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Bigroot Geranium– One of the longest bloomers in the garden, hardy geranium bears little flowers for months at a time. Ajuga is great in rock gardens, in the front of beds and borders, under leggy shrubs or small trees, along paths, and just about any other place in the landscape you want to cover the ground with attractive foliage and little flowers.
Hosta – are the easiest plants to grow, as long as you have some shade and ample rainfall.
Lungwort – In early spring, the brilliant blue, pink, or white flowers of lungwort bloom despite the coldest chill. The regular monthly meeting of the Orange County Master Gardener Association is held the 2nd Thursday of each month at 6:30PM in the new Orange County EXPO Center on Hwy 1442 in Orangefield. Texas Master Gardeners is a volunteer program designed to grow horticultural information throughout the state, town by town. Whether in the mountains or in the plains, traditional rock gardens are generally dry and exposed, with quick draining medium for planting in between the rocks. These vigorous, spring-flowering plants are perfect for zone 2-9 and forms mounds of narrow, needle-like leaves dark green in color. With high disease resistance, this repeat performer is practically maintenance-free but a good clipping right after the flowering will keep the mounds thick and shapely.
This star of rock gardens thrives in zones 5-9 and has silver-gray leaves and soft yellow flowers. As the name suggests, these carpet-forming, cascading evergreens are a great addition to any rock garden. Sea hollies, comfortable in zones 4-9, are named so because of their tolerance to salt spray.
The tall spikes of yuccas shoot out in summer from a crown of dark green strappy foliage, bearing little bells of creamy white color. Mainstays of most rock gardens for long, the different varieties of rosette-forming semperviums are drought and deer resistant. This relative of yuccas is not a true palm, but does enjoy the humid temperatures of zone 10-12. This cactus, also known as a nopal, may be used in the rock garden in zones 10-11 and is particularly well suited for lending a sculptural effect. Know your garden, the amount of sun that reaches your yard, and the what plants will work best in your region before picking a rock garden variety. Plants suited for rock gardens are generally dwarf varieties that are hardy and well-suited to poor soil or other harsh conditions. Traditional alpine and desert type rock gardens represent the triumph of life force over the harshness of the elements of nature.
Today I am going to start a series of posts on the different herbs that you can grow in your garden. I want to cover not only how to grow them but also the benefits to your health that are believed to be associated with their use, and some of the ways that you can incorporate them into your life. Because when we go Paleo we are trying as much as possible to get away from using chemical products and to return to more natural solutions, I will also look at how these can be used in grooming products and in your home. Lavender is my favourite herb ( I have two bushes of it perfuming the air by my home office door) so that's where I'm going to start. I like to double the recipe and make it in an infusion teapot   (available on Amazon) but you can just as well use a regular teapot and a strainer. Use any bottle of unscented oil (I like plain baby oil) and add a few drops of Lavender essential oil. Alternatively, you can make small material or cheesecloth bags and fill with 2 tablespoons of dried lavender, then hang on your faucet while you run your bath. Buy a bag of epsum salts, then mix in dried lavender flowers at a ratio of one tablespoon of flowers to one cup of salts. Epsum salts are great for helping tired muscles so you will get a double benefit from this bath.
Alternatively you can just keep some cheap face cloths to use for this and they will work just as well. On a super stressful day, or when you're feeling under the weather and just badly need a treat as well as a relaxant, brew a pot of lavender tea as above and toast a couple of slices of lavender bread.
Valid comments are always encouraged and welcome, but please remember this is not a platform for self-promotion. Imagine several gorgeous hummingbirds hovering around your hanging baskets, each vying for a dining spot.
There are several factors to consider when choosing flowers that will thrive in hanging baskets and attract hummingbirds. Hummingbirds aren’t going to care what type of container you use—whether you select plastic, wood, pottery or a wire basket lined with sphagnum moss.
Just remember that a heavy pot or large container can easily weigh 50 pounds or more when filled with damp soil and plants. The sky’s the limit when it comes to the variety of flowers and foliage that work well in hanging baskets. But even vines and upright perennials, such as garden phlox, veronica or penstemon, can look attractive in larger baskets and appeal to a hummingbird’s appetite. Smaller plants can be spaced closer together than larger plants, so the total number will vary. When hanging your basket, choose a sunny, sheltered location within easy viewing range so you can watch the hummingbirds up close. And don’t limit locations to areas near windows—think of the other places you spend time outside. Wherever you decide to hang your hummingbird garden, be sure to include a comfortable place nearby where you can sit back, relax and enjoy the view.
At the Society office, we have seven large pots right at our front door, where we can watch hummers from March through October. More ArticlesUsing Nectar Flowers to Attract HummingbirdsThe best flowers to attract hummingbirds are rich with nectar - here's how to build a nectar-filled garden in your own backyard.
