The Violet Fern

A Colorful Tale of a Garden in the Making

Order Up!

5 Comments

What am I doing today? NOT working, NOT cleaning, NOT laundry, NOT painting the walls … I am going to catch up! I have so many posts on my list and here it is March already. I also have more orders to place for plants and seeds!

I have already placed two orders. From Nature Hills I ordered my rhubarb (Canada Red) – yeah!, everbearing strawberries and long awaited Serviceberry, Amelanchier Laevis – another check off my “list!The Serviceberry is an excellent northeastern native choice. It is an understory large shrub or small tree that has spring blooms, fall color and berries that are a favorite of the birds. It is hardy to Z4. I will be placing this tree in my new “woodland edge” section of my garden. I will be working on this section over the entire summer into fall.

Serviceberry, Amelanchier Laevis
 Photo taken from Nature Hills Nursery website.

From Johnny’s seeds well, I ordered seeds! And quite a few. For some of my newer flower beds and near the potager, I ordered a variety of sunflowers. Sunflowers are easy to grow and they make a big, bold statement as well as providing a good screen. The birds and bees love ’em, too. I make sure to choose varieties that DO have pollen. I chose Ring of Fire, Valentine, and Velvet Queen. I still have some Mammoth seeds leftover from last year.

Mammoth Sunflower

Also for decorative, edible edging in the potager, I ordered some nasturtium, kaleidoscope mix. I also have some nasturtium seeds saved from last year as well as a TON of marigold seeds.

 Nasturtium

For the real tasty stuff I ordered scarlet runner bean – also a favorite of humming birds. I plan to put together an arbor for that to climb on. April will be a month of making garden support structures! I also ordered royal burgundy bush beans – they are purple but turn green when you cook them, how fun! – northern pickling mini cucumbers, bright lights swiss chard, a couple lettuce/greens mixes, cilantro, and some dill and fennel. The fennel I ordered is not a bulbing type and I do not plan to harvest it. I ordered it as a host plant for butterflies – dill and parsley are also favorite host plants. I plan to work the fennel, some of the dill and some parsley into the flower border along the potager. The border now is mostly all lilies with a backdrop of wild grape and I will be reworking it.

The flower border a couple of years ago. This will be reworked – 
slightly wider with three distinct sections.

Lastly, I ordered some verbena seed, Verbena Bonariensis. I have read repeatedly that this is a favorite of butterflies and that it reseeds itself. I will be working this into the border along the “nice driveway.”

I plan to place at least three more orders. From one of my native plant sources, Prairie Moon, I will be ordering some common witch hazel and a swamp rose (bare root). Both of these are natives. The common witch hazel will go in my very new “woodland” garden section (surrounding future patio). The swamp rose will be incorporated into the border along the potager in the above picture. There is a section that tends to be very wet in the spring. The swamp rose will provide winter hips for fruit eating birds.

From Mountain Rose Herbs, I will be ordering some seeds: calendula (thanks to my blogging friends!) for edging in the potager, borage for the flower border, and california poppies for along the driveway.

From Bluestone Perennials I will be ordering some plants for the border along the driveway which I plan to expand. I am planning big and bold! One choice is indian grass, an American native grass that grows to 6′ tall and is hardy to Z4. This will be a nice screen as well as provide cover for butterflies and birds, and winter interest. I will also order goldenrod. Contrary to popular belief, goldenrod does not cause hay fever – that would be ragweed. It is a favorite among all sorts of insects and offers a great fall show. Also on my list is giant cone flower, Rudbeckia Maxima. This will grow 5- 7′ tall! Another great screen and appealing to butterflies. The leaves are blue in color and also attractive.

Whew, I will be busy as a bee! Time to order up!

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Author: Kathy Sturr

Author of the Violet Fern blog, artist, and master gardener.

5 thoughts on “Order Up!

  1. Wow, you are going to be busy. It will be interesting to compare our serviceberries, I planted canadensis last fall.

  2. Even though I just finished dinner, reading this made me hungry! It also made me tired; you are way more ambitious than I am. But, be honest, who is going to be building those support structures — you or your favorite contractor? 🙂 -Jean

  3. How fun to get your order in. I love the Serviceberry, what a pretty tree. I wish I knew you wanted Verbena bonariensis. I have tons of seed I'd love to share. If you want more or it's not too late to cancel please let me know on my blog email and I'll send you some. It is a great plant.

  4. You definitely placed a large order(s)! I peruse the pages of my catalogs over and over again. Can't wait to see the bounty!

  5. Thank you all for your comments. Deborah, I went back and forth over the service berry. Yes, I would love to compare! Jean, you made me laugh right out loud. Sadly, I will be making the support structures – let's hope they hold up! Ha. Catherine you are so sweet. The seeds were not much and now I am glad of my purchase knowing that you are so successful and happy with yours! Kimberly, I am sort of afraid of my large orders but it forces me to get out there and dig! I won't always be so ambitious once I have this garden going for a couple years. Thanks again!

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