Good Gardening News

 
I love this story from Connie Orient about her inspiration for an English cottage garden that was inspired by her grade school pen pal. Read on to see what she had to say about it, and view some photos by clicking here or the image below. Thank you for sharing this Connie! 

“The background story behind the idea is this:  As a grade school project way back in the late ‘60’s (and I am dating myself!), our class was to choose a pen pal from a list given us by our teacher and to write to that person for the school term.  I chose Christine from Essex, England and we are STILL communicating after 50+ years!  We’ve gone from snail mail, to e-mail, to phone texting (via What’s App) and have covered not only world events and different customs but our lives as we graduated from high school and college, married, had children and now grandchildren. I have been to England several times and have visited and travelled with her and her husband and over the years. She has gifted me a bird house that looks like an English post box and a bird feeder that looks like an English phone booth!  With those in mind, I decided to create my English cottage garden with garden phlox, delphiniums, peonies, foxglove, catmint, hollyhocks and lavender. Plants were purchased this past weekend and I hope to have everything in the ground by this weekend and the feeder and birdhouse hung.  It is my own personal tribute to a beautiful friendship that has survived and thrived over many years and hundreds of miles!”

https://bednersgreenhouse.com/wp-content/uploads/English-Cottage-Garden.pdf

Bedner’s Gives Back: Frank Sarris Public Library

Bedner’s Landscape & Design is buzzing about its partnership with Frank Sarris Public Library, and the installation of the library’s new pollinator garden!

Blooming in Spring 2020, varieties of butterfly weed, salvia, bee balm, viburnum, and many other pollinator friendly plants will be attracting bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds throughout the year.

Join us and Frank Sarris Library in enjoying the beauty of our community’s new garden, while raising awareness of the importance and benefits of pollinators!

Check out more about pollinators, and what you can do to protect them at https://bednersgreenhouse.com/protecting-our-pollinators/

Audition Some Autumn Bloomers

Extend the beauty of your garden with vivid autumn-blooming perennials. When you think of fall-blooming plants, don’t stop at mums – there are many perennials that can add color to your yard at this time of year.

Top Autumn Bloomers

While there are different autumn-blooming perennials for different growing zones and climate conditions, some of the most popular and widespread options include…

  • Fall Daisies
    For fall daisies (besides daisy mums!) grow Boltonia or Nippon Daisy. Boltonia is a tall (3-4′) grower, suitable as a background plant. White or pink daisies are borne in profusion atop fine grey-green foliage. The Nippon Daisy (Chrysanthemum nipponicum) is covered with large crisp white daisies in October. Both love lots of sun and make excellent cut flowers.
  • Autumn Sedums Bold-foliaged sedums provide texture as well as color in a sunny place. Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ is the most well known. It has coppery-pink flower heads. Sedums ‘Brilliant’ and ‘Stardust’, with soft pink and white flowers respectively, are also attractive. For a totally different color combination plant sedum ‘Vera Jameson’. It has gray-purple foliage with rose pink blooms and looks stunning when planted with Blue Fescue, Artemesia Silver Mound and other silver-foliaged plants. As an added bonus, all the sedums are attractive to butterflies.
  • Autumn Asters
    Asters are another fall bloomer that butterflies love. These perennials like sun and moist, well-drained soil. There are many colorful aster varieties in shades of pink, purple, blue and white. Some favorites include tall-growing aster ‘Alma Potschke’ with bright pink flowers, blue-flowered aster ‘Professor Kippenburg’ and low-growing aster ‘Purple Dome’ with its deep purple blooms.
  • Autumn Goldenrod
    Sunny yellow goldenrod (Solidago) is another bright addition to the fall garden. Wrongly blamed as the cause of fall allergy problems, goldenrod has rightly taken its place in the fall garden. It looks particularly effective combined with blue flowering plumbago, purple asters and ornamental grasses.

Fall Bloomers for Shade Gardens

Even shade gardeners can enjoy late blooming perennials. Tall growing Japanese Anemones are a stately addition to the perennial garden. Bloom colors range from pure white to various shades of pink, and flowers can be single, semi-double or double blooms. Anemones grow well in light to moderate shade and spread quickly to form large clumps, filling in space vacated by spent summer plants. Turtlehead (Chelone) is another fast spreader for shade. Rose pink flowers cover the tops of the plant from early September to October. For a deeply shaded location, try Toad Lily (Tricyrtis), which has clusters of beautiful cream flowers, spotted with maroon along its upright stems. For light shade, plant Blue Cardinal Flower (Lobelia siphilitica), whose intense blue spikes can be admired from mid-August until frost.

No matter what type of garden you have, the end of summer does not need to mean the end of colorful blooms. Instead, just opt for amazing fall bloomers and enjoy brilliant color even longer!

Don’t Miss Out on Perennial Brunnera

Are you trying to add drama and beauty to your shady spots but keep finding only bland, lackluster plants? You won’t want to overlook Brunnera with its stunning appearance and easy care.

Introducing Brunnera macrophylla

Also called Brunnera-Heartleaf and Siberian bugloss, this plant is a stunner for its delicate foliage. The broad, heart-shaped leaves of ‘Jack Frost’ are dark green with a heavily frosted metallic silver overlay. This allows only the green veining to peep through, giving the plant a crackle-like finish with a thin green border. Sprays of tiny bright blue forget-me-not like flowers burst forth in mid- to late spring, growing well above the foliage on delicate stems.

Using Brunnera in the Landscape

Excellent in a woodland garden, the genus Brunnera is a group of classic perennials valued as a shade tolerant ground cover. The variegated forms are slower to spread than most other species, making this cultivar ideal for smaller spaces where crowding may be a concern, such as around younger trees, in smaller beds or in borders along a shady fence, deck or pathway. This plant is fabulous as a specimen plant or may be massed to show off its phenomenal floral display. It would also make a wonderful addition to a shady container garden on a deep porch or covered deck. The flowers are long lasting when cut and can be lovely, delicate additions to arrangements. Because this plant is resistant to deer and rabbits, it can also be a favorite in wildlife-friendly areas.

Proper Care is Key

Brunnera is a woodland plant, and that must be kept in mind if it will be able to show off its full potential in your landscape. ‘Jack Frost’ should be grown in full shade and consistently moist soil in southern regions to mimic the thicket-like conditions it naturally favors. In the north, morning sun is acceptable as long as the soil remains moist and the temperatures in the sun do not rise too high. Although tolerant of many soil types, this plant will grow best rich soil. If needed, amend soil with lush compost to improve its condition and provide proper nourishment. Little care is needed once Brunnera is established. Cut back the old foliage in the spring rather than in the fall; it will help to protect the crown during the winter. A winter mulch is also recommended to help keep the soil moist and warmer to protect the roots.

Brunnera may not be widely known, but once you meet it, you’ll want to invite it to every shady part of your landscape!

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