Category Archives: Look for this plant

Wordless Wednesday



Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday April 13, 2016

reblooming Darwin tulips

Spring blossoms promise summer fruits

Fruit plants produce some of the prettiest flowers

Peaches, blueberries and strawberries are blooming and beautiful this year. The raspberries and blackberries are not blooming yet.

The tree is covered with pale pink blooms.

The tree is covered with pale pink blooms.

You don’t need acres of land to enjoy home-grown fruit. My peach orchard is one dwarf tree. The blueberry patch is four containers on the steps of the deck. The strawberry field is a 4′ square raised bed.

IMG_9015 (1)

These soft pink flowers or the promise of peaches to come. Stark Saturn Peach is also known as a donut peach.

The donut peach is a white fleshed freestone, just 2¼-2¾” in diameter. Sweet fruit and heavy producer the years we survive long, harsh winters and late frosts. Even without a peach crop, this beautiful peach blossom floral display every spring is reason enough to own this tree.

I got my peach tree from Stark Brothers. The tree is about 8′ tall. Because it is a self-pollinating tree, Stark® Saturn Peach is a great choice for small space gardens.

Ozarks Beauty Strawberry plants are loaded with white flowers



Imagine the berries.

Imagine the berries.

Scarlet red Ozarks Beauty is ever-bearing with a heavy, first wave of fruit. It should continue with a light production of berries through frost. After that early flush of fruit, strawberry production in my garden becomes occasional. Usually the wildlife score these occasional berry before I discover them.

I started with 25 plants in a 4′ x 4′ raised bed with one 3′ x 3′ tier. Plants were sparse. In this third year, the beds are lush and full of plants covered with blooms. It can take 2-3 years to really produce a good crop. So, this is the year! Maybe, in addition to strawberry shortcake, there will be enough for a small batch of strawberry freezer jam.

Get strawberry plants from Stark Bro’s, Gurney’s, or Jung Seed.

Blooming Blueberries

blueberry blooms

These beautiful white blooms promise to produce berries with that old-fashioned wild blueberry flavor.


Blueberries blooming in containers on the deck.

Blueberries blooming in containers on the deck.

Four containers of dwarf  Tophat Blueberry plants are growing on the steps of the deck. In the second year on the deck, we had a mild winter and the blue berry bushes are all blooming this spring. If I don’t cover them, I’m sure the berries will be bird food.

I’m looking forward to picking a few full size ripe berries while sitting on the deck. The plants will get no more than 2′ tall. I the fall, I’ll prune my spindly plants to encourage them to get bushy.

These plants are from Gurney’s . You can usually get the dwarf bushes, from Jung or Stark Bro’s.


Tastes like Summer

Picking a perfectly ripe, sun-warmed peach from the tree, gathering a hand full of the juicy raspberries, or popping a whole, sweet strawberry in your mouth is the essence of summer.

Home grown fruit is the best fruit you ever tasted. If you are fortunate to have extra fruit, make a jar of two of homemade jam. That  jar of summer jam will need little or no sugar.

Home grown fruit is grown for flavor. It’s fragile, and meant to be eaten soon after harvest. Fresh fruit is the most nutritious and tender produce you can eat.

Stark Bro’s has been around since 1816. I’ve bought several fruit trees from Stark over the years. It’s a reliable company that stands behind their products. The confidence-building growing guides will get you started with home-grown fruit.

During the Stark Brothers 200th Anniversary,  you can get some very good fruit trees and berries for under $20.


Wordless Wednesday

Love Lies Bleeding Amaranth

A rainbow of Zinnias

It’s a good zinnia growing year.

Zinnias, Zinnia elegans are the star of the summer flower show. For filler and contrast, try adding herbs, or coleus. It doesn’t always have to be leather leaf ferns or baby’s breath.

Red and gold zinnias with coleus in an antique watering can.

Red and gold zinnias with coleus in an antique watering can.

Summer-long blooms bring butterflies and pollinators to the garden. Zinnias meant “thoughts of an absent friend.” in the Victorian language of flowers.


