Wednesday, May 2, 2012

~ Instant Garden ~ Fast Growing Summer Border ~ Update

Here's an update for 2012:

This proved to be really a perfect little spot of flower garden. As had been the case previously, the Purple Coneflower did very will for about half the summer. As before, the combination of very dry to very wet with a short span of days, was too much for it. At least in this particular spot, though I have tried it in other places of the yard as well. So this year I probably opt for getting that same color with another flower and getting the look of the flower with an African Daisy.

Of course the Pentas, Purple Buddy,  Bush Daisy, Purple Fountain Grass, and Purple Heart did exactly as expected. They can take the heat with good watering, the bloom all summer long. The Mystic Spires Blue Salvia also lasted the the whole summer into fall. It is considered an annual but many slavias come back or re-seed. This area received not tender loving care over the winter, and the salvia did not come back. But it probably would have if it had been better care during the winter.

For 2012, I will definitely be using the same flowers that I mentioned above that did so well. That border was planted in the heat of May and somehow it happens to be May already! Time to get to it.
Here is the original post with before and after shots. The flowers have been in the ground a couple of weeks at the most in the pictures. The biggest difference was the green sweet potato vine took over everything, much to my delight. 

 When we began redoing all of the backyard in the fall 2010, the best thing to do was concentrate on shrubs and the foundation things that would be there for a very long time. It was a good idea. The only problem was that the whole area had been flower beds with no grass before we made a very big change to the backyard. I really missed the punch of color and flowers.  As the warm weather came around we were shopping for  mulch and rocks and of course you guessed it .... those little lovely flowers kept jumping out and saying buy me, buy me. I missed the flower beds, but I was trying to fight the addiction for them. Not very well though.

So as not to get too carried away, I removed just three sections of landscaping in three different areas, two in sunny to very sunny and one in semi-sun environment to make way for 3 small flower areas. I had just found an article that I had saved from P. Allen Smith about a fast growing border. It was just too much encouragement to resist. Especially when I saw his background included one of my favorite plants of color, the Purple Fountain Grass. So off I went to look for a few good flowers

I haven't had great luck with the Purple Coneflower in the past. We can get days and days of rain, and I think it just doesn't like wet feet. Of course I bought it anyway, because I can't resist a pretty face.

The yellow Bush Daisy over on the right and in the middle of the bed, is a very easy one to grow. The tall Mystic Blue Spires Salvia has the most fabulous true blue. More blue than many of the salvias I've grown before.

That bright green Marguerite Sweet Potato Vine always does very well. It can take the heat and sun as long as it has plenty of water, which can mean daily if we have no rain that day. The Blackie Sweet Potato is in another area, although it is the perfect companion color with the lime great. Instead I stuck some Purple Heart in for more purple color.

Most of these were purchased in gallon size pots, expect for the Pentas and Purple Buddy. It's an instant garden for someone who can be a bit impatient this time of year of color. It also is fast growing and will be much more filled in within a short time.

Now to keep them all alive and watered through the long hot summer! None of these should need replacing though. They all should make it through this year and into next if they are tended to. Just more time out watering every morning.
(Read at the top for update.)

See Y'All Soon~


  1. Love all of the flowers. They look fabulou and I really like the mix of colors. Gorgeous. Hugs, Marty

  2. Garden with different kind of flowers bring home the beauty and flavour

  3. Donna I love it...what pretty color...

    I hope you had a nice Mothers' Day :)

    All the best,
    Kathy :)

  4. Oh what pretty flowers and gardens and just plain eye candy... thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.. all of us bloggers so enjoy knowing someone is enjoying our postings and I have just enjoyed yours! CeCe

  5. Love P. Allen Smith! How he bought a house, moved it to a lot and created the most beautiful garden rooms! He has some terrific books too - your garden looks great - does the sweet potato vine come back too?

  6. You clearly have a gardener's green thumb! Beautifully designed!

  7. I just ADORE small gardening spaces ...
    ah yes the watering factor!!

    I am so honored, I found my site on your sidebar !
    thanks so much

  8. WOW! What a POP of splendid color! You certainly did get a great Bang for your buck! Everything looks beautiful and the colors are mingeling very well.Itoo am an avid gardener but we are still a bit cool up here in the great white north,please stop over and see a bit of whats happening in my gardens.Deidre~


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