Colorful plants bring both excitement and tranquility to garden

This time of year has a special place in my heart. Every season has its own characteristics and I wouldn’t want to change any of them, even the so-called bleak midwinter. But right now, at the height of a new spring season, I feel that exhilaration and contentment common to gardeners and horticulturists around the world.
Even the smallest garden can be a tranquil reminder that Nature knows what she’s doing. When Cheryl and I are outside, tending our plants at this time of year, we can almost hear the garden say, “I’m here, growing, glowing with life and beauty. Nurture me, cherish me. Let us grow together, and I will reward you with sights, sounds, tastes and aromas that will both stimulate and calm your senses.”
Forgive me for waxing poetic, but this IS a special time of year filled with fresh colors and new life springing from the soil. It is hard NOT to be upbeat and optimistic when you are outside among the plants that grace your landscape.
If worries about gas prices and a troubled economy are beginning to depress you, resolve to stay home a little more this spring and summer. Let the car stay in the garage. It deserves a rest and so do you.
For less than the price of a tank of gas, you can plant a tree. You will be doing your part to help the environment because a mature leafy tree produces as much oxygen in a season as 10 people inhale in a year.
Splashes of brilliant color are appearing in gardens about now, and this brought to mind a few of my favorites.
Arizona Sun (Gaillardia aristata) The name certainly creates an appropriate visual image! Arizona sun sports large fiery orange red blossoms tipped by a ring of rich flame yellow. They create a dramatic burst of color in almost any garden or border.
Arizona sun is sometimes call “blanket flower” because at one time they blanketed the North American prairies with their blooms. I can just imagine the amazement felt by a family of pioneers cresting a ridge in their Conestoga wagon and being dazzled by millions of these blazing blossoms as far as the eye could see!
Arizona Sun is fairly compact in growth, reaching about 8 to 10 inches. Too much shade makes them liable to flop over so be sure to plant these perennials where they’ll get plenty of full sun. They prefer moist, well-drained soil but are drought tolerant. Do not add compost when planting as they do best in “poor” loose soil and do not thrive in clay soil.
Coneflower “Prairie Splendor” (Echinacea purpurea) Thinking of Arizona Sun on the prairies reminded me of this beautiful Coneflower. While Coneflowers are regarded as a mainstay in today’s gardens, the Prairie Splendor has the added benefit of being an earlier bloomer than other varieties, sporting 4 to 6 inch rose-pink blooms from late June to first frost.
Coneflower “White Swan” If you prefer a more traditional Coneflower, this variety of Echinacea purpurea is a good choice I enjoy the sweet, honey-like fragrance and so do the masses of butterflies who are attracted to the White Swans in our garden. White Swan’s large daisy-like flowers appear from mid- summer through fall, continuing after many of the other perennials have finished their blooming cycle.
Columbine Aquilegia “Swan Pink and Yellow” From white swans to pink and yellow swans! Horticulturists consider this a breakthrough in color combinations for columbines. Soft coral- pink outer petals with creamy tips blend harmoniously with pastel yellow inner petals. The blooms of 'Swan Pink and Yellow' face outward and show off perfectly.
From the eye-popping blaze of Arizona Sun to the soothing palette of Swan Pink and Yellow Columbine… colors that bring excitement and tranquility to your landscape. Enjoy them all as you grow with your garden, and drop me an e-mail if you want more information about the plants I’ve mentioned. The Plant Man is here to help. Send your questions about trees, shrubs and landscaping to snipped-for-privacy@landsteward.org and for resources and additional information, or to subscribe to Steve’s free e-mailed newsletter, visit www.landsteward.org
Add pictures here
âś–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
This time of year has a special place in my heart. Every season has its own characteristics and I wouldn’t want to change any of them, even the so-called bleak midwinter. But right now, at the height of a new spring season, I feel that exhilaration and contentment common to gardeners and horticulturists around the world.
Question for the tree person at Greenwood Nursery about staking trees..
What would you suggest is the best way to stake a tree and why? Type of material, where and how attached, how long and why. When I say the best way I mean for a tree planted correctly. When I say correctly I mean planted at the depth the roots (woody) are coming off the trunk or the trunk flare and no deeper..
--
Sincerely,
John A. Keslick, Jr.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
âś–
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.