Despite the subtitle of this blog, I haven't posted on my garden since I started writing. (You can find out all you want about Bella on her blog.) When I moved into this house six years ago, my plans were, um, a little over-reaching. Each spring, I'd buy plants for all sorts of sites around the house, never complete any of them and then lose energy in July. This year I focused on getting two spots established before I went to Penland. One is a cutting garden full of favorite cosmos, zinnias and bachelor buttons. Happily it's doing the best it's ever done and is already supplying me with those cheerful flowers. There are chocolate cosmos there as well and when they bloom next (I recently dead-headed the June flowers), I'll post pictures.
The larger project was to complete a corner garden in the backyard which included planting a redbud tree. I've long loved the redbuds that grow like weeds in Missouri and was ready to take a chance on one when the University of Minnesota arborists created one for Minnesota's Zone 4 climate. (One glib local radio host says Minnesotans have "zone envy" when it comes to planting.) Following one of my new "motivators" (definition: not a rule, but not a suggestion either), I can now not plant until the bed is ready. So I weeded out last year's crop of clover and dandelion, dug in bags of manure and planted the tree in mid-May. So far, so good, but I won't see flowers until next spring (presuming it makes it through the winter).
I also planted a few new varieties of coneflower and I'm happy to report that 4 of the 6 plants are thriving. One has disappeared entirely and the last seems happy to just send out green leaves despite being all of 6 inches away from its siblings. The top photo is my first bloom from a new coneflower called "Echinacea Coconut Lime," a wonderful flower with a green "cone" and white petals around it. I ordered 3 of these plants from White Flower Farm and they have really taken off. The other flower is "Echinacea Big Sky™ Sundown" and comes from a local nursery. It hasn't yet fully opened, but its colors are already a mysterious blend of orange-red and lavender....much like the sky at sundown. The picture doesn't really do it justice. I'll try again when it opens completely.
For those of you who love dogs, the final picture is Bella in the garden (naughty dog!) begging DPL for a ride in his van.