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Putting Your Garden Beds to Bed for Winter

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Prepping your garden beds for winter will make it easier to get a jump start on planting in the spring because working in a soggy, spring bed is a difficult task! It’s far smarter to do that work in the fall when the beds are dry and the weather is nice.

So, if you’re wondering how to tuck your garden beds in for a long winter nap and have them wake up refreshed, start with these five tasks:

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Flower Power Through to Fall

When visitors tour the grounds of Moss Mountain Farm, they always marvel at the annuals looking so bright-eyed and bushy tailed all the way into fall. And they start fishing for the secret to keeping those garden beds flourishing through the dog days of summer. Now that we’re in the tail end of those days, I’ll share those secrets now. Hopefully, you can employ those secrets through the rest of the season or file them away for next year.

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    Proven Winners Snow Princess® Lobularia

    Cutting back: If flower beds were a metaphor for the human life cycle, this period might be midlife where things start to “creep” or broaden and widen. You must stay vigilant and trim up those creepers that would overpower the more timid plants. Plants like sweet potato vine, which can be thuggish and push over smaller flowers. It’s also helpful to cut back the spent blooms, and I pay special attention to plants like my Snow Princess® Lobularia or the Angelonia.

 

  1. Feedings: You should continue feedings, even though it’s hot. I usually give a dose of liquid fertilizer every third watering.

 

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    Flirtation® Orange Diascia

    Filling in: I will typically pull out plants that haven’t fared well and plug in new things for fall. Sometimes the animals help with that task. For example, I had some petunias rooted out by armadillos. So, I’ll either plant more petunias or prepare for fall by substituting plants that like colder temperatures like nemesia, diascia or argyranthemum.

 

Read more:

Five Easiest Annuals to Grow

Cool Season Annuals

Annuals versus Perennials

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Seize the Daylily!

If your grandmother had a garden, chances are good she grew daylilies. This easygoing perennial has been a favorite for generations, but the newer kids on the block are definitely not for the old guard.

I always recommend daylilies for a garden because they’re low-maintenance, showy in the garden and the late-blooming varieties will offer bold, trumpet blossoms until fall. If you choose several different varieties that bloom early, mid and late in the season, you can extend their bloom time throughout the entire season.

The scientific name for daylily is Hemerocallis, which translates from Greek to “beauty” and “day.” The blooms only last one day, but don’t worry! Daylilies grow in clumps with many blooms on each stalk. Much like fireworks, they’ll give you one exploding bloom after another for many weeks. Bloom! Bloom! Pow!

Daylilies are perfect for slopes, beds, near foundations or even in containers. They need at least six hours of direct sun per day to thrive, but they will bloom even better in a full day of sunshine. When planting a daylily, set the plant in the ground or in a container at the same depth it was growing in the pot you bought it in. You want to avoid planting it too deeply. Space plants 10 to 12 inches apart in the ground or grow just one as a “thriller” in your combination container. For best results, add some compost, especially if you have heavy clay or sandy soil. Water your newly planted daylilies consistently during the first growing season as they establish themselves

You’ll find one of the best things about growing daylilies is they multiply! Divide and share with friends or plant elsewhere in your garden. Spring or late summer is the best time to divide and share daylilies. To do this, carefully lift the clump out of the ground with a shovel and divide it with a sharp knife, removing any sickly looking foliage. Cut the foliage down to about half its height and then transplant the divided pieces back into the garden immediately.

Because of their association with grandmothers, daylilies have a vintage feel, but I prefer to call them “timeless.” Though they’ve been around for generations, newer varieties have improved upon the older ones, making them stronger, brighter and more generous with their blooms. The following varieties are colorful, floriferous and vigorous; everything you expect from a daylily, but more of it. They are certainly Proven Winners in my garden, and I recommend them for yours.

'Primal-Scream'-PWRAINBOW RHYTHM® ‘Primal Scream’ Hemerocallis

  • Very large 7 ½ – 8 ½” flowers
  • Glimmering tangerine orange, gold dusted flowers with twisted, ruffled petals
  • Blooms in early midsummer on 34” tall scapes loaded with buds
  • Full sun to part shade
  • Mid-season bloomer

 

 

'Going-Bananas'-PWRAINBOW RHYTHM® ‘Going Bananas’ Hemerocallis

  • Lightly fragrant, lemon yellow, 4” blooms
  • Reblooming variety that begins flowering early and continues into fall
  • Heat tolerant
  • Relatively short; 19 to 22 inches tall
  • Early season blooming

 

 

'Ruby-Spider'-PWRAINBOW RHYTHM® ‘Ruby Spider’ Hemerocallis

  • Gigantic 9” flowers
  • Blooms are ruby red with a radiating yellow throat
  • Tall scapes reach up to 34”
  • Mid-season bloomer
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What’s the Fig Idea? Find out in the summer e-mag

The summer issue of our Naturally magazine is full of recipes, architecture, DIYs and more. Be inspired to party with sweet figgy bourbon cocktails, spicy green beans and sunny, heat-hardy flowers that will brighten up your home all summer.

