The Six Degrees Of Favorite Plants-SL Blogathon

june-5-2008-110-3“The six plants I cannot do without” has been chosen as the topic for a simultaneous blog posting by The Grumpy
Gardener of Southern Living Magazine
from various points in the United States. We are quite honored to be among the group doing the posting and have put on the thinking cap to make the attempt to narrow the plants that are simply must haves to only six. This type of list has been made several times before, whenever we had to move due to The Financier’s job relocation. The hand written papers are secured for reference in the three ring binder of garden records. Even the lists of long ago contained over one hundred plants. To help simplify the enormity of it all, and this might be considered outside the parameters of this meme, but rules have never been paid much heed around here, the theme will be the six degrees* of must haves. Yes, this is quite a stretch, but we are asking for leniency as this is our first involvement in such an undertaking. Isn’t there such a thing as poetic license for blogs too? Shall we proceed?
The photo above shows Butterfly weed, Asclepias tuberosa covered with Great Spangled Fritillaries. We simply must grow this perennial in our garden for the brilliant orange summer color and the flutterbys it attracts. In the background is Astilbe, we cannot live without that either. Do you see how this is going to be played yet? Read on.
june-5-2008-088-2Astilbe chinensis ‘Pink Vision’ and Astilbe arendsii ‘Deutschland’ are outstanding late spring into early summer bloomers. The foliage is crisp and fresh and the dried flower heads last well into winter. But what is that peeking from behind the leaf fronds on the far right edge? Japanese Painted Fern.april-19-2008-015-2
Athyrium niponicum β€˜Pictum’ has spread itself mysteriously, by spores to nearly every bed in both the front and back gardens. This patch is below a window box planter on the shed where this fern resides. The fronds drop to the ground below and babies are born. There are many color variations in the leaves, all wonderful hues of silver with red streakings. We have found it will tolerate quite a bit of sun too. Moist shade is best for the propagation ritual though, and no human interference.september-18-2008-011-2
Verbena bonariensis is a tall see through plant whose purple flowers are irresistable to butterflies.They also love the annual seed grown Zinnias. Shown with yellow umbrellifer flowers asking to be considered is Bronze Fennel.september-7-2008-025-2
Foeniculum vulgare provides larval food for the Eastern Swallowtail butterfly among others and has dark ferny foliage that smells of licorice. It reseeds faithfully to provide vertical accents with graceful movement through summer into fall. Also seen is Rosemary, but the lead is to grasses of various sorts. Those simply must be grown in any garden we tend. Calamagrostis acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ is shown in the photo standing tall in the background. Growing to five feet or more, the silvery inflorescences turn to a pleasing straw color and will last well into winter for interest and wildlife habitat.september-7-2008-019-2
Japanese blood grass, Imperator cylindrical, is an invasive in some regions though not here at all, so we will not include it as a must have. The star shown above is Sedum telephium ‘Matrona’, whose purplish stems and flower heads set it apart from other sedums in its family. Bees and butterlies cannot resist her charms. She too stands well into the cold months for that much sought after winter interest.may-19-2008-040-2
Stipa tenuissima is planted among the native Sedum acre under the Japanese maple, Acer palmatum var. dissectum ‘Crimson Queen’ and beds far and wide here. Evergreen ponytails move in the slightest breeze. They are the wind indicator in the view out into the garden whilst the laptop is tapped from the lazyboy. Also shown are lilies, this budded beauty is Asiatic Lillium ‘Buff Pixie’ (ignore the oriental poppies, I can live without them). Tall foliage of Echinacea is visible here also. This one’s a double degree.june-18-2008-034-21
Asiatic lilies from a mixed bag rise high behind a clump of Echinacea ‘Sunrise’ with a single E. Bravada to the left. These lilies add great color splashes on tallish stems that do not need staking. They are very hardy and are not picky about soil types as long as the drainage is good. Echinacea purpurea is a super hardy long bloomer whose seed heads offer delight to the finch family. Breeders have been working diligently to come up with a more varied color palette for home gardeners, but the pinky purple and white old timers are just as garden worthy as the newer colors, and more hardy in my experience. This is another plant for winter interest, even if the seed heads have been picked clean by grateful birds.
(Feel free to visit the powder room, pour yourself a beverage, get a snack or simply stretch your legs here)
