Garden Photo of the Day

Inspiration from Carol’s garden in North Carolina

Butterfly weed, lantana, and hibiscus bloomed all summer.  One application of slow release granular plant food did an amazing job of keeping the hibiscus leaves glossy and flowers blooming nonstop for weeks on end.

Today's photos are from Carol Thompson (previous posts HERE and HERE), who says, "After a week of rain, I am getting so excited about warmer weather and contemplating what to plant in my Charlotte, North Carolina, garden this year.  Looking through pictures from my garden, mostly from last summer, I thought I’d pass along some of the combinations I have tried.  Happy springtime and happy planting, gpod-ers!" Right back atcha, Carol! And now I MUST go buy some caladiums, once and for all.

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Soaring 'Snow Queen' oakleaf hydrangea blooms, mimicking the tree branches in the background, make my heart sing!

Foliage of Hydrangea macrophylla 'Mariesii Variegata', blue black salvia in the upper left (loved by hummingbirds), Purple Diamond loropetalum.  I love garden paths.

Flowers from my garden in a favorite bud vase

Birthday flowers from a friend and a painting by my sister made a happy pair.

I planted around 50 tulip bulbs in one container, as I saw demonstrated on a P. Allen Smith TV show.  I was so happy the purple and yellow bloomed at the same time.

My daughter planted this gorgeous combination of tulips this year for her yard in Durham, North Carolina!  She purchased the only tulip bulbs she could find at the end of the fall season on sale.  Don’t you love the colors!

Rain lily given to me by my sister-in-law, blue plumbago, and ‘Immortality’ iris foliage

'Jade Princess' millet (which I grew from seed). I saw this plant grown on UNC-TV In the Garden With Bryce Lane. Bryce Lane is an NCSU horticulture professor, and fabulous speaker at garden symposiums. 

Flax lily, coleus, caladium, torrenia

Caladium in a container

'Bengal tiger' canna, coleus, pentas, and lantana.  I forget the name of white little daisy.  Plants Delights Nursery carried it at one time.  It’s perennial and blooms all summer.

'Mojito' elephant ear, 'Black Magic' elephant ear. and 'Black Coral' elephant ear

Ostrich fern, 'Frances Williams' and 'Krossa Regal' hostas

Joe Pye weed and persicaria

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  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 04/27/2015

    Hi, Carol, your lovely and colorful pictures tapped into that anticipation gremlin who resides inside my gardener heart and mind. As much as I enjoy the here and now of what's growing and blooming, I also love to look forward to what will be filling my eyes with wonder in the next couple of months. You look to be very successful with your container you fertilize them conscientiously? And, I'm with you...I love garden pathways and yours is very welcoming.

    1. caroldt 04/27/2015

      Thanks, Meander1! I think it was Jeff (am I dreaming this?) who once mentioned that a handful of slow release fertilizer in containers would do wonders. I tried it and was amazed at how long it kept my heavy feeding plants blooming. I also add organics to my containers - kelp, seaweed extraction, siphoned water from my husband's aquarium, compost, etc. I usually have to put river rocks around young bedding plants in containers to keep squirrels from uprooting them. Medium size rocks work wonders.

      1. perenniallycrazy 04/27/2015

        Thanks for these wonderful container tips. Yes, it was Jeff!

      2. user-7007140 04/27/2015

        Thank you, Carol for the sight of your amazing containers and especially for the many tips! I have just bought my first Elephant's Ear and cannot believe the size of the bulb/corm(?). After seeing your pictures my patience has run out for Midwest weather variables and I'm just longing to PLANT.
        I love Spring but seeing all your color has made me restless.

  2. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 04/27/2015

    Those are some great combos and I am so envious that you can grown Lorpetalum. What a great focal point and companion for other plants!

  3. wGardens 04/27/2015

    Love your photos and makes me yearn to go to the nearest greenhouse with a fat wallet! I am SOOOOO ready to get my fingers dirty!

