|Rudbeckia hirta 'Prairie Sun', Verbena bonariensis, and |
Cleome hassleriana 'Rose Queen'
About a year ago, we erected a post at the entrance to our driveway displaying the number of our house. Like other residences in the county, we were assigned a new number to make it easier for police, fire, and ambulance services to locate our home in an emergency. Previously we had a rural route address that was confusing, to say the least, especially with the enormous increase in the population of the area. Always thinking of his feathered friends, H.H. added a bird house to the back of the post and a bluebird quickly took up residence. County law mandated the exact location of the post on our property and I thought it looked a bit lost at the corner of the large lawn.
|I am not showing the house number which faces the road.|
I set about "improving" the appearance of the house-number post by adding a rock and some plants. The rock had a natural dent in it so I filled it with soil and planted stonecrop there.
Eventually, I planted the sedum 'autumn glory' and the liriope in the ground, but it was a very small grouping in that large grassy setting. During the winter, as I made plans for the next garden season, I decided to make a flower bed behind the sign. It was mandated that I could not plant in front of the post, so I designed a bed behind it. The new garden is more or less triangular in shape and approximately 40 square feet in size. I prepared the plot using the 'lasagna' method, layering newspaper, mushroom compost, peatmoss, and topsoil. Click here to read more about my lasagna gardens. I edged the bed with rocks from the stone rows that border our fields, leaving the large 'sedum-planted' rock in place.
The fun part was deciding what to plant. I wanted a garden with plants that bloom from June to October, and that could be used for cutting. I decided annuals best meet the blooming-time requirement. I grow zinnias from seed every year, so that was an easy choice and I added cleome, globe amaranth, and gloriosa daisy.
|This is my 'before' picture. The photo at the end of the posting shows the 'after'.|
|I added a small statue.|
|Cleome, Zinnia 'Zowie! Yellow Flame', and globe amaranth|
|Gomphrena globosa 'QIS Purple' Globe Amaranth|
'Zowie! Yellow Flame' is the first semi-tall zinnia with a unique bicolor pattern. Each bloom flames with a scarlet-rose center and yellow petal edges. There is no other zinnia with this fiery design. In addition, this bicolor pattern is consistent from one plant to another. As expected, there are more desirable traits from 'Zowie! Yellow Flame.' Gardeners will be glad to learn 'Zowie! Yellow Flame' is easy to grow from seed, young bedding plants or flowering potted plants. 'Zowie! Yellow Flame' will prove its long flowering season with dazzling blooms from early summer to final killing frost. During this season-long color, 'Zowie! Yellow Flame' blooms can be cut for bouquets. The University of Maryland conducted cut flower trials and found 'Zowie! Yellow Flame' had a vaselife of up to two weeks. Source: Colorado State U.
|Zinnia 'Zowie! Yellow Flame'|
|Cleome is sometimes called spider flower.|
Rose Queen spider-flower Cleome hassleriana ‘Rose Queen’ (1800’s)George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both grew this exotic South American annual. The cultivated variety ‘Rose Queen’ is listed in an 1836 seed catalog and is still offered in many seed catalogs today. Seed pods and stamens appear like wispy whiskers that add a delicate effect to a reliable bloomer of rose buds which open into fluffy light-pink petals which present a two-tone effect. Source: Smithsonian Gardens
|Cleome hassleriana 'Rose Queen'|
The common name for verbena bonariensis is tall verbina. It makes an architectural statement with slender, willowy stems that stand up to 6 feet tall and do not need staking. It then branches out widely near the top where rich lilac-purple flower clusters stand alone, as if they are floating. This Verbena makes a great see-through plant. Source: Fine Gardening
|Rudbeckia hirta 'Prairie Sun' and sedum|
Gloriosa daisy is a short-lived perennial that is usually treated as an annual. If it doesn't survive the winter, I am hoping it selfseeds, as I am sure the cleome will do. This unusual strain is taller and features golden petals with yellow tips, surrounding a green central button or cone.
|Rudbeckia hirta 'Prairie Sun'|
The new flower garden greets you as you enter our property ...
|Compare this view with the 'before' picture near the top of the posting.|
Did you make a new flower bed this year?
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