April 08, 2011

Shades of Spring

Cover of Fine Gardening Magazine

 I've done it again.  I've gone over board with planting and designing the backyard.  I intended on only doing the bare minimum to keep the garden looking cared for and low maintenance but instead I started envisioning how the yard can look its best.  Once I clean up one area and make it look ready for spring, I think to myself, it really would make this section look better if I clean up and plant flowers over in this area across from where I am....and so on....and so on.  So what started to be "I will only plant a few flowers on the porch to attract hummingbirds" has turned into a corner patio table area, planting wildflowers across the fence, get a larger trellis for honeysuckle vine, a window box display, veggie garden, porch flowers, etc. 

After working in the yard last weekend, this week I have been itching to get back out there.  I've been looking through magazine and Internet photos for inspiration for flower combinations.  After looking at countless photos of flowers I came to the conclusion that I am most attracted to pink and orange together in the garden.  I don't know why it didn't dawn on me earlier because looking back I usually choose pink, orange or peach flowers.  It finally came together when I saw this Fine Gardening Magazine cover (photo above) and decided I wanted to duplicate it.  I started choosing other plants that were either pink, orange or the combination of the two and realized that most of the plants I was picking were flowers I have bought in previous years.  So there you go, pink and orange are my favorite colors in the garden.  Below are some of the flowers I intend to plant this Spring.
 I just bought a packet of these neon poppy seeds from One Stop Poppy Shoppe, an online shop that has tons of poppies to choose from.  I thought these looked very similar to the ones on the magazine cover.

Peach Melba Nasturtiums.  I bought seeds from Schmidt's that I will use as a filler along the fence because they mound up and cover a pretty large area.

Next to the porch and the container I am creating a hummingbird station I planted Goldflame honeysuckle.  Not only does it attract hummingbirds but it has a delicious aroma.  These vines grow up to 20 ft.  The trellis I had wasn't very wide so I just bought a larger one today (another expense I wasn't counting on this year).

Agastache.  I bough this last year as a start because it smelled like lemon.  It is a perennial so it should come back.  If not, I just found out our store carries the starts and the seeds.  I bought a packet of seeds today to spread along the house with the poppies and nasturtiums.

Penstemon, another hummingbird favorite.  I tried planting these last year but I didn't have luck. It was probably because I weeded that area thinking nothing had come up.  I think I took out some good plants when I did that.  Hopefully this year they will sprout. 

Lantana.  Another one of my favorites.  I had this in a container one year and it was beautiful all summer long.  The flowers change colors from the time they first open to the time they are ready to seed so the container was a nice mix of pinks, yellows and oranges everyday.

Normally I don't really like begonias but I absolutely love dragon wing begonias.  Ever since I discovered them 3 years ago I plant at least one ever year.  In my patio area I usually have them in 2 matching containers flanking another large container full of other plants and flowers.

As much as I want to get down and dirty in the garden this weekend I heard the weather was turning fowl on Sunday and Monday (my days off), so instead of battling the last of my weeds in the rain, I think I will take a break from the yard and head up to Portland and visit Amy, another former Schmidt's girl.  This will give me a change to hangout with a good friend as well as give me time to plot out just how I want to arrange plants and seeds in the rest of the backyard.  I still haven't even thought of the veggie garden or the patio yet...that will have to wait for another month I think. 

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