Written on March 11, 2013 at 6:40 am , by Justin W. Hancock
I’m also enjoying the textures in my yard. My contorted white pine, for example, is putting on a splendid show despite its rich green color.
If your garden is like mine and still buried under a blanket of snow, what’s providing winter interest for you?
Written on March 8, 2013 at 12:22 pm , by Justin W. Hancock
As we countdown to spring, here are three things I’m looking forward to.
How about you? What are three things you’re looking forward to?
Written on January 30, 2013 at 7:28 am , by Justin W. Hancock
Love hydrangeas? It’s hard not to with blooms this gorgeous!
Written on January 15, 2013 at 5:40 am , by Justin W. Hancock
Though we’re still a couple of months away from planting time here in Iowa, I was thinking about pansies yesterday. Their cheery blooms in jewel-like colors never fail to make me smile. Pansies make me especially happy in spring, when those I planted the previous fall overwinter and burst into bloom alongside the bulbs. Most years, overwintered pansies are some of the first flowers to show up in my yard.
Even though I prefer to plant them in autumn so I can get a fall, then spring show out of them, I usually can’t resist planting some in the spring, too. The frost-tolerant plants are a great way to add early color while my perennials are still waking up. And, of course, they’re perfect for early-season planters to add a dash of color next to the front door or in a window box.
New varieties are even more versatile. Cool Wave and Wonderfall pansy varieties both have a trailing habit, making them ideal for hanging baskets or spilling over the edge of a big terra-cotta pot.
How about you? Do you usually plant pansies in the spring, fall, or both? What’s your favorite color in pansy?
Written on December 13, 2012 at 8:18 am , by Katie A Ketelsen
I’ve always been a huge fan of dianthus — pinks. They’re the perfect perennial to line the edge of your flower beds, add a pop of color in those tight spaces, or even accent your container garden. My only beef with them was their bloom didn’t last long enough to satisfy my blooming-hunger!
Thankfully there’s a hot, new dianthus available for 2013 that blooms and blooms and blooms. The EverLast pink series is available in five, beautiful, double-blooming colors!
Personally, my eye is drawn to the white dianthus first. There are so few, reliable white-flowering perennials that you almost have to go with this one first. Runner-up would be orchid. I usually go for the sharp tones versus a light, pastel color. Which one is your favorite?
In case you’re not familiar with pinks, here are some specifics for the EverLast series:
Scientific Name: Dianthus interspecific
Hardiness Degree: -20°F (-28.9°C)
Blooming Season: Early Spring, Spring, Late Spring, Autumn, Winter, Late Summer
Plant Habit: Mounded
Height: 8 - 12″ (20 - 30cm)
Width: 10 - 14″ (25 - 36cm)
Make sure you talk with your local garden center or landscaper to see how you can get some EverLast (everblooming) dianthus in your garden!
Written on October 12, 2012 at 6:00 am , by Katie A Ketelsen
I have to confess something.
I’ve never been much of a fan of bulbs.
The thought of digging tiny little holes for several little blobs of bulbs sounded so tedious I couldn’t even bring myself to lift the dainty little trowel.
Until last year when someone graciously gave me some free bulbs (perspective changes completely when something is free –right?) And then I made my husband plant them (I was pregnant and coming up with every excuse to get out of bending over).
And although this last winter was nothing to complain about in regards to excess snow, when those tiny daffodils and bright pink tulips popped this spring it was nothing short of a godsent. Spring had arrived. It was a new awakening. A new year to try new plants in the garden. The smell of good Iowa dirt magically finds its way to your nose. All of a sudden you find yourself rejuvenated just from a handful of tiny little flowers.
Another confession: I’m planting more bulbs this year.
Unless of course I can talk the hubs into planting them for me again.
Here are a few bulbs I’ve got my eye on but would take any suggestions you might have!
It’s so dainty! It will look perfect along the front edge of my flower beds. I just need to pick a variety.
How fun would these flowers look peppered throughout my lawn? Have you ever planted bulbs in your lawn?
While allium tends to bloom later in spring, it’s always been a favorite of mine.
Black Parrot Tulip
I’ve never have a plant with black blooms and a bulb might just be the way to test that color, since it won’t be blooming all season long. If I don’t like it, I might transplant them to my neighbor’s garden — on the other side of their house.
With so many types and varieties of tulips, you almost have to have more than one in your garden. Plus, two-toned flowers are extra pretty.
So…am I missing any of your favorites?