May 3, 2009

Cottage Garden Stroll

What's growing in the garden today? It seems that flowers are literally shooting up overnight or even within a few hours during the day.

The Knock Out® Roses (showing two of the seven bushes) and Spanish lavender are spilling through the cottage garden fence. I had to pull several lavender out of the cottage garden this year. Three large ones still remain and are looking very healthy. The clematis are loaded with buds. There's one bloom on the right side of the roses, but there will soon be a big display. Shades of purple companions stand back so that the strong cherry color of the roses can be the main attraction.

In the newly revised (last September) section of the cottage garden, a loropetalum provides dark foliage above volunteer petunias. On the far side, scabiosa 'Butterfly Blue' and Heliotropium amplexicaule 'Azure Skies' (creeping perennial heliotrope) are matched color partners. In the background, the magenta blooms of salvia greggii (autumn sage) and cosmos 'Sonata pink' are hiding from view.

I've added the heliotrope all along this side of the stream. It will bloom from now until frost in the fall without any deadheading. It has very long taproots, but can be transplanted (but you may find several offspring left behind). I purchase my heliotrope locally. The only online source that I've found is Santa Rosa Gardens, but I have never ordered plants from them.

The opposite bank of the stream in the cottage garden will soon be in bloom with dianthus 'Bath's Pink'. Following the pink phase, the daylilies, achillea, leucanthemum, gaillardia, angelonia, cosmos and zinnias will bloom in a color scheme of white, yellow and purple.

The Encore® Azaleas and iris x hollandica (Dutch iris) are blooming together along a path up to the cottage garden gable gate (that is covered with Lady Banks rose). Soon, the pink phlox paniculata 'Eva Cullum', blue platycoden, blue perennial geranium 'Brookside', and the lavender tones of perennial heliotrope will fill up this little section with more blooms. The geranium is showing one bloom this morning.

There are three more azaleas (in tree form) on the opposite side of the cottage garden. Those are underplanted with heuchera 'Purple Palace', phlox 'Robert Poore' and magenta impatiens with coleus.

Story and photos by Freda Cameron
Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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