Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Spectacular Late Summer Shrubs

What’s Fabulous at Victoria’s?

Clethra ‘Pink Spire’ blooms July through August, soft pink, fragrant cone-shaped flowers. Oh, and what a fragrance! As sweet as roses, but more potent, and certainly less trouble. You will love this plant. Very low maintenance, deciduous shrub can take full sun to part shade, and can tolerate moist soils, even wetlands or pond side. Grows 6’ by 6’ in maturity. Attracts bees and butterflies.

Vaccinium spp. Everyone loves blueberries! And you can grow your own. Victoria Gardens has healthy and well-grown blueberry shrubs in stock. Blueberries are great because they have fewer pests than most of the other fruit trees and shrubs. The key to their success is making sure they are grown in acidic soil. Blueberries also serve double duty in the garden because they offer spectacular fall color.

Vitex (Chaste Tree) Deer resistant and late blooming, Vitex is a shrub Victoria uses often. Vitex has proven to be cold hardy. It is very late to leaf out, but delivers a great late show. Flowers are similar to a butterfly bush, but the Vitex has better structure. Come in and see what Victoria has been raving about. Blooming now!

And that’s not all…

Viburnum ‘Summer Snowflake’ is a deer-resistant shrub that produces lacey white blooms all summer. We mean it - it will bloom until Septemper! Albizia julibrissin 'Rosea' (Silk Tree) is a zone 5 cold-hardy tree often confused with the Mimosa tree (zone 6). This small tree only grows 20’ tall and wide and is covered in July through August with pink, feathery flowers. Very showy- th small green leaflets form a long compound leaf that has a tropical feel to it. Physocarpus opulifolius 'Diabolo' (Ninebark Treeform) The perfect small tree with dark purple leaves and striking white flowers mid-July through August. Grows 10' to 12' high and 6' to 8' wide in full sun to part shade. Styrax japonicus fargesii (Japanese Snowbell) This is a tree more people should know, deer-resistant, full sun to part shade, and grows 20' to 30' tall and 20' to 30' wide. "A delicate beauty...dark leaves perched like butterflies above the white, bell-shaped flowers." - Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Late Blooming Annuals - How to use Annuals Now!

Before you exclaim, “It’s too late for annuals,” I want to remind you that the gardening season extends long after the summer vacation from school comes to its end! The first frost date is usually around October 20th, which means there are are twelve weeks - eighty-four more days to enjoy your garden. Keeping that in mind, annuals are a flexible and colorful way to maximize your garden space, even though you may not have room in the garden for more shrubs or perennials.

Where your daylily flowers are fading, you can still have an abundance of color and blooms by planting Verbena bonariensis (Brazilian Verbena) in even narrow spaces between your perennials stands. In fact, anywhere your garden is past peak, you can fill in with the lovely scented Nicotiana (tobacco flower), Snapdragons, Pansies, late-blooming annual Salvia or Pineapple Sage (one of Victoria’s Favorite’s).

For striking foliage color, plant Persian Shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus), which has unusual glossy pointed leaves with saturated purple veining. The result is foliage that shimmers like miniature stained glass panels of blue and violet. Another late summer star is Colocasia esculenta, also known as Elephant Ear. Two or three of these large leafed plants can transform any garden into a lush paradise. Even a shade garden can be supplemented late in the season with various colored coleus, which will provide pop right up until frost. A true workhorse of the late summer garden is annual Purple Fountain Grass. Tall decorative grasses like Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’ can also transition nicely into a fall display with mums and jack-o-lanterns.

There are still twelve more weekends for hosting bar-b-ques or outdoor dinner parties, eighty-four more evenings of solitary strolls through your garden beds, so pump up your gardens with late season color, and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Join Us this Weekend for Coffee in the Garden: Late Blooming Annuals!

Sunday Aug. 7th - Coffee in the Garden - 10am - Late Blooming Annuals

We're going to talk about the how, whats, and whys of using late blooming annuals.

"Plant annuals now?"


Last year our clients who filled in holes now had full and flowering gardens all the way through last year's mild October - that's tree months worth of full gardens -

"That's fantastic!"