This week we visit Barnsley Gardens and talk with Robert
Stoney their horticulturist. We learn more about plants
that produce color in high summer, how to arrange these
plants and how to keep these plants looking good this time
and early summer flowers have now faded. If you've done
your gardening homework, if you've properly prepped your
plants, even with the extreme heat, everything should be
flourishing. We start at a Herbaceous border garden. Robert
not only has perennials in this garden but annuals as well.
Annuals may be cheating a little because they are a quick
way to get color in your garden while it takes a year to
get the full benefit of perennials. This garden is exploding
with color. Dr. Rick and Robert take a look at specific
plants and discuss their care and maintenance.
To combine plants well requires not only
a horticultural skill but an artistic skill as well. Robert
has done an excellent job, this garden doesn't look like
a plant zoo. Robert puts plants together that either contrast
or compliment each other in color, in leaf form or in texture.
One example is the bright orange Zinnia Lineris contrasting
with the more subtle purple of the Heliotrope. The Heliotrope
is a wonderful old fashioned plant, not seen much today,
but extremely popular in times past. It has a wonderful
scent, loves the heat and grows well from cuttings. Robert
grows it as an annual but it will over-winter, if brought
into a greenhouse.
Zinnia Linearis, Star Gold, is a tough
plant, with a thin leaf and related to the regular garden
Zinnia. Robert has this plant next to a regular Zinnia which
has a larger, broader leaf. The narrow leaf variety doesn't
get powdery mildew as readily as the regular variety, it
withstands the heat better and has a continuous flower.
It is self cleaning, doesn't produce an ugly seed head and
self sows, meaning you'll get plenty of little sprouts for
We look at another example of contrasting
foliage and an example of complimentary planting. The sword-like
foliage of the Iris contrasts dramatically with the more
subtle Melampodium, which has a smaller leaf. The Melampodium
is a heat lover, will survive in full sun or shade, loves
dry conditions, will self seed and is an annual. It goes
well with Black Eyed Susans. They're a slightly larger form,
with the same color, an echo, of the small Daisy-like flowers.
A great tip for gardeners - select plants with similar color
in the same family but with different sizes.
Spider Wart or Tradescant or Tradescantia
contrast well with the Zinnia. The yellows and blues contrast,
yet accent one another because they are at opposite ends
of the color spectrum.
Four O'clocks are another great stand by. They get their
name because they go in, or close up, in the morning and
come out around four in the afternoon. They are a perennial,
although some people grow it as an annual. They have deep
roots that allow it to come back for many years. Once in
the ground it will last for years because it germinates
from seed. It has a nice reddish-maroon flower and silvery
foliage. Robert has placed these next to Salvia, which bloom
in August. If these were placed next to the Phlox, because
they too are red, it would compete. But next to the blue
of the Salvia, it provides a break and it works beautifully.
Border Phlox has a bloom that is blue
with a tinge of red. Accordingly you don't want it next
to plants with orange or red blooms. This is a tall plant,
it probably has grown even taller because of excess moisture,
and needs to be staked or it would flop. Robert thinks it
best when staking a plant to do so before it gets too tall,
before it starts flopping. Put one big stake in the middle
and tie the plant to the stake. Robert has used Bamboo.
Ventilation is important with these plants because they
are susceptible to mildew, blights and fungus, especially
in wet conditions. To ensure good air circulation make sure
the plants are separated from other plants and importantly,
choose varieties that are mildew resistant. In this case
the mildew is low on the plant where it is close to other
plants and doesn't have good air circulation. You can plant
something in front that would hide the mildew. In the advanced
stages of the disease the leaves turn brown and fall off,
causing an unsightly plant. There are some Phlox cultivars
on the market that are mildew resistant. There are a number
of sprays available that stop the progression of the fungus.
As with most fungus diseases, prevention is better than
One of the most important nutrients is
Phosphorous. Phosphorous is the middle number on a fertilizer
bag and is responsible for healthy root growth. There has
been a lot of controversy about Phosphorous lately, it has
shown up in increased or excess levels in lakes and streams.
As gardeners we need to be environmentally friendly, thus
will talk about using phosphorous correctly. When getting
a lawn started or plants started we need a lot of root growth,
thus high phosphorous is needed, it's called a starter fertilizer.
Phosphorous is immobile in our soil, in other words once
it is in the soil, it stays, we don't need to have excess
amounts. That is where the problem occurs. Phosphorous is
important to get plants started, after that select fertilizers
that have a high first number. If you need something with
a lot of disease resistance and heat resistance find something
with Potassium. Be cautious, use Phosphorous only when necessary.
One of Dr. Ricks favorite perennials is
Begonia Grandis, Hardy Begonia. Although a tropical plant
it has adapted to temperate regions. It will survive frost
and come through the winter. The back of the leaf is beautiful,
the venation is incredible. It has off shoots which are
great if you want to propagate the plant. Take cuttings,
remove the shoots and put it in some potting soil, it should
root in about six weeks. Shoots will even fall off the plant,
onto the ground and root there. They produce a pod after
the flowers decline. The pods are filled with seeds, that
are like dust. There can be as many as two million seeds
per ounce. Even though this plant is herbaceous, very tender,
it rarely needs staking. It is tough and durable even with
heavy rains. If it does flop it will be replaced by a large
number of shoots that will take over and remain upright.
When moving the shoots to other parts of the garden, keep
them out of full, direct sun, at that point they are best
in half or full shade.
