This is one of the oddest weather patterns I’ve seen in Boise — but I’ll take it. I can put up with two hot days and then a cooling off. It’s working very well for the garden AND the gardener. In fact, I am headed out there now. More later. Check this out! Within 48 hours we’ll have 48-50 degree temperature swings. Wow. And that my friends, is why I say, gardening in the Wild Wild West is NOT for sissies.
My favorite varieties are Helda (recommended by RoseMarie Nichols McGee of Nichols Nursery), Lazy Housewife (a gift from my beloved friend Lorene Edwards Forkner), Spanish Musica (have not grown them yet but recommended by several folks) and Tri Color, pretty as a picture. Musica and Tri are available from Renee’s Garden.
I also talked about the importance and ease of gardening with foliage, and recommended a book by some friends of mine, Fine Foliage, co authored by garden designer/writer friends, Christina Salwitz and Karen Chapman. Lucky caller number 5 took the book home!
Su shows us how she plants up a straw bale for the garden.
Friends and I are trying to keep up with social media these days. I took some 6 second “looping” (also loopy) videos when I visited Moss Mountain Farms w/P Allen Smith and the gang. Here’s one of them. Hey, I am not up for an Oscar. Go easy on me.
Remember, it loops. So turn it OFF when you’ve had enough. Which won’t take long. Trust me on this.
Showy, pretty, generally tough as nails (a characteristic required to live at Ranch du Bois), these snazzy looking centaureas and the cardoon, are welcome in my garden. Not on the guest list: nasty knapweed. They are members of the same fam, so don’t get them confused.
Does everyone but me know how great this smells?
The occasional showy milkweed plant that shows up in the garden is treated as an honored guest and is much adored. I was pruning something next to it and when I leaned over, I got a whiff of something terrific. Sniff sniff. It wasn’t the gaillardia, and nothing else nearby. MMMM good!
At the Idaho Botanical Gardens, we have an arbor loadedwith blossoms and the brilliant ‘Dortmund’ climbing rose. I am going to push for the addition of a Henryi clematis to go with. Well, actually, to go over, around and through. Make that two of them. One on each side. Now we are talking!
Envision if you will, this combo:
The quintessential combo: climbing roses with clematis scampering through, over and around. Do try this at home.
At the Idaho Botanical Gardens, we used New Dawn roses (plus purple Japanese Wisteria) with General Sikorski and Etoile Violette clematis.
Here’s another combo I want to try:
from White Flower Farm.
Wow! gotta love Plant Select’s Fire Spinner. Here it is in all its glory at my buddy Jeff Lightbody’s garden. I tried to capture the iridescence of the blooms, but I guess you just can’t capture magic. Trust me, it’s stunning. This planting began with 6, 1 gallon plants last spring. Try it, you will like it! And check out this post from last year, to see some awesome plant partners for FireSpinner.
Two weeks ago, I had the great good fortune to participate in the Garden 2 Blog gathering in Little Rock, Arkansas. P. Allen Smith and crew were exceptional hosts. It had been a long time since I was in Little Rock (a couple decades, in fact). Southern hospitality is just that. Lovely. Hospitality.
Upon arrival in Little Rock, my driver took a moment to show me just a couple of the City’s landmarks before the sunset: the capitol, the Clinton Library, etc. (Total hospitality) At the gorgeous, historic Capital Hotel, it was easy to find my group since their merriment was audible -from the bar (in all fairness, they were eating dinner). Everyone was excited to be together and ready for “gardeners’ summer camp.”
The next day began in earnest with a run through the menu at the hotel. Why looky here! Bacon Cheese Grits and Poached Eggs! My dear friend, the beautiful, industrious, willowy BumbleBee blogger – Robin – joined me for cappuccinos and breakfast.
Right off the bat we are making new friends right and left: Sassy Carrie Stokes from Between the Limes ,Chris of Redneck Rosarian notoriety, Diane LaSauce of I-made-2000-Key-Lime-Pies fame. Carolyn Binder, a saucy, zesty red head (1), Teresa Byington (of ‘best hair-do-ever fame) and with 175 roses giving the Redneck a run for his money, Chris Tidrick a/k/a our garden philosopher, and the shy as all get out artist, Steve Asbell, hailing from N Florida. (There are more to introduce, so hold your ponies).
Our first stop was a tour of the Governor’s mansion and gardens. First Lady of Arkansas, the energetic and gracious Ginger Beebe greeted us in the garden and again at the luncheon.
Allen has worked with the garden staff creating a garden for the people of Arkansas: a welcoming, strolling garden including roses, vegetables and herbs.
Public Service Announcement No. 43: I accepted this trip as the guest of P Allen Smith and his business associates at Hortus. They paid my airfare, hotel and meals. I received some swag. There you have it. Feel free to share it with the CIA, FAA, HMFIC, FCC, FBI and anyone else monitoring my business including the IRS in Ohio.