Try to keep up

the herb garden in perfect scale with itselfBefore leaving on vacation, Gail didn’t write much of a to-do list for us. As she bolted out the door on the way to the beach she said only, “Just try to keep up with the gardens!” It is a daunting task. The combination of steamy tropical heat and a couple of stormy downpours have had opposite effects on gardens and gardeners. We have slowed right down as the gardens have shot up, changing before our very eyes. But even with blood as thick as molasses and sweating away gallons, we’ve managed to keep up doing things like weeding, deadheading, collecting heaps of seed from all of the pink peony poppies, and replanting the last few dahlias and some gladiolus. — Better late than never, I say. In any case, the way the season is going full steam ahead, it will be lovely to have some fresh blooms in the garden a little later than usual.

In one way, slowing down is not a bad way to keep up. Here is a very small selection of new favorite plants and combinations from a slow look around the Display Garden.

Nicotiana 'Crimson Bedder' and Eryngium planumNicotiana 'Crimson Bedder' and Coleus 'Redhead'

Nicotiana ‘Crimson Bedder’ is a loose 2′ tall plant with good sized bright red (slightly pinkish) blooms that looks excellent paired with just about everything (which is good because I tucked it in throughout the big bed in the Display Garden.)

Panicum elegans 'Frosted explosion' and Castor bean 'Pretty Purple'Hordeum jubatum - foxtail barley, and Rudbeckia

Panicum elegans ‘Frosted Explosion’ (left) and Hordeum jubatum – foxtail barley (right) are both new to us this year and I love them both. Frosted Explosion came with a warning to use it or lose it (it’s a great pick for arrangements) but we haven’t used it much nor have we been diligent about deadheading it. I’m really happy to report that it’s still producing new flowers even in all this heat. We rowed out the Hordeum jubatum in the cutting bed  and although I really love the way it looks flopped against its neighbor, I think it would be more effective planted in a border the same way we tucked in the panicum.

little frog on a lily padbig frog on a lotus leaf

Probably the most photographed combinations in the Display Garden lately are the new residents of the cement pond. The water garden is drying up despite the little bit of recent rain so we’re very happy that these two found a new home here.

Are you keeping up with your garden?