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Falling for Verbena Bonariensis

October 11th, 2018

I remember the first time I noticed verbena bonariensis, it was in the Nearing garden at The Good Life Center in Maine. It was stunning in the late October garden.



I bought seeds and tried growing in my Ohio garden, which it didn’t really like it. Then I remembered this beautiful and beneficial plant a few years ago. I started seed and it grew beautifully, providing a much needed late food source for pollinators.


I no longer have to start seed, seedlings pop up around the main garden in June. These are transplanted all around the garden, every year I grow more and more. At the moment, the monarchs are loving them. Next year I’m thinking of doing a mass planting of this beauty surrounded by lamb’s ears. The two colors and textures should work beautifully together.

What flowers are you loving right now?

Color Combinations

August 9th, 2018

Throughout the gardening season, I’m carefully watching plants in the garden for: color, form, structure, height, texture, and bloom time/window. As I work, I try to not which plants would make great combos in the garden in the coming years. This summer, I noticing that the ‘First Glory’ Veronica would pair perfectly with sweet while alyssum with maybe a bit of bronze fennel in there for added color and texture.


Next year, as I edit the perennial borders in front of the main vegetable garden, I’ll be creating this combination. I may also add lamb’s ears and some garlic chives to the mix to extend bloom time and add more textures and layers.

A few years ago, I discovered that I really like tithonia and verbena bonariensis together and have been growing them in combination ever since. This is not only a favorite of mine, but also of the pollinators, especially the monarchs. One of my all time favorite combinations is chives and lamb’s ears. I had them in my foundation borders in Ohio and LOVED this combo. I’m currently working on propagating chives and lamb’s ears to add a few of these vignettes throughout the borders here.

Last year, when we were visiting Kingwood Center in Mansfield, OH, I noticed this combination of bronze fennel growing up around allium seed heads. There’s something so wonderful about this mix, definitely a combination I hope to be trying in the gardens here in the future.

Plant combinations is one of the things I always notice when I tour other gardens, I’m always looking for options that appeal to me to implement here in the gardens of Chiot’s Run. There’s something wonderful and finding just the right mix that appeals to your specific tastes.

What are some of your favorite plant combinations?

The Cutting Garden

August 19th, 2016

The cutting garden area in the main vegetable garden is a riot of color. Oddly enough, I’m not really one of those gardeners that likes all the colorful flowers spilling out of a border. My tastes tend to be more controlled and very monocromatic. I’m a fan of white, green and purpler in the garden with lots of green and only a few flowers. This area is quite lovely in its own respect, the pollinators are big fans.
The cutting garden 1
The cutting garden 2
The cutting garden 3
The cutting garden 4
The cutting garden 5
The cutting garden 6
The cutting garden 7
I only planted a few packets of seed, which is amazing when you stand back and look at the display. $10 can really get you a lot of color when it comes to a cutting garden!

What’s your favorite cut flower?

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Shop through these links and I get a few cents each time. It's not much, but it allows me to buy a new cookbook or new gardening book every couple months. I appreciate your support!

About

This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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