Friday, May 14, 2010

Garden Lust

If you're reading this in the morning, Matt and I are most likely signing away our life at our house closing!!

And in honor of closing (and spring), let's chat about gardens and flowers. My mother in law has a beautiful garden and can tell you the name of any flower or plant. It's crazy.

Me? I have a black thumb. But I'm going to try and spend some time tending to plants and flowers in our new house, because I want to cut fresh herbs for cooking and fresh flowers for bouquets around the house.

Here is my garden wish list:

Roses - definitely white. And yellow, too. The kind that look like peonies.

And some snap dragons, too. This color:

And definitely some hydrangeas!

A lilac garden, in the back:

I love Dahlia's too:

For herbs, basil is at the top of my list.

And parsley:

And cilantro. Yum.

As I mentioned, this is my wish list. I don't know if I could keep them alive :(

Does anyone have any great garden suggestions? What are some easy flowers? What is good for my region? (North Carolina). Do you have any pictures of your garden?


  1. I haven't planted the first flower at our new house yet, so I'm right here with you... excited about gardening! I'm definitely partial to perennials but I don't have a whole lot of experience growing them here in SW VA.

    Last summer, I planted a bunch of white impatients (annuals) at our rental house and they grew wonderfully! A little water, a little fertilizer and full to partial sunshine and they literally turned into bushes!

    Looking forward to more reader suggestions!

    ps. Congrats on the house!

  2. Congrats on closing!! Scary signing papers that put you in debt for 30 years (at least in our case) isn't it, but so exciting at the same time. You have something that is YOURS and you can decorate and make changes as you like. Can't wait to see what you do!

  3. I'm not so good with plants or flowers either so I'm no help there BUT, a HUGE CONGRATS on your first home purchase!! I cant wait to hear more about it and see all your great ideas come to life!

  4. Herbs are very easy to care for and I'm confident you could keep them alive! Put them in pots in a convenient spot, keep them watered, and cut them back a little if they start growing too big. They are so wonderful to have for cooking, and they smell so good. I have rosemary, thyme, basil, parsley, mint, and lemon verbena.

  5. One side of my herb garden is covered with heirloom tomatoes, jalapenos, and Cilantro so that I am ready for fresh salsa anytime of day.
    Another side is covered in Flat Leaf Parsley, Sweet Basil and Thyme (one of my favorites!).
    In a section all to itself is lavender (because it is a crazy grower) and I pick it off and put it in water and bud vases for a beautiful centerpiece (that smells delicious too)!

    Good Luck with house, garden, etc!


  6. Katie (another one)May 14, 2010 at 9:45 AM

    I live in Charlotte, too, bought a (new to me) house last year, and am in the process of ripping out all the previous owner's weird plants that keep popping up along with the kudzu. Everyone keeps telling me to plant Knock Out roses, because they apparently grow like crazy, can deal with the ridiculous August heat, and smell good. I think they only come in pinks, though. Driving around Charlotte, you can definitely see them everywhere.

    I planted a hydrangea on the shady side of the house and have my fingers crossed that it'll live. And tons of herbs, just because they're yummy and useful.

    Good luck and congrats on the house!

  7. If you have shade, impatiens and hostas are great and hard to kill. You have to water impatiens every day but if I can keep them alive, you can keep them alive. If you have full sun, geraniums are great and begonias will grow anywhere, along with petunias. This is my "hard to kill" list.

    Congrats on the house! It's very exciting!!!

  8. First and foremost, good luck at closing today!

    While I don't have a house (a condo, which has some outdoor space), last weekend we started a small herb garden (basil, parsley, rosemary, and lavender) and my mom also gave us some cat mint, which is absolutely beautiful, and my cats LOVE it. We also have a small succulent garden inside (we cheated and got a ready made one), and hopefully my black thumb will turn green soon!

  9. basil and parsley should be a snap! mine are already taking over. hydrangeas are pretty easy, too, just keep them out of the afternoon sun and feed them so they'll bloom like crazy. the first year in the ground the tend to look droopy in the heat of the afternoon, but keep them watered and they'll survive! that's all I've got -- still experimenting myself!

    congrats on your closing!

  10. I'm in Raleigh and I totally agree about the impatiens. Just give them a few weeks, and before you know it, they are huge. Make sure they have some shade, though. Some other very low maintenance, high impact plants are the knockout roses and lantana. They can take the heat and bloom all summer long. The lantana come in annual and perennial versions. The cameilla is also popular here, and it even blooms in colder months. The azalea is a great regional bush, and if you get the encore azalea, they bloom more often. Geraniums and petunias also do well for a punch of color in the sun.

    All this coming from someone else who is also a black thumb, but has had lots of practice!

  11. congrats on your first home! this is such an exciting time. i remember when after my closing i came right over to my "new house" and was so happy to put the key in the door!

    my garden isn't anything to cheer about, but i did have a landscape designer from Pike's nursery come out and draw a plan for me that i love. now i just need to implement it!

  12. My best advice would be to buy a gardening book specifically about your area of NC and ideally written by a local. It will save you a lot of money in the end. Also, using a locally owned garden center vs. HD or Lowes will also save you money. The locally owned tend to have higher prices but their staffs also tend to be more knowledgeable and they won't stock plants that don't do well in your area. Not so at the big chains. I don't mean to imply that you can't find good plants or knowledgeable people at the big chains. You can. But it's more hit and miss. After you've been gardening for a while and know what you're doing, you'll be able to shop anywhere. Also, it's easier to find organic gardening products at the local places. Have fun and congratulations!

  13. My mom has a lot of lavender in her garden, which looks sooo pretty and is easy to take care of. Lavender and soft pink roses look really nice together.
    There's also a lot of boxwood, and I think she just cuts it into shape whenever it has grown a lot.
    Hydrangeas are also our favorites, just like native grasses and forget-me-nots. And peonies, of course.

  14. Hey - now you have hit my second favorite topic next to decorating. You are probably going to struggle to grow lilacs here in Charlotte, but it you are willing to give up the tree and go with a shrub, try a purple butterfly bush. Also, given your picks, you might want to consider some dwarf gardenia. They are pretty, fairly easy to grow, smell great and will be a great underplanting for the hydrengea. You might want to add something broadleafed as well to balance out the ruffles - may a gold duct acuba which do well here and are compatible with the other plants you've listed.

  15. Congrats on your home! I posted yesterday with updated shots of my urban herb garden as well as some of my other gardening projects....I am a black thumb, but I have found success planting my mini herb garden in steel pots. I posted a "how to" about a month ago. Good will enjoy your garden so much!
    Jessie at The Gimlet Eye

  16. Congratulations! How exciting for you and your husband!

    Find a cute nursery in your area and talk to them about what will do well in your region. Tell them that you have a black thumb--they'll be able to tell you what will require very little maintenance.

    Good luck and make sure you post pictures when you're getting started!

  17. Google garden, blog, and Charlotte and you'll probably find someone writing about their garden in your neck of the woods. I too had a black thumb when it came to houseplants, but I've found that growing plants outside is much easier. Herbs should be really easy for you to grow, just don't overwater them. Individual pots work well, but you can also group them prettily in larger containers. I grow a lot of herbs because they're so much fun!

  18. Herbs are so doable! Just a couple of pots are you are there! Roses can be a little tricky, but also can be done. I was a first time gardener last year and a region specific book helped me immensely! Good luck and congrats on the new house!


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