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Covering with Combinations

1 Bonnie-and-BingCovering ground has long been a gardening obsession of mine. By that, I mean covering ground with something other than lawn. Every year, we have less grass than the year before, although the lawn I maintain for my dogs is safe. They couldn’t survive without essential sections for throwing Frisbees and tennis balls.

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A Visit to Brookgreen


An allee of live oaks (Quercus virginiana) fills one of the central rooms of the garden at Brookgreen. It dates from the early 18th century and originally marked the entrance to the plantation.

While it may not be the best idea to admit that I’ve been spending time in the balmy south while gardens and gardeners up north are freezing, I had a chance to visit a public garden I’ve long wanted to see: Brookgreen, a renown sculpture garden and National Historic Landmark located in Murrels Inlet, South Carolina. I’ve always loved art and ornaments in gardens, and Brookgreen didn’t disappoint. Hollies, live oaks decked with Spanish moss, and camellias line the gorgeous mile-long entrance drive. (We even saw Southern Fox Squirrels, with their black heads and white ears on the way in!) Once we arrived at the Welcome Center, I picked up a map at the Welcome Center and wandered into the sculpture gardens beyond. Continue Reading →

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GGW Plant Pick of the Month Round Up–Sedums

Quite a few of you chimed in with good things to say about sedums–December’s Plant Pick of the Month. I spent a day this week looking for new sedums as I walked up and down the miles of aisles at the gigantic Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show (MANTS) in Baltimore, Maryland. Although ‘Angelina’ promises to continue her prominence, I didn’t see any new exciting cultivars  among the offerings of perennials, shrubs, and other plants.

I did see ‘Angelina in quite a few containers, but mostly she was used for immediate effect rather than long-term practicality. The picture here shows ‘Angelina’ combined with various hens-and-chicks (Sempervivum spp.) that she will completely smother after only a month or so of growth. Still, it makes a nice combo in the moment! Continue Reading →

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GGW Plant Pick of the Month—Sedums

Sedum 'Angelina'

Sedum 'Angelina'

Tough, adaptable sedums—there are about 100 species and countless cultivars—are the plant pick of the month for December. Best known of the lot is ‘Autumn Joy’, more correctly listed by its German name, ‘Herbstfreude’. This familiar and adaptable perennial produces flowers that look like great clumps of broccoli when they first appear in the garden. In late summer and early fall, the flat-topped pink, then pinky bronze, clusters provide perfect landing platforms for countless butterflies and beneficials. After blooming, the flowers ripen to burgundy-brown. On this dreary December day, however, I’m going to concentrate on plants of lower stature, namely ground-covering sedums that are still adding color to the garden here at Hackberry Point. Continue Reading →

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Flowers and Foliage

Pineapple sage with lantana, 'Blackie' sweet potatoes, chartreuse-leaved nasturtiums, and a late-blooming canna.

Pineapple sage with lantana

Like most gardeners, I spend far too little time simply enjoying my garden and the natural world around it. I’ve followed both Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, hosted by May Dreams Gardens, for months now, and have also enjoyed all the fall foliage on the Garden Blogger Fall Foliage Project at The Home Garden. With today’s post, I’m making a grateful nod to both of them, because both inspired me to spend some long-overdue time just observing and appreciating. Continue Reading →

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