September 19, 2017

Annual Gardens at Spokane Temple 2017

Here are some photos of the Spokane LDS Temple annual gardens from August.  The spiral bed above (named for the spiral Juniper topiaries) features 'Lighthouse Purple' salvia, which was a new plant this year and a great performer.  It's always interesting to see which plants really take off, as it's different each year.  The 'Purple' superbena was also very vigorous this year.

I chose to use several foliage plants for season-long color, including 'Wasabi' coleus, 'Blackie' sweet potato vine, and silver licorice vine.  'Orchid Charm' supertunias and black petunias contributed blooms along with 'Profusion Double Cherry' zinnias.  I was not pleased with the performance of 'Summer Jewel Lavender' salvia, whose flower spikes looked washed out in bloom and quickly turned brown.

'King Tut' papyrus continued as a favorite at either side of the front door.

The front sidewalk beds outside the gates included deer resistant zinnias, salvia (which struggled due to watering issues early in the season), verbena, licorice vine, celosia and geraniums.  I also used lime sweet potato vines, which the deer like to munch, so we inserted several Deer Fortress canisters around the area.  They contain dried blood which humans can't smell but which does a pretty good job of keeping the deer away.

The northwest corner was planted in sunset colors:  'Lighthouse Purple' and 'Victoria' salvia, 'Double Deep Salmon' and 'Coral Pink' Profusion zinnias, and 'Arrow Orange' snapdragons.

I included several purple fountain grasses (Pennisetum), but they took a long time to grow to a large enough size to make much of an impact.

Here's one more shot of this area.  I love how this color scheme turned out.

The east rectangle raised bed was planted in 'Bermuda Beach' and 'Mini White' supertunias, 'Royale Iced Cherry' and 'Royale Cherryburst' superbenas, and silver licorice vine.  The warm pinks looked great together at planting, but then the 'Bermuda Beach' petunias seemed to revert back to a cooler pink.  Or perhaps 'Vista Bubblegum' reseeded from last year?  It's a bit of a mystery.

The south arc was planted less closely this year after I received feedback that it looked too overgrown last year (we had a hot summer in 2016 and the zinnias grew more vigorously than ever before).  In this photo I think it looks too sparse, but if our summer had been as long and hot as the last one, these plants would have filled in better.  That's the excitement of working with nature, as you never know what surprises are in store.

Here's one more shot of that area.  I already made the plan for next year's annuals and turned it in to our grower so she can order seeds for next spring.  It's fun to tweak the color schemes each year and try out some new plants.

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