Tastes Change

“Tastes Change”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

High summer here means that with very hot temperatures most of the garden flowers have taken to resting. A few of the heat lovers are still hanging on, but there are not too many. When cooler temperatures come back in October, flowering will start again.

But right now, it is mainly foliage plants with a few flowers here and there that are bringing color. I have noticed that over the last two years, I have added orange to my garden color palette. I never used to like orange, but it has grown on me and in the right area does look good. Until recently, I hated orange colored flowers. I never planted orange marigolds, zinnas, or impatiens. Just didn’t like that color. But, tastes change.

I think the first orange bloomer I planted was a canna called Tropical Sunrise. This is its the third year in the garden, and there is a nice clump now.



This is planted near an orange coleus I purchased this spring. As soon as I saw this bright coleus, I knew it would be perfect placed near this particular canna and an orange daylily.



The daylily that is sharing the border with the coleus and canna is an old one passed along to me.



When the daylily bloomed next to Rustic Orange coleus, it was a great pairing just as I had imagined it would be.



To these orange colored plants I have to mention the orange hibiscus I wrote about recently and an orange lantana given to me by my sister.


It is funny how your tastes change over the years. I never thought I would have so much orange, I flower color I disliked, in my garden.

Next Fall

“Next Fall”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

It has been said that one of the signs you are still young is that you concentrate on the future. The future is where the young look. Well, that being said, I must still be young even though the calendar says a little differently. When it comes to gardening, I am always looking ahead. Spring it foremost in my mind right now, but after visiting my sister yesterday, I am tucking a few ideas of fall planting for winter color in the back of my mind.

The recent freezing weather has the garden pretty bare of color. While this bleakness is unusual, it is not unheard of either. I am going to take a page out of my sister’s garden and plan for cold weather a little more than I have been. I usually put out violas or pansies for color, and I have also used snapdragons and petunias. Throughout the winter, I will have the hibiscus blooming and a few other tropicals as well, but not this year with so many days of freezing temperatures. So, next year, for insurance of winter color, I am going to try a few of the plants that made it through the cold weather for my sister and are now giving a lot of color.

First, I want to put in some chard, like her bright red and yellow ones.




Several years ago, I tried ornamental kale, but it didn’t do very well; it wasn’t in an area with enough sun. I think it is time for me to plant it again.




Yes, even though I still will be planning for spring and summer, plans for next fall’s planting for winter color are still on my mind.

Red Sensation

“Red Sensation”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

I admit it.  I am a plantaholic.  I can’t go near a nursery without buying something.  I should have a bumper sticker that says “I brake for nurseries!”

I have already written about last Saturday when my sister and I went on our garden field trip, so you already know that I bought a Yuletide sasanqua camellia.  I also bought a cordyline ‘Red Sensation’.  The cultivar has the word “red” in its name, but it really doesn’t look “red”.  In fact, it looks more like a milk chocolate or a deep burgundy.


The owner of the small nursery where I purchased this plant said it was hardy in our area.  I have looked it up on several websites and most say it is hardy to zone 7, but a few say only to zone 10.  I am not sure which hardiness zone is correct, so I decided I will plant it in a container until I am definitely sure it will survive the winter.


Since this cordyline reaches about three feet tall, I think it will look good in a dark gray urn planter I have.  I was thinking about adding some ivy or asparagus fern as the spilling plant, and then put in some pink petunias for the winter.  I think the pink will look good next to this bronzy foliage and the dark gray container.  I have the asparagus fern and the ivy, I’ll just need to go get some pale pink petunias and have dear hubby drill some drainage holes in the urn, and this planting will then be complete.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to finish this little project by the weekend and post some photos.

If, after this winter, I find out that this definitely is hardy here, then into the ground it will go, and maybe I’ll get two more to fill in some bare areas in the ‘pink’ garden.  It should look good with the loropetalum.  This would then fit nicely into my plan to have more colorful perennials in the garden.

Pretty in Pink

“Pretty in Pink”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 


On the north side of our property is the garden area where shades of pink, with a few purple accents, predominate.  This is where I first planted azaleas that were a pinky-purple shade.  To prevent color clashes when the azaleas were in bloom, I started planting other shrubs and perennials that would blend in with the azaleas, and before I knew it I had a pink garden.


 Here are a few that are blooming right now. 




This hydrangea is really white, but the last two years it has opened as a very pale pink that fades to white.  I have noticed this pink to white in other of my white-blooming plants, namely Iceberg rose and a white New Guinea impatiens.



This is Blushing Knockout Rose.  It has just started to put out another flush of blooms.  The Japanese Beetles chomped on it a bit about two weeks ago, but it is bouncing back quickly.  I have just started having problems with those beetles.  I am thinking I need to do something about them, but if the neighbors do not,  am I just wasting my time and money?




The Cashmere Bouquet (Clerodendrum bungei) is really starting to put on a show.  The top photo shows the buds just starting to open.  I love the dark rose color of the buds next to the lighter pink open flowers.


The pink Vitex tree is starting to bloom, but not enough flowers are open to make a good photo.  My big crinum is in that area too, and it also has bloom stalks that will be open any day now. 


So, whether it is pastel pink, pale pink, medium pink, hot pink, or cherry blossom pink, it has a place in this garden.