Do you have a hard-to-plant area that has poorly-draining soil? Turn this troublesome spot into a colorful landscape feature by plantingÂ Perennials andÂ BulbsÂ that thrive in wet soil. Whether you have an area with runoff from a roof or an area next to a body of water, there are plenty of options for you to turn this into a gorgeous focal point of your garden!
Perennials That Thrive in Wet Soil
There are several varieties of perennials that not only tolerate wet soil, but also create a burst of color all season long, year after year in the garden. Siberian Irises are one of the easiest Iris to grow and are extremely hardy, making them a dependable plant for any wet spot. Bonus: These exquisite Irises also attract butterflies to the garden! Ligularia The Rocket is a great choice for moist, shady gardens and illuminates with bright yellow flower spikes that attract hummingbirds.
Spiderworts are hybridized from a wildflower with the wild form of this unique three-petaled flower usually purple. The foliage is lily-like, forming a clump of glossy green. They naturally grow along streams, so give them plenty of water and some shade. Hydrangeas are famous for their large, ball-shaped blooms that add elegance and charm to the summer garden. They can also be planted in wet soil. Hardy Hibiscus are extremely easy to grow. All they ask for is full sun, decent soil, and some pruning once in awhile. They leaf out very late in spring, so don’t think they’re dead and chop them down. Be patient, and in a few weeks you’ll have attractive foliage and soon thereafter a summer full of spectacular blooms that attract hummingbirds and butterflies.
Bulbs that Thrive in Wet Soil
Many Summer-Blooming Bulbs tolerate wet soil and add unique, gorgeous color and foliage to the garden. If you’re in a frost-free area these Bulbs act as perennials, but if you receive a hard frost you’ll want to dig them up for the winter.
Elephant Ear Bulbs create a dramatic, whimsical look both planted in the garden and in containers. Huge, unique foliage is beautiful on its own or planted as a backdrop for your favorite blooms. Canna Lily Bulbs ignite the late season garden with huge, boldly-colored blooms that last for weeks and weeks. These beauties are also extremely easy to grow. Calla Lily Bulbs are another gorgeous choice, thriving in wet soil and creating an elegant statement both in the garden and cut for summer bouquets.
This season, turn that poorly-draining spot on your property into the fabulous garden that it deserves to be! What experience do you have planting in wet soil? Please share in the comments below or on our Facebook Page.
March 8, 2014
Â· Amanda Shepard Â· No Comments
Tags: garden planning, Gardening in Wet Soil, hibiscus, Hydrangea, Siberian Iris, spiderwort, Standing Water Â· Posted in: Flower Bulbs, Gardening in Spring and Summer, Perennials
David Salman, Chief Horticulturist at High Country Gardens has spent over 26 years in pursuit of better plants for eco-friendly landscapes. He is a recognized expert in the field of waterwise gardening and xeriscaping and a sought-after speaker on these subjects throughout the United States. Text and photos are his.
The genus Thymus (Thyme) is a wonderful group of herbal plants for both culinary and gardening use.Â Native to the Old World of Europe and the Mediterranean, this herb has had a close association with mankind since the times of the ancient Egyptians and the Romans.Â The various species are planted for use as medicinal plants, as culinary plants and as ornamental plants of the finest order.
The creeping Thyme are a great group of ornamental groundcovers enjoyed for their wonderfully textural mat-like stems and foliage and the showy flowers that bloom in colors of white, pink, rose and rose-red. The blooms rest right on top of the flat branches creating a blanket of color in full bloom. Â The key to a great Thyme patch is to provide the plants with a full sun location in well drained, preferably “lean” (low nutrient and humus content) or sandy soils.Â
Ideally, Thyme like warm to hot days and cool nights as many of the species grow in the foothill and mountains of their native lands.Â Prolonged muggy heat and hot nights is not to their liking so they aren’t generally suitable for the Deep South and Gulf Coast.Â Thyme doesn’t want to be grown too dry so irrigation is needed in hot weather and occasional supplemental water during the winter if conditions are very dry.
I have always had best luck growing Thyme in between flagstone. This a western landscaping rock that looks like slabs of irregular brown slate but is of sandstone origin. Back East, the flagstone equivalent are slate pavers. Thyme likes to grow up over the top of the rock’s hot, hard surface with its roots below the rock which acts as mulch, keeping the roots moist and cool; Hence, its preference as a crack filler for flagstone or slate patios and walkways.
Thyme also does very well when planted into a thick layer of gravel mulch. Like the flats stones, Thyme also likes to grow over the top of the gravel. In moister Eastern climates the gravel keeps the stems dry and clean from splashing dirt and prevents rotting during wet winter and early spring weather.
Creeping Thyme varieties
- Elfin Creeping Thyme â€“ a tight compact grower makes a cushion of colorful flowers.
- Woolly Thyme â€“ grows to knit a gray-green carpet along paths and in between stone pavers.