In this issue, learn how easy it is to grow and harvest your own baby broccoli, get a peek into an historic piece of architecture designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and learn how to make the most of your water feature. Click below to start reading!

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Plants for Color All Summer

Life is hard, gardening shouldn’t be. Here are seven plants you can grow that will be colorful all growing season without a minute’s trouble.

 

LUSCIOUS® Bananarama Lantana                                       
BUY

  • Tough-as-nails annual is extremely heat and drought tolerant, tolerates poor soils; protect from frost
  • Large clusters of bright sunny yellow flowers on mounded plants
  • Blooms all season without deadheading
  • Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, not preferred by deer
  • Full sun

 

LUSCIOUS® BERRY BLEND™ Lantana                                  

  • Tough-as-nails annual is extremely heat and drought tolerant, tolerates poor soils; protect from frost
  • Large clusters of fuchsia, orange and yellow flowers on mounded plants
  • Blooms all season without deadheading
  • Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, not preferred by deer
  • Full sun

 

COLORBLAZE® KEYSTONE KOPPER® Solenostemon(Coleus)
BUY

  • Richly saturated orange-bronze foliage
  • Bred to bloom very late or not at all, making the plant last into fall with little maintenance
  • Wonderful in large containers and landscapes
  • Heat tolerant and less preferred by deer
  • Full sun to shade

 

COLORBLAZE® LIME TIME™ Solenostemon(Coleus)
BUY

  • Vigorous selection with bright chartreuse foliage that brightens up any combination or landscape in sun or shade without burning
  • Bred to bloom very late or not at all, making the plant last into fall with little maintenance
  • Wonderful in large containers and landscapes
  • Heat tolerant, less preferred by deer, and mildew resistant (which can be a problem with other chartreuse coleus)
  • Full sun to shade

 

COLORBLAZE® ‘RAINBOW RHYTHM®’ Hemerocallis                      
BUY

  • Enormous 7 ½ – 8 ½” flowers
  • Glimmering tangerine orange, gold dusted flowers with twisted, ruffled petals
  • Blooms in early midsummer on tall scapes loaded with buds
  • Full sun to part shade

 

AMAZING DAISIES™ ‘Banana Cream’ Leucanthemum
BUY

  • Picture perfect, large 4-5”, lemon yellow flowers age to creamy white
  • Disease resistant variety with strong stems that are great for cutting for long lasting fresh bouquets
  • Blooms begin in early summer with some rebloom from secondary buds; benefits from deadheading
  • Full sun

 

LO & BEHOLD® ‘Lilac Chip’ Buddleia                                    
BUY

  • Award winning, seedless butterfly bush that won’t sow its seed around the garden
  • Soft lavender pink flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds from midsummer to frost without deadheading
  • Dwarf, compact habit grows only 1 ½-2’ tall x 2-2 ½’ wide
  • Perfectly sized for containers and small-scale urban landscapes
  • Full sun

 

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Best Uses for Supertunia® Petunias

Supertunia® Petunias are excellent spillers and fillers, and the hummingbirds and butterflies love them. Here are five ways to incorporate them into your garden.

 

1. Spilling over the edges of a mixed container planting

2. At the front of a mixed border

3. Planted in a hanging basket

4. Mass planting in a large container

5. Flat sided wire basket hanging from a gate

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Ten Dwarf Shrubs That Will Change the Way You Garden

I’ve always said that perennials are the easiest way to garden, but I’ve changed my tune since I’ve tried out some of the new, dwarf shrubs being offered by Proven Winners®. Versatile, well-mannered and low maintenance are good words to describe the latest generation of shrubs that are showing up in garden centers this spring. These varieties offer multiple seasons of interest, extended bloom times and they are suited for both containers and in-ground flower beds. These shrubs promise more beauty with less effort on your part. Here are ten that I recommend.

 

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SUNNY ANNIVERSARY® Abelia
BUY

Fragrant and magnificent, SUNNY ANNIVERSARY® Abelia is one of my favorite deer-resistant flowering shrubs for the landscape and containers combinations.  Sprinkled with creamy yellow and pink blooms, it brings not only a whimsical element to the garden, but also hummingbirds, butterflies and especially me.

  • Fragrant
  • Large, plentiful blooms appear on arching stems from midsummer through early fall
  • Mid-sized shrub, 3-4’ tall, used for landscapes, foundation plantings and containers
  • Deer resistant, attracts butterflies
  • Full sun to part shade
  • Hardiness zones 6 – 9

 

LO & BEHOLD® ‘Lilac Chip’ Buddleia
BUY

LO & BEHOLD® ‘Lilac Chip’ Buddleia is my small space alternative that packs a lot of blooms and always produces beautiful clusters of fragrant, soft lavender-pink flowers which are butterfly magnets.

