Today we’re back to Keith in chilly Zone 3 in Canada.
This area was probably the most eye-catching vignette in the garden up until 2021. In the spring of 2022 the ground-level deck, tiered plant stands, and pebblestone slabs all had to be removed because the wood on the plant stands was rotted to the point it was unsafe to climb up there for watering.
Not only is this garden challenged by the cold Zone 3 climate, but water is also an issue. Since we live in the country, our water comes from a well with limited supply, and it is ice cold. We collect up to 450 gallons of rainwater in four barrels. The vegetable garden raised beds and all the many containers are hand-watered with 2-gallon water cans. In-ground beds are in Mother Nature’s hands for watering.
After much discussion a decision was made to replace the tiered structure with a simple ground-level composite deck, which cut back our annual planting and daily watering tremendously.
I mentioned this container in my original post, but there wasn’t room for a photo. This was my grandmother’s cast-iron maple syrup cauldron. Here it is planted with a red canna (Canna hybrid, Zones 8–10 or as a tender bulb), Inferno and Wasabi coleus (Coleus scutellarioides, Zones 10–12 or as annuals), impatiens (Impatiens walleriana, Zones 10–12 or as an annual), and Zinnia ‘Zahara Sunburst’ (annual).
Mexican firecracker vine (Ipomoea lobata, Zones 10–12 or as an annual) adorns a five-plex birdhouse that was a winter project.
It is amazing how large Amaranthus ‘Tricolor’ (annual) gets in a large pot. It is sharing its home here with lime sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas, Zones 10–12 or as an annual) and Mexican firecracker vine.
Here is a typical annual bed since we changed our color scheme to red, yellow, and orange. Any blues, purples, etc., are perennials from before the change. Featured here are Rudbeckia ‘Cherokee Sunset’ (Zones 3–8, usually grown as an annual), ‘Love Lies Bleeding’ amaranthus (Amaranthus caudatus, annual), and Zinnia ‘Zahara Sunset’.
One of three tree peonies (Paeonia hybrid, Zones 3–8) we have. There is also a red one and a yellow one. These are pushing the hardiness zone, but most years I cover them with Styrofoam boxes in the winter. I don’t get mortality if they don’t get covered, but they either don’t bloom or the blooms are sparse.
My favorite lily, Lilium ‘Hotel California’ (Zones 3–9)
I think this is Clematis integrifolia (Zones 3–8). It is a nonclimbing clematis, only about 3 feet tall. I have never had any luck overwintering a regular clematis.
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