Inspiration

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

 

When my friend and I went plant shopping on Saturday, it was easy to get in the mood to buy plants and be in a gardening mood as soon as we pulled up to the nurseries.  Most had lovely displays that make it hard to resist.  The first nursery we went to had such a charming look.

 

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You see this and, of course, who could resist buying something to make your garden look so summery and fresh.  Speaking of making you want to buy, when we arrived at our next nursery and I saw these baskets, I almost wanted to buy a big fence so I could have the same look.  The owners had these large, spectacular combinations all along the hundred foot wrought iron fence about fifteen feet apart.

 

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Finally, this bed of petunias was also a show stopper.  No wonder it was next to the street, anyone passing by would surely want to stop in a buy petunias.

 

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One of the things that true nurseries have over places that only stock plants is the inspiration they give the home gardener.  They don’t just have shelves of plants, but displays that help you imagine how you could site plants to enhance your home and garden.

Another Cold Night

This post, “Another Cold Night” was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

Well, the garden seemed to survive last night’s cold temps.  It got down to 30 degrees, not as cold as the weather forecasters said, but it was below freezing for several hours.  The only thing that seemed to have been damaged was the sweet potato vines, but they were unprotected.   I am not too worried though because the tubers have always survived with enough mulch.

Tonight is supposed to be colder with below freezing by 8pm, so I’m crossing my fingers that I won’t lose too many plants that are marginal in this zone.  I do have many plants that will survive in New Orleans’ climate, but here, even though we are only 30 miles north of there,  it is different. But having grown up there, I just can’t resist having those tropical plants.  I also know I have a problem letting go of some annuals and tender perennials.  I try to over winter plants that are just not that hardy here because often when I try to replace them I can not find them again in the colors I want.  Another problem replacing some of these plants is that the nurseries sell them in mixed colors, and I like to plant in sweeps of color.  So I have ended up many times going from store to store to try and find enough of the right color.  So if I can, I’ll try to “save” those plants which should in reality end up on the compost pile.

However, if I do lose some plants, it will just give me another opportunity to grow something new or change things around.  After reading the article “Welcoming Entrances” in the current Louisiana Gardener magazine, I think I need to change things around my front entrance.  If the cold weather does in some of the plants there, I’m going to be more careful about plants that take over and about matching available space with the right plants.  The entry garden did look lush and colorful, but I found the pineapple sage and the lady in red sage grew too big for the space I allotted them.  Also the ageratum that I planted in the spring took over once the cooler weather of the fall began.  It has covered just about everything, esp. the gerber daisies. The Marguerite sweet potato vine was also a problem.  This was probably because the tubers are several years old and huge.  The Ace of Spades sweet potato vine wasn’t as vigorous, but it also wasn’t as old.  I found I was cutting back large amounts of plant material every weekend.  So, this spring I am going to plan better. 

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Hard to believe that I took this picture on Saturday.  Temperatures were mild.