WiseAcre Gardens

north of the adirondacks – wildflowers & perennials that survive winters colder than my wife's feet

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Posted by WiseAcre on Jul 14th, 2010

Phlox paniculata ‘Peppermint Twist’

Jul 14

Basically this is a post to remind me to buy more of this Phlox. I bought some last year to test and seeing how well they did this year I’m hooked.

Phlox paniculata ‘Peppermint Twist’

Phlox Peppermint Twist

‘Peppermint Twist’ was developed from ‘Candy Floss’ which is pink. I’m wondering if that pink set of flowers to the left might be a plant reverting back to it’s original color. Peppermint Twist has sterile flowers and will not set seed, if somehow it does the plants will not come true from seed.

Both the Purple Flame and Peppermint Twist are dwarf garden Phlox supposed to top off at around 18 inches but these are pushing 2 feet in height. I can’t complain about the extra couple of inches and it may just be my fault they grew taller by feeding them the composted horse bedding/manure from ‘Mulch Mountain’ across the road from the stable at St. Lawrence University. (what are you waiting for? It’s free for the taking so go get some you yokels)

Both the Purple Flame and Peppermint Twist have proven to be resistant to Powdery Mildew. I saw no trace of any at in this garden I planted on Judson Street last year.

Posted by WiseAcre on Oct 12th, 2009

Sandstone Walkway

Oct 12

A purple sandstone walkway on Judson Street is finally finished. Now a few more boulders need to be placed and the beds will be ready for spring planting.

From the boulder I placed last week – the false stream bed is in place but needs more assorted river rock.
Judson Street sandstone walk

That Hosta has to go – that area is the sunny spot and I’m planning on more sun loving flowers there. A mass of coreopsis (Zagreb most likely), a smattering of coneflowers and Brown Eyed Susans and creeping sedum lining the borders. But that might all change. I reserve not to know what I’m dong until finished.

I’ve thought about digging out the island bed and lining it to hold wet soil. I’d like to plant some Ligularia and Yellow and Blue Flag Iris but the space is small and that just might not work out as I vision it.

Sandstone walk

On the far side of the ‘stream bed’ I can see a boulder in each corner. I’ve got a couple of nice weathered rocks in mind that will match the one along the walk.

Sandstone walkway

I like the weeping pea tree in the island bed along the driveway. The bed is mainly planted with Iris, Coreopsis, upright Sedum with a couple of spots left for ‘undecided’. Like I said that Hosta has to go.

Sandstone Walk

I loved this job. When the home owners said they wanted to eliminate the lawn – I was all ears. Originally the walk went straight to the front steps from the driveway. One requirement was that the garden had to be low maintenance. Rock is about as low as you can go. So a false stream bed was added to eat up space and to add a little interest for winter when the plants disappear.

Sandstone walk

The only lawn left is under the truck. Next year that area will be turned into a shade garden – I don’t have enough Astilbe planted yet 🙂

Sandstone Slab Walkway

This is one of the last stone projects I will do. I’m afraid I really messed up my back beyond it’s ability to heal this year. I have a large patio to finish and after that I’m going to call it quits.

One last walk – finally finished. It only needed to be leveled off but had to with 2 months before I could pick up my bar.

Sandstone Walk
Sandstone Walk

I’m now working slowly on finishing the patio in Lisbon. I probably won’t finish this year. I got another kink in my back and am going to take a bit more time off.

Posted by WiseAcre on Jul 9th, 2009

Work Work Work

Jul 9

What I do for Fun

I’ve been slowly making progress on a garden project since March and finally can see the end in sight.

As usual I forgot to get before photos.
It’s not that I really forget, it’s more like I hate to preserve an ugly image.

Judson Street Garden - before

So here’s a little something that’s occupied in total about 80 hours of my time. It’s only taken me 4 months to get this far. And people wonder when I tell them I’m extremely slow.

Judson Street Garden

Well first off – I hand pick every piece of stone after driving nearly 50 miles to the ‘quarry’. Getting a load of stone is a day’s work in itself. Those sandstone slabs are often the size of the bed of my truck. Let’s see how many you can get on your vehicle by hand let alone how long it would take ya.

Jusdon St garden - progress

While the front yard isn’t very large one of the goals was to eliminate the lawn. Another consideration was to have the yard look interesting in the winter. A real challenge when the ground goes bare around here. A bed of mulch isn’t all that interesting for months on end.

Judson St garden

I had to put on my thinking cap but since I have rocks in my head – that’s what I came up with. Use stone to take up space – extend the walk – put in a dry stream bed and scatter some boulders around.

Judson St Garden

I’ve yet to get the all the boulders and finish the stream bed but you get the idea. And as you can see I have plenty of planting yet to do. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get everything I needed in one truck load. Delays – delays – another trip to Long Island is going to have to wait.

Judson St Garden

Those hostas have to be moved – that’s a sunny spot and I don’t want to waste the sun on Hosta. I’m thinking Coreopsis (Zagreb and Creme Brulee), Coneflowers and Black-eyed-Susans will make a good start with some Sedum growing along the walk and stream to soften the edges.

Judson Street Garden

But all this is being put on hold while I do something I never have before. I went and rented a bobcat to use on a job. It’s being delivered tomorrow and I’m going to have to play with it for two weeks. I got carried away when I order this stone and once delivered I realized I wasn’t about to move all this by hand.

Stone for a patio

Looks like this is going to be a rather large patio. Some of those sandstone slabs are 7 and 8 feet long and about as wide.