Zinnias and Russian sage. Cutting Zinnia, “Hot Crayon Colors” ↑ 


Zinnias and mini marigolds. ↑ →

“Signet Starfire” marigolds. grown from seed. Little yellow and orange dwarf single marigolds keeps blooming until frost.

Shades of red:


Red and white zinnias with coleus make a simple bouquet.

Zinnias and coleus.↑


Zinnias and Nicotiana. ↑


Zinnia and Coleus. ↑

Zinnias were named 1763 by Linnaeus in honor of Johann Zinn, a German professor of botany and medicine.

Pinks and lavender:


Zinnias and coleus. ↑ Cutting Zinnia, “Berry Basket”

These crayon colored flowers are long-stemmed cutting flowers with long-lasting blooms.

To extend the life of cut flower blooms by trimming off the bottom of the stem, every few days. Replace the water with fresh every 4 days.


Zinnias and basil. Cutting Zinnia, “Berry Basket” ↑


Zinnias with oregano and basil. Cutting Zinnia, “Bling Bling.” These lovely cut flowers are bigger and brighter every year. Disease resistance has much improved through the years.

Pink zinnias and Queen Ann's lace.

Pink zinnias and Queen Ann’s lace.

If it’s been awhile since you’ve included zinnias in your garden, take another look. Zinnias are disease resistant rebloomers that will keep you in flowers until frost.

You might also like:

IMG_3335I got all the zinnias in this post from Renee’s Garden.

Best tomato plants for containers

Perfect for My Garden Post

Choose dwarf tomato plants

I am having big juicy tomato success on My Garden Post. These are the tomatoes that I am growing.


The best choice for My Garden Post are plants that are less than 2 feet tall.

Determinate tomato varieties grow to a limited hight and usually do not  need staking and caging.

Choose dwarf or bush type tomato plants. Look for plants bred for containers.

Extended release or slow release fertilizer applied when potting the plant will be one less thing to worry about.

Two foot tall tomato plants

Bush 506. First full size tomato to ripen, 5-oz.

Bush 506. First full size tomato to ripen, 5-oz.

  • Bush 506 Container Tomato plants are less than 24″ tall. The thick stemmed plants easily support the 8 ounce fruits. These container grown tomatoes are early producers. The Tasteful Garden advertises tomatoes in only 62 days. It was the first regular sized tomato to ripen in my zone 6 garden.

I bought Bush 506 as a plant from The Tasteful Garden


New Big Dwarf heirloom tomato. The heaviest producer of full size tomatoes so far.

New Big Dwarf heirloom tomato. The heaviest producer of full size tomatoes so far.

  • New Big Dwarf Heirloom tomato is not really new. An heirloom first introduced in 1915, tastes like the old-fashioned beefsteak. The plant is only 2 feet tall but the fruits are full-sized 8-12 oz. Expect early tomatoes in about 60 days.

I bought the New Big Dwarf tomato as a plant from The Tasteful Garden


 Oliver’s choice:

  • Bush Steak Tomato is an easy-to-find small tomato plant or grow it from seed.

“I often recommend the Bush Steak tomato and suggests planting in the large planters. The Bush Steak Tomato matures at 20 inches in height, and produce a medium size tomato in large numbers,” says Oliver J Gardner, Director of Sales and Marketing, My Garden Post.


Endless sweet cherry tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes nonstop until frost

Cherry tomatoes nonstop until frost

  • Litt’l Bites Container Cherry Tomato – keep this early producer well watered and fed for tons of sweet cherry tomatoes all summer long. A compact, lush plant that is perfect for My Garden Post or hanging baskets. Litt’l Bites grows 20 inches wide and 12 inches tall.

Grown from seed. Exclusive. Renee’s Garden

photo by Renee's Garden

Litt’l Bites Container Cherry Tomato photo by Renee’s Garden


Learn more about My Garden Post here.

double_drip_with_caption__64178.1409012731.1280.1280My container grown tomatoes benefit from the easy-to-set-up and use My Garden Post irrigation system. It’s the best system I’ve used on the deck or patio. Adjust the timer to accommodate the season; longer daily watering when it is the hottest.


