Thursday, September 21, 2006

Winners and losers in the NCG (Neglected Cutting Garden)

Now that we've had a week or two under a hundred degrees here, and even some rain, I finally had the guts to go out and check on what's left of my cutting garden. My goal last spring was a bunch easy-care (read: tolerant of major gardener-stupidity/neglect/abuse) perennial flowers for little arrangements like this:

Our water restrictions let me use sprinklers only once a week (I could have watered more by hand but when it's 103, who feels like getting out?).

Best Flower Producer: Dwarf Gaillardia

This little baby pumped out blooms all summer, even in the deadest of the heat wave. I never fertilized, rarely weeded, and every time I went out to cut, there were more blooms to replace the ones I'd just cut a few days before.

Next year I'm going to plant the standard height for longer stems.

Runner up: Dwarf Rudbeckia

This one got some kind of blight and stopped producing flowers for a few weeks in August, but a week of "cooler" weather (under 95!) and some organic fungicide spray brought back tons of lovely flowers for cutting. Same thing here - I'll plant standard height for next year.

Biggest surprise: Moonbeam Coreopsis

This ferny-like, low growing plant with tiny flowers came with the Summer Magic Garden package I bought from Springhill Nursery.

I thought it was kind of dumb of them to include such small flowers in the collection. It has ended up being such a nice background and interesting foliage to my little arrangements. I just had to deadhead (cut the whole thing back with scissors) a few times to keep the flowers coming.

Most "fun": Pincushion Flower - Butterfly Blue (The name "Scabiosa" just isn't fair to it!)

This one (purple, below) stopped producing flowers for only a couple of weeks, too, but is back to growing its cute blooms on skinny stems.

The only loser for Texas heat: Alaska Shasta Daisy

I got a few flowers back in May, but with a name like that, should we be surprised?

Overall, I thought the package from Springhill was a good deal. I got 50% off my spring order (ordering before March 15). They have a similar sale on for fall if you order before September 29.

I'd love to know your favorites - only if they are tolerant of a novice gardener!

Happy Gardening!


annie said...

What a fun post! I long for the day that I can garden and keep anything alive.

Anonymous said...

How beautiful.....I enjoy working in the garden too.

Kristine said...

Congratulations on getting flowers from what you planted. We have planted twice, to no avail. (I think it has something to do with our lack of watering too.)

It is always good to find things that grow well in your "zone".

Anonymous said...


Lana said...

gotta love TX!
You did good.
We always "garden" One year I think we spent, no kidding, $400 on garden supplies we were trying the square foot garden approach. We got ONE zuchinni. Who can't grow zuchinni? Apparently us. No wonder we're a beef state!
Anyway, pretty flowers!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this! I love the idea of growing a cutting garden but I haven't the foggiest idea of what to plant there so I will have to do some research. We have a corner garden which has nothing in it but a row of VERY TALL lilies but they only bloom once. I would like things to add all in front of the lilies that bloom at a variety of times and al summer. We have somewhat similar weather with the heat waves, but we also have humidity. It is typically 100 here with a heat index of 110 or more. I hate going out in that weather, too!
Umm, did I mention how much I love fall???

Beck said...

I always take "Rudbeckia" personally. My husband Bill keeps threating to plant THAT and Sweet William together. Oh, he thinks he's funny.

Katrina @ Callapidder Days said...

Beautiful flowers. I love the pincushion flower. I have a thing for blue/purple flowers - for some reason they always seem to be my favorites. I am such a very, very bad gardener. But I hope to someday discover some flowers that I love and that I won't kill!

(P.S. Also wanted to remind you about the reading challenge - you had asked for a reminder, so here it is! I put the Linky up yesterday. Can't wait to see your list!)

Bethany said...

Ooooh! They are so pretty! I'm afraid I'm a hopeless gardener. I kill things instead of grow them. :(

Stacey said...

Those were so beautiful. I know what you mean about the weather. We're in the triple digits, too. We can't get much to survive around here : )