Who doesn’t adore butterflies and hummers? Who doesn’t love (and more importantly NEED) bees? As I’m sure that everyone (unless you’ve been stuck under a rock!) knows, our pollinators are in trouble. So I say…..Contrary Mary Plantheads to the Rescue! It is our DUTY to raise plants that provide food for not only the adult stage but for the larval stage also. With that in mind, right now is the PERFECT time to plant milkweed (Asclepias). It is the Perennial Plant of the Year, and is food for both the adults and caterpillars (so if you see someone shewing on your plant, that is A-OK as it is made for that!). Some other pollinator necessities are parsley, Echinacea, Hostas (yep, hummers ADORE their flowers), natives such as Liatris and many other beautiful and useful plants. Just remember to keep your yard pesticide, herbicide, and GMO free to give these pollinators their best chance. Good for you AND the environment!
Okay, raise your hands…..how many of you are sick of those borrrrring little yellow daylily squibs that are insidiously taking over the world? How many of you think only of them when I say the word Daylilies? HA! Have I got a surprise for YOU! Didja know there are about a GAZILLION others whose flowers can even be up to 12″ across? Didja know that some of them have ruffily fluffily edges that Garden Fairies (and Better Than Garden Fairies, see aforementioned post) love to rest upon? Didja know some daylilies have heavenly fragrance? Didja know you can have daylilies in bloom from late spring to frost? Well, now ya know! Right now is a maaaaahvelous time to come out and see some of these wondrous lovelies for yourself. For all you newbie gardeners, they are easy and VERY striking, and compliment and play very well with other perennials. We are growing round about 100 varieties or so, from near black to pure white ones, fragrant ones, spiders…..you know you’ve GOT to get some!
Sorry for the delay in posting…..busy busy busy! Today I wanted to introduce you to our newest Contrary Creatures. So you know how fairy gardening is big, big, big now? Well, I have PROMISED to Champion some other members of the Ethereal Enchanted Environs who are saying what about us??? I am talking about the Trolls, Pixies, Dragons, Frogs, Gnomes, and other denizens of the Secret Garden World who are not getting the press that they deserve! I told them I would come up with a term for them that would catapult them to fame, hence the moniker “Better Than Fairies”. You HAD to figure I would be enthralled with the Contrary Side of fairy gardening, right?! Sooooo….TADA….. here are some “gotta-haves” that will bring some magic into your garden and will make you grin. Available for adoption to the right homes; I even have some mini gardens already created that would make maaaaaahvelous presents (to yourself or others!). Come on out and see—-betcha can’t resist!
Don’t forget our summer hours are now in effect. We are CLOSED on July 4th and always closed on Mondays, open Tuesdays thru Saturdays 9a-5p and Sundays 10a-3p. See ya soon!
G’Day Plantheads….I thought our discussion for the day should be the Glory of Peonies, as they are just about ready to burst into bloom! I like to say that Peonies are the Mother Teresas of Plantdom, as they just give and give and expect nothing in return. Treat them right and you can will them to your Grandchildren…..what’s not to love about that! You can also have them blooming for about six weeks if ya pick the right varieties…. A mix of early, mid and late bloomers and you’ll be all set! I’ve got a bunch of beauties in pots right now that can be planted. If I need to dig I can’t safely do so until the fall, but order ‘em early cuz I sell out, and if ya snooze ya looze! Here’s a few pics of the ones that are in pots….I just swoon looking at them!
Pictures as shown, starting top left: Bride’s Dream, Ave Maria, Bashful Pink, Don Richardson. Aren’t they AWESOME?!!!
Even though the weather did not cooperate last summer (and what else is new), I had some maaaahvelous successes, especially with some newbies in pots. I would HIGHLY recommend that EVERYONE try some of the plants from the Dwarf Tomato Projects….I have not yet met one I didn’t like! I especially adore the black ones. If you are looking for richness of taste, real tomatoey-tomatoes (and you know what I mean), they are da BOMB! Did I mention how gorgeous they are too? Some of my FAVE dark ones are Perth Pride, Dwarf Wild Fred, Tennessee Suited (a new one for me in 2016), and Rosella Purple. Some other ones new for me last year and “gotta-haves” in the series are Sweet Scarlet, Loxton Lad (an outstanding orange!), and Dwarf Sweet Sue (my favorite yellow EVER!).
I also grew the following “regular” size tomatoes in pots for 2016: Girl Girl’s Weird Thing (oh yes, she’s a keeper WITH a cool name!), Wooly Blue Wine (the MOST adorable fuzzy plant with delish beautiful fruit), Cosmic Eclipse (out of this world…sorry!), Persuasion (another awesome one), and Thessaloniki (my FAVORITE all around red tomato).
So I guess the bottom line is that you can very successfully grow awesome tomatoes in the ground and in pots! Just always remember to use plenty of organic material (I adore worm castings and Tomato Tone) and cage or stake them (cuz they get so much fruit they may just topple over and take the pot with them)!
More later my Loyal Plantheads……
Just thought I’d post a picture of one of our raised veggie beds from last year…..can HARDLY wait til we get some plants looking and producing like this! Spring just keeps teasing us, and if we EVER get rid of this rain we just may be able to get out and PLANT!
Welcome to our brand spankin new CONTRARY MARY BLOG!!! I am soooo excited to be able to share some of my “great ” thoughts and observations with you, and update you as to what you NEEED for your own Little Piece of Paradise.
We are now OFFICIALLY open for the season, and the babies are lookin good! I went a WEE bit crazy this year (what else is new!) and am growing over 90 varieties of Heirloom Tomato plants, scads of way-cool annuals (you should see some of these astounding coleus and petunias….wowzers!), loads of sassy succulents, and of course many other “gotta-haves”! I just want to highlight a few of our newbies in this first blog entry, just to get your gardening itch going.
For today, I want to highlight just a few new maters that I am excited about. As you may know, I just ADORE the Dwarf Series of tomatoes, and this year I can hardly wait to try the following:
Willa’s Caribou Rose
Doesn’t she look lovely and delish? All that lushiness on a compact plant that you can grow in a pot!
This one is a cross between New Big Dwarf and Paul Robeson and is supposed to rival the flavor of Cherokee Purple…..surely can’t get better than that!
That’s all for now….check back for more Musings and Meanderings….Over and Out!