We will begin this sequence with my signature plant, the deciduous Azaleas. Click here to read their story. Shown above, Rhododendron ‘Mandarin Lights’. We are fortunate that the parental units for most of the hybrids now on the market are native to the foothills and mountains close by. Our soil and climate are to their liking, giving us huge trusses of brilliant colorful blooms with little care. The flowers appear before the leaves in spring after swollen bloom buds have offered hope and promise all winter. In the fall, the leaves turn pumpkin and russet giving four seasons of delight. More are added to the garden each year even though their large size at maturity, up to ten feet and beyond has to be taken into consideration. The branching is open and allows for underplanting however.april-21-2008-077-2
R. ‘Arneson’s Gem’, sorry the record gets stuck here, it is difficult to move on to others. This is my signature plant, really, the one plant that I cannot live without. Numero uno.image018-3
A photo from the early years shows R. ‘Arneson’s Gem and R. ‘Primrose’, the first two planted along the hedge bed. This leads to the dark foliage of a true garden performer, Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’.may-26-2008-3-2
P. ‘Husker Red’ offers four season interest with evergreen dark reddish leaves. The tall flower spikes bloom in late spring with white, lavender or pink flowers on seedlings that have some other Penstemon genetic material in them making for pleasant surprises. Seen blooming also is Salvia greggii, a favorite of hummingbirds. The lead is to the silver foliage in the background of the sea of Dianthus. Many cultivar crosses have produced a variety of seedlings in shades of pink, red and white with and without star centers and/or pinking shear edgings.april-27-2008-024-2
Dianthus gratianopolitanus cultivars including D. ‘Firewitch’ and D. ‘Bath’s Pink’ among several others line the middle terrace on both sides and have spread by seed beyond that. Whenever a new cultivar is spied on the nursery shelf it hops into the cart to join in the dance. Sweet scented, long blooming and with evergreen mats of glaucous foliage make this a huge favorite on the slope here. The lead is seen on the left where a white climbing rose, Rosa ‘Moonlight’, a hybrid musk is in bloom. This is the most floriferous of all the roses here. We cannot imagine having a garden without roses.september-21-2008-016-2Rosa ‘Knockout’ has proven to be one of the most popular roses of all time, deservedly so. Insects or fungal disease do not mar the long bloom period, the foliage has a reddish tint, quite attractive during the rare down time of blooming. Seen behind the rose in the above photo is Muhlenbergia capillaris in full cotton candy bloom. Planted en masse on the slope in back and along the driveway in front, Muhly Grass provides fall fireworks that rival the blazing colors of the deciduous trees as the chlorophyll fades to reveal the true hues.april-28-2008-007-2Another rose we love is the old timer, Rosa ‘Old Blush’.
In commerce for over two hundred years, this rose has been used by hybridizers for its non stop blooming of light pink blossoms. Leading from roses to groundcovers, we see Ajuga repens with striking blue flowers. The white bloom is Cerastium.april-16-2008-056-2While not the stars but important supporting actors in the garden show, the low spreading growers keep weeds down and provide cool shade for the roots of larger plants and shrubs and add colorful visual interest. Ajuga, creeping jenny, Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’ and Euporbia dulcis ‘Chameleon’ have interwoven into a magic carpet on the steep slope behind the main house.
Helleborus orientalis gives several months of bloom beginning in February here. It has evergreen large leaves with excellent substance and self sows with reckless abandon, what more could be asked of a must have plant? Blooming along with the Hellebores are the most cheering of spring flowering bulbs , daffodils. Narcissus pseudonarcissus is two weeks earlier than all other daffodils we grow, and can be divided ad infinitum to provide waves of warming color in late winter landscapes.june-20-2008-savannah-art-group-2No list of this sort would be complete without daylilies, Hemerocallis. We grow over seventy five named cultivars, and will likely add more this year. June and July are the season for those trumpet shaped flowers on tall scapes and the color combinations make for a fascinating study on warm breezy days. Selected at random from the photo files above is H. ‘Savannah Art’.
october-15-2008-038-2One chrysanthemum cultivar, now called Dendranthema rubellum ‘Sheffield Pink’ stands head and shoulders above the rest in hardiness and prolific blooming. It is thought of so highly here that it got its own post. Click
here to see more of the sheffies in bloom.april-11-2008-025-2We have only mentioned trees briefly, the Acer ‘Crimson Queen’ shown with the Stipa, but we just could not live without the dogwoods, Cornus florida. They are at peak bloom on this day. Losses in this region of these native trees due to Anthracnose disease make them even more prized.
Trying to limit the number of plants we need in a garden is futile. Trying to limit the number to six is impossible, even sixty would not be nearly enough. For some of us, rules and contraints only charge up the imagination to find ways to bypass them. Imagining six specimens of prized plants may be a noble goal, but it is one we cannot wrap our psyches around. september-2-2008-021-2
Groupings create themselves in a healthy natural gardenscape.
Datura metel, Eupatorium purpureum, Rudbeckia laciniata……

