Sunday, October 11, 2009

To the Extreme

Years ago, when I owned a condo near Uptown Charlotte, red was my signature color. I planted Salvia splendens, red cannas, red petunias, and cardinal climber. These days, it seems I am infatuated by purple. So the question must be asked, when is there too much purple?

It started long before I painted the front door. Truth be told, the paint color was supposed to be "Rare Wine", a dark burgundy/maroon color. It's purple. And it screams at everyone that passes by when the sun hits it. I'm nervous about this winter when the oak tree out front loses its leaves. So what did I do? I planted more purple plants. There's the coleus by the front walk, the Blackie sweet potato vine I ripped out this past week, purple queen that will someday spill over the stones at the top of the bed, and heucheras in the front bed. They were $0.25 each, so I can't be completely blamed for that travesty. All summer, I've been very disappointed with that bed. It was dark and gloomy. The triple yellow datura is a plant that should be experienced from a distance. It was pulled weeks ago. I collected a few seeds, many of which molded.

This winter, I hope things change a bit for that bed by the front door. This morning, I planted my clearance Dusty Miller and pansies. We'll see if they have time to grow before our first frost. I'm probably a couple weeks late on getting these in the ground.



From the driveway, these two beds are starting to work for me. I'm not sure what the orange daylilies at the bottom of the wall are going to do next summer. I assume they'll clash terribly.

I've got lavender, knockouts, and blue salvias planted with the blue grasses and white artemesia in the lower section of this bed. That orange is really going to look terrible, isn't it?

At the end of the run, there's the garage door bed. Last week I cut back and moved four knockouts. One is yellow, the others are red. I planted Jim's Pinks in this bed along the edge and threw in 7 leftover pansies this morning. They're white, blue, and purple (which is actually a viola, shhhh). I mulched and used the stone I dug out of the next area I'm about to show. Yep, all this stone came from digging holes to plant things in the back yard.

On Thursday of last week, the dog's grave made me change my plans for certain grasses I had also gotten on clearance. I divided them into smaller clumps and planted them on the slope where periwinkle and crab grass had been all summer. The tomato patch is to the left in this image. That'll most likely become a patio in the near future as the stones will be available later this week. Nine of the 15 ten cent asters went into this bed. Robert was back last night to pick up a few things and drop off one of my Ryobi batteries he grabbed after finishing the kitchen. He took home the other 6. What was I thinking? I really didn't need 15 asters.

I also planted two dwarf Joe Pye Weeds I got for $1 each. I tell you, this job is going to bankrupt me. Thankfully, I don't care much for pansies and that's about all we're going to have soon.

In another week or two, I plan to move the White Profusion butterfly bush. This is the one I purchased and the tag said it would reach 8-10' easily. It's in the area formerly known as the white bed. I'll move it to the sloped area formally creating a bee and butterfly garden. Next spring, more butterfly loving plants will be set out here as the seeds are wintersown. It'll make a nice backdrop for the patio.

In the meadow garden, red clover is taking hold. There's also a stray cucumber seedling in there. Uh oh.

Just across from the meadow, the crape myrtle bed is filling in nicely. I've planted out a few hibiscus, scattered lots of echinacea seeds, and planted more clearance plants over the past few weeks. It's a bed I don't pay a lot of attention to, but I expect it to be nice enough next year.

The pink blooming camelia that I'm allowing to regrow at the edge of the rose garden has a lot of suckers. I pulled off two that had roots attached and potted them. They're in the shade with the rooting sedums and pineapple sage. Those cuttings came from one that got ripped apart by last week's winds. They lost all their leaves, but are putting out new growth. Let's not forget I stuck 7 cuttings in the cloner from that plant too. I like this plant, can't you tell?

In the perennial bed, the black and blue salvia I got for $1 each are doing great. I hope they return next year.

Finally, it's Sunday. FlowerLady writes on her blog today,
Let the negative stuff roll off, straighten your shoulders, hold your head high, smile, and be thankful. Get out and do something creative, relaxing, meditative or fun.
I did.

It's 61 degrees and overcast. We got a little rain last night, but the areas under the trees are still dry. The forecast calls for 77 and sunny today. I've got my doubts.

2:28pm - Still no sunlight and only 2 degrees warmer. I've spent the last couple of hours at work, but came home for lunch. The 12" gray pavers are ready. I'll have them loaded onto the back of the truck and unload them this evening. There's 115 of them. $10 for the whole lot. WOOT!


Randy Emmitt said...


If you ask me it is still early in NC to plant pansies and the frost will not hurt them either. Great deal on the Joe-pye-weed.

Jimmy said...

I had never heard of dwarf Joe Pye Weed until yesterday at Lowes. Do you have experience with it?
BTW, I want some of those lavender annual salvia seeds I saw you post on GW. Got any to spare???? Deer don't seem to like salvia.

Nell Jean said...

Don't you just love Flower Lady? She puts a new perspective on things just when you need a boost.

Violas take the heat and the cold better than pansies. My opinion is that they make a better show. Miss Billie recommends yellow violas. I love 'em all.

Noelle Johnson said...


I cannot wait to see pictures of your garden next year. It is obvious that you planned it well.

I think the Day Lilies will look great :-)

L. D. said...

Yes, you are well planted. You have a good eye for design and the beds should grow up to be great. I haven't heard of dwarf Joe Pye, but I couldn't keep the regular size alive. P.Allen Smith goes on and on about it and I would like to have it fill in an area. I guess I need to amend the soil and try again. Our plants will all be gone for good. I will show a devastated garden soon after four or five nights of hard freeze.

Unknown said...

The orange and purple combination will definitely contrast, but could be amazing when it comes together! I spent today planting pansies, combining "Delta Apple Cider Mix" and "Delta Persian Medley". Lots of shades of purples and muted oranges, which is pretty awesome!

Tom - 7th Street Cottage said...

Randy, people are telling me it's still early for pansies, but we had customers asking for them very early in Sept this year. I hope they perform well given their head start.

Jim, I've never grown Joe Pye Weed successfully. I had a chocolate plant this spring, but it up and died shortly after being planted. I got the last one on clearance today. I'll add it to the hill tomorrow.

Nell, she sure does. I've been in a foul mood the past few days and a few hours in the yard helped a lot. I love violas, but pansies are just boring, IMO. I know they're just smaller versions, but they seem more cheerful.

Thanks AZ, it's just a work in progress. Lots of experiments all over the yard.

LD, I'm giving it a try. I wintersowed some JP last year and got nothing. It's $2 if they fail.

Tim, thanks. I hope it works. Those orange daylilies bloomed for several weeks this year. People will think I'm a Clemson fan.

Unknown said...

oh the orange will actually look amazing with the purples and blues. it's a complimentary color to those cooler shades so i'm betting it will be gorgeous!

that last photo is just outstanding...your garden is looking so it!!

also, i haven't forgotten to email you back, just been swamped but will be shooting you an email today..stay warm and dry!