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Planning Next Year’s Gardens

Well, I had planned for the world to end so here I sit with no idea for a blog. I tell you, the whole damn world has become so unreliable. You can’t even count on the end of the world anymore! What have we come to?

Then we got snow! Snow! So no idea for a blog then had to go out and shovel snow for two hours before sitting back at the computer to write a blog I have no ideas for. And it needs to be done by 11:30!

Great moment to throw pretty pictures at it and think about next year. Love looking at pretty plant porn and thinking about next year when it is all wintry white outside and the wind is howling around the corners of this old house we are fortunate to have as office. Plus the last few weeks have been all about planning next year’s gardens and looking at plants so we’ll roll with that. Not a deep discussion of the designs but a look at a few of the plants we hope to use around here. I say hope because you never know for sure you are getting them until they are in your greedy plant pig hands.

I’m a big fan of the Pennisetum purpureum (napier grass) cultivars released the last several years – ‘Prince’ and ‘Princess’ were the beginning. The latest is ‘First Knight’ which I’ve read is the blackest foliaged one to date. I had to have it. It’s on order. Gets 4-5 feet tall so about same height as ‘Princess.’ I don’t have my own picture so you will have to wait and see it for real too. Here’s a shot from the Emerald Coast Growers website. No way John Friel, president of the Perennial Plant Association, would lead me astray.


Cannas remain a favorite for me to include in designs. 2013 will see Canna ‘Blueberry Sparkler’ planted here.

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This is one from the breeding work of Brian Williams (Brian’s Botanicals) of Louisville, Kentucky. That’s practically next door from where I grew up. Brian has created some fabulous cannas and elephant ears that are just hitting the market including multiple Colocasias hardy in zone 6. They are being introduced by Plants Nouveau.

One of my favorite lantanas remains to be ‘Miss Huff,’ a hardy selection by Goodness Grows located in Georgia. Not actually hardy here (though I am testing it this year) it is a big girl reaching 4 to 5 feet in one season when happy. Here’s a bloom detail from a friend’s garden.


I ‘m gonna stop at this point. This is my last post in 2012. It was a challenging year in the garden. Freaky weather from start to finish. No doubt we will continue to see damage from the drought and heat for some time to come. It was one hell of a difficult year. But amazingly enough we gardening types never quite quit. We slow down. We give up on certain plants. We redesign. We rethink. We adjust. We adjust often. We do not quit. So here’s hoping for garden joy to one and all of you in the coming year. I’ll be seeing you in the weed patch again before you know it. Remember we rely on each other.

Filed under: Horticulture

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