Hey!!!!!…. What is happening?….What is going on?….Who are you? ….I’m not finished….wait, there’s more…
(A deep booming voice is heard saying, “We are sorry Frances, you have gone over your allotted word and photo count, not to mention the limit of six plants. You will have to end it here. We have been more than accommodating, letting you go on and on and on well beyond your turn. Goodbye and good luck.”)
Sorry, but thanks for this opportunity,

The other participants in the blogathon are:

1. Pam at Digging in Austin, Texas.
2. Meems at Hoe And Shovel in Central Florida.
3. Judy Lowe at Diggin’ It in Boston, Mass.
4. Cameron at Defining Your Home Garden in Chapel Hill, NC
5. Helen Yoest at Gardening With Confidence in Raleigh, NC.
6. Carolyn Gail at Sweet Home and Garden Chicago in Chicago, IL.
8. Fresh Dirt by Sunset Magazine, in CA and WA.
9. Jim Long’s Garden in Blue Eye, MO.

10. Steve at Grumpy Gardener in Hoover, AL.


*Six degrees of Separation (also referred to as the “Human Web”) refers to the idea that, if a person is one step away from each person they know and two steps away from each person who is known by one of the people they know, then everyone is at most six steps away from any other person on Earth. It was popularized by a play of that name written by John Guare. It is also a game involving the actor Kevin Bacon that has been made into a group of charities under the name

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42 Responses to The Six Degrees Of Favorite Plants-SL Blogathon

  1. Frances! That was way more than six! But quite a list, anyway.

    Hi Carol, in the beginning I tried to pick only six, really. But looking at the photos of the six, I realized that every photo showed more than one plant. That started the cogs and wheels going about how to tackle an impossible task. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. LOL, I’ve given up on stuff like that a loooooooooong time ago as it is impossible to limit oneself to 5, 6 or whatever limited number of plants you’ll have to chose.

    Thanks for the botanical name of your Athryrium Niponicum Pictum as I had been lusting after that one for some time (it will make it easier to find I hope), and the same (the lusting after I mean) applies to the gorgeous Muhly Grass which is, for some unknown but very maddening reason, very hard to find over here.

    Thanks for sharing your floral bounty Frances!

    Hi YE, HA! I was aghast when told of the subject for the blogathon. But now believe that was the intention, give them an impossible subject and see where they go with it. Hope you can find the fern and the grass. Maybe as the muhly’s popularity increases it will become more widely sold. It would do very well in your climate. Thanks for visiting. πŸ™‚

  3. Jamie says:

    I tell you, it is amazing how many common plants gardeners share! We also have the butterfly weed, muhly and japanese blood grass, astilbe, ajuga and the Crimson Queen maple. I thoroughly enjoyed your post! Beautiful garden and excellent photos!

