & scotch moss naturalizing it. But I can't convince him to do the whole yard. Plus it cost a lot of money. :eek:

Ron insisted on edger stone bordering all my beds. I don't like it. :( I would rather have just a natural little trenched edge. Then he uses the weed-eater all along the stones. It throws weeed seed everywhere and then the crabgrasses & dandelions quick, grow there as it is trimmed too short. :evil: Men! (no offense)

Any way, Linda, which is your favorite path :?: How about other folks thoughts or ideas :idea:

Thanx!

MM
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Postby wishiwere » Aug 24, 2007 7:04 pm

I have to say, I have a couple of 'wood-mulched' walk way and don't really care for them where they are near the house. Out further in the back of the yard, they are more natural and I like them. Up here by the side of the house, they invite oh, what do you call them, the pincher looking crawly things! :lol: Anyway, I've never liked those things! And they do need replacing more often in high traffic areas. The ones that lasted longest with the least 'weed problems' though were the ones most travled, b/c I put the landscape fabric under it. But again, it gets kicked around and needs raking more often to fluff it up and keep it working.

What type of thymes did you use in your paver one? and does scotch moss overwinter like thyme in zone 5 well?
Jane (from the middle of the Mitten state)
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Scotch Moss

Postby Marlys » Aug 24, 2007 8:53 pm

Scotch Moss lived over for me here in Iowa zone 5A. I was so excited that it lived and flourished in the sun. It also survived in medium shade but not dense shade and it did not survive being buried in leaves without any sunshine. Imagine that!

I use an assortment of thymes and sedums in the opening between the stones.

I really like the variegated lemon thyme. I have a white & green one that has been great this year and every time it get disturbed the smell is wonderful. I have trimmed it with my push mower.

Wooly thyme does great but then does its dying out routine. It comes back but in the mean time there is baren soil for weeds to get started.

The tiny, tiny, one does great. Is it Mother of Thyme?

There are other 'walk on me' plants that are fun. Jeepers Creepers brand name has some fun ones. And if one doesn't do well or dies, it's an opportunity for change.

Sedum Acre has done well for me this year in the lighter travel portions. And sedum Angelica has done well on the perimeter where it really does not get stepped on. I love yellow color of it.

Thanx,

MM
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Postby wishiwere » Aug 24, 2007 9:58 pm

MM?

Maybe you could do a post with a picture of these? I think of sedum, I think of those little wild, take over the universe stuff someone gave me once, that I've been fight to get rid of for years! :eek: The little red and green stuff? I'd like to find something for a few places, and seeing yours might help me out if you could? Pretty please? :D

And yes, I have a lemon thyme I love. It's in the center of some pavers and smells grand when someone steps on it, or the little ones pick pieces to smell! :D
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Postby Linda P » Aug 25, 2007 8:07 am

Marlys,
I know what you mean about the grass and dandelions. I have a horrible battle with them too. The grass pathways will have to stay, though. I laid out the beds by driving around with my riding mower, and that's how I mow them. I like the gravel path around my porch. That one was too narrow to mow, and the path was necessary to get through the middle of this bed. I didn't want to have one giant flower bed coming right up to the porch. The little brick path is very short, and was made of recycled bricks. I love it, but wouldn't want to have to try to maintain ane more of it than the couple of feet I have. There are a few sedums growing through the bricks, but lots of other stuff likes to grow there too. It's hard to get dandelion roots out from between the bricks without disrupting the whole thing. I also have seedlings growing on the gravel path, even hosta seedlings. I do have landscape cloth under that one, but they still manage to spread roots around and grow between the gravel and the cloth. I don't use herbicides to any great extent, though I was on a mission this year to try to reduce the amount of creeping charlie. The rains lately have pretty much wiped out my earlier efforts. :roll: I also resorted to using a grass killer in a few of the outermost beds this year, especially the wild bed out by the roadside.
I have a woodchip path through the chicken yard, and one going out to my bale-feeder arch, but that's it. I would have to sell the farm to afford to put mulch on all the paths around my beds. I don't think DH would go for that. :lol:
Some of the beds near the house are edged with round stones I get from my brother in Wisconsin. Two or three times a year, I go around and hand weed them, and at least once a year I have to lift the stones to make sure they don't sink into the ground. The moles love to tunnel under the stones, so some of them need to be lifted more often. I like the look of them, though, so they stay. I'm glad I don't have them around every bed. I just hand dig an edge when I'm down there weeding. I have an edger attachment on my Mantis tiller, which sounds good in theory, and actually works fairly well. However, it beats the living daylight out of my back and shoulders, so I can't really use it much.
Linda P
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Latitude: 41° 51' 12.1572"


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Postby wishiwere » Aug 25, 2007 1:33 pm

I'll never get over how pretty that chicken yard is! Everytime I see it, I want chickens! NOT :lol:

Seriously, yours gardens are gorgeous. I've not seen one thing I didn't like them. Thank always for sharing them :D

I have a few stone edged beds too. Most brought from up north (home) to here and some from other places. I too like the looks ease of placement, drop and go! And I think too, they make it easy to weed round, beats that black stuff that the grass grows under! :evil:
Jane (from the middle of the Mitten state)
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Postby Patrushka » Aug 26, 2007 12:33 am

