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Sharing a Secret

I’ve learned a secret…one that’s saved me a lot of money and is improving my flower beds by leaps and bounds.

I used to hit the big box stores as soon as they started getting in all those truck loads of plants every spring. I have a lot of flower beds…and a lot of flowers. But I’m always looking for new plants to add to the collection. I’ll buy several, or sometimes a dozen of a new plant and enthusiastically add it to one of the beds. Occasionally it’s a hit..frequently it’s not and I’m out of a chunk of money. I’ll struggle all summer babying it. Still at the end of the season it’s flopped and I’m frustrated.

Then last year I read…”find out what grows well in your garden and grow a lot of it”. Duh!!! It was like a light bulb turned on in my brain. I live on a sand lot. Water goes through my soil almost as fast as it goes through a chain length fence. Add to that stifling heat and humidity and a lot of plants quickly swoon. Still, there are some things in my yard you just can’t kill.

I immediately started making a list and came up with dozens of winners. Stokesias (pictured above with daylilies) is one of them. They are so prolific on my lot that I am constantly sharing them with friends. I usually grow a few clumps here and there and pretty much take them for granted as filler plants. But grown in masses…WOW! So last year I really focused on increasing what’s already proven to like it here. My beds are quickly filling in now. I’m saving lots of money and my frustration level is way down.

So what does thrive on my sand lot and tolerate the heat and humidity here in our area? I have Turks Cap, Mexican Petunias, Daylilies, Autumn Ferns, Violets, Nandina, Passion Flower Vines, Ginger Lilies, Siberian Iris, Lantana, Oak Leaf Hydrangea, and the list goes on. All are doing well with minimum care.

The point is gardening should be fun, easy, and inexpensive! So walk out in your garden…what’s doing well…, start dividing them, or take cuttings or however you propagate and instead of three or five make masses of a dozen or two. You’ll save money, your garden will significantly improve and you can spend more time enjoying it and less time working in it.

Happy Gardening!
Linda Newber

This Lantana was started last spring. I literally broke off a cutting and stuck it in the ground. It’s now about 5 feet wide