Thursday, March 24, 2011

Some Spring Successes and Some, Not So Much

Spring has burst forth with an abundance of dogwoods opening all over our landscape.   The big things; trees and shrubs, are easily seen in the garden as they bud and leaf out.  In our garden we added 5 dogwoods, all in various stages of opening.  The native ones in the woods around us are further along. 

Under this Dogwood and in between the Hellebore I scattered some seeds.  Lona, A Hocking Hills Gardener, sent me some seeds last summer.  I had admired her Nicotianas and she sent me some of those and a couple varieties of Columbine.  Columbine should be scattered in the fall/winter.  This is the area between the Hellebore---

There are lots of leaves and pinecones and pinestraw on my garden floor.  This is the semi-shady garden.  I have oaks and hickory and some elm in my garden area.  This fall I let the leaves stay where they fell, adding to my mulch layer.  When the seeds were scattered I moved all the mulch off to the side and made sure of good seed to soil contact.  Well, now I wanted to find these little seedlings.  Like I said, some were under the Dogwood and some between the Hellebore. 

Success in both locations!!! Hallelujah!  Not sure if they will continue to thrive, they are so small and the dogs still run through the garden.  I try to plant tender things near a tree or shrub to protect it.  Keep your fingers crossed!

During the hottest and driest part of the summer/fall I thought these tiny Astillbes were getting enough water.  After looking more closely at the Dogwood they were planted in front of and seeing it showing signs of needing water, I wondered if these Astillbe would make it.  I planted ten little plugs of a pink variety.  Yesterday I counted 10 little plants!!  Woo hooo.

Out front I have some bulbs in the driest, worst soil --- near where we had planted 'Little Bluestem' grasses.  I have a sundial and thought some Muscari and Daffodils surrounding it would be nice.  Another success story!  The Daffodils are blooming yet, but they are all up. 

Three Rhus aromatica 'Lo Grow' are starting to leaf out.  Very nice.
 This is growing along the bank near the water.  It will be nice as it fills in.  Right now there are just three sprigs....but they are alive and growing!

Also on the bank are five Geranium 'Rozanne', and yes, all five are accounted for.  Hoping they are happy in this location as it will bring some nice color to the bank.

Yes, there are two Loropetalum left...out of 8.  The deer took them out of the ground, rootball and all.  The two that are left are blooming right now...this is a small success.

Now, my 'Not So Much' category-- I bought 24 plugs of Ajuga 'Burgundy Glow' and planted it in a few locations.  Of those 24 plants, I have found ONE returning.  Now there may be more still under the leaf litter, but so far I have not found any.

How did your garden fair over the winter?  Successes or Not So Much? 

©Copyright 2011 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.


  1. Very good success indeed. I always worry about what will come back here too. The ajuga you planted I've had it die on me. So I tried another variety only to have it die. Tried it again and still it died. Finally I have some coming back. I have the straight blue kind in a moist spot down low and it is doing great. I think it awesome you found some seedlings.

  2. You've had some great success with your plantings Janet. Unlike you I don't have to deal with deer pulling my plants out rootball and all. :( But overall I'm seeing all of the things I planted last fall returning except for the seeds I scattered. Oh well, win some lose some that's the name of the game.

  3. Looks good! It's so exciting to see all these little guys getting out! And I love your blog's header photo! As for my garden, I think I will have some victims...

  4. Oh, the deer decimating those Loropetalum -- that would make me soooooo mad! I haven't tried Ajuga here yet, had it in a previous garden where it took over.

    It's great you have seedlings! They're so cute.

  5. Looks like you have had more successes than failures, Janet, and that's always cause for celebration. Most of my perennials aren't coming up yet, so it's too soon to tell if I've lost anything. I'm especially worried about two hydrangeas and an azalea I planted late last summer when it was so dry. If they survived the winter, I'll be tickled pink. Right now, though, I hope everything holds off for a little while--we have freezing temperatures once again.

  6. I've found that I did loose more from the harsh winter we had. I just don't think I replace them. Just take care of what I have left.
    Grasses are my thing now. lol

  7. Bummer about the ajuga. I hope that there are enough other plants to make up for that loss.
    I have tried for years to get Aspen to grow in my yard and they just get overwhelmed by the harsh sun. Yet they flourish in my neighbors yard. Yikes.

  8. Those green dogwood blooms are just adorable! Makes me so excited to see mine in a few months. Last year my Stellar Pink dogwood didn't put out a lot of bloom - not sure if that's because it's planted in too much shade or if more maturity will fix the issue. Wait and see, huh :-)

  9. All in all looks like you had good success. It's kind of like a treasure hunt searching for plants this time of year. No sign of either of my 'Rozannes' so far, I'll be sad if they don't come back.
    Your Dogwoods are way ahead there, it'll be a good month before they bloom here.

