Sunday, September 12, 2010

Best Seat in the House

It was an amazing 'weather' day in the Midwest today - actually, it's been an amazing weather week.  When not outside, I spent time in 'the best seat in the house' - the 3-Season room.  (BTW - your eyes don't deceive you - there are maple saplings, in pots, inside.  Don't ask - they aren't mine.)

It IS the best seat in the house - at least from my perspective!
When I'm not gardening (or weeding), this is where I pour through books, magazines and my garden journal - scheming plans to add more.  More plants - new gardens - enlarging gardens.  With windows cranked wide open, a great breeze blowing through the room - you can't help but get wistful with "The 2011 Wishlist".  Some of the plants I'm thinking about include:

I saw this little treasure (Husker Red Penstemon) in my garden buddy's garden this summer - it's a 'must have' (Thanks 'Eunice'!).  Other sun/part sun plants that I've been thinking about:

Bee Balm - a butterfly magnet, I hope
Switchgrass - it's native to Illinois and has great 'visual screening' potential
Back in my yard - another year of sad performance by annuals -
the 'Champaign' Wax Begonias looked anemic all summer
After a second season of a few 'weak performers' in the front garden, I'm thinking of putting a little chutzpah by the Royal Purple Smoke Bush (that's looking very green right now).  This little darling (Candytuft) looks pretty sweet:

A little sample of 'Candytuft' off of Google
For the shady/part shade areas, I'm contemplating:

Astilbe's been on my list for a while
Time to make it happen...
Some of you have featured the following plant, so when it showed up in my "Perennials of Illinois" reference book - I was drawn to it's fascinating structure:

Shooting Star - incredible
It's quite a bit to look forward to - especially since spring 2011 is 6-7 months away!  Maybe I'll just take a little trip to find some garden Mums!  ...  Happy Gardening ...


  1. I'm glad I'm not the only one planning for 2011! Having screwed my shoulder up last week (I thought going to the gym would make me fitter), I spent the weekend plotting next year's assault on the garden.

  2. +1 for planning - your photo made me smile, I took one of my desk mid planning for colour next year that looked not dissimilar ( and am about to embark on The Great Tomato Search, in which I try to reduce the number of different tomatoes I attempt to grow next year to near manageable levels... Incidentally, for a plant that flowers prolifically from May to not sure, still going, and attracts the insects like crazy, you could try Knautia macedonica - very easy from seed and flowers first year, would look lovely with your Smoke Bush, though I am growing it with Stipa tenuissima. Might look spectacular with the switchgrass too but not sure how tall that is... Enjoy your planning!

  3. It's JUST started to get a bit cooler here in NC. There will still be the odd disgustingly hot day (like tomorrow), but today....YES! I stepped out on the back porch and it was cool and NOT HUMID. I'll probably be in the planning mood in another couple of weeks...October is when that really starts happening :D

  4. Happy Gardening to you too! Your garden looks great and yeah - it's not too early to plan for next year!

  5. Great ideas.. am I the only one bummed out because we are approaching winter? LOL

  6. Planning for the next year is always fun, but It was a shock to realize it will be 2011! I hope you find all the plants on your wish list. I planted 'Huskers Red' this year, but it didn't bloom. I think I planted it too late, and it spent all sumer getting itself established. I am looking forward to seeing what it will do next year.

  7. Hi Shyrlene, Some of these plants are on my list too-especially the switchgrass. What a lovely display of it! It's never too early to start planning for next year-especially with this year winding. Sometimes I think we gardeners live for the planning and the dreams of a perfect garden.

  8. Hi Shyrlene,

    I took a stab at entering a blog with one of those malware warnings and nothing happened, yet. I think maybe my google chrome is extra sensitive or it is blogger itself. I am not a computer geek by any stretch.

    Now, onto the fun stuff.

    I think you have some good plants chosen for next season. I bet you will love the Husker's Red Penstemon, I have heard good things about those.
    I love planning and dreaming about next years garden. I get a little carried away but isn't that the best part?

  9. Planning for 2011?! I keep planning to plan :D Well, I'm not sure that I'll ever get the hang of that, but I do like the look of that bee balm!

  10. Wow - I feel like I stepped into a time warp! Can't believe it's 9/23?!!

    IG - planning was my 'creative' way to get out of weeding dandelions & enjoying my 3 season room, without getting harassed by husband (it worked!). Now I feel even better that I was in good company - with the planning thing! Hope you recover quickly (and work the sympathy angle at the same time)!!

    Plantaliscious - your blog ROCKS! (I highly recommend it for my other blog buddies!!)

    Kyna - any weather improvements on the Crystal Coast yet?

    Heather - thanks for stopping by for a visit and the encouragement!

    Indoor Fountains - good to hear from you again!

    Deb - 2011?!! Doesn't it sound like a science fiction novel? How did we get here?! I'm looking forward to how your Penstemon does next year - it's definitely on my short list!

    Tina - thanks for visiting! I'm a plan freak sometimes, then I get twitchy and just can't sit still. If you look at some of my older posts - you'll see how goofy I am! :)

    Rosey - I'm SO glad you said that about the 'malware' warning! We use Google Chrome too! We have Norton 360 on our PC, and it blocks out everything. I couldn't believe a blog would have malware?!!

    I'm stoked for next year! Not that I haven't enjoyed the plant "standards" from the past (like Stella D Oro's), but I'm really ready to break out of the box!!

    Heidi - my Gippsland buddy! You have seen my planning evolution on this blog... one minute I'm going nutty with my books, magazines and graph paper, then I go to the nursery and buy completely impulsively! (I swear I am never going to buy another full flat of annuals again! (Stupid Wax Begonias!) )


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