Color in the Garden

orange and red flowers

Orange gerbera daisies in a cobalt blue pot, surrounded by red gomphrena. Classy.

Too much orange and red? I got it in my head two years ago to put together a red bed and this is the far end where the colors were a bit mellower. Gardeners are supposed to mature over the years as they gain a little experience and their plantings become more sophisticated. I must be developmentally delayed as this hasn’t happened to me in the over 30+ years since I planted my first seed. I still get suckered in by anything with a bright bloom.
Today as more bad weather keeps me inside I’m looking at dahlia websites. A few dahlias have nicer foliage but it’s for the blooms that you grow them. Not exactly a step forward in garden subtlety.

At least I’m not planning on adding more cannas….. yet.

winter reading

I’m trying to get through all these mail order catalogs.  Over the years I’m getting better but there are still only a few that I right out throw to the trash.  Michigan Bulb and Burgess are two that go on the fast track to recycling…. maybe a reincarnation as toilet paper or anything else more useful than their current state.  The rest all stand half a chance on the growing pile of winter reading material.

If you’re considering a first time order from a new-to-you company, always take the time to check out the garden watchdog at Dave’s Garden. I’m not saying their reviews are the final word on any company, but if 90% percent of the posts are complaints…. well at least you’ll know where to find plenty of company when you end up with a bad experience.

My regulars (a mix of lower prices combined with quality offerings) are Pinetree Garden Seeds, Santa Rosa gardens, Jungs(so-so reviews so be careful), Brent and Becky’s Bulbs, and Fedco Seeds. If the budget was bigger I would add Song Sparrow Farms, Forestfarm, Rarefind nursery, the Lily Garden, Oakes…. they are all worth the extra money for the quality of their offerings, but a budget is a budget.

 The rain and warmth of yesterday following the near

galanthus elwesii

The first snowdrop (Galanthus elwesii)

zero temperatures of last week are giving us a roller coaster of a winter.  The snowdrops are on their own schedule though, and the first one is officially up today.  Galanthus elwesii in case you’re wondering.

The inch of snow must have been enough protection for this drop.  In another more exposed spot, the plants look more like snow-drips.  Hopefully they will live to bloom another year.

Also open for the first time today, but less photogenic, is the “pallida” witch hazel.

witch hazel pallida

Winter blooms on the witch hazel (Hamamelis ‘pallida’)