Agastache foeniculum by squamatologist

One of the herbs that I bought at Russell Gardens Wholesale was Agastache foeniculum – Giant Hyssop or Anise Hyssop ‘Blue Fortune’. Though I bought the plant, it is easy to grow it from seed. And if you have friends who have Agastache, I feel certain that they will be happy to give you some plants since it spreads easily when planted where it is happy.

There are about 30 species of Agastache and most are native to North America. The Agastache I have grows in Temperature hardiness zones from 4 to 9, is over 4 feet tall and blooms from late June through September. I bought Agastache, an aromatic perennial, not so much for its flowers but because it is a rich source of nectar so that it attracts bees and butterflies and is supposed to attract hummingbirds; though I think the flowers make a nice addition to an indoor bouquet.

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Flowers In TheGardenLady’s Garden with a Few Photographs

Garden Bust by Dara Mina Ceramics with plant in head behind and primroses that are in seed in front.

I try to have flowers blooming as long during the year as flowers will bloom. That means that only when there is snow on the ground is my outdoor garden without flowers. Most of my flowers are in the sunny part of my property-in the front. The photos you see of my grounds are mostly taken on the sides to show how wooded and shady the property is.

People passing TheGardenLady’s yard have asked how many different flowers I have planted in my garden. I have never kept track. But since so many people have asked, I forced myself to sit down to make a list of plants on my property this year. I mostly have perennials growing.

Each year I plant some new perennials and some favorite annuals. I may plant new plants because some of the perennials plants do not return. For example, I have planted numerous heuchera but they didn’t seem to like where I put them and have never returned the following year. I love Spigella marylandica and have tried planting it twice but it never came back. One nurseryman told me it is a tricky plant in my area. The first year I planted the Trillium grandiflorum, it came back for a few years. Beginners luck. Since it disappeared, I have tried to replant it a few times but have not had success. But I don’t give up easily and will replant all these plants with the hopes that they will one day be happy in my garden. I replant those plants I love, but lost. I like to get new plants that I have never had or are new to the market. And I like to add annuals to the mix to be sure that I have flowers all summer long. Some of my favorite annuals are the common ones like marigolds and zinnias.

As I age, I want big flowers that will be show-offs in my garden. As much as I like the small gems of flowers that surprise when they are discovered, I want flowers that explode like fireworks. I enjoy it when walkers or drivers tell me they must go past my yard every day just to see what is in bloom. I am flattered beyond belief when I get compliments; like when my sweet French neighbor called my garden the Giverny of my town. But I also love it when birds-and hummingbirds- as well as butterflies and bees love what I plant. I love to watch the bees sucking furiously on the lavender, oregano, bee balm and other nectar plants.

My property is basically a woodland property. There are lots of trees and wild shrubs. And a stream bisects the property. So how do I get flowers if I have woods? Some plants tolerate some shade. I do get partial sun, about 5 hours, along the front of my property. Then I learned that my town allows planting between the sidewalk and the curb. Since this is where the sun shines on my property all day, this is where I plant most of my flowering plants. Since my property is a right triangle with the longest side along the street, I have a long strip to plant. The only problem is dragging hoses to water the plants at the bottom of the strip.

Right now the ‘ fireworks’ in my garden are the lilies, like the Asiatic lilies and the Hemerocallis or day lilies. Besides the lilies the most showy flowers are the hydrangeas, both blue and white. And though these beautiful blooms are the most striking, other flowers are in bloom like zinnias,marigolds,verbena, Albizia julibrissin- Mimosa tree, Echinacea, etc., etc., etc.

None of this would be possible without the products in the market that keep the deer away. I use lots of Liquid Fence. So far the stinky stuff has prevented the deer and rabbits from sampling my plants.

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Good time to buy garden supplies

Supplies from Home Depot by cybertoad

I have been surprised to find plant nurseries offering sales already. In my area a favorite nursery is having 50% off on everything in the nursery. It seems really early in the gardening season for these sales. I don’t know the reason for such early sales; there seem to be many reasons such as overstock, anticipated drought or the economy. Whatever the reason, sale time is the time that TheGardenLady adds more plants to her garden. Summer has just started, so the summer flowering plants will be blooming for quite a while. I notice that catalogs are also sending me 1/3 to 1/2 price off plant sale flyers and online plant nurseries are also advertising their sales.

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Information on Acid Loving Plants

TheGardenLady received this question from Joan.

I have been trying to get a complete list of acid loving plants, trees, bushes, etc., but am only getting partial ones. Can you please help me? I would greatly appreciate it.

A number of readers have been interested in getting information on acid loving plants. There are many lists of acid loving plants, trees and bushes, but unfortunately TheGardenLady does not know of a complete list. Perhaps someone should compile such a list. Not only am I not aware of any single list as you are requesting that is complete, but “authors sometimes give different pH preferences for the same crop.” This site has a starting list. Unless a reader of this blog knows a source, this GardenLady believes that you will have to do your own research to create such a complete list because there are too many plants to find a complete list on line and most lists generally serve only as a guide since many other plants may grow well in acid soil conditions besides the ones on any list.

