September 3, 2008

Oh What Fun It Is to Shop for Plants!

If there's bare ground in the flower garden, I must buy plants! Actually, my husband and I removed some shrubs and a small tree from the cottage garden. The shrubs and tree were too large and adding nothing. Sometimes, you just have to let go...we found places for the shrubs. After he did the heavy lifting for me, I set about digging up the perennials, finding their roots being overtaken by crabgrass. It took me awhile to dig down deep enough to pull out the crabgrass roots. I was afraid to plant these perennials anywhere else for fear of moving the crabgrass to the larger garden. Shovel pruned.

With a nice bare ground garden area in front of the house for all to see, I had all kinds of design ideas. The stone used for our house has purple to merlot undertones. The best colors for use near the house tend to be deep rose, merlot, carmine, purple and pink. The area receives full sun all day long. It's harsh in the summer and in winter, I've not seen frost in the area since we built the house in 2005. There's a manmade stream on one side that seems to mark the frostline. Protected by our garage on the west, this is a little microclimate that resulted from positioning our house to be passive solar.

For this area, I'm free to indulge in plants that deer won't eat. However, I've learned to love salvia, agastache, and coneflowers. The colors from which to choose will work for this area. A few days ago, we were at a local big box store and picked up a few snapdragons, petunias, asters and mums. Not enough plants! So, this morning...

Off we went to Big Bloomers Flower Farm in Sanford, North Carolina. I did make a list to attempt to control my plant shopping. Once my husband and I had gathered the plants on my list, we pulled the little red wagon around front where I found a forum friend who works at Big Bloomers. She pointed out some sun coleus and container combinations on sale for great prices. While my husband sat down in the shade to let us chat, I managed to fill another red wagon with plants! Oh what fun!

So, now you want to know what I got and see some photos. Too much to go into great detail, so let's just see the stars of today's haul. I wanted sedums that work with the color scheme. I've had a problem with deer eating sedum blooms, so now I have a great full sun site inside the fence to use this trio.

When I saw Lantana 'Chapel Hill Yellow' beside salvia 'Black & Blue, I fell in love. Both the lantana and the salvia are deer resistant. I love this color combo and I can think of so many places to use it. Since I have only three of the lantana, I want to put this combo somewhere prominent. This lantana is listed as a perennial in the south, annual in the north. The size is supposed to be small at 16" (yeah, lantana 'Ham and Eggs' is probably 5x5 feet!).

I have a lot of work ahead of me. I'll continue to provide updates as I work my collection of perennials and annuals into the new garden bed. Of course, I also picked up agastache, salvia greggii, monarda! To be continued...

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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