Garden Phlox ‘John Fanick’ (Phlox paniculata) is probably the very best perennial-garden phlox variety currently on the market. ‘John Fanick’ blooms abundantly and continuously from spring through fall. Its sturdy, dense growth habit and resistance to powdery mildew make it a low-maintenance winner.
Dianthus ‘Bouquet Purple’ (Dianthus x hybrida) is a new Dianthus hybrid that doesn’t mind the heat. I was completely shocked when it continued to bloom throughout the summer. The plants are very vigorous and grow to about 24 inches in the landscape. Regular deadheading promotes new blooms.
|Landscape designer Becky Winn used pansies, heather, juniper, and moss to decorate a Christmas tree that can be used indoors or out.|
our natural christmas treeWe were feeling quieter this year and wanted a simple tree for Christmas—nothing sparkly or overdone. So we asked Becky Winn of Whimsical Gardens for an organic alternative to the bright-lights thing. Something, perhaps, even real. Becky went to Nicholson-Hardie to look around for inspiration and arrived just as flats of jewel-colored pansies were being set upon shelf after shelf. Pansies! Of course!
Becky, who is known in Dallas as the color guru, decided to go the non-traditional color route, ordering pansies in lavender, amethyst, and deep purples along with a beautiful Wichita Blue juniper, which is silvery green with wispy upward branches. She found an earthy stone pot and had the tree loaded into the pot and well-anchored. Becky then bought mauve-colored heather and moss.
“My concept was to have a tree you could leave outdoors through the holiday season,” Becky says. “But something that didn’t scream ‘I’m a designer Christmas tree.’” She wrapped about two dozen 4-inch pansy pots with the moss and wired them into the branches of the tree. She wired sprigs of heather into the tree to create upward movement. Moss-covered pots of alyssum in lavenders and purples were added, lending a cottage-garden feel to the tree. Becky surrounded it with pots of ornamental kale, pansies, and alyssum.
To keep the tree fresh through the season, Becky recommends thoroughly watering the little pots with a fine mist and feeding the pansies with a pinch of bone meal from time to time. Be sure to keep the tree in a bright spot so the pansies will continue to bloom.
end of year gardener’s checklist
ALSO SOW: radishes, spinach, turnips, onion, coriander, mustard greens, parsley
BULBS TO PLANT: You still have time to plant your daffodils, anemones, Grape hyacinths, and crocuses.
TIME TO PLANT: If the ground is not frozen, you can actually plant roses this month, as well as hardy shrubs and trees.