Small gardens, as you know are limited by their spaces, and also by plant varieties as well. Crape Myrtle is known to be native to South, and it offers a big cluster of frilly flowers in various colors: pink, lavender white, sometimes even red, yellow and orange. This type of a small tree has one of the most beautiful flowers, which bloom in white, pink and purple.

The Fringe tree is native to Eastern North America, is a rather versatile plant, because it can be either big or small. This tree is really gorgeous in late spring and early summer, with golden chain tree blooms. Subscribe to our free newsletter to keep up to date with the latest fashion trends, photo shoots, and more.
The basics of waterfront protectionPlant a buffer zone of low-maintenance plants between your lawn or property and the shoreline to minimize runoff and to provide shelter for wildlife.
Homeowners are encouraged to leave a minimum of a 10-foot low impact zone along the waterfront to protect the water from pollutants. Japanese umbrella trees (Sciadopitys verticillata) are small, strikingly beautiful trees that never fail to draw attention.
Although they are generally spire-shaped, there are a few cultivars that take a more rounded form. Physocarpus opulifolius 'Donna May' is an outstanding dwarf selection that displays rich burgundy-purple leaves with white flowers in early summer. These Asian curiosities bloom with orchid-like flowers that demand a close look, when the garden is winding down in fall.
The rough basal leaves, spotted or plain, always please and continue to be handsome through the season and into winter. Enter the building in the front entrance, meeting room is to your left,  January thru November each year. If you live in the southwest you may be more familiar with the Sunset Garden zones than the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) zones. In a rock garden with many plants with silver gray foliage, the little mounds of dark green offer a nice contrast. Phlox looks lovely positioned just behind a rock in a sloping garden where it can trail downwards.
Although they do well in sunny locations throughout zones 4-9, they need some amount of moisture to survive. In the rock garden, the coral bells's striking variegations and pink and purple leaves add a splash of color even when the plant is not in flower. They take a lot of neglect and do well in hot and dry areas with poor soil adding interesting texture and height to the plantings. Whether in flower or not, yuccas are a valuable addition to any rock garden in zones 4-10, if space permits. Once established in the rock garden, they grow in the most impossible nooks and crannies, multiplying by the dozen. Its shape and the typical blue coloration make it a welcome addition in any rock garden in zones 4-8.
Their large powder-blue leaves provide a nice contrast to the narrow leaves of other rock garden plants and grasses. Planted in a rock garden, the unusual shape of this plant will capture attention immediately. Art is an imitation of nature, so the best rock garden ideas still come from natural settings. All comments are moderated, and those with links that are not relevent to the content on this blog WILL NOT be published.
If you'd like to read a preview of any one of them, just click on the link below the book cover. By Kris WetherbeeMenka (mbelgal)Plant a container full of hummingbird favorites, like this columbine and you will attract more hummingbirds to your backyard. But if you plant blooms that also attract hummingbirds, the scene can be even more spectacular.
First, look for nectar-rich, tubular blooms, such as those on penstemon, salvia and petunia. The amount of blooms a plant produces also plays a big role in attracting these tiny birds. How much more enticing is a buffet table laden with multiple food offerings than several tables spaced 10 feet apart, each featuring only a few dishes of food? Lightweight pots or smaller containers are easier to handle, but larger containers hold more plants, make for a more eye-catching display and keep plant roots moist longer.
You can always count on traditional hummingbird favorites—geraniums, fuchsias, nasturtiums, petunias, lantana and impatiens, for instance—to create a spectacular hanging display. Bring depth and visual interest to your hanging garden by combining plants with staggered heights and habits. No matter what combinations you select, be sure that plants destined to share the same basket also share similar water and light needs.
It’s a good idea to set out your plants ahead of time to figure out the best arrangement. Once you’ve determined the arrangement, fill the pot two-thirds full with potting mix and plant the largest plants and those in the center first, followed by the smaller plants and those around the outer edges of your container. Plant the bottom and sides by poking holes through the moss or liner and gently pushing in the plants’ roots from the outside. Or, if your basket contains low-light garden plants, pick an appropriate spot in the shade. Add pizzazz to boring entrance areas by hanging several baskets near the front door, bring a new dimension to walls and doorways, or add colorful charm to a courtyard. I would add that it can be useful to consult local nurseries for the plant varieties that do well in the reader’s specific geographic location, because climate is a strong influence on the selection process. However, there is a simple solution to that – small trees are perfect for tiny garden spaces, and today we are going to review the top 5 most amazing small tree inspirations! They grow up to 10 and 25 feet in height and width, and are known to have beautiful blooms. These richly textured conifers are rare and expensive in nurseries because they grow slowly and it takes a long time to grow a sapling large enough to sell. For most locations, this means working a thick layer of compost or rotted manure into the soil before planting. This North American native tolerates an array of weather conditions and is largely left alone by animal pests. It needs full sun, but otherwise it is a tough and reliable plant, thriving in a wide assortment of soils.