    Hi Jamie, thanks and so nice to see you! Normally it is Randy who comments, I do hope he is better with the back troubles. Those are wonderful plants aren’t they? But I don’t see the native or deciduous azaleas in your list! πŸ™‚

  4. Diana says:

    Frances — I couldn’t have guessed many of your favorites, but I could imagine the types of plants you love the most as your garden is filled with a soft and flowing style. There are so many interesting plants in your garden that we never see in our part of the country. And I thought …. gee, that’s more than 6…maybe it was supposed to be 10 favorite plants, wait…that’s got to be more than 10…oh…she’s not following the rules! Surprise!

    Hi Diana, thanks for visiting. HA you caught me. Let’s hope that I won’t get detention! It was just an impossible task to limit the number. Every photo that I chose to showcase a certain plant had other just as worthy plants in it too. I went from there. πŸ™‚

  5. Joy says:

    I just came over from Pam’s post Frances and I could only find one plant in common with her for that post … echinacea .. BUT ! .. I have about 4 in common with you, so you are closer to me ? LOL

    Hi Joy, thanks. It is true, I believe our gardens and style have more in common that we do with the climate in Austin. It would be a big adjustment to garden there for both of us, but we could look to Pam for inspiration! πŸ™‚

  6. Gail says:

    Frances, Classic fairegarden! I love your choices….Reading this post and falling into the magic of the photos reminded me of how I used to devour a great garden magazine! (Thank goodness for blogging those magazine days are almost all gone!) I love the theme and totally understand the plant selection! Thanks for several fantastic ideas…I have a Husker Red that will look lovely with the new azaleas! Gail

    Hi Gail, thanks so much. I agree about the magazines of yore, but Gardens Illustrated still makes me feel that way, thank goodness. You will be so happy with Husker as a companion for the azaleas, a match made in heaven! πŸ™‚

  7. Daphne Gould says:

    You didn’t even pick just six photos. You had 21. I love the path with the dianthus. It is one of my must have plants. I love its clove like scent.

    HA Daphne, I thought I had 22! Kind of lost track there. πŸ™‚ Dianthus is such a forgiving plant and so fragrant too. I can’t wait for them to open this year, they are just beginning.

  8. Pam/Digging says:

    I love your beautiful choices, but whoa! I lost track of how many you included! πŸ˜‰ I think I should have just included plant families myself, as I’m going to catch a lot of heat for specifying another agave over the ‘Whale’s Tongue.’

    Hi Pam, thanks. I just was not able to follow the rules. Now I will have to face the principal! It’s not too late to alter your post, you know. πŸ™‚

  9. tina says:

    I was counting and yup, more than six but you surely explained it. Great plants and great shots with all those butterflies!

    Hi Tina, thanks. I am just a rebel without a clue when it comes to plants! πŸ™‚

  10. Meems says:

    Hi Frances,
    I started with a cup of hot coffee so stretching the limit worked out perfectly. Visiting your garden is like walking dreamily through a Botanical garden. Just gorgeous!… and showcased here today in great splendor. It is a pleasure to learn about so many flowering plants that just don’t make it down here. Without cold winters and WITH our 24 hour humidity in summer it is quite a different world from yours. Which is the fun of such a meme.
    Thoroughly enjoyed the profusion of color and variety in your six degrees!

    Now I do need a refill on that coffee to visit the other participants.
    Have a great Monday!
    Meems @ Hoe and Shovel

    Hi Meems, thanks. It was just not possible to limit the number, once I started going through the photos, each had several plants that I just have to have. I can’t wait to see your list!

  11. gittan says:

    LOL! Was that really as many as six? Since I was going to be a teacher in maths, I have to say NO! They are so wrong! You only mentioned four or maby five…. “still laugthing”
    Do your really have so many different Hemerocallis? WOW!
    I’m trying to grow the Pestemon ‘Huskers Red’ from seeds, yesterday I took them out of the refrigerator hoping that’ll make it easier for them. I erally enjoyd your post / gittan

    Hi Gittan, uh oh, a math teacher, I am in trouble! HA Thanks for stopping by, I am always so glad to see you. I do have that many daylilies. My neighbors gave me 25 from their large collection when I first moved in. I didn’t know where to put them all so put them on a newly cleared hill where a large tree had been cut down to build the addition. I have added the rest on buying trips to the local daylily farms. So many to choose from, it is hard to pick. I wish you could come and make selections for your own garden here. Good luck with the Husker, it self sows like crazy here, although I have never tried to do it myself.

