Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Lots more flowers in the vegetable garden

The flowers are just as important as the fruits and vegetables in our vegetable garden, since the garden is in a conspicuous place. A vegetable patch can be ugly in the middle of summer. Picture corn stalks falling over and tomatoes and cantaloupe vines running amok and then dying spectacularly. This ruining usually occurs in the middle of summer when I'm more concerned with avoiding heatstroke than tidying the vegetable garden after I've completed the rest of my chores.

In the beginning the vegetable garden was quite open.



The roses were small. This swamp rose is now over 6 feet tall.

So I planted a lot of seed grown Gulf Coast penstemon to fill in the gaps.

Belinda's Dream in 2008, before being grown over by the swamp rose and 'Veilchenblau'.

The flowers in the vegetable garden are around the perimeter, with the exception of the perennial sweet pea. We used a little metal stand for the sweet pea, which served its purpose for a couple of years before snapping off at the bottom in a wind storm. Later the sweet pea grew on the teepee with the Marabar spinach before that fell over too.

Lovely but not fragrant alas.

For a while there was also a Sombreuil rose on the wires
also meant for raspberry vines. The garden in 2010.

Then the raspberry died and 'Sombreuil' is much too thorny to have in the inevitably tight quarters of a vegetable garden. G. ended up taking the wires down.

The picture below is from spring 2012. All of the roses have sized up except for 'Hansa'. Some of my rugosa hybrids (Hansa and my 'Therese Bugnet' seedling) had severe dieback over the winter last year. After a mild dry winter?? The TB seedling may be gone and the 'Hansa's are still struggling. I hope they don't come down with RRD this year. I've noticed some roses showing a decline before showing full-blown symptoms. Will have to wait and see.

See how much better Hansa looked in 2011?

These rugosas (seedlings of R. rugosa rubra and 'Hansa') need to be cut back to allow more room in the garden, but they do make a good hedge. Deer don't eat the rugosas here and the way the vegetable garden is designed/ has turned out there aren't many easy ways out, so I think they may help keep the deer out. If the deer were hungry enough they would eat everything, but that hasn't been the case so far.

'Pink Pillar' is one of the two truly warm-colored roses I have, both of which are climbers. 'Crepuscule' is the other one. The predominance of cool-colored roses is more the result of natural selection than personal choice, but this way the warm-colored roses make a lot of splash in an ocean of cool colors.

The combination of orange and candy pink somehow works with this rose.

The drainage in the part of the bed next to the drive is half dry, half wet, because the run-off from the roof of the house and from further up the hill runs down the edge of the bed and seeps under the rocks the keep the bed from washing out. The wild Indian strawberry loves the moisture and has formed a thick carpet on its own under the swamp rose and the other plants.

DH buried a 2" pipe that carries the overflow from one of the rain barrels to the edge of the
vegetable garden, next to the R. Palustris scandens. Louisiana iris 'Sinfonietta' thrives there.

Broccoli, sweet peas, Antique Rose Emporium Rosa palustris scandens, rugosa, and 'Veilchenblau'.

R. palustris scandens


Buddleia 'Petit Indigo' is just far enough away from the edge to keep its toes out of the damp. As you can see the term "petit" is just for the size of the flower panicles and the leaves, not the actual size of the plant.

Hibiscus 'Anne Arundel', Phlox 'David's Lavender', and Formosa Lily. The hibiscus is a seedling of 'Anne Arundel'. I love the deep pink color of the flowers. The plant itself is tall and slender, unlike my light pink hibiscus which is more a round shape.

There's room for a few daylilies next to the driveway as well, although they're started to get a little crowded out.

'Pandora's Box'

I don't know the name of the pink daylily ~ it may be a seedling.


'Meriam White'

The north end of the bed gets a lot of moisture as the water that runs next to the bed at the edge of the drive turns and heads toward the ditch and eventually into Middle Creek. This area is home to seashore mallow, more daylilies,

Iris japonica,

amaryllis (Hippeastrum x johnsonii) and crinum. Crinum bulbispermum doesn't have a good fragrance but it's a striking plant, with its tall umbels of blooms and long curving tapered leaves. I bought it a few years ago at Plant Delights and stuck it in dry spot (ironically in the floodplain, on a small ridge that's still feet lower than where it is now), where it sulked. Once moved to richer, wetter soil it started putting up scapes of pink and white flowers with regularity.

Next to C. bulbispermum there is a white crinum and Crinum 'Ellen Bosanquet', a crinum from the 1920's that in my opinion may still be the loveliest out there. I got this crinum in a trade but am 99% sure this is Ellen based on the flowers, and although not apparent in these pictures, the distinctive ruffle-edged foliage. Both of my white crinums (a pure white from Niche that blooms early and 'Royal White' (C. digweedii), which blooms later and repeats) and Ellen are sweetly fragrant. Each one has a distinct perfume. The Niche crinum is just wonderfully sweet, 'Royal White' reminds me of Ivory soap (as does H. x johnsonii), and 'Ellen Bosanquet' has warm spicy undertones.