New blue perennial salvia Color Spires® ‘Crystal Blue’

Look for this plant

Color Spires® ‘Crystal Blue’ Perennial Salvia

color spires

The dense clumps make for good cut flowers.

Color Spires® is a perennial Salvia. You may have to rethink what you know about the annual salvias that must be planted every summer. There’s room for this new Proven Winners introduction in the garden or, it is beautiful and lush in containers.1_gal_color_spires_crystal_blue

‘Crystal Blue’ produces a full mass of light blue flowers in late spring/early summer. The humming birds and butterflies are attracted to this rounded clump of spiky blue blooms. Thick flower stems rise above the dense, rounded clump of textured green foliage and remains attractive all season.

This second year in the garden has moved up Color Spires® ‘Crystal Blue’ on the list of favorite salvias in the garden. I love Salvia and now that there are such hardy and beautiful perennial varieties, I plan to include Color Spires® Perennial Salvia in several garden spots.


Color Spires® ‘Violet Riot’ Perennial Salvia

Color Spires® ‘Crystal Blue’ Perennial Salvia is the asset you have been looking in your blue flower garden. True blue flowers are hard to find and this one will be around for years to come. Color Spires® ‘Violet Riot’ Perennial Salvia will also blend into the blue garden beautifully.


Color Spires® ‘Pink Dawn’ – Perennial Salvia


There are three colors:

  • Color Spires® ‘Crystal Blue’ Perennial Salvia
  • Color Spires® ‘Pink Dawn’ – Perennial Salvia
  • Color Spires® ‘Violet Riot’ Perennial Salvia

Since my back yard is the neighborhood bunny park (Like a dog park but for bunny rabbits.) All the Color Spires® are rabbit and deer resistant. These Salvia are drought tolerant and heat tolerant.

Is in the garden centers now. It is exploding with lavender blooms. Lush and full with textured medium green leaves. I’d have to say they thrive with neglect in my garden.


Color Spires® Chrystal Blue Perennial Salvia

‘Crystal Blue’ Salvia is the first of its kind, most perennial Salvias are darker purple, so this is incredibly unique to have a light sky blue Salvia.

At 18-24 high and about the same width, it is a neat, orderly plant. A pretty focal point in a perennial cutting garden, a butterfly garden, or all blue perennial bed.

This is a reminder of what every gardener knows. Be Patient. Don’t give up on plants, especially those perennials. That first year, your newly planted perennial is busy establishing roots.

It just keeps getting bigger and more beautiful every year.


More new blue

Lo & Behold® ‘Blue Chip Jr.’ – Butterfly bush – Buddleia

lo_behold_blue_chip_jr_buddleia-2093A small version of a butterfly bush that blooms all summer. Attractive to butterflies, hummingbirds and bees, but deer resistant.

Growing only about two feet tall with silver-green leaves, this butterfly bush is small enough for container planting or in a perennial garden. The Blue Chip in my sidewalk border has not had any insect or disease problems. No need for deadheading or pruning.

Summer Office

Best coffee in town


Summer on the deck.

C. L. Fornari  posted a photo of her summer office on facebook that made me smile. She is the inspiration for the following photos of my outdoor office which is also the library.

My big backyard


Morning coffee is served on the patio.

Morning coffee is served on the patio.

I step out of the kitchen and onto the patio for coffee most mornings. A variety of mints and herbs grow around the patio. It is the ideal place to set the sun tea jar early in the day.

Hummingbirds love the flowers and hanging baskets. Some of the patio plants are trial plants from Proven Winners. They hang from the pergola on the patio so I can keep an eye on what’s new.

The flowering nicotiana and giant overgrown celosa attract the pollinators and bummers.

Morning coffee on the patio.

Privacy Screen of  purple morning glories.









There's always coffee or iced tea at the "office".

There’s always coffee or iced tea at the “office”.


On the deck, a drip irrigation system keeps the plants looking good. Every spring some bird of some kind will decide to make a nest and raise a family on deck.

My favorite coffee shop.

My favorite coffee shop.

A huge cypress tree provides shade and refuge for the songbirds and hummers.









Gardening and writing about gardening are always best done outside.