The best and most extensive list of plants with the plant’s cultivation requirements such as soil pH and other information about plants is The American Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants by DK publishers (there is also the English edition) This huge tome is over 1000 pages of plant listings. Otherwise you may have to use the many partial sources on line and start combining the information to create your own list.

Rose Thorns Can Be Dangerous

Rose thorns by DRB62

TheGardenLady received this question from Sandie.

Funny thing happened to me today. I was pruning roses and got a brief stick in the knuckle over my pinkie by a very large thorn. I bled a little, but being a tough gal, I went on with my task at hand. A few hours later, I have slight swelling, but can hardly move my finger. It is extremely painful up the pinkie and down the outside of my palm. Any idea what’s caused this?

There is nothing funny about getting an infection. I hope you go to your physician immediately for him or her to be sure the infected site is cleaned properly and to give you some proper medicine, if required. This is a warning for all gardeners. Even if you are a “tough gal” or guy, when working in a garden there is always the possibility of picking up germs or bacteria. That is why one should always wear gloves when you are touching your plants or the soil.

For other posts by TheGardenLady on getting pricked by a rose thorn see here and here.

Project BudBurst Answers Your Ecological Questions

As we are experiencing unusually hot weather for June on the East Coast and in other parts of the country, like Chicago, one wonders what will be the best choice in plants for the garden. Will those plant hardiness zone charts be valid as they presently are or will there be changes to the recommendations about which plants will successfully grow where you live? Are plants starting to bloom earlier? What is happening and what advice should be given?

A research project is looking for citizen scientists who will help scientists answer these questions. This is a project called Project BudBurst where US residents, gardeners and plant lovers around the country can help in the collection of important ecological data based on the timing of leafing, flowering, and fruiting of plants (plant phenophases).

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Good Companian Plants to Deter Bean Beetles

Nasty beetles eating everything. by Jason Riedy

A reader asked which plants would be good companion plants to grow with her beans to deter bean beetles.

TheGardenLady would plant a variety of plants that deter bean beetles, if you have the room in your garden. Then you can hope that at least one will work.

Sage is a good companion plant for beans and it also has insect-repelling properties, especially against beetles. Sage is a strong aromatic–it may be this that repels some insects.

Plant rosemary where you will put your beans next season as this is also an effective beetle deterrent. Summer savory repels beetles, I am not sure which kinds, and encourages good growth and good flavor.

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Unique Gift: Create Your Own Rose and Name It

Would you like this rose named for you?

Have you ever wanted to give the perfect gift to someone? Or have you ever wanted to honor someone special in the perfect way?

A group from Princeton, NJ, wrote to TheGardenLady with such a request. They wanted to honor a beloved mayor with a rose named after her. Where could they possibly find a rose breeder who would create a new rose that would be forever known and sold with the name of the person honored?

This is the Jalgoldie rose TheGardenLady would love named after her

TheGardenLady found the perfect rose hybridizer who will create and name this unique gift for you as he has for people like Loretta Lynn and other luminaries.  The rose hybridizer is Brad Jalbert of Select Roses in South Langley, Canada.  Brad has introduced more than 65 new roses to the world rose market (the two photos on this post are of roses that he created).  He has also co-written two books on roses Roses for British Columbia and Roses for Washington and Oregon as well as written many articles for rose bulletins in  Canada and the US.

You can learn more about Brad Langley’s work by going on line to his website and you can visit his large display garden in Langley, British Columbia, which shows and sells high quality garden roses and is a demonstration garden for the Canadian Rose Society.

Select Roses is able to ship only the custom named roses to most countries around the world.

If any readers purchase a rose named for someone special, please let TheGardenLady blog know about it with photos of your unique, new rose and also the name of the new rose with a description of that rose.

Epsom Salt – Great for your Body and for your Plants – PackshotCreator – Epsom salt by Creative Tools

After a hard days work in the garden, do you fill a warm bath for yourself and add Epsom salt to the water to soak those sore muscles? It is a nice treat to refresh yourself. According to the Epsom Salt Council this is a healthful remedy that people have known about for years. But it doesn’t seem like enough people know of its health benefits.

And even if you have known about Epsom salt as a treat for your body, did you know that it is also an excellent nutrient for your plants? Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate, a mineral humans and plants need to survive and grow. It is used by commercial growers around the world and “the National Gardening Association confirmed that roses fertilized with Epsom Salt grow bushier and produce more flowers, and it also makes pepper plants grow larger than those treated only with commercial fertilizer. ” (see here)

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More Questions about Knock Out Roses

Knock Out Roses by hozn

TheGardenLady received this question from Mary Jane about a problem she was having with her knock out roses.

I planted eight knock out roses in the sun last year and they bloomed. After blooming the first year I put mulch on the base of the rose bush and the ground was not frozen. This spring I cut them back slightly the first bloom was great. We went on vacation and had a bad rain storm and the roses stopped. What am I doing wrong.

Here is an answer to your question from the experts:

Knock Out® roses will go through a blooming cycle. In the northeast they typically come into their first flush of flowering around Memorial Day weekend. They may not bloom as much for a few weeks, but will then flush another round of flowers in two to three weeks. The can be in bloom all the way up until Thanksgiving depending on the weather.