Ooohhh more pics! :cool: I never get tired of looking at your gardens. I still can't believe that I didn't walk through the chicken yard when I was there. :???:

Thanks for the list of trees and shrubs that you have planted. I would love to add a few different trees besides Oaks. We finally have a few Sassafras saplings that aren't growing right up against the fence or under an Oak so I'm going to let one of them continue to grow.
Pat
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Postby Linda P » Aug 26, 2007 7:19 am

Patrushka wrote: I still can't believe that I didn't walk through the chicken yard when I was there. :???:

Darn it, Patrushka. That day just went by too fast!
I thought of a couple more trees and shrubs that I missed: I have two magnolias, (Jane and Royal Star) black alder, kolkwitzia amablilis (beautybush), itea virginica, two prunus X cistena (purpleleaf sandcherry) and a new addition this year, halesia caroliniana (Carolina Silverbell).
Sassafrass...that's something I don't have here. I can't remember ever seeing it growing around here, though it's supposed to be native to this area.
Here's a couple more chicken yard pics for you, Pat, taken just the day before you were here. :wink:
Linda P
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And time remembered is grief forgotten,
And frosts are slain and flowers begotten.....
Algernon Charles Swinburne

Latitude: 41° 51' 12.1572"


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Linda P
 
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Location: N W Illinois, zone 5

Postby MollyD » Aug 26, 2007 10:14 am

Linda your garden is what I want mine to look like when it's all grown up!
More pictures please!

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Postby VThosta/daylilylover » Aug 26, 2007 10:21 am

ditto Molly's remark. Very, very lovely!
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Postby wishiwere » Aug 26, 2007 10:39 am

Always inviting!

Pat? :o You mean to say you were in those gardens and didn't walk through the chicken yard? :eek: I've wanted to wander through those since the first time she posted pics of them years ago! :lol:

And yes, keep the photos coming! I'll just enlarge them and post them around the gardens so that my gardens have INSPIRATION! Because I'll need a whole lot of help from somewhere to get mine in order to even come 1/100th close to the tranquility you put together! I love your family love wandering around and sitting amongst them :D
Jane (from the middle of the Mitten state)
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Postby pepper1 » Aug 26, 2007 5:18 pm

Linda, your gardens are absolutely beautiful. Thanks for sharing the photos. Things here are looking summer stressed and it's fun to view your gardens in their glory.

Kathy
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Postby Linda P » Aug 26, 2007 8:31 pm

Jane...Somehow that day went by so fast, and I have 2 acres here to wander, with many beds and borders all over the place. We went on a stroll through the yard and somehow didn't get back to the chicken yard...though were were sitting around right next to it when we ate and played our games.
Thanks again for the kind words, everyone. My garden is quite summer stressed at this point, too, so it's been fun going back and looking at the pics from June. I'm really surprised, though, at how many are putting up a nice new flush of leaves after all the rain. I still have a few that don't seem to know they've been through a very strange year, and they're looking fresh as a daisy. I need to go out and get some pics of them...if I can find them under the weeds.
:eek:
Linda P
And time remembered is grief forgotten,
And frosts are slain and flowers begotten.....
Algernon Charles Swinburne

Latitude: 41° 51' 12.1572"


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Postby LucyGoose » Aug 26, 2007 10:17 pm

Oh my, I too love looking at your pictures Linda!@ Hey, I thought we WERE IN the chicken yard? :hmm: Like where our chairs were and all the hosta's I thought that was the chicken yard.....Hmmmm....Oh well....I loved the pic's...

Thanks for sharing more Linda!:-)
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Postby wishiwere » Aug 27, 2007 12:44 am

Linda, the weeds should be fairly easy to pull up, since we've had all this great rain! That's one good thing about it! I know they grown as they say, like weeds, but they've also got short roots being so new, so this is good! :D

Keep the pictures coming, my little gardens, need a lot more inspiration about where they are headed!

Lucy? You've been there too? :( I feel so left out! :roll:

Next year, maybe I can get to more get-gethers. Well, even one would be an improvement over this year :cry:
Jane (from the middle of the Mitten state)
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Postby Linda P » Aug 27, 2007 9:44 am

Jane, if you're ever headed west, just make a detour and stop by here.
LG...we were sitting just outside the chicken yard...the actual part that was enclosed for the chickens was just to the west of where we were sitting, past the curly willow tree. There be the monsters. :)
Linda P
And time remembered is grief forgotten,
And frosts are slain and flowers begotten.....
Algernon Charles Swinburne

Latitude: 41° 51' 12.1572"


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Linda P
 
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Postby Patrushka » Aug 27, 2007 11:30 pm

Yes, Linda, the day certainly did go by too fast. Thanks so much for the Chicken Yard pics. :cool: A virtual walk is almost as good as the real thing.

Our neighbor behind us has Sassafras trees. I had never seen one before we moved to Indiana. I love the color of them in the Fall.

:oops: Yes, Jane. You would think I would have rushed over and walked through it first thing. I guess that means I'll have to go back to Linda's again some day. 8-)
Pat
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Postby wishiwere » Aug 28, 2007 11:47 am

I'll have to follow close behing when you do :D
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