Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Third Week Of May In The Parking Strip

I don't know why, but I have a heck of a time getting decent pictures down here.  It's always so bright, even first thing in the morning.  I headed out when it was raining on Sunday, hoping the lighting would be better. So that's why some photos look sunny and some are covered in raindrops.

I've said that this area is sort of a work in progress, as well as my trial and error station.  Our house faces west, so it gets the hottest part of the day.  And I don't like having to haul the hose down there, so the plants need to tolerate hot and dry conditions. I put in several new things this year, that I don't have a good opinion of yet, but I'll give ya the names of everything, including the ones that have done really well with a fair amount of neglect. Although, if I'm being fair, my version of neglect and Joe Blow's version of neglect might be a little different.  I do baby things the first year to get them good and established.

Okay, so here's where we're at so far.

I planted this Iris last year and I absolutely love it.  It's under the Mallow tree, so it does get some shade, but it's tripled in size in just one year and the leaves are gorgeous.  The lavender flowers are a bonus.

They're not up out of the ground enough for photos to be impressive at all, but I do have two different Echinacea that did well the first year.
One is from a plant I've had in the main part of the garden for years called, 'Magnus.'
The other two are called 'Cheyenne Spirit.'

The Rhubarb I put it in two years ago and it has done really well.
It's still a few days away from harvesting right now.
The one I have is called, 'Glaskins Perpetual.'

I'm not positive, but I think this Heuchera is 'Palace Purple.'
I can't grow them to save my life, but this one has done really well.
So much so that I just bought another one for the backyard.
I put this in two years ago.
It's also under the tree, so it gets some shade.

This next one actually droops really bad in the heat, which surprised me, but it doesn't seem to slow it down.
It's also been in for two years.
Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm.'
I actually moved a piece to the other side of the parking strip and a couple to the backyard.
It has spread a lot from the 4-inch pot I started with.
Here's the baby I just moved.

And here's the mama.

The grass you see behind it is Idaho Fescue, aka, Festuca idahoensis.
You can't hurt that sucker.
And it's not naughty like other grasses I've ripped out of the same area.

The Artichoke is on the same side and I don't have the tag for it.
This will be the first year of caging it.
I'm hoping it helps reign it in, 'cause that sucker gets huuuuge.

Another plant that has thrived down here is what I think is called a Rock Rose.
I don't have a tag.
This one is white and I love, love, love it.
It's grown like crazy and doesn't even flinch in the heat of the summer.
It's been in at least three years.

I put this plant in last year and was excited to see it made it and is spreading like it's supposed to.
I had never heard of it before, and will never remember the name without looking at the tag.
Silene alpestris 'Flora Pleno.'
It's evergreen and is supposed to be mat forming, which is good where I stuck it.

I have two of these grasses and LOVE them, but have no idea what they are.
They've also been in for at least three years.

There are also a few little Hellebore babies on this side that I stuck in early this spring, so we'll see how they do next year. 
Okay, so now for the NEW babies in this section.
First up, Scabiosa.
I found two on the clearance rack, so I got 'em both and put one on either side.
I had one down there last year that did really well, but I lost it to the cold winter.
Try, try again.

I moved a piece of this Crocosmia from the front yard down here.
It's called 'Canary', but it may have been marked wrong, 'cause it's more orange than yellow, which is what I picture a canary looking like.

I also bought a perennial Candytuft.
I always thought they were sort of average and boring, but my neighbor has one that blooms solid all summer, so I figured what the heck.
This one is Iberis sempervirens 'Snowflake.'

I also stuck in a couple white Cosmos.
We'll see how they do.  As far as annuals go, I think they should tolerate the heat pretty well.
I got white ones called 'Sensation Purity.'

Okay, now let's step back and check out that north side as a whole.
On a sunny morning....

And a rainy afternoon.

Oh yeah, I forgot about that Blood Grass that I stole from my sister's yard.
I stuck him in over on that side, too.
You can see it in the bottom right-hand corner in that last picture.

Onto the south side.
I'll start with the things that are at least a year old.

This the regular old orange one that you see everywhere.
This plant used to thrive for me.
I don't know what's goin' on, but the last few years it has sucked.
I stuck it down here, thinking it would be happier with the heat, but it hasn't done all that great.
This will be its third year in the parking strip - and its last chance to redeem itself.