  10. Hi Janet, We are still snow covered here. After the big snow storm we had the other day, the sun came out and the weather warmed a little, but not enough to make any sizable dent in the snow. Even though I have nothing up yet in the garden, I was out back looking at one of my Japanese Maples just the other day. I am sad to report that it is looking as if it has been badly beaten by the long cold winter. We will see in a few weeks for sure... Enjoy your weekend!

  11. It looks like many more successes than not! I think here there were less losses than usual, although it's still a little early to tell. I never know if they're due to wet cold, heaving or evil voles.

  12. I love the dogwood flowers, and how wonderful to have so many successes. So sorry about your poor ajugas - and the deer-ravaged Loropetalum, such beautiful flowers, I can see that more would be even better.

    I am still waiting with fingers crossed to see if some things pop up again - I think the Echinacea are just slow rather than dead, not so sure about the Nepeta, and we have definitely lost a Phormium and a Pittosporum. Overall, not too bad though.

  13. well you have lots of successes!

    2 of my 3 hydrangeas died and none of my 3 azaleas are going to bloom this year. oh well.

    have a great weekend!

  14. That's interesting about the Ajuga. Perhaps it just isn't a good area for it? It seems to do fine here in VA. Now as for all of your other plants, congratulations. On the seeds, especially...that's good news! I hope the Nicotiana will grow and thrive;-) Too bad about that lovely Lorapetalum...those darn deer! What you have left, though, looks gorgeous. Well, good luck finding just the right spot for the Ajuga, or perhaps finding a different variety that might work better.

  15. what a wonderful gardener you are!
    my peonies are budding, the dogwoods are fluffy and white, spring is an amazing time!

  16. Very lovely the first picture flowers, have a nice spring, greeting from Belgium

  17. I think you've had much more success than failures too Janet. I remember you planting a lot last fall. It's a little early here to tally up the casualties but I'm sure the 20 below temperatures we experienced will bring about some losses. Here's hoping you find more surprises for all your efforts.

  18. The wonder of spring, seeing life renewed from seeming death! I enjoyed the tour of your garden and am glad to see that your successes are greater than the losses.

  19. Love the Loro. Those pink blossoms are so pretty. I noticed honeybees on my muscari which makes me glad I had them. It's always nice to feed the bees.

  20. Janet, of course you need your namesake rose! How fun to have a whole garden of plants with special names. Princess Alexandra is close to my daughter's name, and she does think she's a princess, so I expect that someday she'll like that rose a lot.

  21. tina, yes, on the whole I have had a lot of successes, but you just have to wonder about those ajuga!

    Racquel, I hope the deer have moved on! With all this new spring growth I should spray some stinky stuff but we have had a lot of rain.....

    Tatyana, it is very exciting to find little things popping through the soil! Thanks, glad you like the header! Tina made the 'Queens Garden' sign for me.

    Alison, I was dumbfounded by the deer when it happened, it was well after all the things had been planted. It WAS during hunting season....maybe they were outside their usual territory??

    Rose, I am celebrating indeed! I have some shrubs that really took a toll this winter, I do see signs of green leaves coming from the lower regions, hope your hydrangeas and azalea make it through.

    Lola, That is a great attitude! Grasses are certainly easier to care for than some other plants!

    Rosey, I know!! I have some seed pots going with some Borage, not really a ground cover, but fun none the less. Wonder what the difference between your neighbor's and your gardens?? That would be a good mystery to solve.

    VW, I get excited when the buds start opening! Stellar Pink comes out a little later too doesn't it?

    Catherine, it certainly is a treasure hunt!! I can't wait for things to be large enough that I can see them from at least 5 feet away. We have been having some rain, so the dogwoods are really showing their stuff now!

    Jennifer, I am so sorry to hear you are still snow covered, oh man. I enjoy snow for about a day, then it can go! One of my Japanese maples has some bark damage that I believe is from the cold. Hope it is ok. Hope yours is as well.

    sweetbay, I have found a few holes in the garden and two missing Coreopsis right by one of the holes. Evil is right!!
    Thought of you yesterday when I got the Baptista, it is one of the yellow ones-- Solar Flare

    Janet, Winter has been hard on many of us hasn't it? I love Nepeta-- am going to get some this spring whenever I see it.

    Ginger, I am sorry to hear that you had such losses! what a shame.

    Jan, It is interesting--I keep thinking it is just under the leaf litter and will pop out and surprise me.

    Jilda, Wow, thanks! I have a lot of trial and errors-- but you are right, spring is an amazing time.

    Retriever, thanks so much for visiting!! I will come over to your blog to say hi.

    Kathleen, yes, more successes than failures, but perhaps it is too early here for some things too. thanks!

    Chris, thanks for coming along on the tour and come back again.

    Grace, I think the blooms on the Loro are almost whimsical. I haven't noticed the bees on the muscari, but they could be there and I didn't notice.

    VW, thanks!! I just received Clematis 'Rebecca' so now I need to get the others ordered.


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