  12. Frances,

    Two cups of coffee later… my bleary eyes have gone over your list several times, just to make sure that I didn’t miss one of your selections!

    WOW! What a delightful list! I love all of your selections and you always make me long for some woodland garden space. I want to amble around your pathways.


    Hi Cameron, thanks. I sort of went overboard, but that is normal for me. I hope for you to someday see the garden in person too. πŸ™‚

  13. Rose says:

    Frances, I’ve spent half my self-imposed allotment of “blogging time” this morning reading your post. I even took your suggestion for an intermission to pour another cup of tea and put on the coffee:) But, oh, was it worth it! I looked carefully at every photo and read every detail about each plant. Some of these I have, but some I don’t. I am planning a new garden area specifically for attracting butterflies and bees, so your suggestions were very helpful there. Also, my son wants some help in adding a garden area to their home (“Would I help?” “Are you kidding??”) Thank you for all the wonderful ideas! I could have probably limited my choices to six, not having as expansive a garden as you, but this was so much more fun! I’m bookmarking this post, so I can refer to it later.

    Hi dear Rose, I know you can be counted upon to read the text, not just look at the photos, and I do appreciate that. Thanks for taking the time to do so on this one, it might be the longest post I have done to date. It sure took many hours to put together. Lucky son to have you to help him too. One of my greatest joys is helping my kids in their gardens. Glad you can use it for future reference. πŸ™‚

  14. I wondered how you were going to limit your choices Frances. Your garden is chocked full of gorgeous plants. My favorite is you very first choice. Love em all though.

    Hi Lisa, thanks. You do seem to know me well. Can’t wait to meet you in person, although I feel we already know each other. The butterfly weed is one of my very best plants, and the butterflies agree. It is slow to get going, and late to emerge in the spring. I have located most of them this year and await that wonderful show. I should mark them so they don’t get dug around.

  15. Dave says:

    Frances I think you could write a book on this, and probably should! Lots of great plants in there. I really like the stepping stone pathway with all the dianthus. I may have to borrow that idea!

    Hi Dave, thanks. Someday I do hope to put something together for my family to enjoy. Borrow any ideas you want, that’s the goal of showing so much. πŸ™‚

  16. Darla says:

    Just stunning Frances.

    Hi Darla, thanks. Glad you liked it.

  17. I love all you choices, Frances! Yes, it was hard to limit to six. I could just have easily named your list as I did my own. As always, your photos are wonderful.

    Helen Yoest

    Hi Helen, thanks. I was unable to follow instructions. HA We did pick a couple of the same ones. I am interested to see how many of the same choices were made across the country. Those would be must have plants indeed! πŸ™‚

  18. Oh Frances, I love all *six* of them. All were on my original list of 50 before I had to weed it down. Can’t wait till I’m back in Tennessee and can have them in my garden again. As usual, your photos are soooo appealing. A wonderful post!

    Hi Judy, thanks so much. You should have seen how many were on my original list before I narrowed it down. πŸ™‚ TN is an ideal place to garden. Hope you are within driving distance, I would love to meet you when you come back if not before.

  19. Jean says:

    Too funny Frances. I especially love those deciduous azaleas. I saw some fabulous ones at the Caroline Dorman Nature Preserve but they’re hard to find/buy here. The photos of your garden are truly beautiful!

    Hi Jean, thanks. Sometimes they are hard to find here too. Right now there are several at Lowe’s, I did get one to replace another dead shrub. I could probably find room for another if pressed. πŸ™‚

  20. joey says:

    Loved this post, Frances, curious to see what you would choose πŸ™‚ You have several favorites in my garden ~ Japanese Painted ferns, astilbe, and exbury azalias for a starter!