My neighbor gave me a piece of their Crocosmia that he said was red.
I hope it's 'Lucifer', 'cause I lost mine several years ago.
It's lookin' a little sad, but he should be fine.

This is one of the pink Echinacea, 'Magnus.'
You can also see the plethora of Alyssum that comes up EVERYWHERE.

I put this one in last year and was excited to see it came back.
It's a double-flowered pink Campion. 
Lychnis viscaria 'Passion.'

Another one that I was super stoked to see made it is the Chocolate Cosmo.
My mom gave it to me last year and it bloomed like crazy all summer.
This one has two names on the tag.
Cosmos Chocamocha and Cosmos atrosanguineus 'Thomocha.'
You can see how fast it's grown in just the last few days, from the first picture to the rainy ones.

Behind that is Penstemon digitalis, Husker Red Beard-Tongue.

I stuck a piece of 'Autumn Joy' Sedum in last year and it took off like wild fire.

This is another one from my mom.
Campanula Ringsabell Indigo Blue.
It's kind of a weird plant, but it serves its purpose.

I always thought of these as weeds, but I put one in last year and I absolutely love it.
It's bloomin' solid right now and looks great down there.
Jupiter's Beard, aka, Red Valerian, aka, Centranthus ruber.

Next to that is a Rosemary.
Winter did a number on it, but it's filling in okay now.
This one is Rosmarinu officinalis, 'Barbeque Rosemary.'

I bought a plant last year, thinking it was the same as what I called a Rock Rose on the other side, but I'm not so sure they're the same thing.
I thought I lost it, but I saw it barely peeking out the other day.
No picture, but it's called Golden Nugget Sun Rose, aka, Helianthemum x nummularium.
I really hope it takes off, 'cause the flowers were a really pretty pale yellow.

This silly thing is comin' up right next to the curb.
Clearly I did not put it there, but it was in the same spot last year.

I dug a piece of this Iris out of my sister's old yard before they moved to their new house two years ago.
This is the first time it's bloomed for me.
So, so pretty.

I have no idea what this is or where it came from.
At first I thought it was a weed, but I decided to let it go to make sure.
It's huge now, and I still have NO idea what the heck it is.
I need it to bloom!
Anyone have any ideas?

Somehow it missed its photo-op, but I also have a yellow Cape Fuchsia on this side that does really, really well.
I dug it out of my sister's old yard, too.
I love, love, love it.
I have photos of it hanging in my bathroom.

Okay, now for the new babies on this side.
I've always had a Pineapple Sage down here, and it has wintered over a few times, but I lost it last year and this year.
So if you plant one, I'd say treat it as an annual.
Either way, it's totally worth it.
I love this plant.
I've always grown the same one, but this year I tried a different one that has limey-green leaves.
It's called Salvia elegans, Golden Delicious Pineapple Sage.
The hummingbirds will fight you for it.

The next one is another clearance rack find.
Delphinium 'Magic Fountains Dark Blue/Dark Bee.'
Although, it may have been mismarked, 'cause today it sorta looked like the buds might be white.
Either way, I'm good.

I'm not a huge fan of red or orange flowers in my own yard, but the neighbor has an orange Geum in their parking strip that does really good and blooms all summer.
So when I spotted a red one, I brought it home and stuck it in.
Plus, I liked the name.
This one is Geum chiloense 'Double Bloody Mary.'

My mom gave me a couple pieces of Phlox early this spring, and since I have a lot of it in the main gardens, I figured I'd give it a whirl down here.
I think this one is 'David', which is white.
Time will tell.

I'm super excited to see what this does.
I stuck one bulb in down here and one up in the front yard.
Echinops 'Veitch's Blue.'

The other new Scabiosa is on this side and I also stuck in a couple of the white Cosmos over here.

Alright, let's step back again and check everyone out all together.

Sunny day.

Rainy day, with the stump in its new home.

We made it through all three sections of the yard in three days.
I might need to take the day off of blogging tomorrow.
That was a LOT of pictures to go through.
Plus, I'm really behind on reading.
 But have no fear, I hope to do some catching up tonight, so I'll be by sooner than later.
And now, I'm off to reheat some leftover pasta for dinner......