  4. NCYarden 04/27/2015

    Good morning, Carol, from a another Carolina gardener. The rain has been great. It looks like it is going to be a good growing season. Yes, it was bit cool this weekend, but such a pleasant Spring nonetheless, and just a little warmth would be welcome. But you know our potentially oppressive summer is lurking around the corner somewhere, so hopefully it won't heat up too fast. Your plant combos are wonderful. And isn't Plant Delights just delightful! What a great resource to have nearby. Love that Persian Shield. I don't do many annuals, but Persian Shield is one of them, along with the fun colors and reliability of coleus. And together they are explosive. We must share a botanical wavelength for sure. Thanks for sharing, and have a great garden season.

    1. caroldt 04/27/2015

      Thanks, fellow Carolina gardener!

  5. greengenes 04/27/2015

    Beautiful plant choices, Carol! I can see why Michelle wants to go and get some caladiums! I really like the elephant ears! Wish they would grow better around here. Its not very hot around here for those to get huge. And that is a mighty fine loropetalum! These photos makes me excited for the seasons ahead! Thanks for sharing!

  6. GrannyMay 04/27/2015

    Happy planting to you too Carol! Thanks for sharing some of your favourites from last year. They remind me of how much I loved my Elephant's Ear (Colocasia) last year when I grew it for the first time. I hope I can find it this year, as well as some Caladium and Canna to add drama to the smaller plants.

    1. caroldt 04/27/2015

      Hi GrannyMay! Have you seen Colocasia fontanesii? A friend gave me a plant several years ago and I loved the huge metallic, see through green and burgundy color. So many choices! Enjoy!

      1. GrannyMay 04/27/2015

        No, I haven't. Though I routinely check out all the garden centres within reasonable driving distance, I rarely see Colocasia or the exotic-looking large-leaf plants at all. Too bad! But good for my wallet! Mine was Colocasia esculenta 'Madeira'.

        1. caroldt 04/27/2015

          I just googled Madeira. Green with blue veins and velvety leaves that turn black in sun! Wow!

          1. GrannyMay 04/27/2015

            It really was stunning! The Black surface contrasted with the green undersides. The veins and stems were red. I would buy it again if I saw it anywhere. I can't overwinter them here, though I did read about people doing so.

  7. sheila_schultz 04/27/2015

    You are making me really eager to get planting, Carol! Your containers are great fun and often filled with the unexpected. I don't know about anyone else but it would never occur to me to plant Joe Pye in a pot, how very cool!
    BTW, I have the same little multi-vase piece, too. As a matter of fact, I had it on the table over the weekend ;) Great way to get the week started... Thanks.

    1. caroldt 04/27/2015

      Fun! I put pansies in my 4-in-one vase over the weekend. What's in yours?
      I bet not many people plant Joe Pye in a container! Because I have so much shade, one of the only ways to grow sun loving plants in my yard is in a container on the concrete driveway along that brick wall. The lengths we plant lovers will go to in order to try different plants! Now...what different plants to try this year?

  8. user-4691082 04/27/2015

    I just started Black Coral colocasia for my sons wedding in September. I hope they look as lovely as yours! Love that Persian Shield! Thanks for sharing.

    1. caroldt 04/27/2015

      My son is getting married this summer, too! Happy weddings! Enjoy your black coral elephant ear. I think the first time I saw it was in Michelle's post of her lovely garden.

  9. GrannyCC 04/27/2015

    What a wonderful eclectic mix of plants you have. They all looks so healthy so that slow release fertilizer is doing it's job. Looking forward to this years garden.

  10. perenniallycrazy 04/27/2015

    Lovely garden path and delightful containers Carol! Your plants look so healthy too.
    Love colocasias and caladiums but unfortunately not had as much luck growing them. I think not enough heat and humidity here in the PNW. Can't stop me from admiring others' specimens anyway.
    Good to see you liven up your interiors with home grown flowers too. It always brings on a smile.

  11. schatzi 04/27/2015

    Your color and texture combinations are great and you grow a lot of plants that do not do very well in the PNW, so we get to admire them in your garden. Love the Persian shield and Joe Pye weed. Just might have to try that in a container.

  12. Cenepk10 04/27/2015

    Wow ! Those plants are well tended- robust, healthy ! I loved craning my neck to look up at the oak leaf hydrangea ! One of my all time favorites !

  13. user-7007327 04/27/2015

    Love all of your plants and the vases.

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