Cultivating a Culture of Gardening™

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Day 30 - Feelin' Blue?

Cedrus Deodara 'Feeling Blue' makes a striking center plant for a winter container. Yes, that is Red Bor Kale again in the front with Caramel Heuchera and pansies filling in the empty spaces. I love the Dr. Seuss feel of this plant.


Winter Roses - Camellias for Zones 6

Some childhood images can never be shaken. Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners could only be served surrounded by bowls of camellias, or what my grandma called winter roses, accenting our family feast. When moving to Tennessee after growing up in Georgia I was afraid that this tradition would only remain a memory. But thanks to Dr. William Ackerman, a research horticulturist with the National Arboretum, a cold-hardy camellia collection is now readily available to deepen the link to a true southern garden.

Camellias are happiest when planted on the east or north side and given dappled sunlight. Their deep glossy evergreen leaves allow them to serve as a winter flowering hedge or a background for displaying summer collects of hosta, Japanese painted fern, and impatiens, or the fall color of chelone or anemone. The show-off look of these camellias in a winter container surrounded by Lonicera “Edmee Gold” or Heuchera “Caramel” will keep your holiday guest talking ‘til spring. And don’t forget to bring some blooms inside!

Quick Facts

Common name: Camellia

Botanical Name: Camellia hybrids

Varieties to look for: “Ice Angel ™” series, “Winter’s Fire”, “Winter’s Interlude”, “Winter’s Joy”, “Winter’s Rose”, “Winter’s Charm”, Pink Icicle; “April Remembered” is fast growing and long blooming.

Blooming period: Fall through spring, depending on the variety

Type: Evergreen Shrub

Size: varieties range from 4 feet to 8 feet

Exposure: Light shade and protection from winter wind; Cold hardy to zone 6.

Keys to success

When to plant: Spring is best or Fall with extra winter protection

Soil: Moist, well-drained acid soil; keep mulched year-round

Watering: Camellias are not drought tolerant so keep watered during the summer until established

When to prune: Immediately after blooming

When to fertilize: Spring or Fall

Suggestions for Your Landscape: container planting; hedge row; foundation planting

Locally you can find Camellias that will grow in our zone 6 at Moore and Moore Garden Center, Riverbend Nursery, Bates Nursery, Hewitt's Garden Center, and John Deere Garden Center.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Day 29 - A Little Bit Artsy

A little wild and wacky; my co-worker wasn't too crazy about it, but I loved putting together something a little untamed with a vast contrast of color and texture. I also enjoyed watching the colors of this container change as much as the colors of the hills behind it during the fall. I used a different red twig dogwood than yesterday's container - this is a one gallon Red Twig Dogwood Cornus alba 'Sibirica' surrounded by Color Guard Yucca, Red Carpet Sedum, True Blue Pansy, Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Goshiki', and Miniature Moss False Cypress
Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Squarrosa Minima'
. As the temps go down, the sedum becomes a deeper red, the yucca becomes a brighter gold, dogwood leaves change from green to gold with the red twigs brightening, and the Osmanthus false holly takes on shades of pink mixed with it's variegated gold and green leaves.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Day 28 - All In a Day's Work

Here's a little something I did earlier this week for the Laurelbrooke Clubhouse in Franklin, Tn. Osier Red Twig Dogwood, a small Mugo Pine, and a blue carpet Juniper with pansies and ivy thrown in to finish the look. The urn in the middle of the pansy bed has ColorGuard Yucca, Red Carpet sedum and pansies.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Day 27 - Retro Thursday!!

A blast from the past season: summer combo for full sun - Evolvus 'Blue Daze', the ever-reliable Dusty Miller, and Red Pentas. An idea for next year's Fourth of July party - Red, white, and blue for a patriotic display.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Day 26 - An Unknown Guest Container (Cuz I'm Just Plain Tuckered Out)

Saw these in Charleston, SC.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Day 25 - The Best Place for Bamboo... in a planter. This planter has a combo of Bamboo Fargesia rufa 'Green Panda' (a clumping evergreen bamboo in zone 6b), Acuba 'Mr. Goldstrike', Heuchera, Variegated Ivy, Euonomuous 'Emerald and Gold' (look at the rosey tones that come with cold weather), and a few pansies thrown in for good measure. This is an east facing container, shaded all afternoon (for the sake of the Heuchera and Acuba).