Shameless plug alert:  
Just a little reminder that you can purchase my floral photographs in my Etsy shop.
If you see one in a post that isn't in the shop, shoot me an email and I'll list it for ya.

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  1. I would have to say that the parking strip is just stunning!!! Ok and I love those little grass puffs you got there...they would look so cool by my dry creek bed.....and I have always been a fan of Campanula....Everything you have going in this space looks fantastic and is really thriving! I have no idea what that fuzzy guy is but the texture of that one is super cool! Again you have inspired me to start pulling away a bit up front around the silver maple in the parking strip...shhh...the hubs will never know!! Happy gardening pal! Nicole xoxo Beautiful as always!

  2. I'll say it again, everything is awesome! What an excellent selection of plants. It seems like this would be a good spot to pop in some lavender. It loves dry and hot conditions.

  3. Your parking strip is actually called a berm... (lovely job planting it, btw).

  4. I always think about putting some flowers around the mailbox but worry they will just get ruined.......people and kids walking by, snowplow in the winter.....I don't know....maybe I should just try it! Do you ever have anyone mess with your flowers since they are down by the road and sidewalk?

    1. Well, there's definitely dog poop left for me to clean up on occasion. And I'm constantly picking up garbage out of it. Who throws their garbage on the ground?!?! And there's an occasional "picker", but nothing too serious. No one has cleaned me out yet, trying to supply flowers for a party. :) I expect the occasional vandalism, aka, kids pulling flower heads off and throwing them on the ground two houses away, but for the most part, people have been good about leaving the whole area alone. Luckily. Famous last words, right? Friends of ours live four blocks up from us and they planted three new Gardenias this spring in their front yard. Someone came in the night, dug them up, and stole them. And then covered up the holes like they wouldn't notice. WHAT?!

  5. By the way, I am very impressed with how you have so many different kinds of flowers and know their names. You inspire me to want to try new flowers too. I always talk myself out of new flowers, only because I am afraid they will die. lol

  6. Wonderful, Mindy! I'm emailing you with photos for the mystery plants.

  7. I was so excited to see you mention the "lucifer" plant...
    Our neighbor gave us some starts off theirs last year & they are doing great. I had never even heard of this plant before.
    Our neighbors call it Lucifers Lantern.
    (my hubby calls it satans staff ....he can never remember the name)
    Loving your blog!

    1. It's a great plant. I was disappointed when I lost mine a couple winters ago. Gotta love sharing neighbors!!! Satan's Staff, love it! So glad you stopped by!

  8. Goodness that was a huge post! I've lost some of the Heuchera's I've planted. I figured the ones that stuck with me are the winners! You have a nice variety of perennials planted and it will be fun as each plant blooms and fills out. Looks like you have a red clay like soil? Ryan is starting to learn about his new yard and what he has to deal with.

  9. That garden area looks great. I love the plant material you selected. There are a lot of different plants in that space. Very cool! The photos look great too. I'm quite smitten with the moss covered stump. That was a great add to the overall look.

  10. Well hell, I started out knowing NOTHING. I can still remember being so frustrated over not being able to remember the difference between an annual and a perennial. Seriously. If I didn't buy things I had never heard of, I'd still be growin' just marigolds and zinnias. Bringin' in a new plant is the fun part. Sometimes it doesn't work out, but sometimes it does and you discover a new favorite! My very first apartment was a four-plex, and I was on the end. So I got the strip of dirt between the building and the sidewalk. It all started there, at 19 years old. I've been playing in the dirt for almost 20 years now. Holy cow, when did I get so old!?!? I still have a TON to learn. Latin names are my nemesis. I read garden blogs that post plants I've never even heard of. But it's so fun to see new things, then recognize them when you go to the nursery. I figure it's just like anything, learn as ya go. And it ain't like I'm gettin' paid to know it all, so anything I learn is for my own benefit. My goal this year, is to learn more about growing food. I do the regular summer produce that everyone grows, but I want to learn more about growing fall and winter crops. That's the goal.

  11. Wow, things are looking fantastic in your neck of the woods. I just love your Irises and the Heuchera's. I have several in my shade garden. Looking great!


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