Landscaping ideas found around town

I tend to look at courtyards and landscaping while driving. I inherited it from my father. We visited the grandparents on Sunday, about 10 miles from our house on a country road. My mother used to say, “Willis, watch out for the road” when we approached a ditch while my father looked at the crops on the other side. My daughter took on this role for me.

If you’re looking for something new to add to your garden, or maybe planting next spring, now is a good time to watch the scenery, maybe while you are out for a walk or when someone else is taking the drive.

I was delighted to see how the decorative sweet potato vines were used at the entrance to the SSM medical doctor building. There used to be large boulders with liriope around them and they are still there. The addition of chartreuse and dark green sweet potato ornamental vines gives the entry a colorful note that lasts until it freezes. It is difficult to find a large enough space in the home garden for this plant. We used them in the big pots on Bell Street a few years ago and soon they grew into the street and we asked people to take cuttings. If you don’t mind having to prune them back frequently, they’ll make a colorful addition to the back of the garden next spring, especially if you plant them so that they can be watched from your home or patio.

I recently saw a house in W. Federal that has stairs from the courtyard to the street. Several large containers of purple fountain grass stand at intervals on the steps. The eye-catcher are red begonia plants that surround the fountain grass. You’re very attractive. I have purple fountain grass in a large pot with a red begonia plant in a pot next to it, but I hadn’t thought of planting them together. I will try it out next year.

Some of us are lucky enough to have “surprise lilies”, Lycoris squamigera, that started blooming this week. Flowering lasts about 10 days and then wilts with the foliage, which reappears next spring. They can be dug up and some shared with friends. Steve Dobbs, in his book “Oklahoma Gardener’s Guide,” tells of a former pastor who announced that he had never preached with a group of naked women before him, referring to the altar bouquet. According to Steve, the pastor soon learned the botanical name for these flowers.

The Pottawatomie County Free Fair is scheduled for September 8-11. The horticultural exhibitions are displayed in the room at the southern end of the exhibition building, where they have been standing for several years. Horticultural entries are accepted from Wednesday, September 8th, from 3:00 p.m. and must be received by 6:00 p.m. on this day. Submissions will be judged on September 9th and submissions can be picked up on Saturday evening or by 11:00 a.m. on Sunday morning. For information on exhibits and entry information, visit the Pottawatomie County Free Fair online. Scroll down to Fair Book and look for Plant Science and then Cut Flowers, which is followed by other plant entries.

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