Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Nasturtiums and Foxgloves for the Cottage Garden

I have always wanted a cottage garden look for my garden and now that I'm living in a Victorian home it is even more important to me to have that look throughout the garden. If there is one plant I love in the cottage garden it is nasturtiums. We have some nasturtiums growing near the big box trellises that the previous home owner planted, but the plants have never been fully established. I was able to get a bit of seed from these vines but not enough to really plant up the garden. I've decided to buy some nasturtium seeds and add them beneath the climbing roses since the small lavenders are not thriving as I'd hoped in that area. Someday the lavenders will do better, but now is the time to line the nasturtiums against the fence for added color beneath the other plants, and the lavenders can play catch up later. I am thinking of adding nasturtiums under the butterfly bushes in the back yard to brighten that area as well since not much else grows against the back fence.

My set of six new foxgloves near the front porch are not growing much this season, they are small enough that they will probably do their full growth next spring. One of the first years I lived here the three foxgloves I planted grew tall and looked fantastic in the little corner next to the porch. I am hoping this batch of foxgloves re-seeds enough to keep the biennial foxgloves growing in this area for future seasons. Another set of foxgloves planted this year along with the current set of foxgloves would probably do the trick. I'm discovering more is better in this case for foxgloves to establish themselves and re-seed readily. The back yard shade border has a few foxgloves that have re-seeded, but not enough were planted to really get things going. Eventually I'd like to have ferns and foxgloves take over that border, I think this would be a beautiful combination in that shady area.

The brodiaea star shaped flowers I planted throughout the garden are in full bloom this summer and although the stems are thin and delicate, the bulb's brilliant purple blue flower tones are a fantastic addition to the flower beds and barrel in the back yard. The brodiaea bulbs are also planted in the porch corner next to the front steps with the new foxgloves, by next year when the foxgloves bloom they will provide a wonderful sea of color below the tall spires of the foxgloves.

One thing I have discovered in building up my cottage style garden is that I need to plant in greater numbers to achieve the effect I am looking for when it comes to nasturtiums and foxgloves. The brodiaea bulbs are succeeding, but more nasturtium seeds and foxgloves are needed to plant so the look I am envisioning will come to be in the coming seasons.

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