New plants for 2015

It is easy for me to go stir-crazy this time of year, because the weather doesn’t typically cooperate enough for me to work in the yard. So, I spend my time planning which changes I intend to make to the landscaping, and ordering new plants online. Good for my cabin fever; bad for my wallet.

These three plants will be joining us in a few weeks:

'Aphrodite' Sweetshrub
‘Aphrodite’ Sweetshrub

I am a big fan of sweetshrubs due to the lovely one I discovered in the yard when we moved here 5 years ago, so I was very excited to see Proven Winners debut a sweetshrub that actually enhances the best features of my older plant. The intoxicating blooms of ‘Aphrodite’ are larger and it has a longer blooming period.

The Rising Sun Redbud
The Rising Sun Redbud

I could not believe my eyes when I stumbled across this gem online! This small redbud blooms normally, but the real show begins when the leaves emerge in a peach color before maturing to dark green. Apparently, keeping it watered and fertilized forces the show to continue throughout the growing season.

Akatsuki Dogwood
Akatsuki Dogwood

This small tree has stunning variegated leaves and large flowers that open white before gradually turning pink. It blooms longer than most dogwoods, and has excellent fall color.

Meet Eeyore

I took the plunge and bought the ‘Feelin’ Blue’ cedar I mentioned a few posts ago. A coworker suggested I name it “Eeyore,” because of the weeping foliage that is characteristic of this species.

Since it is far too cold to plant right now, it has a temporary home against the back of the house. I placed the root ball in a large metal tub, surrounded it with mulch, and placed unopened bags of mulch around the tub to block the wind. Hopefully, it will hang on until spring.

Feelin’ Blue Deodar Cedar (Cedrus deodara ‘Feelin’ Blue’)
Feelin’ Blue Deodar Cedar (Cedrus deodara ‘Feelin’ Blue’)

Obsessive Conifer Disorder

Perhaps it is because they stand in stark contrast to their gray-barked and bare-limbed cousins during the winter months, but evergreens have recently captured my attention. I purchased a book that details which conifers are best for landscapes in my part of the country, and I know it is only a matter of time before I begin purchasing a variety of them for my own lawn. I figure anything that can stay green and luscious throughout the frigid temperatures of winter deserves a prime spot in the view out my windows.

Saturday, on a whim, I stopped by a small garden center. Since this is their off season, none of the colorful flowers and plants that normally grace the area were anywhere to be seen. The place looked downright dilapidated. That didn’t stop me from squealing in delight when I noticed the beautiful cedars that had been moved front-and-center from their usual spot in the back corner.

A lanky-looking tree grabbed my attention first. I quickly discovered it to be a Golden Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica ‘Aurea’). It was beautiful, but the $100 price tag gave me a bit of sticker shock.

Golden Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica ‘Aurea’)

A small, shrubby conifer nearby was the next thing that caught my eye. While the unusual, rubbery needles were anything but painful, the same couldn’t be said of the price tag. This midget-sized mound of green was also marked $100.

Blue Spanish Fir (Abies pinsapo 'Glauca')
Blue Spanish Fir (Abies pinsapo ‘Glauca’)

I returned this afternoon for another look around and spotted a small tree around 3-4 feet tall. Its cascading branches made it look a little droopy, and I discovered it is appropriately named ‘Feelin’ Blue.’

Feelin' Blue Deodar Cedar (Cedrus deodara 'Feelin' Blue')
Feelin’ Blue Deodar Cedar (Cedrus deodara ‘Feelin’ Blue’)

After much research online and with my new book, I am considering adopting ‘Feelin’ Blue.’ Apparently it is unusual for this plant to form a main leader, so the fact that this one has grown into the shape of a small tree makes it more desirable to me. What worries me is this is a terrible time to plant things (it’s freaking cold out there), and this plant has probably been neglected. I might give it a shot if I can get a hefty discount.

Plants on my wish list for 2014

Winterberry Holly
‘Berry Nice’ and ‘Jim Dandy’ (pollinator)

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Horstmann Blue Atlas Cedar
Cedrus a ‘Horstmann’

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Tall Stewartia
Stewartia Monadelpha

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Deodar Cedar
Cedrus deodara

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Little Henry Sweetspire
Itea virginica

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Luscious Citrus Blend Lantana
Cha-Ching Cherry Petunia
Orange Tiger Lily

Summer 2013

Since I’m trapped in the house today by rain, I thought I might share some of the photos of plants around our lawn that I have taken over the summer.


The beautiful orange flowers on this plant attract a multitude of butterflies – which is certainly why it is commonly called “Butterfly Weed.” It’s actual name is Asclepias tuberosa and it is a native perennial plant in our part of the country. Several of these popped up during our first summer here, but I have transplanted most of them to more suitable locations in the yard.


These double orange lilies were another gift from the previous owners of our property. I find them much more interesting than the standard variety of lilies.


I planted this purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) a few months ago, and have thoroughly enjoyed the long-lasting blooms. I hear the birds love to harvest the seeds from the round heads during the winter.


Honey and I purchased and planted this October Glory Red Maple tree in the fall of 2011. It has grown by leaps and bounds, and has the most glorious red leaves in late autumn.


Another tree that I planted the first year we moved here (2010). I got it for half of its original price because it was during a hot, dry summer. The ground was so hard I had to use a pickaxe to get it planted, but I kept it watered and it has become one of my favorite trees.


I stumbled upon this Admiration Barberry (Agracejo Admiration) at a local garden center a few months ago and fell in love. Each burgundy-red leaf is rimmed with a chartreuse green, which makes for a wonderful combination.




Another gift from Bessie, these two crape (or crepe) myrtles were among the largest I had ever seen when we purchased our home. Knowing little about them, I committed the dreadful sin of “crape murder” a couple of years ago by trimming them down to about 6 feet tall. Thankfully, they have recovered nicely and put on a fantastic display this year. I absolutely adore the contrast in color between the purple and pink. It’s like having a firework display in our yard that lasts several weeks!