Friday, December 30, 2011


Ficus benjamina
While on vacation in Florida we visited a botanical garden that featured several bonsai. I find this art form to be fascinating but certainly don't have the patience to attempt.

Ilex 'Shilling's Dwarf'

These two specimens caught my eye because I grow both of them here in central Kentucky. The ficus in the first picture grows indoors as a small tree and the ilex as an outdoor shrub.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Shrubs in the Garden

Buxus microphylla 'Wintergreen'

Boxwoods are an often used shrub in the our garden. These are among the first planted here. I love the structure that they can provide. The daylilies that are planted in the middle of these areas are dormant now but the boxwoods will remain green all winter. They are sheared at least once in the spring to maintain the shape of the beds.

Buxus sempervirens 'Suffruiticosa'

I love to grow them in containers also. Planted in these containers are dwarf English Boxwood  .  Because they grow so slowly (sometimes as little as an inch a year) they are perfect to leave in containers for several years.

Wintergreen Boxwood and White Out Hydrangea

They are planted in borders with other plants to give the garden winter interest when the other plants are leafless. They provide a beautiful backdrop for annual plantings.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pansies in Pots

I don't usually plant the pansies in pots but decided to give it a try this year. Since these pots are along the main walkway we use I get too enjoy the blooms more than if they were planted in one of the back beds.

Also put some in this basket that hangs from the rail along the steps to the cellar. So far they are looking pretty good but I am not sure if they will be able to survive the cold temperatures we normally have. Its fun to experiment anyway.
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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Nandina in November

The nandina is adding a bright spot to the late fall garden.

Some of the leaves have turned this brilliant red

There are several clusters of bright red berries that could be used for holiday decorations but I find it so hard to cut them because I enjoy the brightness and color they bring to the garden when most of the other plants are going dormant. 
This plant is considered invasive in some areas to the south of us. It does not seem to the invasive here and because it is considered a good plant for deer and rabbit resistant gardens I plan to move a couple of the suckers that have appeared at the base of this one to an outer area of the garden.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Changing Seasons

This was the scene last month on the 23rd. Now all of these trees have lost their leaves. We have had rain off and on all week with mild temperatures. With the ground so wet there is little that can be accomplished except to make plans for next spring. A few days of sunshine are predicted which may give a chance to pull a few weeds and  if it gets dry enough to put a few more bulbs in the ground.
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Friday, October 28, 2011

Eyes and Edges

'Woman at the Well'

When we first started to collect daylilies we didn't include many of those with
edges and eyes.

'Crazy Ivan

As the collection grew we started to add more with this characteristic.

'American Icon'

These bloomed in my garden this summer, for some it was their first year here.

'Loafin in Lahani'

I have really enjoyed the striking contrast of these eyes and edges.

Jackie Kropf
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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Roses to Enjoy

We are having such lovely fall weather. It has been wonderful working outside this weekend. The roses are still blooming but the corn has been harvested this week and there were light frosts last weekend.

I love these full open blooms of the English roses...

and I am glad there there are still a few more to open...

Each new bud now is a real joy to see knowing that there may be only a few more.

The yellow knockout roses have been really pretty the last couple of weeks. I planted daffodils in a bed near them yesterday and their scent made the job more enjoyable.

We planted about 350 daffodils yesterday, and that job in itself and the leaves that are starting to fall are reminders that I need to get busy and use any of the nice days that I have. I still have several jobs to finish before this garden season ends.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pale Pastels

'Isle of Wight'

There are daylilies that need to be enjoyed up close.

'Northern Dawn'

They don't shout at you from across the garden,

'Coming to America'

but if you take the time to stroll,

'Pink Praise'

you will be amazed at their delicate colors

'God Alone'

and their ruffled edges.

'Winter Treasure'

They will make you  smile and be glad you decided there was time to slow down and stroll through the garden to discover its quieter side.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Some New Plants for the Garden

Salvia 'Black and Blue' is new  to the garden this year. I was surprised to see this much bloom since it was planted only last month. I know that I am pushing the hardiness limits a little with this plant but after seeing it in bloom in a garden almost 90 miles to the north of me I had to give it try.

Another new plant to the garden is a white coneflower Echinacea 'Fragrant Angel'. I have several of the pink coneflowers some of which I don't know the variety. They are usually carefree plants here except that I am always torn whether to leave the seedpods for the birds or cut them back to make the garden look better. If I see the goldfinches feeding they usually stay.