- Creeping ‘Coccineus’ â€“ green foliage and a blanket of bright rose-pink flowers in early summer.
Thyme is an essential culinary herb. And they are like the creeping Thyme in their cultural needs (see above). As you might guess after thousands of years of growing Thyme, mankind has made many selections of Thymes to cook with.
In the garden, culinary Thyme is most commonly a compact, upright growing herb with small, fine textured foliage. Â The variegated cultivars are especially colorful. But when growing the variegated ones, watch for green branches that have lost their multi-colored leaves (reverted) and clip them out.
These plants can be used along the edges of patio and along sidewalks where their fragrance can be enjoyed as you brush past them. I love to mix them with other culinary herbs like Salvia (Sage), Lavandula(Lavender) and Rosmarinus (Rosemary).Â Not only is this combination of Thyme and other herbs beautiful and aromatic, they are fantastic nectar and pollen sources for bees. Herbal honey anyone?
Cooking Thyme varieties
- Gold Variegated Lemon Thyme â€“ ornamental and flavorful.
- English Thyme â€“ a classic flavor used in many great recipes.
- Lemon Thyme â€“ wonderful lemon scented foliage for all types of cuisine.
- French Thyme â€“ beautiful flowers and tasty foliage.
The Seed Man shares with us why our Regional Mixtures are so popular.
Did you know that our regional mixtures have about 300,000 seeds per pound?Â That’s a lot of wildflowers.Â In fact not only is it a nice blanket of annual color in the first growing season, it’s a long standing display of perennials for the second and successive seasons.Â This is one of the many reasons why our regional mixtures are so popular.Â
With most mixtures containing over 25 different varieties, we’ve formulated them to give you blooms all season long, starting in late spring through fall.Â We’ve taken the guess work out of it.Â Did I also mention it’s the best bang for your buck too?Â If you were to buy all these species separately it would cost a lot more money.Â
All of our seed comes with full planting instructions and we also have our very helpful planting video you can view below as well. Â Give us a call or ‘Live Chat’.Â I love talking wildflowers and we’re here to help!
For over 30 years we’ve been helping people establish wildflowers all across the world!Â Help the pollinators, cut down on mowing and enjoy endless color all season long.Â Whether you want to add more color to your meadow or trying wildflowers for the first time, our regional mixtures are guaranteed to provide beautiful flower for years to come.
Happy Gardening! – The Seed Man (Follow the Seed Man on Facebook here)
February 20, 2014
Â· Mike Lizotte Â· Comments Closed
Tags: annuals, Early Bird Seed Sale, Perennials, Regional Wildflower Mixtures, Sale, spring planting, wildflowers Â· Posted in: Gardening in Fall, Gardening in Spring and Summer, Wildflowers
In recent years, edible wildflowers have become increasingly popular in the culinary world, often used for garnishing dishes and brightening up salads. Our customers have been asking for them for quite some time and we’re excited to have formulated an Edible Flower Seed Mix, perfect for making a colorful statement both on the plate and in the garden!
Our Edible Flower Mix is comprised of 16 flower varieties, 11 annuals for first year color and 5 perennials for second and successive years’ blooms. The mix includes:
February 11, 2014
Â· Amanda Shepard Â· 3 Comments
Tags: Culinary Garnishes, Edible Flower Seed Mix, Edible Flowers, Edible Wildflowers Â· Posted in: Gardening in Fall, Gardening in Spring and Summer, Wildflowers
A common question we get from gardeners each year is: "Why are my blue Hydrangeas pink, or, Why are my pink Hydrangeas blue?" The answer is really quite simple (and no, it’s not magic). The color of your Hydrangea blooms are directly linked to the PH levels of your soil.
Knowing this important information means you can easily (well, somewhat easily) change the color of your Hydrangea blooms! Alkaline soil produces pink blooms and acidic soil produces blue blooms. The first step in determing the PH of your soil is to do aÂ soil PH test to determine the acidity of your soil.
Blue to Pink: A test result below 7 means that your soil is acidic (blue blooms). To raise the PH of your soil (to turn blooms pink), try adding limestone â€“ most packages will tell you how much to add to increase your PH to the correct levels.You can also try using a fertilizer with high levels of phosoporus in it. This helps keep the aluminum in your soil from entering the root system of your plant. If you can’t seem to lower the acidity in your garden beds, consider planting in pots.
Pink to Blue: A test result above 7 means that your soil is alkaline (pink blooms). To lower the pH of your soil (to turn blooms blue), you can add things such as sulfur, compost, pine needles, or pine bark. This will help to add some acidity to your soil. You can also try an organic fertilizer that is low in Phosphurus and high in Potassium.
The best success rate comes from gardeners who grow their Hydrangeas in containers, which allows for them to completely control the acidity of the soil with no outside factors.
Also note that it is easier to change a pink Hydrangea to blue than blue to pink. Other colors of Hydrangea cannot change colors with soil acidity.