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Kerry's Garden 2019

I am once again writing about my garden each month. You'll get to see the good and the bad, after all gardening is a different adventure every year.

Contributors: Kerry Meyer

You hear me talk about my garden every month in the newsletter, so I thought I would show you a few photos so you could actually see what I am doing. I will periodically add new photos. You can also see photos of my garden from 20092010, 2012, 20132014201520162017 and 2018. Please note that most of the plants in my containers will not be available at retail garden centers until spring 2020.

Kerry lives and gardens in central Missouri on 10 acres, half of which is a rocky wooded hillside. She and her husband bought their house in 2005. They, along with their daughter, now live mere miles from the small family farm where she grew up, near her hometown of around 300. Both of her grandmothers and her mother loved flowers and passed this passion on to her and she plans on passing this on to her daughter. She expects her garden to continue to grow as she has time to add to and improve existing beds. Kerry has a BS in Horticulture from the University of Missouri and an MS in Horticultural Science with a minor in Plant Breeding from the University of Minnesota. After graduation she lived for 5 years on the Central Coast of California before returning to the Midwest.

May 14

In some ways not much at all has happened in my garden. Take a look at the photo below, showing the plants that I am waiting to get in the garden when it is dry enough to plant. Nothing has changed.  I think it's getting close to dry enough to plant, but I'm not quite there yet. 

The sunflowers my daughter is growing are a good 8 to 10 inches tall, but the Caladiums still show no signs of growth. I think it might be too cool for them.

And in other ways a lot has changed, which you'll see in the rest of these photos. Here is the honeysuckle in full bloom. I could hear the hummingbirds when I was out taking the photos.  They zoomed back to the tree where (I presume) they have their nest. The Peonies are finally just starting to bloom.  The two open flowers you see here are the only two that have fully opened so far. I expect them to be bursting with blooms very soon.  We are supposed to be in the 80's the rest of this week!


Here is the front bed. There hasn't been a lot of new growth yet on the annuals I planted earlier, but with the warmer weather I expect them to take off. I'm sure they have been growing roots already.

And you get a bonus photo of a Peony bud from the end of that bed.


Lemon Coral Sedum and Vemillionaire Cuphea, well acclimated to their homes, but they haven't really grown much yet. 

I am the Floriculture project leader for our local 4-H club. We had a meeting at one of our local garden centers and the member picked out plants for a combination planter to grow as a fair exhibit. My daughter is still in Clover Kids, but she selected plants to go in the planters by the front steps.  I don't think I would have put Superbena Royale Peachy Keen verbena (which is peach) with Supertunia Bourdeaux, a pink pentas and Rockin' Playin' the Blues Salvia together in a teal pot, but that is what she wanted. I've been surprised before by a mix of plants that looked awesome when I didn't think it would.  We'll see...stay tuned!

A close up look at the plants in the planters above.

I have a couple of close ups from the bed to the right of the front steps, but it hasn't filled in yet and I haven't weeded in a couple of weeks either.  It's been really busy around here!  Cat's Meow Nepeta looking great!


I am sucker for the compact Oriental Lilies and bought another one this year.  The ones from previous years are starting to bud, but aren't blooming yet.  This one was force budded before I bought it so it's already in full flower.

The big bed hasn't been planted yet with annuals.  I am hoping we will be dry enough this weekend to do it.  It is showing some color from the Double Play® Big Bang Spirea. The second photo is a close up of the Big Bang.


I saved my most specataular plant, at this moment anyway, for last.  Dream Catcher® Kolkwitzia is in full flower and looking awesome! The flowers are fragrant and the pollinators are all over it.

Check out those flowers!

Here are pollinator photos I snagged today on Dream Catcher.  I think this one is a clear-wing moth.



May 1

Last Friday, I made my second foray out to the local garden centers in search of Proven Winners plants for my garden. I found most of the varieties that were at the top of my must-have list. Between my two shopping trips I found Truffula Pink Gomphrena (brand new for this year, a total score!), Rockin'® Playin' the Blues® SalviaVermillionaire® Cuphea, Senorita Rosalita® Cleome and Lemon Coral® Sedum on the annual side. For perennials I bought 2 more 'Storm Cloud' Amsonia' because I want to group them with the one I already have planted.  I love the early spring color and the black stems are so cool. For shrubs, I bought Invincibelle Wee White® Hydrangea,  Invincibelle Mini Mauvette® Hydrangea and Spilled Wine® Weigela.  Here are the plants still waiting to get transplanted.

Invincibelle Mini Mauvette® Hydrangea, Spilled Wine® Weigela and 'Storm Cloud' Amsonialooking good while waiting.