This black eyed susan caught my eye at the garden center and I decided to give it a try. This one is 'Cherry Brandy'. It is supposed to be both drought tolant and deer resistant. If this one overwinters well I may want to add some of the other Rubeckia's

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

August Garden Notes

August has been a really busy month. We have dug, divided and replanted one main bed of daylilies in our garden. The daylilies in this bed were so crowded that this years bloom on the most crowded ones was less than in the past. In order to make the spacing between the plants greater we had to create a new bed to hold them. We put back in the garden bed at least three or four fans and planted the  extra fans in another area in order to offer them for sale next spring.  Rainfall has been scarce this month which helped us get as many moved as we did, but it also meant dragging hoses and watering the all the beds.

We still have a few more that need to be divided this fall if possible, there is the mulch that needs to be put down and the rest of the daylily beds need a final cleanup. I want to cut the foliage back so there will be less of the old foliage to remove in the spring. Sooo, September looks as if it too will be busy. There has been little time to photograph the garden, since we used the early morning and late evening hours as much as possible to do most of the renovation.  I hope to soon be able to get back out with the camera, so that I can  show some before and after shots of the bed that we redid.

 The lack of rain is definitely creating fewer rebloom scapes but there were a few that  were blooming this past weekend. A couple of those blooming are

'Worth It All'

'Circle of Fire'

This is the first year bloom for both of these plants in my garden.  I am looking forward to more blooms on them next year.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Beauty without Blooms

The season of lots of daylilies in bloom has passed for my garden. There are a few re bloom scapes appearing in the garden but for the most part they are finished and I am ready to start the cleanup process and redo some of the most crowded beds. There is still color in the garden even without the daylilies. I planted this caladium in the with the hosta. The very first leaves that emerged were promptly eaten off by the deer or rabbits. I sprinkled the foliage that was left with red pepper and either they didn't like the taste of this plant or the red pepper worked.

I love the variegated foliage of the Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow' It is planted in front of some oaf leaf hydrangeas and really adds a spot of brightness to the bed. Although it will have blooms the foliage is what I like about this plant.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Wax Begonia's

Wax begonia's make great edging plants. I have used them several places in the garden such as along this walkway leading from the side yard toward the front of the house. They will provide color here until the first killing frost which for our garden is usually mid October.

This spring I planted a couple of wire hanging baskets with wax begonia's. I don't usually have good luck with hanging containers. I don't get them watered often enough and by this time of year they are usually in pretty sad shape. I am pleased with the way these have managed to survive this hot dry summer that we are having, but there have been other problems to contend with...

The deer seem to like them too. They evidently found this one to be quite delectable. This picture was taken a couple of weeks after I moved them to a different location in the garden, one that is closer to the house.
The plants were eaten off so close to the soil line that I wasn't sure that they would live, but they seem to be growing fine and I hope they will be full of flowers for the rest of the summer.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


The canna's are still blooming. They seem to be one of the humming birds's favorite sources of nectar in the garden. This is a plant that I never thought about growing here because I thought they had to be lifted in the fall. A few years ago someone mentioned they couldn't get rid of them so I had to experiment. I planted a few tubers in October with no special protection. Those same plants are still returning year after year.

I have added a couple of the dwarf varieties this year, we will see if they are as winter hardy as the red one. Both of these dwarf are planted close to the pond. I got these tubers at an end of season sale so I won't be too disappointed if they don't return.

'Pink Praise'

I still have a few daylilies blooming and I am beginning to see some rebloom scapes on a few of them. I hope that there will be more late blooms if the tempatures cool a little.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sigh of Relief

We are thankful for the rain that fell last evening. I feel sure the garden sighed in relief from the hot dry weather, I know that the gardener did. We have been dragging hoses but our efforts pale in comparsion to the wonderful rain that fell.

The rose of sharon are blooming and the beetles are letting me enjoy a few blooms. This one is a double that we added to the garden last year.

 We have several that were pass-a-long plants that were given to us by my husbands mother.
They are rose and white with a rose center but my favorite is this solid white one. 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Blooms in the 'Limelight'

We planted this 'Limelight' hydragea from Proven Winners this spring. I have tried to grow the mophead hydragea for several years and not had a great deal of luck getting them to bloom. I am really pleased with this one and want to add more of the paniculata type hydragea to the garden.

I did find this hydragea on a sales table and planted it where it will get a little more sun than the other mopheads. I love the blue color of the bloom but our soil is not acid enough for the color to remain blue. If you look closely you can tell the leaves are not in great shape but there is lots of new bright green growth sprouting.

The heat and lack of rain has really affected the daylily bloom but there are still some in spite of this weather. A few favorites blooming now are:

'Margo Reed Indeed'

'Stella's Ruffled Fingers'

This daylily has been blooming non stop since the last of May.

'Premium Cream'