Sunday, July 11, 2010

Capter 6 Pelargoniums & Lavender

Are you enjoying your floral hanging baskets this summer?

Every once in a while, when relaxing in my back yard, I just take a breather and notice something in particular that catches my eye. Today, my Hot Pink pelargonium (see above) just seemed to stand out and I said to myself, "Wow, now that is a brilliant pink". The pink bloom and the dark green foliage create a dramatic contrast that adds a special flair to my patio experience. In the hanging basket above you will see some Vinca Vine poking its way out on the left part of the basket.

I used Vinca Vine originally (a few years ago) because my dear wife requested it. Actually I have learned to love the interesting look the Vinca Vine brings to the table. Especially when the vine starts growing over the edge of the basket and starts cascading down; it gets really showy. I will go out in the yard right now and get a picture of some Vinca Vine that is definitely cascading.How is that for immediate service? This site is a virtual living blog; happening sometimes while you are actually reading.

Did you know that Vinca Vine can perform like a perennial?

I had a pleasant surprise a few years ago when during the early Spring I was digging in the prior years heap of potting soil (dumped out of all my hanging baskets) I generally save the potting mix from year to year. I could not believe my eyes. I spotted some Vinca Vine sprouts that survived the Winter. The first year I thought it was a fluke. However I was able to generate several plants that year and come late fall; sure enough, I dumped the Vinca Vines in a heap and covered them up with soil mix to protect them from Winter.

The following Spring I had even more plant stock with great roots to make even more plants. At $4.00 per pot at the Greenhouse, I made a valuable discovery. Now, I have no idea if all Vinca Vine will do this, but the variety I had performed like a perennial. I think the virtual complete covering, in a protected location had a lot to do with it. This is a Deegan in the Garden Tip that can save you a lot of money. If you have some Vinca Vine try out this technique; let me know next spring if it worked. If you have never grown Vinca Vine I recommend you try it.

Have you ever grown Lavender in your garden?

In an out of the way spot, on the east side of our home, in the shadow of the large Arbor Vitae trees we have a large clump of Lavender. See the picture to your left.

Is there any thing like a whiff of Lavender fragrance while watering your garden? It is no wonder people use Lavender for so many aromatic purposes. Lavender tends to stay alive and well long into late fall. You almost think it will survive the winter. One year I cut it way back, but I learned that is not necessary. Some years it acts like a shrub; getting blooms on last years stems. Being located near the home; of course it gets protection from the wind and heat from the basement; so that may help its staying power.

If you have the room, Lavender will make a wonderful addition to your garden palette. The blooms are a lovely color, fragrance is haunting and you can make Lavender potpourri for friends and relatives for Christmas gifts. You owe it to yourself to experiment with Lavender if it's not already in your garden. Another plant that reminds me of Lavender is Russian sage. I plan to grow it when I move to the Country. If you have Russian Sage please send me a comment and tell me how you like it. I believe it grows quite tall. Well, that's it for now. See you in the Garden.

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