This rectangular planter uses the same bamboo and acuba, but since this planter only gets about four hours of morning sun, I used Acorus grass, Heuchera, and Lonicera Edmee Gold to complete the ensemble. This container provides a rich contrast in texture, color echo with the chartreuse in the Acuba flecks, Acorus grass, and Lonicera, and color interest with the deepening color of the heuchera from fall until spring.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Day 24 - Can You Say Fastigiata?

Cedrus atlantica Fastigiata. Say that to your friends and they'll be impressed. Those in the know will look at you and say, "Oh, you mean Blue Atlas Cedar." That just sounds so proletariat for a plant that carries a sense of being regal. But it sure is a whole lot easier to spell.

Blue Atlas Cedar is always a classic container plant and is perfect for high profile spots. Red Bor Kale for the front sun-facing side of the container with Heuchera Obsidian along the shadier sides and back, with a little Carex Evergold to soften the sides.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Day 23 - Never Let A Window Box or Column Sit Empty!

Add a few colorful evergreens to your winter window boxes and column pots to bring some interest during those long, cold winter months. I use a lot of Chamaecyparis Golden Mops, Golden Charm, or Sungold to fill these long boxes. In the background of the windowbox are Camellia, Acuba, and Redtwig Dogwood with wintercreeper and ivy trailing. I've also used Mehonia in these boxes.

These column pots have Euonymous, Heuchera, pansies, and a little evergreen from Iseli Nursery (I can never remember the name of this one.)

This is another window box I did right up the street.
"Windowbox empty/There's so much that can be done/Let me show you how"
(I've been inspired to write Haiku by my friend Tink Hanson. Bear with me while I learn!)


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Day 22 - Using Fall Color To It's Full Advantage

Have you ever gone to the Iseli Nursery website? After you finish visiting with me here, mozy on over there and see why I lose all track of time in the catacombs of their website. I ordered a bunch of their one and three gallon Japanese Maples to use in our fall/winter containers. This Acer palmatum 'Ruslyn-in the Pink was a great contrast to this cream colored wall. I paired it with Heuchera Southern Comfort, Variegated False Holly Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Variegatus', Pinus thunbergii Japanese Black Pine, and Sedum Blue Spruce. Even after the leaves are gone the form and bark of the Japanese maple continue to be the "thriller" part of this container.
Did you notice the color echo of the Sedum Blue Spruce with the blotches in this planter?


Friday, October 22, 2010

Day 21 - Another Shade Option for Winter Planters

While you may want every cloud to have a silver lining, you might want a few of your shade containers to have Hellebores Silver Lace. These planters contain Camellia Spring's Promise (one of my favorite camellias that handles zone 6 winters and blooms throughout late fall, winter and early spring), Heuchera Caramel and Carex morrowii. This planter does great with just a few hours of morning sun and protection from winter wind.



Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day 20 - Retro Thursday

The internet is abuzz, Twitter is aflame, Facebook is enkindled - everyone wants to know, "What IS retro Thursday?" Retro Thursday is when we look back at last season's containers to remember what made us smile when we walked out the door or sat on our porch. Also gives me a break from thinking about this season's container plantings and start planning for next season's :)
Variegated Ginger, Impatiens, Torenia 'Golden Moon', Angelwing Begonia, Shrimp Plant. Loves morning sun; don't let the soil dry out (your impatiens will look droopy and your ginger leaves will curl when this container is thirsty.) I liked the abundance of blooms and color that lasted from late April to mid October. Next spring.... be there.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Day 19 - A Ghost, I Mean Guest, Container

My friend Kerry Michaels has been one of my heroes for a while. She writes all about container gardening for and has been a resource several times for me, sometimes if just to read her article and go, "Why didn't I think of that?!"

I was crazy about her pumpkin planters when I saw them earlier this month, and Kerry has been kind enough to share her pictures and her "how to" on Pumpkin Container Gardening. So clear your Saturday and get stylin' for fall with some of these great "renewable" pumpkin planters.
Thanks, Kerry, for providing today's container ideas!