Monday, August 4, 2014

Julie's Five Favorites

When it comes to color in the garden, spring and fall are easy, even winter can have bursts of color and interest with a little decorating and good design.  It's mid to late summer when a lot of gardeners notice that the perennial garden isn't as colorful as it was earlier in the season.

If that sounds familiar, click HERE to watch me on WFSB's Better CT talking about five perennials that will add lots of lasting color to your summer garden.

Here are my Five Favorites this week:

Perennials that are in bloom right now!   

1. Astilbe simplicifolia ‘Key West’
A dwarf form, with deep magenta, feather-like plumes above dark green and burgundy foliage in summer. Great as an edging plant or for front of the border. Flower spikes reach 15-18" tall, with foliage to 10". 
    Common Name:Plume Flower
    Hardiness Zones:3-8
    Deer Resistant:Yes
 2. Gaillardia aristata ‘Arizona Sun’
This All-American Selections and Fleuroselect Gold Medal winner has 3" wide, mahogany red pinwheel flowers with bright yellow on the edges of the petals. Has a compact, mounding habit growing just 8-10" tall and up to 12" wide in full sun. Blooms as early as mid-May, up to a month earlier than other Gaillardia and continues blooming until first frost. Lance-shaped, fuzzy, grayish green foliage. The perfect choice for the front of the border or in containers. 
    Common Name:Blanket Flower
    Hardiness Zones:3-10
    Deer Resistant:Yes

'Enchanted Eve' photo by J. Harrison

'Red Elf' photo by J. Harrison
3. Coreopsis Lil' Bang™ 'Enchanted Eve'  and
    Coreopsis Lil' Bang™ 'Red Elf' 
Blooms late May through Oct. Cut back periodically to refresh buds and promote rebloom. 
    Common Name:Coreopsis
    Hardiness Zones:4 - 9
    Deer Resistant:Yes
About Lil Bang™ Series: This sub series of the Big Bang™ series features compact Coreopsis varieties that have the same unique bloom colors but on plants growing just 8-10" tall. They are perfect for use containers, as edging or in front of the border.
4. Liatris spicata ‘Kobold’ 
A dwarf form with 12-15” fluffy spikes of rich, violet-lavender button flowers midsummer. The glossy, deep green foliage adds to the attraction.
    Common Name:Gayfeather
    Hardiness Zones:3-8
    Deer Resistant:Yes
About Liatris: The vertical growth habit of Gayfeather gives a strong contrast to the many rounded forms of the perennial garden. Excellent as cut flowers, they also attract butterflies. Most are quite tall and work midway to the back of the garden. The dwarf is suitable from mid to front.
5. Rudbeckia subtomentosa
Clear yellow daisies with black-brown centers bloom on stiff stems 30-36” tall. Long bloom season. Late summer color and anise scented. 
    Common Name:Sweet Coneflower
    Hardiness Zones:4-8
    Deer Resistant:Yes
All information and pictures posted above is from the Sunny Border Nurseries web site.  You can learn more about SB and their fabulous plants by clicking HERE

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Happy 4th of July, from my garden to yours!


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Four Cut Flowers to Love Today

One of the many perks of developing beautiful gardens is bringing cut flowers into the home.  Arranging cut flowers inside can bring new perspective to each bloom and of course, instant elegance to your interior space. 

This is what I'm enjoying in my house today:

1. Solomon's Seal on a bedside table.  Just one leaflet of Polyonatum multiflorum allows a renewed appreciation for the pendent flowers.

2. A mixed arrangement of Peonies on the dining room table.  A combination of double Peonies, Paeonia lactiflora, Lupines, Lupinus, and ready for this????? Kale!!!! A row of Kale overwintered in my garden and I allowed it to flower this spring.  How lovely and unexpected!


Monday, April 28, 2014

Wait, Wait, Don't Waste It!

One of my blog readers, Melissa, recently emailed me a picture of her Easter Hyacinths and asked, "Julie, can I plant this in the ground?"

YES!!!!! Why throw them away when you can enjoy them for years in the garden? Hyacinths are super fragrant and give the garden wonderful splashes of saturated purple, violet, pink, yellow and white.  So don't waste those Easter Flowers- when you are done enjoying them in your house, plant them outside! You can do this with Tulips and Daffodils too. If the flowers are spent, be sure to deadhead the bloom but leave the leaves.  The leaves recharge the bulb for more blooms next spring!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Tulip Fix

March is here- and spring is not.  Well, at least not yet.  I recently did a segment for WFSB's Better Connecticut show on how to select the best cut Tulips, arranging tips and how to keep them fresh.  You can see that segment by clicking HERE

While not the first flower to emerge, Tulips to me are a true symbol of spring and the end of winter.  Here is a photo shoot of the Tulips that I used on Better Connecticut.  The Tulips are now sprinkled around my house bringing plenty of spring joy!

Get your Tulip fix below:

And I will leave you with a recent pic of my husband and myself
at a benefit party for Knox Parks, Carnival Style!
We had THE best time supporting the terrific work they do in Hartford! You can see more pics from the event by clicking HERE 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

What's Missing?

There are thousands and thousands of books about gardening, plants and design on the market and probably lots on your bookshelves at home. 
But what's missing?   
What don't you like about the gardening books out there?
What do you like?
Want to learn simple tricks to designing with annuals?
Not sure how to control pests in the garden?
I would love, love, love to hear your thoughts!  Please take a minute and give this some thought, or just send me your knee-jerk reaction.  I want to know what's missing from your bookshelf.
Looking to visit beautiful places with awesome plants and design? 
Please, don't NOT hit reply to this email- I will never see it.  Here is how to get in touch with me:

Go to my web site and fill out the contact form HERE .

Or you can send me an email directly to:

Many, many thanks in advance. I look forward to hearing from you!

XOXO Julie

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Greening Up the Greenhouse

Think it's too early to start planting annuals in Connecticut? You're right, unless you have a greenhouse! I went to visit The Garden Barn in Vernon and was excited to see a lot of green and feel the warm temps of their greenhouses! Check out the video I did for WFSB's Better CT show by clicking HERE.  Spring is around the corner for sure!