Food and Garden Dailies started as a way to record my family's favorite recipes. It has come in handy many times when I'm asked for a recipe. I simply email a link to the blog! But I couldn't just stick to recipes. The kitchen is tied to the garden in so many ways...and so I let you into my ever changing garden as well.

If you're interested in my all-time favorite recipes, check out this post first: My Favorite Recipes

Sunday, June 28, 2009

I love, love, love new plants!!!

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As I tore out the Creeping Jenny in the southwest (shadiest) corner of my backyard, I was busy at work dreaming about what would replace it. I already have a Nikko Blue hydrangea, two Lime Rickey Heucheras, and two Hellebores in that spot. Originally there were three of each (well, only one hydrangea!), as I do believe in the rule of odd numbers, but eventually you just get what you get...

Today, at our local Garden Faire, I scoped out the shade plants. The first to catch my eye were the hydrangeas. I have a huge weakness for hydrangeas. That's not a good thing, as they do take up some space! (But they are so hard to resist.) Somehow, someway, they will fit!!

The first to catch my eye was an oakleaf hydrangea; specifically Hydrangea Quercifolia Snowflake. I have one lacecap, and four mopheads (the round puffy blossoms you see most often), but I don't have an oakleaf. The blossoms weren't round, but kind of conical (like those from a butterfly bush or lilac), with double white flowers. Supposedly they will give me great fall color and winter interest...can always use that in the garden! The price was right...just $6! It's not much more than a twig right now, but I love buying smaller plants. They're usually much less expensive and don't need as big a hole.

After reading a bit, I've learned that they simply don't survive in heavy clay soil. They need good drainage. Our soil is heavy clay, though we did amend it when we first started landscaping the yard 5 years ago. It hasn't been amended since, so I'm going to have to be patient and wait until I can work the dirt and add more amendments (50/50 soil/compost mix). I don't want it to die!

Another booth had a lot of 1 gallon Heuchera plants for just $4 each. I snagged four that I don't have: Carmel, Hercules, Miracle, and Harvest Lemon Chiffon. Several other booths had Heucheras...but at $8/9 each! Later on, I found 1 or 2 gallon containers at a local garden store for $15! Honestly, there's not much difference between a 1 and 2 gallon plant. If you can buy them in 4" pots (which I usually do...just couldn't find them today) the prices are about $3-4. So I figured my 1 gallon plants were true bargains!

I did find a perennial fuchsia for the shady area: Miss California. I've had good luck with the perennial ones in my side yard, and am hoping this one does as well.

Also catching my eye (just as I was leaving...isn't that how it always is?!) was a Shasta Daisy "Crazy Daisy" (Leucanthemum superbum...or Chrysanthemum). The frilly petals were whimsical and fun. The shopkeeper explained that every blossom on the plant was different. Though it's not a shade plant, I am crazy about daisies, and brought it home with me too!

The Garden Faire usually has some incredible yard art. Two years ago I purchased this copper/tin watering can birdhouse which I (as Eloise would say) love, love, love! This year, a rusty iron flower caught my eye. I gave it a serious lookover, quickly looked at the rest of the yard art and came back minutes later. I'm not sure where it will go, so I'm playing around with locations in the back. I'll live with it in different spots a few days at a time until I love, love, love the location! I also need to decide whether to use it as a trellis with beans/flowers growing up it. Part of me loves that idea; the other part worries that the flowers will cover up too much of the shape. Again, I'll just have to play around with it. Maybe some years I'll grow annuals (sweet peas??!) and others I'll let it go naked.

Just after the Garden Faire, I went on the local garden tour that coincided with the events. I'll post about that tomorrow, and just mention the one plant I saw that I had to have. Seriously, out of all the plants I saw, I just fell in love with this little mini daisy plant that was in a mixed container. It's not really a daisy, but Argyranthemum "LaRita White". Excitedly I asked the owner if he knew where one could be purchased. He did...and off I went in search of one!

I found it at Kraemers...but for 19.99!! Looking more carefully, I discovered it was three separate plants. And the garden home owner I spoke with said it re-seeded prolifically. I looked elsewhere and didn't find it, so I splurged and brought that home with me too.

Of course, when you're at Kraemers, you're bound to be distracted by all sorts of fabulous beauties that are just begging to come home with you. I don't know if you hear the cries, but I sure do..."Choose me! Choose me!" Today it was a perfect pink "Glowing Embers" Hydrangea. Oh, I hope I can keep my soil the right amount of acidity (trying for 6.7-6.8) to keep it that perfect pink!!!

I love, love, love new plants!!!

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