St Charles County Master Gardeners
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The foundation plantings are designed to anchor the building into the site and provide visual interest. Planting completely around the building requires the use of plants for all types of growing and light needs. Plantings begin with shrubs and perennials to establish the base of different planting areas with room left for annuals to add pops of color. Plants featured in our annual plant sale with be displayed here for demonstration and seed collection. Heavy leaf mulch is used to maintain moisture and reduce weeds. Many annuals will reseed themselves from the previous year due to the warmth maintained during the winter months.
The parking lot side of the building is the first to welcome spring. Pansies, Tulips and Daffodils thrive in the heat provided from the metal building and the parking lot. As the temperature starts to rise, sun loving plants such as Daylilies, Gladiolas and Salvia do well. By full summer, extreme heat and drought tolerant plants do best such as Lantana, Marigolds, Nicotiana and Cocks Comb. The Crape Myrtle bushes fill out and shade the area used for the spring plants and deflect full sun on the building. A favorite of the master gardeners is the swamp milkweed featured below the gooney bird. Towards late summer it will be filled with chrysalis of the monarch butterfly. Plants in containers will be featured on the porch.
The back side of the greenhouse is home to the Canna Blubs with their large leaves and delicate flowers. This area is prone to flash flooding and poor soil from construction in addition to full sun and drought conditions. Spreading Liriope helps to hold the soil in place and Lantana adds summer color. The Mums hide out in their pots just around the corner waiting for the fall when they are displayed in the front of the greenhouse. Below them is solid clay soil where nothing grows including weeds! Containers are perfect for this spot.
The amendment bends to the left of the greenhouse feature the monarch way station with slender mountain mint and swamp milkweed call to the winged wonders to visit, eat and lay their eggs. To cut down on weeds the large Castro Bean plant and marigolds are planted in this area along the sides of the binds. Unique to our garden is the Hyacinth Bean vine with its’ purple bean pods grown in cages on the end of each bin. The leaves are a passing nibbling favorite of the deer and keep them from roaming to other areas of the garden. The plant is such a vigorous grower it easily out paces the deer.
The yard side of the building is full sun and a sloping landscape. Here you will find the showy red pole bean vine with its’ foot long red beans and the purple blazing star. New this year is Thai and Cardinal Basil sure to be a favorite of the lead for their seed groups that look like purple and red flowers.
The slope area for the shed is covered with Creeping Buttercup that blooms in the spring and eliminates mowing.
The bed towards the parking lot is a propagation bed and features Black Eyed Susan, Monarda, Lambs Ear, Chives and other favorites of our plant sale. Some of the lead’s favorites: Zinnias, Purple Shamrock and Snap Dragons can be found here. This bed blooms all summer and well into the fall.