Gardening and writing about gardening are always best done outside.

Extended release fertilizer was added when the baskets were planted.

Extended release fertilizer was added when the baskets were planted.


The secret is to keep the plants well watered.

The secret is to keep the plants well watered.


GBBD 6/15/14

June Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

I love July. Everything is green and growing. The bugs and drought haven’t gotten to everything yet.

This is ‘Going Bananas’ Daylily is a Hemerocallis from Proven Winners crowded into a patch of Black Eyed Susan . Others see how beautiful they are. I see more work. These daylilies already need to be thinned out.


Going Bananas daylily and Black-eyed Susan “Chocolate Orange”

Black-eyed Susan “Chocolate Orange” is a dark chocolate color outlined by bright orange. Strong stems and showy long-lasting flowers are perfect for cutting.


‘Going Bananas’ Daylily Hemerocallis hybrid

It is a lovely shade of yellow. There are three different yellow daylilies blooming in the garden now.


Miss Mary Mary Is blooming single blooms now. Next it will be double blooms on the same plant.



Black-Eyed Stella an old favorite for good reason.

Black-Eyed Stella an old favorite for good reason.







Black-Eyed Stella

Introduced in 1994 at Powell Gardens, Kansas City’s Botanical Garden. East of the city on U.S. Highway 50 in Kingsville, MO 64061

To introduce this flower to the public, they were giving away Black Eyed Stellas. We stood in line, a long, long line, for a long, long time to get that little dayllily.

Finally at the front of the line, I was handed a scrawny bare root plant. I figured it would die before I could get home and plant it.

It thrived and multiplied and multiplied. It wasn’t long before there was a 3-foot wide border along the back of the house. Plus, for 6 years, I potted up 25 clumps to sell for the garden club every spring.

20 award-winning daylilies have been selected for the coveted All-American title for their scientifically proven and superior performance nationwide by the All-American Daylily Selection Council (AADSC).

The neighborhood mailbox spot is a bit of a gathering place

The neighborhood mailbox spot is a bit of a gathering place.

“We can have flowers nearly every month of the year.” ~ Elizabeth Lawrence.

Carol at May Dreams Gardens started Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. What’s blooming in your garden? Share with other garden bloggers on the 15th of each month. Leave a link in Mr. Linky and the comments of May Dreams Gardens.

Patriotic Petunias, red, white and blue  flowers will only live as long as I remember to water them.

Patriotic Petunias, red, white and blue flowers will only live as long as I remember to water them.



GBBD October 15, 2013

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day October 2013

We can have flowers nearly every month of the year.” ~ Elizabeth Lawrence.

Oct 15  was a rainy day here in Zone 6a, Southeast Missouri.  Not much blooming here. And this post is a bit late. It was raining here on Oct 15.

Lots of things are still growing. Since the rain, we will have to mow again. And then, it’s time leaf drop. I seems like we are a week or two behind.

4oclock pink

4 o’ Clocks read more about the fragrant annual: Becky’s flowers.

These flowers are blooming and producing lots of seed. Since they are heirlooms, the seeds will reproduce looking just like these.  This summer, they out grew their space, taking over the sidewalk. There was only room for folks to walk one at a time. (No walking side by side, hand in hand.) Your job is to stroll along the sidewalk and admire the fragrant flowers. I can never have too many four o’ clocks.

Morning glory

Grandpa Otts Morning Glories are dusted with pollen. The bees were here earlier spilling pollen on the petals. Photos PBH.

I planted three or four varieties of  Mourning Glories. Twice. But it was a long, cool, very wet spring. The only Glories to come up were the self seeded Grandpa Ott’s four o’clocks. As they bloom, they create a blooming privacy fence. On the North side of the patio, the street side, humming birds and bees will continue to delight up to the first frost.

The hibiscus are in continuous bloom.

The hibiscus are in continuous bloom.



Want to join GBBD?  Just post on your blog about what is blooming in your garden on the 15th of the month and leave a comment to tell us what you have waiting for us to see so we can pay you a virtual visit. Then put your name and the url to your post on the Mr. Linky widget on Carols page.

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