Thursday, December 11, 2014

Next Year

Rain and downpours (not snow, though). Cold and drizzle. December needs to get its act together before the holidays. .  . this chill gray wet is not acceptable.

I need to start remembering what I did this year that I want to repeat or eliminate next year. If I don't write this stuff down it never occurs to me later.

Next year I am not planting zinnias. I love them, but am tiring of the hot colors and gangly height. They are a great summer sight -- look at this great stand I had of 'Cut & Come Again' -- but I'll skip them for a season or two.

Next year I am going to go back to having a mixed herb bowl. Of all the things I have tried in this planter bowl, including lettuces and annuals, I like the combination of herbs the best -- oregano, sage, some parsley, and gnome.

Next year I am going to plant a single line of California poppies in the tiny strip of gravel along the base of the stone wall I built. Will this work? Is there enough growing space, enough soil in the grit?
Next year I want to plant scaveola in the pot in the iron stand. Of all the things I have tried in this little planter, the scaveola has been the most successful. It draped beautifully without overwhelming the pot and stand. It bloomed constantly all summer and fall. There is a white variety too. I can't get the color right in this photo -- in reality the scaveola is a rich purple (and the gravel isn't so brown... having trouble adjusting the filters or something here).

Next year I am going to plant more tobacco, both the giant Nicotiana sylvestris and the pretty N. alata. They do really well for me and they bloom on and on. White, elegant, kind of dramatic from afar, easy. Even the low red perfumed ones that I had in pots were great. The big white ones do need staking.

Next year I think I'll forego coleus. I liked the low spreader 'Chocolate Drop' in past years and had big swaths of it as a ground cover. I used it again this year and planned to take cuttings for winter so I'd have more for next year, but I tired of it. In early summer before it fills out it's just clumpy, and then it petered out -- it didn't get enough really hot weather this year. My affections for it faded.

Next year I want to get lots of 'Karl Foerster' grasses and put them at the edges of the meadow. I tried these open airy grasses in my mixed borders and they overwhelmed and just didn't fit. Then a stray clump I had discarded in the meadow grew among the other weeds and showed me how lovely this grass is in that setting. So I'll try putting them in where the tall weeds meet the mowed lawn as definition points. The sharp transition between lawn and weedy meadow is a challenge and the 'Karl Foerster' grass is just wild but elegant enough to define the edge.

Next year I am going to get more Allium 'Millennium' and put them in the two oblong clay pots. I did that last year and loved them. They bloomed all summer, sturdy little things. I transplanted these summer flowering bulbs to Meadow's Edge, but want more to repeat the display in the pots on the deck.

There are more plants I want to repeat, and others I don't think I'll do again --- can't remember them all now, though. Must write these things down.

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