Saturday, June 16, 2012

Adventures In Gardening: Tales Of A Northern Garden

(Partial views of my coastal garden, NJ Zone 7b).

Hello friends! Beautiful weather has settled upon us and my coastal garden couldn't be happier it seems when I took these this afternoon after a morning of errands.  Word has it we'll be rain-free for the next 5 days.  Yep, I'll believe it when I see it too!  (I see those of you in my neck of the Northeast nodding your heads in agreement).

Here on the coast, thankfully the last round of heavy rain & wind this week didn't ruin the flush of blooms on the pink Knock Outs, though there were several other casualties in the way of Roses (Pope John Paul II hybrid tea & Mardi Gras floribunda are not fond of being rained on). Strawberries & Cream Hydrangea are well under way and even more beautiful than last year!  One of the Clematis is on a second bloom while the other is still recovering from being moved early this May.  The red Knock Outs, Hostas & Lavender are still going strong but the Salvia is finished. The Coneflowers, Monarda Bee Balm & Butterfly Bushes are getting ready to bloom while the Beans & Morning Glory vines have really taken off up the arbors.  Lastly, I began harvesting Raspberries this week!

Unfortunately, we're unable to head north this weekend as planned (two troublesome trucks equals one Huge headache) and I'm anxious to see how things may be coming along in my mountain garden.  This Memorial Day weekend, despite that awful cold I had, I finally came up with what I hope is a garden that will bloom regardless of how often it gets watered, as we're unable to spend time at our northern home on a consistent basis, and my inspiration for it came from the wildflowers lining the country roads & open fields like the white & purple Phlox, Black-Eyed Susans, Daisy's & Buttercups etc blooming that weekend. I changed my focus from plants to seeds.  Perennial wildflowers & drought tolerant perennial flowers to be more specific.

I realize some may not bloom until next year or after, some annual seeds may have snuck there way in, some may end up acting like annuals because of the NJ Zone 6a climate & usually shorter seasons, and a few may not exactly fit the 'drought tolerant' preference, but I'm very happy with the choices I made and content to have my mountain garden finally settled & under way.

Here are the seeds I've started with this year:
~Pennington Premium Wildflower Mix 1,000 sq ft bag (the first time I've used this brand).
~Burpee Wildflowers Perennial Mix 1,200 sq ft bag.
~Ferry-Morse Gold Dust Alyssum, Unwins Dwarf Dahlia, Black-Eyed Susan, Foxglove Mix, Summer Carnival Hollyhock Mix.
~Burpee Goblin Gaillardia, Early Sunrise Coreopsis, Blue Star & William Guiness Columbine, Treu Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), Alaska Shasta Daisy, Purple & White Coneflower Mix, Purple Coneflower, Fantasia Delphinium Mix, Carneum Poppy, Country Romance Hollyhock Mix.

Yes, I went heavy on the seeds and will do so again next year, just in case some don't take and the wildlife (ducks & swans specifically) happen to find the ones that do to be tasty!

All gardens take their time to come into their own - factor in a new garden for a home you don't live in full time which is in a completely different Zone than where you've gardened for the last 13 years and soil littered with rocks & boulders and what a challenge it's been!  (Not to mention waiting to see what perennials were already there).  This garden has been 3 years in the making so far.  But, it has not been an unrewarding challenge by any means. 

I'd love for you to share with me your new garden challenges in the comments below!

PS:  There's a new twist on #gardenwalk Thursday!  Stay tuned to me on Twitter this Thursday to find out more.

And a Happy Father's Day tomorrow!

Until next time...

aka Bloomin'Chick. Wife, mother of an angel in Heaven, survivor; a real Jersey Girl. (Those you see on those reality shows aren’t real!) Writer, photographer, joyful gardener (coastal Zone 7b/mountain Zone 6a) & avid reader. Eclectic, creative & happily married late 30-something who lives at the sea w/her heart in the mountains who happens to be disabled with Seronegative Arthritis & Fibromyalgia.  I blog about my passions & life at Diggin’Around and my NJ at NewJersey Through My Eyes.

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