    Hi Joey, thanks. I know your garden is a paradise, especially if it contains those wonderful plants. I am lucky they can also grow in full sun and dry soil besides the woodland conditions.

  21. carolyngail says:

    Psst…did you ridgerunners take math in school, Frances πŸ™‚ ?

    Your selections are marvelous and I especially like the Cornus florida and the Dendrathema rubellum which I have in my garden as well.

    Grumpy Gardener should’ve known better than to ask us to limit it to 6 plants.

    Hi Carolyn Gail, thanks! HA, believe it or not, I was a bit of a math whiz in school. I was the only female in my calculus class. πŸ™‚ I love the term ridgerunner BTW, very appropriate here. I must have misunderstood the instructions, I thought six was just a suggestion. πŸ™‚

  22. michelle says:

    I can’t get over the awesomeness of your garden!

    Hi Michelle, thanks so much. Glad you liked the show. πŸ™‚

  23. Grumpy Gardener says:

    Frances, next time I’ll ask everyone to write about “The 600 Plants I Can’t Live Without.” I can hear you now…..”Six hundred? How can I pare it down to 600?”

    Hi Grumpy, you must be psychic, for as soon as I hear there are rules, I am already thinking how to get around them. A personality disorder from birth. πŸ™‚

  24. Don’t worry about being a bit creative–you possess a poetic license (hyuck hyuck). There is NO WAY I could narrow down anything to only six plants, nosireebob. So I like your approach but am very glad I wasn’t asked to do the same!

    HA Monica, thanks. What’s that phrase? Fools rush in where angels fear to tread? Which leads us to Devil or Angel? πŸ™‚ And you know how I love a good hyuck.

  25. Catherine says:

    I can see why you had such a hard time stopping. You have so many pretty choices. I never knew the Japanese Painted Fern would reseed, I’m just happy to see it return at all this year.

    Hi Catherine, thanks for understanding. The painted fern surprised me here. The babies began showing up under the blue star junipers in front that were downhill from the ferns. I began transplanting them to other parts of the garden, and everywhere a baby was planted, it produces more babies. No other ferns have spread like that for me. I cannot explain how or why, but am happy with the results. πŸ™‚

  26. Nicole says:

    You have some awesome plant combos-love the dark leaves and esp the pic with the pink mulhy. Almost all your plants are totally exotic to me (save the rose), I don’t believe we grow any of those plants here though I am sure we can try some like the bloodgrass, Penstemon and muhly. Love the orange and red blooms( I believe rhododendron).

    Hi Nicole, thanks. It is probably true that most of these plants would not grow in your tropical locale. Many of them would not even grow in Houston when I moved them there. They had to be redug and brought back to Tennessee until I moved back here. The rhododendrons, deciduous azaleas that are native here, are the most spectacular plants in my garden. They are just beginning to bloom. πŸ™‚

  27. Some how I had a feeling you wouldn’t be able to limit it to six!

    Hi MMD, you were right about that. I really did try and finally just gave up and figured out this presentation instead.

  28. Robin says:

    Beautiful post! Great plant list, I love how you creatively worked around the limitations!

    Hi Robin, thanks so much. I am glad you didn’t mind a little rule bending. πŸ™‚

  29. Hello Frances

    Do you think you’ve missed anything out? ha ha.

    What a comprehensive post. I love the garden path by the way.

    I’m going to resist complimenting you on your photos as I said that before and don’t want to be repetitive. NICE PHOTOS though. I could’t resist.

    Does your Datura get through winter over there?


    Hi Rob, thanks. I did leave out many more must haves. All the plants here are must haves, or they wouldn’t be planted. HA I love looking at photos on blogs, especially yours. πŸ™‚ The Datura metal is a wildling here, it came with the property. It is an annual but self seeds easily. I leave a few to grow on each year, they get huge.

  30. I am agog at your beautiful plant combinations – I especially like the Japanese blood grass with Sedum ‘Matrona’. And I can see why ‘Arneson’s Gem’ (new to me) is a signature plant for you. And loved the blush rose photo.