I did get my two front beds by the porch planted last weekend. The soil was dry enough (barely) and I had the time (barely). In addition to the existing plant material in this bed, I added 5 Lemon Coral® Sedum, 3 Vermillionaire® CupheaRockin'® Playin' the Blues® SalviaTruffula Pink Gomphrena and Invincibelle Wee White® Hydrangea this year.  It should be all set for the summer.


On the other side of the front steps, I added 5 Vermillionaire® Cuphea, 6 Rockin'® Playin' the Blues® Salvia, 5 Truffula Pink Gomphrena and 7 Senorita Rosalita® CleomeIt should also be ready for the season ahead.

I have quite a few plants waiting to go into my big bed, unfortunately it was too wet to plant last weekend when I worked on the other beds, plus I ran out of time. Then this week it has already rained 4 inches, with more to come.  We should get a break, with sun over the weekend but then next week - more rain. Who knows when I'll get to plant the big bed. It's pretty much a muddy mess at the moment.

I did add one new plant to this bed.  A stem from my honeysuckle trailed on the ground long enough that it grew roots.  I left it there for a couple of years and earlier this month I transplanted it into the big bed. This honeysuckle will have more room to ramble since there is all kinds of space. I'm excited and as soon as it gets larger and the hummingbirds realize it is there, they'll be even more excited! My hummingbirds showed up a few days too early this year, the honeysuckle hadn't started to bloom yet.  Fortunately, within the week, it was blooming and the hummingbirds have one of their favorite sources of nectar for the summer to come.

The Double Play® Big Bang Spirea remains a mainstay.

The original honeysuckle in full bloom, keeping the hummingbirds happy. 'Cat's Meow' Nepeta is happily growing at the foot of the honeysuckle.

The shade bed, which is in desperate need of weeding...

Dream Catcher Kolkwitzia looking great, the chartreuse foliage foliage really lights up this bright, shady spot...

It's been cloudy and cool quite a lot in the last two weeks, so the dogwoods have remained in bloom longer than I would generall expect them to.  The dogwood closest to the house and a close up of the blooms.

Lastly, a shot that shows the woods behind the house with the river far in the background.

April 16

In the foreground is the lily which has grown a fair amount, but the Peony is the plant that is growing like gangbusters - close to 2 feet in 10 days!

The honeysuckle is getting ever larger. It grew a LOT in only 6 days!

Dream Catcher® foliage adds a ton of fresh color in early spring, a time when many other plants are just getting started.

Somewhere buried under all of these leaves are hostas and a few other plants. Yesterday I finally raked all of the leaves out of this bed and uncovered a bunch of plants coming up and in need of sun.

My big bed is a foot deep in leaves as well. When I took this photo I had maybe 6 feet worth of leaves hauled to the compost pile. Last night I finished cleaning out this bed as well. I did a quick weeding too.

The second Crabapple is in full color now too.

A closer look at the flowers.

Both trees in full color.

The lilac has started blooming as well.

The woods is in full bloom with the Serviceberry, Redbud and Dogwood trees all showing color.

Dogwood blooming.

Dogwood flower close-up.

April  11

We had a few warm, sunny days with highs at or near 80 degrees, which meant my garden was changing at lightning speed.  Here are  few photos to give you a peek at what's been happening.

On April 2, both of these shrubs (Deutzia Yuki Cherry Blossom® and Double Play® Blue Kazoo® Spirea) were just starting to show a few leaves unfurling. I did a bit of trimming to tidy things up and nine days later they are fully leafed!

'Cat's Meow' Nepeta is up and looking good. This kitty will bloom non-stop once she starts.

Lilies coming up.

Last time the crabapples were just starting to leaf out. A week later one of the two is in full, gorgeous bloom. Usually these trees just hum with bees when they are in flower. Since it was cool and overcast when I took the flowers, there were no bees to be found. It is short-lived color, but spectacular while it lasts. Below the full tree shot is a close up of the flowers


The honeysuckle bush is growing like crazy.


April 2

Early Spring is here so I grabbed my camera and looked for signs of spring emerging. Seeing these early signs of spring has me grinning with joy.

Here are some photos of emerging foliage. You have to look close to see it when you are out and about, but it is beautiful.

Double Play® Blue Kazoo® Spirea

Double Play® Red Spirea

Jackmanii Clematis

Crabapple trees 

Lilies just coming up. It's a short-lived show when they bloom, but it's pretty spectacular.

Fall blooming sedum tends to lie in wait all winter and emerges pretty early in the season. I do need to clear all of the debris out of my beds and then do some weeding!

White and yellow daffodils in bloom. I have masses of them and my daughter likes to cut them to bring early spring into the house.

Without foliage obscuring your view, you might happen upon unexpected things - like this birds nest (from last year I assume) hanging out in my Dream Catcher® Kolkwitzia shrub.


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