Thursday, March 04, 2010

Shade Gardens

Yesterday, I got my spring perennial catalog. I haven't ordered many plants via catalog. Last year I spent a small fortune at Home Depot and the local nursery to add some color, via perennials, to my dreary yard. This year I'm thinking of using Spring Hill or Blue Stone for further sprucing up.

I've heard good things about Blue Stone from a friend at work. He's an avid gardener. I'll have to mention Spring Hill to him.

Have any of you ordered plants online or via a catalog?

Both of these merchants have pre-planned shade gardens for around $100. I have an area near the backwoods that is surrounded by trees, gets little sun and is as bare as a baby's butt. My goal is to spruce it up this year.

I have another area. I call it the upper lot, by my shed. This is also on my sprucing up list. We've done very little to this section since moving in. This year the shed and adjacent fence is getting painted and the pavement patched in spots. Also I want to add another shade garden there. This area, also has quite a bit of mature trees, is not as shady as the other area I mentioned but I've had trouble growing things due to the lack of direct sunlight.

Here's a new oddity in this spring's Spring Hill catalog.


It's called a Cobra Lily, named for its resemblance to a striking cobra. It can grow to 3 feet tall. It's not included in their pre-planned garden but it's unique enough that I'm tempted to buy it.

Anyway, I'll let you know what I decide to do. My experience with catalog plants has been limited to the Arbor Day donation I made last fall. They sent me ten tree saplings which arrived at the most inopportune time - hours before my flight took off to Florida. I had to spend the morning, out in the pouring rain, planting them so they wouldn't die while we were gone. We'll see what comes of them this spring.

9 comments:

rjjs8878 said...

I’ve ordered bulbs from Dutch Gardens and plants from High Country Gardens in Santa Fe. High Country Gardens specializes in native plants and xeriscape perennials. They also have a good selection of plants for high altitudes.

Peter said...

I ordered parrot tulips and small narcisses from Bakker, a Dutch firm [and closer to home for me], they went into the ground last fall and since a week they are peeking through the soil. I don't have a garden just a small balcony.
Spring should/could start any day now!

BTW, how's the fox doing?

Michael Rivers said...

I've never odered because I live in an apartment. One day I'd like to have flowers for landscaping. Would you like to take care of that for me?

madtexter ☺☺☺☺☺☺ (corey james) said...

My parents order bulbs from a catalog every year, and they've never had a problem - their flowers always looked nice. (Although they are not very 'visual' when it comes to organizing the layout.)

Have fun and be sure to show us pix of the new beauties after they grow.

Rick said...

Peter -- haven't seen the fox since I wrote about it. Maybe Bandit's bark scared him off.

Maddog said...

I'm not much a catalogue person in general. I'm too much of a immediate gratification sort of guy. And I'd have to say I'd want to see the plants before I decided to buy them.

Lemuel said...

Your cobra lily look much like what we call "jack in the pulpit" around here.

The only out of catalog/online plant ordering that I've done was from the Arbor Day Foundation. Every last stinking plant died except two and I'm not sure if one of those did not die over this past winter.

I also have had mixed success with plants I picked up at Lowes. The hyacinths are doing well and are beautiful. The other plants never made it.

Anonymous said...

Having ordered from a variety of plant companies over the years, my advice would be to buy locally and mail order only the more unusual plants that you might not find at even the larger nurseries.The mail order plants tend to be smaller than what you will find at a greenhouse, and are often more expensive. No matter where your plants come from, prepare the soil well first. For the best effect buy a number of plants of one variety and not single plants of many varieties. And remember, there is a reason why people tend to plant many of the same plants - they have the best chance of doing well in a given area. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

When I lived in MA I had a couple acres to spread lavish flower gardens. I ordered everything except my annuals through catalogs...flowers, shrubs, even white pine that I lined the back of the property with. I had excellent luck with catalog shopping. Be aware, that they will not ship the product until the season is right regardless of when you order.