The Summer Garden 2020

Hello gardening friends! I have to say 2020 is definitely a different sort of year. This summer I have done almost everything differently than in the past. Through this pandemic, I am try to do as much as I can by just foraging in my own garden and being more self-reliant. I’ll tell you about a few things I’ve had luck with. Here goes–

This year I am relying more on my perennials for color. I divided many of them again and filled in where I normally planted annuals in the past. The large drifts of color are wonderful, but the bloom is not as long lasting as annuals. So, when they aren’t in bloom, I make sure to have enough visual interest in the foliage to carry the eye through each different area.

For many years I had planted vinca on either side of the driveway. Each year the color was a different shade of pink, and the beautiful flowers are prolific. They throw off lots of seeds, and this year I was thrilled when the seeds started sprouting under the cover of the pansies growing there since last fall. There were so many sprouts that I was able to pick and choose the strongest 100 or so to use as this year’s flowers for the front yard.

I used my weeding tool to dig the strongest and best of the vinca sprouts, and in no time at all I had more than enough to plant the entire front yard!
I transplanted them into recycled seed trays until their roots had developed — this took about two weeks until they were big enough to be planted in the front garden.

They are now transplanted into the front beds, and many of them are starting to bloom. This is a much slower process than just going to a nursery and buying four or five flats of flowers, but in only a few weeks they will fill this mulched area. I saved probably $100 or more. On my two outings to the nursery this year, I noted how much more expensive flowers have become this year — in some cases DOUBLE the price of flowers in years past. I am thrilled to have free flowers this year and will do this in the future, too!
I am a fan of The Farmer’s Almanac. It suggests planting with the moon cycles — planting between the new moon to the full moon is best. I have followed that advice for years, and it never fails!

Also from seed, these gorgeous heirloom begonias I got from a friend many years ago re-sprouted all on their own. Soon they will have the most beautiful, delicate pink flowers. Heirloom varieties are so wonderful. They are almost always very hardy and reliable! If you are lucky enough to get some — cherish them!
If you are a fan of dried flowers like I am, then you can’t go wrong with these liatris. I love these in flower arrangements! I use them in fresh arrangements and dry them when the rest of the flowers go kaput. Just hang them upside down for a couple of weeks. They will retain their color and still look fresh! I have many of the purple and white varieties growing in my garden. They are one of the easiest plants to divide and make great gifts to other gardeners.
Also blooming in the garden right now are my oregano plants. They are one of the easiest herbs to grow and are delicious in so many different recipes. I love when they bloom and dry them as well. They make fabulous dried wreaths and smell so good, too! I always get a second or even third flush of growth from these every year, which makes them among my favorite herbs to grow.

I’m including this amarylis in this segment, too. I thought it had gone dormant after last winter’s bloom, but I got a happy surprise when it re-sprouted in such abundance. I was planning on regrowing it for Christmas, but it looks like I will be enjoying it much sooner!
Well, I have to confess, I did buy these this year. I couldn’t resist! I saw a post from one of my friends with a fantastic garden she created which she bordered with the Creeping Jenny, and I fell in love with it. I plan to transplant it into my garden this fall, and have it for years to come!

I hope you all are staying well, USING MASKS, and learning to navigate this new world we are living in. It’s been an adjustment for sure, but makes me appreciate the little things all the more! Like Dorothy said, “There’s no place like home!”

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