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July 6, 2010

The Procrastinating Gardener – Part 1

Hey, I have an excuse, right?  I work long hours in the spring, unloading trucks and helping people construct gardens that are sure to be the envy of their neighbors.  I simply don’t have the time to get working in my garden in spring when my perennials are coming up and all my neighbors are installing annuals and designing their pots.  But maybe I should be honest with myself – considering my study habits in college and my penchant for putting things off I have to admit I am a first class procrastinator.   I’d like to think that I’m not the only one out there who puts off their gardening until the summer months.   So, just in case there are other procrastinators out there like me, I’d like to share some of my mid-seasoning gardening ideas.

Hey, I have an excuse, right?  I work long hours in the spring, unloading trucks and helping people construct gardens that are sure to be the envy of their neighbors.  I simply don’t have the time to get working in my garden in spring when my perennials are coming up and all my neighbors are installing annuals and designing their pots.  But maybe I should be honest with myself – considering my study habits in college and my penchant for putting things off I have to admit I am a first class procrastinator.   I’d like to think that I’m not the only one out there who puts off their gardening until the summer months.   So, just in case there are other procrastinators out there like me, I’d like to share some of my mid-seasoning gardening ideas.

This time of the year my perennials are in full color mode, and aside from cutting back my Saliva and some serious weeding, the perennial beds are looking ok.  Yet sometimes that’s just not enough.  I find myself wishing for the color that only annuals can give.   I’m a firm believer that it’s never too late to plant annuals – our season is so short in Minnesota that it’s worth installing some great mood-enhancing color anytime.  Lucky for me (and all the procrastinators out there) there are some great annuals that are just coming into their brilliance this late in the year.  Huge flowering ‘Dreamland’ Zinnias offer a multi-color solution to any spot in the garden that gets at least a half day of sun and needs a little shot of some serious flower power.  Annual Saliva are also just coming into full form, offering an abundance of blue spiky flowers that are sure to liven up even the most tired spots of the garden.  Celosia, one of my personal favorites, is another great infusion of color, with wicked red and yellow fuzzy flowers that look great planted en mass, along borders, or anywhere you just need to break up a sea of green.  And don’t miss out on the most exciting introduction in annuals this year – ‘Fireworks’ Pennisetium grass.  You simply have to see this one to believe it – deep red grass with slight variegation that provides an excellent alternative to the purple Rubrum grass and is sure to provoke lots of questions along the lines of, “what is that amazing grass and where did you get it?”

So… In the spirit of procrastination I will put off the rest untill later, but be sure to check back soon for some great ideas to spice up the perennial garden.  I will get to it, soon, I promise.

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