So sorry I’ve been MIA. Back now with much to share!
Let’s start with a lovely and tough city beauty – the Black-Eyed Susan.
For the past several weeks I’ve been noticing the abundance and health of this perky perennial in gardens all over the neighborhoood. With so many colorful flowers past their peak, these bright yellow and sometimes purple flowers with the dark centers are finally getting attention! I did a bit of research on these wildflower stunners and found out they are long-lived, low maintenance plants with a tolerance for clay soils. They prefer full sun but tolerate partial shade. When they are planted in large groups, butterflies love them. One article I read said they are considered bioremediators. It seems that their roots and foliage tie up toxins from the soil and air. What a great benefit for a city flower!
Now here’s the back story on Black Eyed Susan. According to the American Meadow website, the name first appears in an Old English romantic poem by John Gay. It begins:
All in the downs, the fleet was moored,
Banners waving in the wind.
When Black-Eyed Susan came aboard,
and eyed the burly men.
“Tell me ye sailors, tell me true
Does my Sweet William sail with you?”
To read the whole poem and more, click here.
You may have heard of Sweet William. It’s the name for another flowering plant. It appears that if you “seed wild Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus) with common Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta), they’ll bloom beautifully at exactly the same time.” Now that’s romantic! Great flower, great story.
Til next time… keep your garden watered!
Posted in Flowers and Plants, Local Beauty, Recommendations, Sunlight
Tagged black-eyed susan, Choosing Plants, City Garden Ideas, Favorite Garden Flowers, rudbeckias, Small space gardening, Sunlight, urban gardening
It’s official. I submitted my street-side tree garden into the City of Boston Garden Contest tonight. There’s still time for other Boston residents to enter. The deadline is Wed. July 18th at 5pm.
This summer has been a tough one for my garden. Today’s submission reflects my fourth planting since April. That’s well over my usual quota of planting through early July.
My current garden has lush, red, mandevillas, purple dahlias, bright purple and yellow petunias, pink impatiens and lots of English ivy.
My fingers are crossed that my garden earns a Finalist position. I’d love the judge to see the colors, textures and beauty that exists on a sidewalk in the middle of the city. Good luck to all the entrants!
Good news! The deadline for the City of Boston Garden Contest has been extended! Nomination forms with photos are now due by Wednesday, July 18th at 5pm.
I encourage every City of Boston gardener with a window box, container garden or flowering yard to enter to win that Golden Trowel. Just fill out an entry form online and submit as many as five (5) photos of your garden space.
Details about the contest and the nomination form are at: http://cityofboston.gov/parks/gardencontest/
Good luck to all!
Want a little recognition for your beautiful city garden or a neighbor’s garden? Is there room on your mantle for a Golden Trowel?
Come on, take a chance and enter Mayor Menino’s Garden Contest! Simply take a few dazzling photos of your buds in bloom and fill out a nomination form. The contest is open to all Boston residents, businesses and organization gardens with amateur status. Deadline is July 13th! Five finalists are chosen in 10 categories. Site visits are conducted to determine the winners.
I’ve entered the Garden Contest for the past two years. Year 1 – my garden was a finalist. (I was so proud. Even laminated my certificate) Year 2 – nothing. (I was robbed! That’s my tree garden entry below. Wasn’t it pretty?)
So it’s Year 3. And I’ve got my eyes on that Golden Trowel.
I’m planting a few more flowers in my garden bed this week. Need to expand the color palette. There is currently way too much purple in my garden – purple pansies, purple petunias. Going to spruce it up with some yellow and white daisies and red astilbe. Maybe even a pink mandevilla or two. I’ll share my submission photos in a few weeks.
“Boston’s gardeners work long and hard to beautify their homes, businesses, and neighborhoods,” said Mayor Thomas M. Menino. “This contest recognizes and honors these green thumbs who are helping to improve our city with their talents.”
Click here to get a nomination form. Deadline for entries is July 13th. For more information, call Lauren Patrick at 617-961-3051. Good luck!
Here’s something fun to do…
Cast your vote and help choose the most popular North American flowers of 2012!
This year there are six entries. Voting is open until August 31st and the top three vote-getters will be announced this fall. If you like what you see, all of these flowers should be available at your local garden center.
Angelonia angustfolia ‘Serena Blue’ Begonia boliviensis ‘Santa Cruz Sunset’
by PanAmerican Seed by Ernst Benary of America
Gazania ‘Big Kiss™ White Flame’ Petchoa x hybrida ‘SuperCal Pink Ice’
by Syngenta Flowers by Sakata Ornamentals
Petunia ‘Surfinia® Deep Red’ Sunflower ‘Goldie’ F1
by Suntory Flowers by Seeds By Design
There are two ways to vote:
– Visit Massachusetts Horticultural Society (or 27 other public gardens across the United States) and see these beautiful flowers first hand. Then you can text your vote as instructed on the signs in the gardens or use the postage-paid postcards provided by the garden.
– Go to www.americangardenaward.com and click on the voting link.
My favorite is the showy Garzania “Big Kiss” White Flame Pink Ice. If you’d like to share your choice, that would be great!
At the May 5th City Garden Ideas workshop, Ellen Abdow, the owner of Perennial Gardens, created a container garden before our eyes.
Now you can see it too… Click to watch and be inspired: http://youtu.be/snZwENQ7u1o.
Ellen chose a fiberglass pot and these plants to create the container garden:
- a purple calla lily in the center as her tall “thriller”
- begonias and impatiens to provide a bushy middle as the “filler”
- and healthy ivy to trail down the pot as her “spiller.”
Ellen generously offered the container garden as a raffle item at the end of the workshop. Congratulations to Liz K. who won the container and provided the picture above.
Enjoy your garden!
Posted in City Garden Ideas Workshops, Container Gardens, Expert Advice, Flowers and Plants, Lectures, Window Boxes, Workshops and Seminars
Tagged cold weather perennials, container gardens, Ellen Abdow, Expert Advice, Gardening Basics, Gardening Workshop, Window Boxes
I hope your gardens are growing and filled with beautiful, colorful flowers!
If you’re looking for more information about small space gardens, check out this article, “Urban Gardening Ideas for Small Spaces. ”
I was interviewed for the article and am quoted in it. The article appears in House Logic, the e-newsletter for the National Association of Realtors. The writer, Iyna Caruso, offers good advice for planting in small spaces. I particularly like her link to vertical gardening. I’m fascinated with growing flowers on the vertical plane – trellises and walls. Hope the article gives you another idea or two. Enjoy!