After gardening in semi-arid Colorado for nearly 40 years, Debbie returned to her native state three years ago and has been learning how to garden in a totally different climate -– more rain, more heat, the dreaded heat-index, more bugs, and certainly more weeds.

Perennials are her passion and discovering and trying new plants is her addiction. She's also become a vegetable gardener on her two acre retreat in the country. Besides outdoor gardening, Debbie loves houseplants, especially succulents, begonias, and gesneriads, especially in the winter months when nothing else is blooming. As a new Master Gardener, she's trying to convince her neighbors that growing flowers is just as rewarding as growing corn.

 

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The Ever-Changing Garden
by Debbie Griffith - posted 04/22/14

The harsh winter here in Eastern Kentucky has brought unanticipated changes to the garden. Most of the perennials survived the sub-zero temperatures but several rose bushes and shrubs didn't fare as well. So far I've removed three rose bushes. The Sweet Autumn Clematis (Clematis paniculata) which had flourished the past three seasons and rewarded me with vast quantities of fall fragrant blooms is no more. The Heavenly bamboo (Nandina domestica) which produced numerous red berries just in time for Christmas decorations didn't survive the January cold. I've pruned it back nearly to the ground and was pleased to see the stalks were still showing green so I'm hopeful it will revive. The empty spaces left by the dead bushes will soon be replaced with new varieties of flowers. This is the fourth season for my garden and several of the perennials need to be divided, and I have some aggressive thugs who need to be removed. Here's a bit of advice: never grow loosestrife in the ground. If you choose to add it to your garden, grow it in a container so as to control its spread. Otherwise, it will take over. The 35 mini-terrariums I made from 2-liter Diet Pepsi bottles are loaded with new seedlings which will go outside in a couple of weeks. I'd say that about 90% of the terrariums have seedlings which equates to lots of new plants. As the garden awakens from its winter dormancy, it is as though long-time friends have returned for a visit, and I greet each of them with anticipation and excitement. Gotta go for now. The postal carrier just delivered a plant order.
 

 

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