Posts Tagged ‘Annuals’

Old Friends, New Favorites

Corn 'Glass Gem' at

Is it too early to start looking back on this growing season, when we haven’t even had frost yet? Well, maybe, but I think we’re far enough along to have fully enjoyed the performance of some dependable favorites, as well as to fairly judge some new additions. I have a second purpose for this post, too: providing a preview for some of the seeds I hope to share in my November giveaway. (I won’t have all of these available, but many of them.)

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Annual Events – Part 3

Tradescantia zebrina with Liriope muscari 'Variegata', Sedum rupestre 'Angelina' and seedlings of Sunshine Blue caryopteris (Caryopteris incana ‘Jason’) at

Finally, the last part of the Annual Events series – good news for those of you who like annuals and even better new for those of you who are getting tired of them by now. This one focuses on annuals and tender perennials with outstanding foliage paired with other terrific foliage or flowering plants.

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Filling in for Fall

Front garden mid Sept 06

No matter how carefully I plan, no matter how perfect the growing conditions, it’s inevitable that I find gaps in the garden in late summer. Clearly, I’m not alone, or there wouldn’t be such a market for potted mums in September. Thing is, it’s tough to find holes exactly the right size for big potted fillers, and the dense, mounded form of container-grown mums make it hard to have them look loose and comfortable, instead of like blobs dropped into the garden. With a little advance planning, annuals can be a much better-looking option for filling spaces and adding fall color.

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Sow-Hoe Gardens

Celosia seedlings

Text and photos ©Nancy J. Ondra

A month or two ago, I read a blog post somewhere on low-maintenance gardening, and one of the tips was to avoid self-sowing plants. I’ve been pondering that ever since. In many ways I agree wholeheartedly, especially in the case of self-sowing perennials. Being confronted with thousands of bronze fennel or hundreds of golden lemon balm seedlings can do that to a person. (To be fair, I completely accept the blame for that; if I’d have spent just a few minutes deadheading them last year, I would have saved hours of weeding them out now.) When it come to annuals, though, I consider the self-sowers to be some of my most valuable time-savers. Continue reading

Three Neat Plants – Late July


Text and photos ©Nancy J. Ondra

First, I’d like to welcome all of the new readers to Hayefield. As some of you who have been here before guessed, the special garden visitor I mentioned in my last post was Anne Raver of the New York Times. It was such a surprise that she wanted to write an article (Where Foliage Eclipses Flowers); I figured she and my two editors from Storey were just looking for an afternoon of garden touring. You can imagine what a lot of plant talk four garden nerds can fit into just a few hours.

While the attention has been fun, it’s also great to finally have some time to get back to blogging – especially blogging about neat plants. As usual, it was hard to choose just three, but I’ve ended up with something old, something sort of new, and something I think will be very new to most of you. Continue reading

Three Neat Plants – Late June

Bupleurum rotundifolium June 27 08

Text and photos ©Nancy J. Ondra

Despite our depressingly hot and dry weather this month, great-looking plants are coming along faster than I can write about them. One of my favorites of the moment is the sadly underused annual known as thoroughwax or hare’s ear (Bupleurum rotundifolium). Looking very much like an airy euphorbia, though it’s more closely related to dill, fennel, and other umbellifers, it grows anywhere from 12 to about 30 inches here, with a single main stem that branches heavily toward the tips and beautiful blue-green foliage. Below is a closeup of the blooms and a leaf. Continue reading