They do best in light shade in humus-rich soil that retains moisture, and are suitable for borders or less formal parts of the garden and among shrubs gradually becoming large clumps. Individual plants grow as a rosette, but they intertwine to form a solid carpet that withstands some foot traffic.
Some types bloom only in spring and others bloom spring, summer, and fall, provided temperatures aren’t too high. Planted close as a weed-discouraging groundcover, or in borders as edgings or bright accent plants, lungworts are workhorses and retain their good looks. Many people have rock gardens for a respite from gardening chores like frequent mowing and deadheading. Their cascading habit helps soften the sharp edges of the rocks, contrasting well with mound-forming plants.
These dainty little plants do best in part sun in zones 3-8, and because of their striking foliage should be located in a highly visible location. They do put out flower stalks, but the flowers are nothing compared to the highlights of pink, purple, and red on leaves in shades of green and silvery gray, making them great additions for color and texture. Since agaves are practically pest-free and grow well in poor soil, there's no need to get closer to the plants once they are positioned in the garden. Watch how some plants squeeze into seemingly impossible crevices, while others stand tall and proud among their mostly low-growing compatriots. When you go to dry your clothes or bed sheets, put a drop of oil on one of the used drier cloths, rub it in well, then put into the dryer with your drying. These inquisitive birds can see red from a great distance, so offering nectar-rich flowers in crimson shades should always get their attention.
Plants with multiple flowers in open clusters are more appealing than plants like hibiscus that feature a small selection of large blooms. Another way to achieve this is to choose flowers with staggered bloom times—whether in one basket or by offering several hanging baskets.
For example, the purple foliage of some coral bell cultivars add drama, while the blooms provide nectar. For example, you could place mounding or upright plants, such as salvia, penstemon or zinnias, toward the center of the pot, then accent with trailing plants—such as verbena, parrot’s beak or trailing petunias—positioned along the outer edges to spill over the sides. A good lightweight potting mix is a must, preferably one that includes peat moss and perlite or vermiculite to provide aeration and drainage.
Wire baskets are a bit different because in addition to the top, both the sides and even the bottom of the container can be planted, creating a colossal sphere of living color. The tree blooms in late spring, that later in fall turn into clusters of blue-purple fruits.
You can start trees from the seeds in fertilized cones if you don’t mind the long wait. Even though the tree grows slowly, leave room for its mature size of 25 to 30 feet high and 15 feet across. It isn’t enough to amend the soil in the planting hole because the roots need good soil as they spread into the surrounding area. Organic mulch will help the soil hold moisture and keep down weeds that compete for moisture and nutrients. Plants are selected for their tolerance to drought and heat, in addition to their perennial nature and ease of maintenance.
Free-flowering in spring, in colors ranging from blue and lavender to pink, deep red, and magenta, this is one plant sure to fit into your garden's color scheme. Their strange beauty is more due to their form than flower color, and they provide incentive for butterflies to visit the rock garden too.
Keep these cute little plants towards the front of the garden in zones 2-9, where you can enjoy them the most. The flower stalks that appear in summer should be removed if you want the grass to retain its spherical shape.
In summer, flower stalks carrying salmon-pink flowers arise from each stem, but unless the plant has formed a clump of several stems, their impact may be minimal.
It is a plant-it-and-forget-it specimen, and best left alone too, as the tiny spines called glochids can be really bothersome. A single plant may produce several suckers around the original one; each sucker is a clone of the mother plant. Besides self-contained little mounds of green, you may find vigorous specimens gleefully tumbling over the boulders, unmindful of their unyielding hardness. However, they’ll eagerly sip nectar from flowers in almost any hue, including orange, pink, purple, white and yellow. Combine different leaf shapes or forms for a striking arrangement, and create special tactile interest by using plants with different textures. Rare because of the patience required to propagate them, you may have to ask your nurseryman to help you obtain an umbrella pine. Newer selections bear foliage in bold shades of purple and gold.Ninebark is a fast grower and makes an excellent large, informal hedge. Most mature at two feet in width and three feet in height, making them the perfect addition to the back edge of your garden.
In cooler areas, the foliage may turn brown but it should be trimmed only in spring, after all danger of frost has passed.
Bees and butterflies love them and because of their size, they should be reserved for the back edge of your garden. Drought tolerant and pest-free, the elephant tree palm (also known as the pony tail palm) will not demand any special care from you but will serve as a unique conversation piece in any garden. It may suffer from powdery mildew, especially during extended periods of wet weather but is otherwise virtually carefree.
This tough, shade-loving perennial, also known as plaintain lily, blooms with white or purplish lavender funnel-shape or flared flowers in summer. Since it has a low and trailing habit, it is best kept to the front of the flower bed where it will happily fill in any empty space.

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