  • Award winning, seedless butterfly bush that won’t sow its seed around the garden
  • Flowers from midsummer to frost without deadheading
  • Dwarf, compact habit grows only 1 ½-2’ tall
  • Perfectly sized for containers and small-scale urban landscapes
  • Full sun
  • Hardiness zones 5 – 9

 

LO & BEHOLD® ‘Blue Chip Jr.’ Buddleia
BUY

LO & BEHOLD® ‘Blue Chip Jr.’ is ‘Lilac Chip’s’ younger cousin. The combination of silver-green foliage and purple flowers is gorgeous in containers and flower beds. I like this variety because it’s reblooming, non-invasive and drought-tolerant. The beneficial insects in my garden love it too.

  • Dwarf, maxes out at 1 ½ – 2’ tall
  • Rebloomer
  • Drought resistant
  • Fragrant
  • Suitable for mass plantings, containers or mixed into perennial gardens
  • Award winning
  • Full sun
  • Hardiness zones 5 – 9

 

 

 

TINY WINE® Physocarpus
BUY

Sun-loving native flowering shrub TINY WINE® Physocarpus performs as a rich dark backdrop for other neighboring blossoms in my garden as well as yielding clusters of dainty white flowers.

  • A smaller, extra bushy selection that grows just 3-5’ tall
  • Flowers bloom all up and down the stems for a showy display in late spring
  • Smaller, refined dark bronze-maroon leaves take on rich red tones in fall
  • Provides great color for smaller, low maintenance spaces
  • Mildew resistant
  • Full sun
  • Hardiness zones 3 – 7

 

MY MONET® ‘Sunset’ Weigela
BUY

I adore the myriad of colors in an evening sunset. This is why I plant MY MONET® ‘Sunset’ Weigela in the garden for its foliage and soft rosy blooms. The range and layers of sunset tones from summer to fall are the perfect support for other garden favorites.

  • Grown mostly for its season-long colorful foliage, variegated green and gold with striking red tones in fall
  • Occasionally produces soft rosy pink flowers
  • Dwarf size, 1-1 ½’ tall, makes this shrub ideal for the front of the border and containers
  • Deer resistant
  • Full sun
  • Hardiness zones 5 – 7

 

BOBO® Hardy Hydrangea
BUY

This is a good selection for those of you who garden in cold winter climates because it is so cold hardy. The form is exceptional with large, conical blooms on strong, upright stems.

  • Abundant white flowers that turn pink in autumn
  • Cold hardy
  • Dwarf size, 2 ½ – 3’ tall, a good choice for containers and small gardens
  • Full sun to part shade
  • Hardiness zones 3 – 8

 

TINY TUFF STUFF™ Mountain Hydrangea
BUY

Lacecap hydrangeas are a favorite of mine for their delicate flat flower heads. This shrub may appear dainty, but it is a continuous powerhouse of blooms all summer and into fall. Blooms grow on both new and old wood to create an incredible display of dense color.

  • Hardier buds, more reliable flowering performance
  • Abundant pink lacecap flowers, blue in acidic soil
  • Reblooms through the summer
  • Dwarf size, 1 ½ – 2’ tall
  • Full sun to part shade
  • Hardiness zones 5 – 9

 

SHOW OFF® Sugar Baby Forsythia
BUY

You know it’s spring when the forsythia is in bloom. SHOW OFF® SUGAR BABY offers more blooms than older varieties in a compact, upright form. I love to use the branches in flower arrangements.

  • One of the first blooms of spring
  • Bright yellow flowers
  • Dwarf habit, 1 ½ – 2 ½’ tall, upright habit makes it a great thriller in containers or planted en masse in flower beds
  • Deer resistant
  • Full sun
  • Hardiness zones 4 – 8

 

ANNA’S MAGIC BALL™ Arborvitae
BUY

Any size garden benefits from good bone structure and evergreens are a great plant to use to create a framework. ANNA’S MAGIC BALL™ has bright color and a round form that make it striking shrub to use as punctuation in flower beds. The tiny stature is ideal for containers.

  • Evergreen that holds its color in winter
  • Four seasons of interest
  • Bright gold foliage
  • Dwarf habit, 10 – 15” tall
  • Full sun to part shade
  • Hardiness zones 3 – 7

 

BLUE DIDDLEY® Vitex
BUY

When the vitex at Moss Mountain Farm are in bloom, they are in the spotlight. The spires of lavender blue flowers dominate the garden. BLUE DIDDLEY® makes it possible for anyone to grow this amazing shrub, no matter what the garden size.

  • Vibrant blue flowers
  • Heat tolerant
  • Dwarf habit, 3 – 6’
  • Deer resistant
  • Grows like a perennial in the north and a shrub or small tree in the south
  • Full sun
  • Hardiness zones 5 – 9

 

Photos provided by Proven Winners®.