Fine Wine weigela, Snow Storm spirea, Oso Easy Paprika, and Gertrude in unison

This is the spring shout out by ‘Fine Wine’ weigela, ‘Snow Storm’ spirea, Oso Easy™ ‘Paprika’, and ‘Gertrude Jekyll’. I can’t believe my good fortune to have them all blooming at once. ‘Paprika’ is more manageable of the Oso Easy™ roses. I’ve had them all and they were aggressive growers taking over huge areas of the bed. I ended up giving them to a landscaping company and only kept ‘Paprika’. I love it….looks like orange sherbert with lemon drop centers. Look delicious.

 Oso Easy ‘Paprika’ is practically pest resistant. I use Safer™ 3 in 1 to help control mildew and aphids. This time of year in my zone 7a high humidity gardens the aphids run rampant and will attack the new growth. Safer™ takes care of pest and mildew as will Hot Pepper Wax and both do it organically.

I love the dark green leaves with the orange flowers. Hard to find a pretty orange and this is a grand one. This is spring 2011 with Flowergardengirl.

Just behind the Oso Easy™ ‘Paprika’ is another ornamental shrub by Proven Winners Plants and I had to move this ‘Snow Storm’ spirea 4 times before finding a spot it liked. Each time I moved it—it took a season before it recovered. This is its prettiest season yet. It is in a semi dry spot, with about 4 hours of direct sun a day. It blooms profusely for about 2 months. It didn’t like our hot drought summer of 2009 and was in a location too dry and too many hours of sun–the leaves burned up. Then it was in a spot too wet in the summer of 2008. Now it’s happy.

This entire stone wall has night landscaping lights that shine from above and that white ‘Snow Storm’ spirea glows and draws attention to that corner. It is so pretty.

The tall plant on the left is a new PW Rose of Sharon and I have found they look like this the first summer in the garden but then lush up and be awesome second season. And to the right of the ‘Snow Storm’ is a ‘Miss Ruby’ buddleia that is incredible. Blooms hot pink all summer long.

It feels just as soft as it looks.

I love the character it takes on as it spills all over the bench. People out walking for the evening stop to ask me about it. I garden organically and hand weed–yes, it’s time consuming and hard–but my critters and soil bacteria love me. I designed this house from childhood memories of the craftsman cottage homes that brought me so much joy.

‘Fine Wine’ weigela also goes nuts blooming its head off in the spring. Mr D missed a few spots fertilizing so don’t pay attention to the grass. We usually make fun of people who do that–errrr. But just look at this weigela!

Just to the left of this ‘Fine Wine’ is a ‘Limelight’ hydrangea that steals the show about the end of May to frost. I also have 5 ‘Incrediball’ hydrangeas with huge white blooms and 4 ‘Invincibelle Spirit’ hydrangeas. In a pot in the middle of my garage, there is a ‘Little Lime’. There is a huge ‘Blue Muffin’ viburnum on the back side of my house along with numerous other ornamental shrubs. It’s not boring in my flower beds.

On the left of the ‘Fine Wine’ are ‘Limelight’, ‘Quick Fire’, ‘Pinky Winky’, ‘Incrediball’, and just off the to the left out of sight is ‘Little Lamb’. All these hydrangeas will get to 5 feet tall and I cut them back to 2 feet tall each autumn so they don’t overpower the front porch. You could just let them reach mature height and let be. And you can’t see them–but there is an ‘Invincibelle’ and ‘Nikko’ blue between the three–which will fill in and add a lot more color with these more mature white varieties. In the corner is an ‘Azzuri Satin’ rose of sharon which gets tall and has a beautiful blue bloom. There are also low growing annuals mixed with perennials like phlox and coreopsis.

The cushions aren’t out yet cause pollen would coat it daily. I had new cushions made this year–so pretty–in the colors of the stone and a very soft blue. We very much live on this porch from now till it gets too cold–which is about November. Even then–we have a few warm days from November thru March where we can still sit out. That’s why I love NC.

I’m not usually a fan of helleborus but got some from Skagit Gardens to trial this year and I’m officially in love. The leaves have been outstanding interest all winter and the variety ‘Josef Lemper’ has been blooming for months. It’s on the back left side of the large white planter–the next long bloomer is ‘Cinnamon Snow’ . ‘Pink Frost is on the front corner and has not bloomed yet. I highly recommend them. You can grow them indoors over the winter and they will bloom inside too.

In my pots are all sorts of shrubs and annuals. Some are new varieties I’m trialing and some are favorites like Wave© brand. Wave© has trailing and mounding. I use both.

‘Miss Kim’ is perfuming the air and just outside my kitchen window where I watch it wave in the breezes. I smile at it alot. Below that is ‘Double Red’ Knockout™. I have 6 of them which I cut back to 1 foot in early winter and then bloom all summer getting to 5 feet tall and wide. I use Espoma© Rose Tone on them about 4x’s a year. The beds are mulched with Black Kow©, mushroom compost, organic matter, and topped with pine straw each season. I love that nandina to the right and have 4 of them across the front. I think it’s called, ‘Gulf Stream’ if not–someone let me know. I want more. Love the burgundy color in spring–just gorgeous.

That’s another ‘Incrediball’ doing marvelously. I give all my hydrangeas some phosphate just before they start their new growth–they love it–and it is not irresponsible to put down phosphate when using it wisely. It grows strong stems and if applied sparingly–will be totally absorbed by the plant. A lack of it and your stems will be pitiful. Against the wall–is the Gertrud Jekyll and ‘White Chiffon’ rose of sharon. Can you imagine all the white across the front of my house during the summer? It’s so striking. I planned that you know?

You can’t imagine how fragrant it is at my house this week. From the ‘Miss Kim’ to the ‘Gertrude Jekyll’–it’s magical.

And I trained this poor ‘Red Twig’ dogwood to be a tree—some of you just hate that sort of thing–making a tree of something that is suppose to be a bush. I love it though. That poor thing at the bottom of the screen is a bush I pulled up and haven’t thrown away yet. Mr D mulched around it and I nearly laughed my head off. He didn’t even realize it was dying and not even planted. I love him though. He finances my garden habit. And he spread all this pine straw.

More about my summer gardens and pics of the ‘Incrediball’ Also see the tabs for My Gardens in categories to see more of how the gardens have changed over the years.

Thank you for being with me in North Carolina today. I love writing for you, talking about plants, and seeing that you visited. Big hugs~~~ Flowergardengirl

5 Comments Add yours

  1. irma says:

    lovely… just.. lovely…


  2. WOW! That is an absolutely stunning front porch garden. Great choice in colors too 🙂


  3. Mrs Jones says:

    I love the Paprika rose. I live in Texas and I have never heard of this type of rose. It is a real beauty.


  4. Beth says:

    So very pretty! Where do you get your pine straw? Interesting form of mulch. How is it at keeping the weeds at bay? I use bark shreds and a couple of layers of landscape cloth to discourage the grass rhizomes from attacking everything!


    1. Beth it keeps everything out—I don’t have to weed hardly at all over the summer. It does turn the soil on the acidic side but with my evergreens and hydrangeas–they love it. It also retains moisture well which will helps loads durng the awful days of July, Aug, and September.

      We get it from a local old mill that sells everything for the garden and the farm because it’s long leaf pine and better than what you get at large commercial retail home improvements stores. Pine trees are everywhere down here so it’s plentiful. It takes about 30 bails to do all the beds around my home front and back—and it cost about $5 each for the good stuff.


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