Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Creeping Jenny Isn't So Creepy

The first summer planting my little garden I was so giddy with excitement. I bought all types of seeds, flowers and plants. Growing up in a city, I had a concrete front yard that I would roller skate in. I found roller skates with wooden wheels at a garage sale for $5. That's right, you guessed it. I skated my hearts' content until there was no wood left on those wheels to glide on. Next to the concrete, there were lily of the valley growing in a long dirt patch along side of the house. I would pluck them and inhale their intense aroma, hoping I would have a little garden of my own one day. I don't remember who gave me this wise advice but it's so very true, "Never do anything in the garden the first year you move in". I didn't know that this is more of a shade loving garden, maybe it was common sense because of all the tall trees and the moss on the roof. But I fell in love with daisies, cone flowers and all sorts of gorgeous sun loving plants that unfortunately never made it. The daisies turned ashy as if they were cremating themselves. And so it's been a slow learning process in the garden and I'm still learning. But here are some tips that I can pass along. To save time, money and hope, figure out how much sun you get and then go from there. Ask lots of questions at the garden center that are based on your hopes for your garden and the amount of time you want to spend. The beauty of the garden is the rhythm of it, there is a time for everything and then it passes. I personally like it to be a long growing season. See if your needs match with their needs. I love my flowers to bloom for a long time and for them to almost take care of themselves and that's why Lupine (May 30th's post) makes me a little nervous, I'm not sure how she will behave. My salvia comes back every year bigger and bigger and more beautiful. I love her boldness, taking over, I had to move some plants over this year to make room for her. The hostas never disappoint. I like trusty annuals, dusty millers are one of them. They are great, lasting till the fall, their silvery leaves almost promising the iciness of winter to come. And at last creeping Jenny, how I love thee. And she isn't creepy at all. Her almost chartreuse leaves winding and reaching into the crevices of the rocks, making an intrigue design in itself. She is a beauty to add to your garden!

Creeping Jenny, Lysimachia nummularia also known as Goldilocks and Moneywort

 Creeping Jenny is a perennial in zones 3-10. She is a fast grower, tolerating sun to part-shade. (If you have sun she grows little yellow flowers for you). I have her growing around some plants and I do have to tend to them, making sure she doesn't suffocate them, she has a very short root system, very easy to pull up if you need to. And in my experience you don't have to worry about bugs or slugs getting to her. I planted her last year from a 4 inch pot! And she has spread out over about 3 feet and I'm sure she will spread further. Creeping Jenny can creep down tall containers and be used as a ground cover, which I am finding out first hand, lol

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