Monday, April 28, 2008

Natural Element Gardening: Part 2

My super sweet neighbor brought over 2 boxes of Black-Eyed-Susan (Rudbeckia Goldsturm) plants for my garden. Black-Eyed-Susans were one of my great-grandmother’s favorite flowers. Where she lived they were considered a weed but she kept a garden bed of the beautiful flowers in spite of the neighbor’s objections. I carefully arranged and transplanted them around two sides of my tree stump garden. Hopefully they enjoy their new home and bloom for years to come.

My tree stump garden looked like I was making progress but I still had two neighbors stop and ask if I was going to do more. So while I was out shopping for a few other things I did some impulse plant shopping. I had to set a price limit so I only looked at plants that were under $10. After a few bags of top soil and 18 new plants the bed is looking much nicer and like there is an official plan. (If they only knew.)

The street side of the stump is going to be left grass. There are no tree knees and it is wide enough to mow. Leaving the grass there also shows off one very nice knotty tree knee which is acting as a natural boarder.

The day lilies now have two Emerald Blue creeping Phlox as a boarder plant. I’m hoping the light blue flowers on the ground will complement the tall orange flowers.

Moving to the center of the tree stump garden the replanted Black-Eyed-Susans are next to the stump. In front of them I have arranged several purple and white irises. The purple irises are Siberian Iris ‘Ceasar’s Brother' (2) and Siberian Iris Pansy Purple (1). The white irises are Germanica 'Immortality' bearded iris and Iris Sibirica Snow Queen (2). The irises have two pink Forest Hill creeping phlox to help set them off.

The third side of the tree stump garden has more Black-Eyed-Susans next to the stump but they have Tickseed plants arranged in front of them. I picked the two kinds of tickseed because they will have pretty yellow flowers which should attack butterflies. I picked Tickseed Baby Sun (2) and Tickseed Moonbeam (2). The Moonbeam Tickseed is native to this area which is an extra bonus. These little beauties have two pink and white creeping phlox called Candy Stripes to complement them.

And last but not least, I moved a container onto the stump. In the pot I planted Snow-in-summer tomentosum and Butterfly weed tuberose. The Snow-in-summer should for a nice ground cover drapping from the pot. The frosted light green leaves should be a nice back drop for the green leaves of the other plants in the garden. The Butterfly weed tuberose should grow upwards to 18-20 inches and have beautiful red flowers to attract more butterflies. With the advice of my nice gardening neighbor I moved two other pots over to join the first larger one to fill out the stump.

I have about three more feet around of tree knees to plant around but for now it is looking pretty good. It is definitely a big change from the 55+ year-old rotting maple that was there last fall.


  1. Unfortunately, perennials tend to have a specific and limited period when they're in flower. Most of these plants won't be in bloom at the same time. Creeping phlox blooms in early spring, but daylilies bloom in mid to late summer. Bearded iris blooms for about two weeks in spring. The coreopsis and the rudbeckia, though, will bloom from mid-summer through to fall.

    There's nothing wrong with nice foliage, but if you want something flowering there all season, you'll probably want to fill in with annuals.

  2. Thanks
    I was hoping to have some blossoms most of the growing season. I suspect some of the flowers will over lap and others will just take their turns. I am considering putting in some kind of annuals in between but still haven't decide on what to plant. For the sake of the budget I'm currently looking more at seeds then plants.