Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easter Gardening

After hearing Theresa tell Patrick about bleeding hearts, I decided that I better prepare our garden for Easter.  I usually start my plants from seed in February, but this year we had too much happening to do so.  My father-in-law visited on Friday of Passion Week and gave us a little money, giving me an opportunity to buy some flowers and seeds that were on sale.  I enjoyed visiting the gardening center at Fred Meyer (twice) with my children, looking at all of the flowers and choosing some perennials and a couple of annuals to bring beauty to our yard.  It felt good to be outside digging in the dirt with the children again.

What did we plant?

Angel Daisy Leucanthemum
I have always liked daisies, so I was delighted when my children chose these pretty flowers.
Description: One of the least demanding most satisfying perennials in the garden.  An elegant, long-season display of showy blooms.  Ideal choice for beds, borders, and cutting gardens.  Perfect for all kinds of containers.  Excellent cut flowers.
Care: Best in fertile, well-drained soil. Water freely in dry weather. Remove faded flowers for best display.
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English Daisy Habanera Bellis Perennis (Mary-Loves)
As I stated above, I like daisies.
Description: Profuse flowers carpet the spring garden. Great in borders or rock gardens. Prefers cool, moist soil.
How to Grow: Plant in sun or part sun 6 inches apart. Grows to 6 inches.
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Fragrant Sunshine Wallflower (Erysimum Walfrasun)
I bought these to plant by the angel daisies, but then I decided to plant them in a different flower border.
Light: Full sun
Water: Semi-moist
Flowers: Spring to fall
Height: 15-18"
Width: 18-24"

Lithodora diffusa
We purchased three of these plants for one of our flower beds.
Bloom Time: Late spring to summer
Light: Sun to part shade
Height: 3-8"
Space: 18-24"
Water: Allow soil to dry between thorough waterings
Description: Vivid blue flowers bloom in spring on spreading evergreen perennial.  Good in edgings, rock gardens, and as a small scale ground cover.

Pink Princess Escallonia
I have been looking for something to replace an old rhododendron that died in our garden a couple of years ago.  This shrub definitely has promise.  The tag reads, "Profuse pink to rose colored flowers bloom almost year round. Compact evergreen shrub with glossy green foliage.  Excellent color source in coastal climates.  Quick hedge or screen."  I am looking forward to seeing how it grows and hoping that it does well.
Sun Exposure: Best growth and flower production in full sun.  Needs partial sun in hot areas.
Average Height: 5'-6' tall and wide
Type: Evergreen
Water: Keep soil moist until established.  Drought tolerant when established.
Fertilizing: Fertilize in spring just before new growth begins.
Pruning: Pinch growth tips to keep compact and increase floral display.
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Update (4/26/11): Pink Princess Escallonia was a disappointment. It was not an evergreen as stated, at least not in my yard. Both plants currently look very spindly. I will be replacing at least one of them with a true evergreen shrub.

Strawberry Pretty in Pink (PPAF Strawberry)
We planted three of these around the base of our daisies.  Patrick has claimed them as his and promises to take care of them.  Hopefully, he shares any fruit that they produce.
Light: Full sun
Water: Medium
Height: 4-8"
Width: 10-12"
Description: Everbearing variety produces pretty pink flowers and flavorful deep red berries.  Good in flower beds, planters, and window boxes.
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In addition to planting the above flowers, we also planted a few other things.  We found some bulbs, minus the packaging, in the garage. We are excited to see what flowers the bulbs produce; some of them are already starting to grow.  We discovered a small lupine (St. Mark's Plant) that had sprouted from an old seed in what is now our daisy bed and transplanted it in a new location.  Finnian scattered his snapdragon seeds (Infant Jesus' Shoes) in some of the beds. We also purchased lupine, sunflower, larkspur, and hollyhock seeds.  We will most likely sow them directly outside and hope that they grow.

*Some photo credits go to my eldest son.
**Religious Flower names found at Mary's Gardens.