  1. The pink daylily might be Catherine Woodbury..does that sound familiar.

    Sweetbay, I am always astounded to see the bounty of roses in your yard. How magnificent and healthy they all look, not to mention that petite buddleia ;-)

    1. Thank you Bren! I don't think this day lily is Catherine Woodbury, although that one is on my want list. I think CW is taller, without the darker pink eye ring and more of a lilac pink. But I'll have to order it to be sure!

  2. Once again another stunningly beautiful post filled with so much beauty that surrounds you. sigh! I love your purple color scheme. I had Crepuscule, but she died. I should have tried rooting cuttings of her, which makes me think I should try some with the roses I do have right now. I hate it when they die. Your photos are always an inspiration to me to keep working in my humble little gardens.

    Hugs ~ FlowerLady

  3. As usual, all your pictures are glorious! I know it takes lots of hard work to keep all that going!!!

  4. Your garden speaks of quiet joy. All the blues and pinks are so serene. As always, I am enchanted. :)

  5. Absolutely beautiful!! In the 12th picture down there is a plant with blue flowers. Can you tell me what that is? I have Hansa but I've let it get ginormous!! I've got to get out there and trim it back...I think it will be healthier when I do. I really, really hope your roses don't have RRD...that would be just horrible! Keep us updated.

    1. Hi Christy, thank you! The plant with the blue flowers is an Amsonia. That one's a tabernaemontana/ hubrichtii hybrid.

  6. I love how you fill your large spaces with loveliness!

    I wonder if the butterfly bushes that I was thinking were dwarf are what you have. The leaves and blooms are small, but the bushes get pretty tall. I have taken to cutting them back when they get taller than I want.

  7. Yours is just as a garden should be! Very lovely. The Louisiana iris 'Sinfonietta' is such a good color.
    I've been trying to figure out how improve the support system for my perennial sweet pea. Just have a short trellis, so I just get a lot of spraw

  8. What is pictures in the very top left photo? It's beautiful. :o) I love 'Veilchenblau'. Love love love!

    1. Casa that is also Veilchenblau! It looks more pink when it first opens and then turns more of a purple color and finally blue and gray shades are added to the purple. It's like some sort of color experiment!

  9. You have so many wonderful colour combinations going on. I love the free flowing forms of the rose bushes, not to mention the glorious pinks and apricots, especially the one photo of the rose with a pink blush on the outer petals :)

  10. I am the first time here and I was very surprised to see so many beautiful roses in a large garden, enjoyed looking around and wow what a colour, love the Crinums, Irises and daylilies too. I will be back and a new follower.

  11. Plants that love wet and have such beautiful blooms - I had to look up Crinums after seeing your photos. Sadly my garden is too cold for them so I'll have to enjoy yours vicariously. What a treat they are for the eyes.

  12. sweetbay, wonderful flowers, and large garden!
    I love irises, nice color, and the daylilies next to the driveway are awesome, especially the cream-yellow one!

  13. I love the antique roses and the orange/pink colored rose. I'm always a little bit jealous after viewing your garden.

  14. Thank you for a rose "fix"! Great photography, as always. I am sorry some of your roses declined, I hope they come back eventually.

  15. What a nice post Sweetbay! I had to look through a couple of times. Your roses always blow me away! I do not have room for shrub roses, but I have my eye on the vacant lot next door. Dare I sneak I few in there? I used to have perennial sweet peas in my old garden, but have failed to find a spot for them here. I must try again this year to find them a nice, sunny spot. Love that bright blue iris and the trumpet lilies, especially the tall white ones and the pink that ends the post. So very pretty!!

  16. I thought at first all this was blooming in your garden right now, and I was so envious! But then I read on and felt a little better:) I love the photos of the sweetpeas--they brought back so many memories. My grandmother grew them along a fence next to her flower garden, and we moved to their farm when I was a girl, so I remember many childhood summers admiring the sweetpeas.

  17. I love the clors and plants in your garden! Blues all hues are my favorite colour in the garden! Here we are in the midst of another snowfall! Spring is somewhere close..I hope!

  18. Is RRD rose replant disease? Some swear by adding mycorrhizal fungi at planting. Anyway, perhaps 2013 will be the year to eclipse all previous. Roses do well for you, beautiful.

    1. RRD is Rose Rosette Disease, a deadly incurable witch's broom that is spread by windborne mites. :(

  19. Sweetbay, Your veggie garden is a dreamy one . . . I hope the deer continue to leave it all alone and luckily you must not have rabbits! As I look out on a cold snowy landscape these images of your world (coming again soon) are intoxicating. We all have our better years . . . here is hoping your roses will have a great one for you. Happy Spring!

  20. Happy spring, Sweetbay! Your garden has such a romantic, wild quality, and I love how you have your veggie garden surrounded by roses! Disease and death are unfortunately part of gardening, but I hope those problems will be minimized in your garden this year.


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