Ok – I thought it was a gorgeous, drought-tolerant addition to a hanging basket. I was so pleased with the look of the white stonecrop when it started to flower in July. The blooms looked great for a month or so. I was stoked.
AND then, as nature progresses, the flowers turned to seed heads. hmmm. Brown. Kinda messy looking. .. My inner tidy freak cringes. 😦 An over-tidy garden isn’t all that great for wildlife.
And THEN we went camping for a couple weeks in early September & I didn’t have to control my urge to deadhead the perfectly good birdseed.
Now, autumn is arriving & with it cooler temperatures + some moisture. The licorice ferns are coming alive.
The messy seed heads of the sedum album are overshadowed. Crisis averted.
Last year the ferns on our rocky outcrop were not surviving the appetite of our local deer. Shifting sheets of moss that the licorice ferns were growing in & creating a basket hanging above the reach of Bambi has proved successful. 🙂 The baskets promise to hold my interest through the humidity of fall & winter,
So now the question: Is there anything I could plant to distract from the brown look through August & early September until the licorice fern becomes The Show? It needs to be drought tolerant & happy in a bit of shade …. Any suggestions?
I know myself well enough to avoid plants requiring too much moisture. Hanging baskets typically require far more attention than I’m prepared to give, so I’ve created a (relatively) drought-tolerant one.
It turns out White Stonecrop is tough enough to survive under my care. Yeah, baby! (It gets an 8 oz. glass of water every afternoon when I get home from work.)
This discovery was a fluke, really. A couple Sedum album were already growing in the moss I peeled off some rock to create the basket liner. I popped a small reservoir in the bottom before adding the soil & other plants. A few spare sedums went on top for good measure. They grew & exceed my expectations. 🙂
Have you got any other ideas for tough-as-nails, drought-tolerant baskets?
It’s easy to tell the Great Camas flower from the Common Camas flower, especially in our garden.
Each May, Great Camas blooms naturally in the full sun of an open meadow. That said, it’s also happy with a bit of dabbled shade along the forest edge. (Common Camas is a stickler for full sun.) So, if you see Camas flowering in our garden borders, it’s Camassia leichtlinii.
Great Camas blossoms open gradually from bottom to top. Sometimes the flowers at the bottom of the spike are finishing while the very top is yet to begin. (Common Camas blooms in more of a rush to open all at the same time. I’m trying to restore a Camassia quamash meadow in some deeper soil around our rocky outcropping.)
The spent petals of Great Camas twist themselves into a hug. (Common Camas petals die back willy-nilly without even thinking about tidying up).
While the strappy Camas leaves naturally wither to the ground, feeding the bulb for next year’s bloom, I enjoy the decorative seed heads amongst the supporting foliage of other perennials. The glossy black seeds feed birds (and deer) or eventually drop to sprout in the spring.
In the meantime, the Calla Lily follows with its elegant summer flower. Later, simple pink Japanese Anemone flowers float in the breeze atop tall stems. Then the Viburnum ‘pink dawn’ entertains me through winter. Together, they all make good garden companions.