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I wish I could say I planned it. I wish there was some sort of fabulous story of a romantic sunset that took my breathe away and inspired me to curate a landscape in bright yellows, oranges and a hint of pinks and reds, but I don’t. This time, it was serendipity. It was all luck. I am thankful.
What an amazing scene. A series of delicate yellow Japanese Irises popping after a few days of slow rain. Passionate orange Gerber Daisies unfolding like a fan. Then, surprisingly, the Nandina offers the unexpected red and pink hues. A brilliant combination. A combination that leaves me seeking that romantic sunset story in my near future. Perhaps I will find such a story.
You should grow 3 of my favs together-
- Japanese Iris
- Gerber Daisy
You should let nature inspire your pallet. Or perhaps, you can keep your fingers crossed and see if the garden fairies look kindly upon you and offer some luck.
This is George Tabor, two of them actually, flanking the path in our woods.
So if you are just starting to shape your Southern garden (and planting shrubs is the way to do it, BTW), make room for at least one Azalea–George Tabor.
Any other suggestions? What are your must have shrubs?
And if you want winter colors (like blog partner, Melissa), Camellia Crimson Candles can’t be beat.
And I love the way it shines from my kitchen window where I spend a lot of time working over the sink.
We’re blessed with one of the country’s best Camellia Nurseries in Chapel Hill. Most of my favorite shrubs come from Camellia Forest. Pay them a visit and start enjoying Camellias of your own.
Sleet and ice in my Apex garden this weekend–which made it a great time to stay inside and dream of summer tomatoes.
For almost 30 summers now, I have grown my tomato plants from seed. There are 3 reasons for doing this–
1) It’s really fun to grow and nurture baby plants. My little sister and I spend many phone calls talking about what sprouted that day.
2) Seeds make lots of plants so I can share tomatoes with my family, friends, and their children. Giving away tomato plants is sort of my thing–
3) Garden centers have 3, 5, maybe 7 tomato varieties. Seed companies have dozens and dozens including some tomatoes I can’t live without.
I always try to get my seed order in early, before the end of January. Catalogs are very seductive, so it helps to have a few rules.
Look at “Days to maturity”. Some tomatoes ripen early, others take up to 80 days. I order at least one early, two mid-season, and one late maturing tomato variety so all my tomatoes won’t come in at one time.
Look for lots of letters behind the name. VFN (etc, etc) indicates lots of disease resistance–a must at my house where full sun is at a premium. Yes, I would love to grow old-fashioned heirlooms but even my sister who has wonderful soil and sun for tomato growing doesn’t have much luck with these older plants.
Finally, Cherry Tomatoes are super easy. My favorite is Sweet Chelsea. What about you?
Cramoisi Superieuri nearly always holds it blooms until Christmastime in my Apex, NC garden. My shrub came from the Antique Rose Emporium and if you haven’t discovered the pleasures of old roses, I suggest you check them out. http://www.antiqueroseemporium.com/roses/205/cramoisi-superieur
Old roses are tough, pest resistant and smell like the roses my grandmother grew. They don’t look or last as well as the very popular hybrid teas in a vase, but they look so much more at home in the garden. And hey–they bloom at Christmas. I used this photo on some of our holiday cards this year.
And while the roses are winding down, the bulbs are coming up. Here’s a photo of Rijnveld’s Early Sensation Daffodils living up their name by blooming on Christmas Day. I have dozens of these bulbs planted in my woods, but only two clumps were moved to bloom so early. They are a nice reminder that southern gardens NEVER sleep.
Nandina berries and lawn furniture, December 2012, Apex NC. Happy Holidays, and Happy Gardening to all.