As we move to the end of the Herbaceous
border garden, it becomes more shady. For this area Robert
selected color schemes that were lighter and whiter so they
would be more visible and calmer. They draw the eye away
from the hot, brighter colors in the middle of the border
garden and provide a sense of peace and quiet. A sort of
resting place for the eye. Robert has chosen a lovely white
flowered plant, Double Aster. It is fine textured compared
to the neighboring Peonies and Hollyhocks. Their bigger
leaves provide a striking contrast against the delicate
Gypsophylum or Babys Breath. They also add a filling effect.
Mixed in are White Cleomes and White Phlox. Another great
stand-by in this garden is Black-Eyed Susan or Rudbeckia.
This one is Rudbeckia Hirta, it will flower through September
or October or until the first frost. In fact after the first
frost the petals will fall off and the seed heads will then
look ornamental. After that they become more cone shaped.
Rudabeckia, Indian Summer, has huge flowers that are 6-8
inches across and it will become a perennial in milder areas.
This plant contrasts nicely with the silvery foliage of
the Japanese Painted Fern. It has a lot of nice, fine textures,
does well in full shade, will tolerate full sun and bugs
don't seem to bother this plant.
Georgia visits with Katie Brown, a landscape
designer who this week shows us some beautiful containers
she has designed. Katie thinks containers add so much to
the landscape and to the home. Katie wants to make a container
interesting so she uses a variety of plants that work well
together. This container is a big urn so she needed plants
that were proportionally big enough to fit. This is a seaside
area and the container is in an area that seems at times
like a wind tunnel. She used Andromeda, a shrub, as an anchor
plant, it's tough but lacy. She's added other colors and
textures as under plantings. One, a Begonia, called Escargot
for Snail, has a fabulous leaf design with a little spiral,
colored with gray and green. She's added Potato Vine, a
chartreuse color that contrasts nicely with the Begonia.
Ivy is added and contrasts with the gray in the Begonias
well. This container is beautiful and will last all summer.
Another planter is a 19th century American
urn. In it she has placed Shrubby Gardenias. Katie likes
to place Gardenias or Dwarf Lilacs by the front or back
door because they are so fragrant. She picked up the white
theme of the Gardenias with White Petunias and White Bacopa.
Mixed in is English Ivy. The Ivy cascades over the sides,
softening the edges. Katie likes to put slow release fertilizer
in all planters so the plants will continue to be fertilized
throughout the season.
In another container Katie has used Carpet
Roses. They come in red or white and are different than
the standard Geraniums - which if not deadheaded, look terrible.
If these Roses are deadheaded they will go all summer. Also
added is Algerian Ivy, an interesting, big-leafed Ivy.
Katie has shown us some unusual containers,
Georgia thanks her for the tips.
Cemetery Lily, or Crinum Lily is a favorite
of Dr. Ricks. They last without much care and attention
and are often found in places like cemeteries. It is a hand-me-down
plant, a great heirloom plant often seen in formal gardens.
It is in the same family as Amerilus. It has a deep, well
protected bulb and it produces a great show in the summer
when a lot isn't typically going on in the garden. It is
fragrant. The variety, Ellen Bosencuait, has a strong smell.
This plant flowers over a good, long season, with 12-14
flowers coming on in succession, producing blooms through
July. You can just plant it and enjoy, it is drought resistant
because it has a huge bulb that stores water during the
winter. It's like a camel using the stored water in the
summer. It has nice, glossy strap like leaves that provide
interesting texture in the garden. It is frost sensitive,
the leaves will brown, thus it needs full protection from
a late frost. A great idea in any garden is to combine formal
elements with informal elements. Celosious Spicata or Wheat
Celosia looks like a wild flower. It is a great standby
for this time of year because it is very robust. It withstands
heat and humidity. It is related to Little Celosias that
we use as annuals. This plant gets huge, often growing to
shoulder height. It provides vertical accent. Some use it
in dried arrangements late in the season as well. The seeds
can be saved, sow them as an annual the following year.
One strategy for combining plants and
creating a garden is to compartmentalize. Robert has used
a Boxwood framework and created a Partier Garden. Partier
is a french word for part earth. The Boxwoods divide the
growing areas from the paths making neat little compartments,
almost like an individual room in your garden. They are
called rooms within the Partier. These gardens/rooms are
protected by the Boxwoods. These were designed for northwestern
Europe to keep cold out, in this environment it keeps the
heat in. In this environment when it's 90 degrees outside
the garden it's 100-110 in the garden. Thus one needs plants
that can survive that heat. Robert has massed plants that
are all white. He has chosen Madagascar Vinca or common
Annual Vinca. This Vinca is a very white, very robust, very
clear Vinca. There isn't a hint of another color in this
flower. Mixed in are Cleomes and Asiatic Lilies. The Lilies
provide a wonderful accent and are beautifully perfumed,
particularly in the evening when the perfume is particularly
intense. This garden not only looks good during the day
but also in the evening or whenever there are a lot of clouds.
Whites always come into their own in the evenings or in
half light. In fact in the moonlight they really stand out.
This garden has a monochromatic approach. The white contrasting
against the dark green makes for a very restful area. This
garden is further contrasted by a nearby garden, on the
other side of a fountain, that has dark shades.
Dr. Rick is amazed at the number of plants
that do well in the heat of the summer and thanks Robert
for showing us these beautiful gardens.
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