    Well, why should gardeners limit ourselves to a small selection of plants – nature doesn’t!

    Hi Pomona, thanks, I do love the word agog. πŸ™‚ Arneson’s Gem is one of the prettiest of the deciduous azaleas, but they are all my signature plants, again there is no way I could pick just one above the rest. Or six. HA

  31. Jake says:

    I have grown a few of these and they are all great plants! Your blog is very nice, I will try and stop by later on.


    Hi Jake, thanks and welcome.

  32. Pingback: Digging » Six plants I can’t live without

  33. Racquel says:

    It really is hard to narrow down to six Frances, lol. Loved all the photos. Had to take a brief break to get a drink of water though, lol. πŸ˜‰

    Hi Racquel, thanks. That’s why I had to include an intermission. πŸ™‚

  34. Beautiful gardens and flowers. I think it would be WAY too hard to limit a list to six plants. πŸ™‚

    Hi Shady, thanks. It was too hard for me, I just couldn’t do it. πŸ™‚

  35. lynn says:

    I’m sure with all gardeners, our list of favorites change seasonally, yearly..etc..I agree on the butterfly weed, exbury azalea, and daylilies..those are my favorites too! Your photos really need to be published, Frances..I’m serious!! I’m bummed my mullenbergia did not come back!

    Hi Lynn, thanks for understanding and the kind words. I do plan on someday putting something together for my family. So sorry about your muhly though, that is a bummer. 😦

  36. Genevieve says:

    Lovely photos as always, Frances! I’m totally jealous of your success with coneflowers and Japanese Painted Fern (Athyrium). Here our winter rains make them struggle, but yours are wonderful.

    Hi Genevieve, thanks. I didn’t realize those two plants would not do well for you. So sorry.

  37. MrBrownThumb says:

    That first picture is awesome!

    Hi Mr.BT, thanks. That was a special day. I was sitting in a chair very close to the butterfly weed with camera in hand and the fritts were all over it. I tried to get a photo with as many butterflies in it as possible, but didn’t come close to what was really happening. A pleasant memory.

  38. Carol says:

    Frances you are a magician! How beautiful your gardens are and I love your favorites and gorgeous photos.

    Hi Carol, thanks so much. Maybe more of a very hard worker with a little luck thrown in, is that the definition of magic? πŸ™‚

  39. Semi says:

    I am so jealous of your azaleas. The pics are beautiful! The intermission cracked me up and the booming voice. Even if u did go over a by a few plants they were all worthy of being included. Love semi

    Hello dear Semi, thanks for getting all the attempts at humor and light heartedness. Hyperactive overachievers need love and understanding too. πŸ™‚

  40. Patsi says:

    Let me see…
    love the Japanese blood grass, coneflowers, muhly grass and EVERYTHING else.
    This is a keeper !

    Hi Patsi, thanks so much. I must have ALL the plants growing in the garden, or they would not be there. πŸ™‚

  41. Steve is exaggerating, isn’t he, Frances? 600? Bet you could cut the list down to 30 or so. Gail said it right – Classic Fairegarden!
    Your photos and combinations are lovely, whether they followed the rules or not.

    Your pairing of Creeping Jenny and Ajuga is tempting me to set some gold coins loose among the Bugleweed just to see what happens.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

    Hi Annie, HA, who knows with Steve? He is a bit of a kidder. I don’t know if 30 if enough however. Everything that grows here is a must have, that is why we grow it. The creeping jenny creeped several feet to blend in with the ajuga, I played no part in it, but it is one of the best combos here. The Chameleon really sets it off too, something else I had nothing do with. Give it a try, it will brighten a shady spot. πŸ™‚

  42. Rhonda says:

    i am astounded at the amount and variety of plants you have..and the way you’ve married them is just beautiful. how long has this garden been in existence…I ask so that I might have hope for the future..LOL

    Hi Rhonda, thanks so much. I keep putting stuff in, and it weaves and seeds about making the garden constantly changing. I have been working on this garden for 8 years, nonstop! πŸ™‚

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