A self-proclaimed “plant geek,” Cheryl received her Horticulture degree at Milwaukee Area Technical College. She spent many years working in the Otter Creek Landscape division and at John Michael Kohler Arts Center gardens. She’s now the office manager for The Wreath Factory and Otter Creek Landscape. Check out her blog for tips, travels and things that pop up in her garden.


Lots Blooming Now
by Cheryl Walsh - posted 07/30/14

This is the time of year when I look forward to seeing lots of flowers in the gardens.  Some of my favorites are hydrangea, coneflower, liatris, agastache, yarrow and betony.


The orange flower is Echinacea purpurea "Hot Papya.'  I have to say this is my favorite coneflower with it's pompom center and drooping petals.  I have four of these perennials in my garden and will probably buy some more.  Behind it is Liatris spicata or gayfeather with it's spikes of purple blooms.  The light and airy white flower in the picture is Scabiosa Pincushion Flower.  This cottage garden was once a very neat and tidy garden before we had some issues and needed to dig up the septic pipe that runs through this flower bed.  There were some casualties as my husband call it whenever one of my plants disappears when we had repair work done.  So last year, I decided to let the garden be natural and whatever happens happens.  So wherever there was a bare spot, I transplanted some agastache, knautia or penstemon so now there is not any open areas.


This new garden is the home of three Hydrangea arborescens 'Invincibelle Spirit' with it's pink blooms.  This blooms early summer to frost and tends to droop so I have some short fencing holding them up so they don't hug the ground.



This is one of my 32 hydrangeas (15 different types) that I have and it is Hydrangea paniculata 'Great Star'.  It is somewhat new to my garden and I am hoping that this year it will give me lots of starry blooms.  Right now it is about 5' tall but can get 6-7'.



These hydrangeas can be seen from a far as it is Hydrangea arborescens 'Incrediball'.  The stems are sturdy and don't flop even with the extra large blooms.  The coneflowers are Echinacea purpurea 'Bravado' and are 4' tall.  The splash of yellow is from Helianthus or perennial sunflower.  I am not sure of the cultivar as it was one of those that I acquired in a plant swap.

Besides redoing an entire landscape bed in the front of my house (I'll show you pictures soon), it has been a year of lots of weeding, pruning and dealing with rabbits.  I am finding that I may have planted some shrubs too close together so I will have to decide if I need to move some this fall or heavily prune.  I guess shrubs really get as big as the plant tag says it will.  Well we all learn from our mistakes.  The rabbits also enjoyed the vegetables I planted for them while I was in England for two weeks.  My husband got frustrated and surprised me with a wire fence around our 24'  X 24' vegetable garden and then I within days of getting back I planted some more bean, pea, kohlrabi and beet seeds.  It may be a while before I can harvest any of those vegetables.

Happy gardening everyone!




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