Come rain or shine the last week of April and first few weeks of May are when the roses in my garden start their spring show. Even though we are a few weeks behind because of cooler than usual weather, the roses are right on schedule. This is good because Mike Shoup of the Antique Rose Emporium is coming for a visit in just a few days.
Mike is an expert on heritage roses so I thought it would be appropriate to invite him to speak on the subject when the roses are at their peak. To make the event even rosier Mike's talk is at the Arkansas Governor's Mansion where heritage roses abound in the gardens.
I know not everyone can make it to the lecture and not everyone has roses blooming yet so I'm giving away a copy of Mike's book Empress of the Garden. It's a big, coffee table-sized book that defines rose varieties by their personalities, which makes it easy to decide if a rose is right for you. Mike introduces us "Balloon-skirted Ladies" and "Petite Party-goers" as well as "Mysterious Ladies." And let me tell you it's always good to know you've fallen for a "Petulant Diva" before you bring her into the garden.
If you'd like to win a copy of Empress of the Garden tell me what you love most about roses – fragrance, color, rose hips? Just post a comment below. I'll select a winner at random on May 8th, 2013.
Congrats to Nancy Olig! She's the winner of this month's giveaway. Check your inbox Nancy for an email explaining how to get your copy of Mike's book. Thank you to everyone who participated!
We've planted 280,000 daffodils at the Moss Mountain Farm Garden Home. You might say I'm a little daffodil crazy, but what's not to love about this cheery little flower? They are one of the first blooms to appear in spring, the fragrance is heavenly, and they are perennial. Plus the deer won't eat them.
Right now the daffodils are in full bloom out at the farm and it's a sight to behold.
If pictures aren't enough for your daffodil loving heart, make a trip out to farm for one of our Daffodil Days open houses. Click here to learn more.
One of the showiest blooms in a Southern garden makes its appearance in late February when everything else is still asleep. It’s the Camellia japonica, cousin to the autumn flowering Camellia sasanqua. While sasanquas tend to be delicate, Camellia japonica is a bold, fleshy flower that screams, "Look at me!"
With their dark, evergreen leaves Camellias make beautiful hedges and the blooms create a seasonal focal point.
Congratulations to Cathy Bradford! She's the winner of the "Clouds of Pink Garden." Thank you to everyone who entered. Everyone in the office loves reading your comments.
It takes a lot of faith to plant a bulb in fall and trust it will grow and bloom the following spring. Patience too! Fortunately I have plenty of both because tulips are one of my favorite flowers. How about you? Tell me about the spring flowering bulbs you love the most for a chance to win my Clouds of Pink Bulb Garden.
I'll select a winner at random on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 9:00 a.m. CST.
Use the comment form below to answer. Click here for the official rules.
There are 3 other bulb garden designs in my collection. All are available at independent garden centers. Check them out.
Seeds are the miracle makers of the garden world. Big things come from such small, seemingly inert packages. A carrot seed is small enough to get caught under a fingernail and yet will produce a delectable carrot in a few months. And what about sunflowers or corn? So much promise!
There's still time to get seeds started. If you live in a cold climate you can get a jump start by sowing seeds indoors. Gardeners who live in regions with long summers and warm falls be sure to buy extra now to start a second crop of blooms and vegetables midsummer.
Zinnia 'Benary's Scarlet Giant'
Gomphrena 'Las Vegas Pink'
Cosmos 'Cosmic Orange'
Polish Amaranth 'Oeschburg' (Amaranth cruentus)
Veggies & Herbs
Carrots 'Purple Dragon'
Lettuce 'Tom Thumb'
Tomato 'Sun Gold'
Yard Long Beans
Pepper 'Holy Mole'
Congratulations Jim Wales, Julie N., Sandy Masingillo, Cindy Menn and Martha Wilson! Ya'll are the winners of the Weed or Wildflower Giveaway. Check you inbox for an email!
Thank you so much to everyone who submitted a comment. What a great response! We've got another giveaway coming in Monday's newsletter so be sure you're subscribed.
Grape Hyacinth (Muscari armeniacum) is a spring flowering bulb that will easily naturalize. In Arkansas the blooms pop up in lawns along with wild violets, henbit and spring starflower. It's said that a weed is just a plant growing in the wrong place. So what do you think about grape hyacinths? Weed or wildflower? Tell me your thoughts in the comments section below for a chance to win one of my Bulb Garden decks.
So tell me is this a weed or a wildflower?
*Winners are selected by P. Allen Smith and his staff based on the content of the comment.
We've got lots of giveaways coming this year. If you don't win today, check back for more opportunities! To give everyone a chance contest winners are limited to one win every 3 months.
I am a hopeless collector of perennials. I can always find a spot in the garden for new additions. While I love trying new plants I have a few mainstays that I rely on for gorgeous flowers and foliage year after year.
Daylily (Hemerocallis sp.)
I'm excited that I now have developed 2 new varieties this year out of my daylily breeding program. I can't get enough of this old reliable favorite.
Hyssop Color Spires® Steel Blue (Agastache)
I love this plant. It has been a tremendous performer in my garden. No staking needed. After the flowers fade I cut back the old bloom stalks and it keeps on trucking.
Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)
The wide drift at the farm is spectacular from mid May to late June. After the bloom I cut 25% off the top and it will flower again late August through September.
Mexican Sage 'Santa Barbara' (Salvia leucantha)
This plant is a mainstay in the late summer garden. It always gets comments from our visitors.
Summer Phlox (Phlox paniculata)
We trialed this variety Flame™ Purple last summer. It proved to be an excellent re-bloomer right through the intense heat we experienced in July and August.
Lamb's Ear 'Helen von Stein' (Stachy byzantine)
'Helen von Stein' has grown in the garden at the Garden Home Retreat for the last 5 years. Love the giant leaves and fuzzy texture.
Artemisia 'Powis Castle'
The frilly foliage looks great with Supertunia® Royal Velvet and Superbena® Royal Chambray Verbena.
Coral Bells (Heuchera sp.)
Heucheras are beautiful as singular sensations in containers. Plant 1 variety per pot. Many of the newer heucheras like Dolce® Key Lime Pie can take a half day of sun.
Variegated Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum odoratum 'Variegatum')
The arching stems are a graceful addition to a shade border. Looks great poking up through hosta and ferns. Here I've combined it with Spanish bluebells (Hyacinthoides hispanica).
Hosta are such a versatile plant. I use them in containers on my screened porch.
Hardy Cyclamen (Cyclamen hederifolium)
Subtle yet inspiring. I so enjoy seeing their pink blooms in autumn when the leaves begin to fall from the trees.
Chinese Ginger (Asarum splendens a.k.a. Hexastylis splendens)
This is a great low growing plant for shade. So easy and beautiful - I love foliage plants and this is a good one.