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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hardy Geraniums

Hardy Geraniums are one of my favorite plant families. Did you know that there are Geraniums that are reliable perennials?

I'm not a plant scientist, not even a Horticulturist but I know a little bit about Geraniums. First of all, there's a tropical plant that everybody calls a "Geranium" but it's real name is "Pelargonium". This plant is not winter hardy in zone 6b and doesn't look anything like a hardy Geranium.

Then there is a plant with the botanical name "Geranium" that is quite hardy here. People tend to call it the "hardy Geranium" to differentiate it from the non-hardy, Pelargonium plant. Have I confused you yet?

Hardy Geraniums come in all kinds of sizes, forms and colors. I have ones that creep along the ground, ones that weave their way through adjoining plants and others that stand up on their own.

A very few have dark foliage that the catalogs call purple but I think is more chocolate in color.

Some varieties prefer more sun and regular moisture, other varieties need shade and tolerate quite a bit of dryness.

Some varieties I've only seen for sale once and have never seen again. Most varieties do not seed around in my garden but I have been experimenting with division and have had luck with most varieties.

Today I'm going to shine the spotlight on one single variety of hardy Geranium. To read about it you need to visit my other blog, Melanie's Old Country Garden. I hope to spotlight more varieties there.

As for buying hardy Geraniums, the nurseries around here don't seem to carry many varieties at one time. I always have at least 3 or 4 varieties for sale, stay tuned to this site and I'll list them as they are potted up.


Monday, March 30, 2009


Daylilies will be a main feature perennial here at Old Country Gardens.

Why? Well, because they are so easy to grow!

This photo shows a clump of daylily 'Sun's Shadow' as it's emerging out of the ground. It's in desperate need of division, it's actually mounding up out of the soil (quite different from when a plant heaves out of the ground due to frost).

As you can see from the top photo, 'Sun's Shadow' is a stunning daylily. It was bred right here on Long Island. One of the things I've been working on for years (and my favorite topic to lecture on) is a list of perennials for Long Island Gardens. If you don't live on Long Island, my garden falls in the zone 6b area so you can judge for yourself how well these plants would do for you. We get lots of cold nights, warmer winter days than the interior of the USA and very little reliable snow cover.

Last night within minutes of beginning this blog I received a phone call. It was a total coincidence but a local garden club called and booked me for a lecture on April 21st. I'll take that as a great sign of things to come :-)


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sneak Peek


If you are reading this post, then you are getting a sneak peek at the birth of my new blog "Melanie's Perennials".

This blog is a sister blog to "Melanie's Old Country Garden", a blog that I've been maintaining on and off again for about 3 years.

Seeing as how my life is so busy that I often don't have time for one blog, it will be interesting to see if I can keep up now with two of them.

So, why did I decide to add a new blog? Well, it's a secret, but I've always wanted to have my own little gardening business. Every business needs a way to get the word out and so here it is, my word!

General gardening topics, rambles, tips and tours will be posted on Melanie's Old Country Garden but here is where you'd find out about the plants that I have for sale, possible days to tour our garden, how to hire me as a lecturer and so on. I've got lots of things planned for the future so don't forget to stop by every now and then and see what is new.

Of course there will also be features of some of my favorite plants, perennials for the most part.

Today's photo shows the blooms of Ligularia 'Brit Marie Crawford'. While I won't have any of these for sale, I do have seedlings from this plant that might be available. I've just got to wait a few more weeks before things have popped a bit in the garden.

Ok, now I'm going to sign off so I can see how this baby looks and I can play around with some of the added features.

Wish me luck!