In between heavy rains and an annoying, lingering cold, I've been getting a little planting and weeding done (though there's more to do of both-- especially the weeding).
But first, I tried to take some quick photos of the new dwarf gardenias (which I wrote about recently). The photos didn't turn out very well, with the harsh lighting, but after two tries on two different days, I decided to just use them, anyway. (Someday I'll get better photos...)
Here they are... The larger one in the middle is 'Daisy'-- or at least I'm pretty sure that's how it was marked, as a "daisy gardenia". I believe Mom and Granny L. and I all bought at least one each from a man who used to propagate and sell plants from his yard. I've had that one for at least four or five years, now, I guess. (Not sure exactly how long.) The two on either side are the newcomers, 'Double Mint'.
Here's another angle.
Since taking these, I've filled in that gap in the row of daylilies with transplants from another part of the garden.
All three of the gardenias are covered in flower buds. It looks like we'll be enjoying many flowers before much longer. This is one of the 'Double Mint' gardenias, by the way.
In order to make room for one of the gardenias, I needed to transplant a small hydrangea that I started by layering a branch of a larger one (unknown variety). I don't have a ton of "maintained" shady garden space, so I decided to try putting the hydrangea down by the fence. It might not work, but there wasn't anywhere else for it to go, so it's worth a try. And if it does adapt to this new location, it will be very pretty down there by the big gardenia.
Below, it's the tiny bright-green plant between the gardenia (to the right) and the double-trunked oak:
And here it is closer-up (though it's not much to look at, right now):
Now, for newer plants...
I put some new canna lilies ('Picasso' and an unspecified mix) on one side of the end/beginning of the gravel path, in a spot where elephant ears grew last year. The elephant ears have moved somewhere shadier, so that area needed something new. I'm hopeful that the cannas will provide a summertime jolt of color and vertical interest. There were a couple of leftover canna lily rhizomes (even after I probably planted them a little closer together than recommended), so I put them against the corner of the garage, near the viburnum and Mexican heather.
Ooh, look! It's an empty spot in the garden where most of the canna lilies are planted! ;o) Nothing to see here, at the moment, but I hope there will be, soon.
Society garlic (Tulbaghia violacea)-- also known as pink agapanthus-- went into the newly expanded bed along the back (west-facing side) of the house. I think the mauve-pink blooms will go well with the pink roses in that area. However, I just might have to move it further from the house, if this plant turns out to be as stinky as some say. So far, I haven't noticed it, but then again, I've had a cold since the day I planted it... (g) One person will say it smells like a mixture of garlic, skunk, and sewage-- then the next says she actually likes the smell, or (more commonly) only notices it when the foliage is disturbed (cut, crushed, newly frozen). I'm sure I can find a home for it away from high-traffic paths/gathering areas, if it turns out to be offensive. It's certainly pretty (in photos, once it's well-established and lush)...
Nearby, I planted bronze fennel (Foeniculum vulgare 'Purpureum'), which has interesting foliage, is edible, and hosts swallowtail butterfly larva. Apparently, it also has a "pungent licorice scent", which sounds interesting. There's something down at the pond, at least at certain times of the year, that smells pleasantly of licorice, but I've never been able to track it down.
Near the new 'Fudingzhu' tea olive, I found places for golden alexanders (Zizia aureus), bat face cuphea (Cuphea ilavea), and Rudbeckia hybrid 'Autumn Sun' (aka 'Herbstonne'). I made sure to place the latter at the back of the bed, because if it does well, it can be a sizeable plant. (I'll possibly need to trim it back at least once in the summer, like the swamp sunflowers.)
Here's an overview of the flowerbed with the tea olive and its new companions:
This is 'Autumn Sun', looking a little wilted, soon after being planted. I've been keeping it watered. It can still look a little wilted at times, but it perks up after watering. I think it will be happier in time.
The golden alexanders already look much more "settled", now, than in this photo (taken the same day as planting, I believe).
Bat face cuphea, too, is getting accustomed to its new home:
Because the tag says it's best in part shade, I planted Lilium speciosum var. rubrum '4th of July' on the northern side of the covered patio, between (and to the back of) two dwarf gardenias. However, I'm wondering now if it will get too much shade, there. I'll have to consider it over the next few days. This is one I'd particularly like to see do well-- which I probably shouldn't admit, lest I tempt fate...
I divided a bag of blazing star (Liatris spicata) between two locations-- one place where it will get some afternoon shade from the viburnum by the garage, and another closer to the circular sitting area. I wanted to give this plant a try, but I'm managing my expectations (as well as I can). Though I've seen it recommended as a good, tough plant for the South, some other sources of information suggest that it performs best in lower humidity (something the South is not known for, obviously) so we'll just have to wait and see.
Bog sage (Salvia uliginosa) went into a newer (not even properly mulched, yet) area of the garden between the semi-shade garden and the circular sitting area. I'm still not convinced it's the Right Spot, but I'll keep an eye on it. Everything I've read about this plant suggests that it is highly adaptable, so as long as I keep it watered during establishment, it has a good chance.
This photo is far from great (doesn't help that there are so many weeds/grasses all around the tiny plant), but here's the bog sage:
'Husker Red' Penstemon went into the small flower bed on the side of the garage-- the one with the pink muhly grass, the "too-red" rose, and the larger tea olive. To make room for it, I needed to move some daylilies from the bed, but that was fine; I had a place for most of them along the covered patio, in the sunny strip in front of the gardenias. A few of the smaller daylilies (seedlings from last year) filled in a gap on the other side of the path.
Speaking of daylilies, I can't wait to see if this is the year that some of my first seedlings (started from seed two summers ago) will bloom for the first time!
I can't remember if I mentioned this already, but I planted a couple of new crinum lilies on the north side of the new back patio. This is another photo of nothing much. There are two tiny bulbs of 'Ellen Bosanquet'. (Those are the tiny green straps just to the right of center, in that sea of pine straw.) Then there's an unspecified white-and-red crinum with no leaves at all (yet). Are all white-with-red-stripe crinums called "milk and wine lilies"? I'm not sure, but that's what I'll call this one, for the time being.
Ah, and here's the Scabiosa 'Butterfly Blue', the placement of which I'm still debating. (Does it get enough sun?)
I've planted a few more things this morning, but those photos will have to wait for another day. (True to form, I'm already second-guessing myself. I may need to nudge one of the plantings two or three feet, to allow for size at maturity...)