Evergreen Plants

No, this is not the roadside weed that causes hay fever – that is Ragweed!

This variety of Solidago blooming in my fall garden is Fireworks.  It reaches 3-4′ tall, but I do the’ Chelsea Chop’ (removing a third or more of foliage) in mid-spring once it is about 2′ tall.  This trimming prevents the beautiful blooms from flopping over.

Plant Fireworks in the back of the garden with earlier blooming perennials in front, such as Daisies, Black Eyed Susan (same color but will be done blooming in the fall) or even sun loving Azaleas.  It looks great with the dark color of the Loropetalum in the background to really show it off.

Enjoy this beautiful day!

Happy Gardening,

Althea

 

 

I am so glad I took a few minutes to add a handful of tulip bulbs to my large container last fall – I am rewarded with a beautiful spring arrangement!

After removing the spent summer annuals and leaving the Teardrop Ivy in place, I placed  the bulbs down about 6″ and then planted Kaleidescope & Redbor Kales, Violas, (I think they perform better than Pansies) along with pink and white Dianthus.

Next fall, (Gardeners are always planning ahead!) I may try some daffodils and even a hyacinth or two!!

Happy Gardening,

Althea

I love using shrubs & small trees for the center of containers as they give such a presence or bones to the arrangement.  In a few years, they may outgrow the container and then I will transplant it to a coveted spot in my yard!   Recently I planted the orange variety of Sango Kaku (Coral Bark Japanese Maple), ‘Baihu’, as the main component for winter interest because the fun color of the bark.  For the companion plants, I chose the variegated foliage Snapdragon,  a bronzy Sedge, Parsley along with orange and dark red Violas and the existing Ivy.  All of these plants do great in full winter sun, but when the summer sun arrives, I will replace the annuals with a heat tolerant plant such as Vinca.  As an experiment, I am hoping the foliage of the Maple will shade the Sedge from the summer sun.

Happy Gardening,

Althea

Putting together arrangements for a fall outdooors wedding was great fun, especially using the homeowners’ wonderful collection of containers!

In this photo of a great wheelbarrow base with a tub attached, I used a nice variety of textures & colors to complement the setting.  The Bronze Sedge(Carex evergreen grass) set off the blooms of the Indian Summer Triloba Rudbeckia and the Black & Blue Salvia – a favorite of Hummingbirds.  The low growing annual yellow Lantana added the loose, trailing element.  All of these Perennials are sun lovers, but can take quite a bit of shade in temporary containers.

Once the wedding is over as well as the fall season, the perennials are great to add to the garden for future years of enjoyment.

Happy Gardening,

Althea

A trough full of low growing Sedums is the perfect container on the patio table during the hot summer months.  It requires very little water and care, but looks great all year long (Zones 6 and above).  This container is now in its’ 3rd season and I haven’t done a thing to it since I planted it.  There are many varieties of Sedums available at your local nursery.  Sink a few slender candles in the soil for a beautiful evening centerpiece.

 

Happy Gardening,

Althea Griffin

 

Early June here in Atlanta has been wonderful weather for gardens – low humidity & cool evenings!  Going through the garden with my clippers rewarded me with  plenty of blossoms and foliage to fill my milk glass vase.  Ferns, Solomon’s Seal, June Hostas and Threadleaf Cypress branches set up a perfect base of foliage to support the Perennials.  I then cut Yarrows, Aster (early blooming this year), Route 66 Coreopsis, Daisies, Coneflowers, Mullein Pinks, as well as Hydrangeas and a couple Lantana stems to fill it out.

I’m looking forward to the Phlox and Black-Eyed Susans to bloom in the next couple weeks to add to my vases!

Happy Gardening!

Althea Griffin

It is very hard to choose just one area of my garden to showcase – everything is  bursting with beauty!

The attached picture focuses on both perennials and shrubs.  Starting from the left there is Little Shorty Euphorbia, Little Honey Oakleaf Hydrangea, Marion Lee Azalea, Blackberry Lily(Iris looking leaves),  Oxalis(purple foliage), Solidago( no blooms until fall), various Heuchera, Toad Lily(blooms late summer), Mouse Ears coreopsis in bloom, Baths Pink Dianthus in foreground.   the background shrubs are Mahonia – the Cedar Waxwing birds are just loving the berries this time of year.

This is still a perfect time to divide your perennials to move to another area in your yard or share with friends!  Just remember to soak the plant in a bucket before planting to hydrate the roots – adding some root stimulator such as Upstart to the water is really a good idea!

 

Happy Gardening, Althea

 

 

This is such a busy, but wonderful time in the garden – everything is coming up so early this spring!  The attached photo features a few of early bloomers that send out blooms on and off throughout the season along with attractive foliage.

Starting at the left foreground  is the perennial Plumbago Ceratosigma, a late summer bloomer; Chrysogonum Green and Gold; Yellow Corydalis; middle area is the wonderful all season bloomer Fringed Bleeding Heart:  background is the vibrant Japanese Painted Fern under the Nikko blue Hydrangea.  all these plants work well in morning sun followed by afternoon shade.

Look for more information on most of these Perennials in my book,  ’Perennials…What you need to know!’

Happy Gardening!

This is the perfect time of year to cut a few of your Lenten Rose (Helleborous) blooms for a bouquet to brighten your kitchen table, bathroom or anywhere in your home.  Earlier in the season when I cut a few stems to bring in, they would shed for a couple days as well as droop a bit.  Now that the warm weather has started the drying process, they are just right to cut.  Of course you may have a few that won’t co-operate and stay upright, but overall a vase full of just Helleborous will add a soft and subtle color to any room, especially when placed in your favorite container.

Now begins the time in your garden to remove at the base the large darker leaves that are laying on the ground.  As the season progresses, the blossoms will turn brown, signaling the time to trim off the stem at the base of the plant.

There aren’t many plants that give us so much foliage and bloom for so little work!

Be Happy In Your Garden,

Althea

Spring is early this year and the garden is the proof – everything is starting to pop in my Atlanta gardens!

A plant that has looked good all winter is the Heuchera ‘Villosa’ and it is now starting to fill out with beautiful new foliage.  The Heucheras are best planted in well composted soil in a partly shaded area, either in a mass planting for a groundcover effect or as an accent plant among hostas, ferns and Lenten Rose.  The foliage will become brown if they receive too much afternoon sun in the summer.

There are a number of beautiful colors available from chartreuse to purple to a soft peach, each one having a complimentary color on the underside of the leaves.  Planted in containers is also a great way to show them off.  Heucheras foliage add a great look to any cut flower arrangement.

Happy Gardening,

Althea