Garden Photo of the Day

READER PHOTOS! Cynthia’s garden in Kansas

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Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Cynthia Blixt

Today’s photos are from Cynthia Blixt in Merriam, Kansas. She says, “My husband built my garden out of some large rocks. He works for a construction company and had access to the right kind of equipment to move the rocks into a horseshoe shape. After filling in the raised area with dirt, I didn’t have very much money for plants the first year. So, I add a little more each year. The garden is starting to fill in nicely now but I would still like it to be even more full and lush. The major colors employed are purple, pink and yellow. The main perennials of the garden are two butterfly bushes.  I try to use mostly native and/or very tough plants. This area of the country really has extremes with weather. Last winter we had a lot of snow and ice but in the summer the temperature was over 100 degrees for almost a month. In contrast, this winter we have barely had any snow.”

Beautiful plantings, Cynthia! Keep us posted this year. We’d love to see more photos. Thanks!

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Cynthia Blixt

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  1. lijda 03/07/2012

    I haven't seen that sedum grow so thickly except in a botanical garden. If it's Sedum rupestre 'Angelina', I have it but mine is skimpy. Can you tell me what kind of soil you have (is it clay?) and how much sun it gets? Although I've heard complaints about clay, it seems (from comparing notes with my sister) that some plants prefer it.

    And I smiled at the thought of a hubby who not only helps but isn't limited to a shovel. The rocks look great. Thank you for sharing.

  2. ToniaVuksanovic 03/07/2012

    Could you please tell us what the ground cover is, the chartreuse coloured low lying plant. Perhaps it's not ground cover, sorry for my ignorance :o) It's really pretty.

  3. User avater
    meander_michaele 03/07/2012

    I, too, was admiring how thick and filled in the golden sedum groundcover is. It certainly likes its location and thumbs its nose at those challenging Kansas weather conditions Cynthia describes. I hope Cynthia treats us to another round of pictures that shows off her butterfly bushes in bloom.

  4. terieLR 03/07/2012

    Cynthia, Your plants are happy! Day lily are a great choice for your area. I see bishops weed in the second photo. You may want to get that ALL out or it will take over your garden. I made that mistake early on... Relocate it somewhere where it can show off without being a threat to your hard work. I put mine at the edge of the woods. The Viburnum will look very handsome in time. Happy gardening ;)

  5. polandae 03/07/2012

    Hi Cynthia! I absolutely love it! Thank you so much for sharing. I would love to see more of what you've done.

  6. ANewLeaf 03/07/2012

    Love the contrast in texture and colors of the Sedum and Hostas'

  7. janetsfolly 03/07/2012

    I love your color theme, so soothing. I, also, would love to see more of what you've done! However, I would strongly suggest not moving that Bishop's Weed anywhere. It's aggressive, invasive and, though lovely at first look, can become SUCH a nuisance! Just dig it out and burn it or bag it for the landfill. My mother came to refer to it simply as 'that miserable stuff'; took her 4 years to completely eliminate it from a 3x8 bed! Ah, the joys of the garden...

  8. KatyS 03/07/2012

    Your colors are beautiful! Thank you for sharing the photos. (If you do end up ripping out the Bishop's Weed, liatris spicata might be a good, well-behaved substitute in your area, if you like the purple-spikey kind of thing that's tough.) Can't wait to see more of your work!

  9. wittyone 03/07/2012

    This looks wonderful. You are so lucky to have a husband with access to big rocks and big machines to move them around with. I love rocks and since we live in southern Indiana, a major limestone area, am always seeing nice specimens just laying around for the taking. When I point these wonderful rocks out my husband inevitably says, "Do you have any idea how much that is likely to weigh?" That of course ends the discussion.

    It is hard not to be impatient about slowly filling out a planting area but very rewarding to watch small plants fill out to the size where they can be divided. Once you get to that point you're in business.

    Good work! Keep at it!

  10. greengrowler 03/07/2012

    Re: 'Angelina' sedum - it flourishes in my rocky clay soil - something that grows well in Colorado! What is amazes me is how well it grows with the shade and more moisture-loving Hostas. Goes to show "nature do what nature wants to do" - stunning combination, Cynthia. I agree with TeriLR - heed her warning and rip out that Bishop's weed ASAP (also called "snow on the mountain"). It's a thug that will obliterate your lovely hosta area.
    Lovely garden, Cynthia! I envy your hubby's brute labor - my husband is allergic to everything and has multiple herniated discs so the only "grunt" in my garden is me!

  11. sheilaschultz 03/07/2012

    Love the combo of the hosta and Angelina, great textural differences. I use Angelina a lot in my Denver gardens, and this time of year the color goes from chartreuse to burnt orange!It's an awesome sedum.

  12. pattyspencer 03/08/2012

    Really like your combinations! I've been eyeing snow-in-summer for years - glad I read these posts as I have enough "stuff" that has taken over my garden areas and I have a terrible time getting rid of.

  13. Josefly 03/08/2012

    Very pretty combinations. I'm reading all those warnings about Bishops Weed, but I love the stuff. It's so soft-looking, and brightens the edge of a shady bed alongside my patio, with a few ferns, bearded iris, and a stray lenten rose or two. It's stayed put there for about 15 years, even though there's plenty of space between the plants where it could spread if it wanted to. In my red Georgia clay, it just doesn't seem to be so invasive, but maybe the summer heat keeps it in check?

  14. Parb 03/23/2012

    I want to know how you kept your hostas happy in Summer heat in excess of 100 degrees? Last Summer was the hottest on record here in Texas and I live in Angelina Co., Texas and it seemed like Arizona. I am in Deep East Texas just 100 miles from the Louisiana border, so temps in excess of 110 degrees are not the norm for us. We usually have upper 90's with high humidity and an occasional temp of 100-103. I think we had one day of 121 degrees. I love hostas, but they do not seem happy with our heat and humidity. I just eyed some 'Wide Brim' today at our local warehouse store. I am thinking, thinking, thinking. LOL! Hope does spring eternal.

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