Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bye Holly

This is a tag from one of the 3 holly bushes we planted in the garden almost ten years ago.
Note how tall the holly bush is suppose to get.  Eight feet tall.

One of the holly bushes died a number of years ago.
The primrose has surrounded the remaining two holly bushes.
But, I ask you, do these look eight feet tall?

I need to include the holly bushes on the list of crispy plants in the garden after this year's heat.

It is time for the holly bushes to leave.  I will let go of the dream of making Christmas decorations with them. Later this fall or early next spring, this area will be dug up and new plants will get the space.  I'm already dreaming of tall flowering plants.  Maybe some joe pye weed, bee balm or phlox.  Any suggestions? The primrose will likely still be in the area too.


  1. Well, I'd have to put in a vote for Agastache cana--heat lover, drought lover....all around versatile and extremely showy. Sorry about the holly. My husband has been wanting one for years....I'd be happy to tell him it doesn't like drought!

  2. Holly is a pretty plant when it's green. I like how you write about the things that work and don't work. :)

  3. Sorry about the holly bushes. I had some bright red and deep purple bee balm that I always enjoyed (and so did the hummers.)

  4. Too bad about the holly, but good to have a new planting area! Love the choices of tall flowers you have, I've had great luck with Agastache the last couple of summers, bloom for ever.

  5. Oh that is too bad about the holly. I would gladly share with you - this area has holly used in landscaping and then the seedlings are everywhere. The leaves are THORNY though!
    I love Joe Pye Weed and love how well it grows in some dry dry spots. Have you seen Queen of the Prairie? It blooms earlier and goes well with Joe.

  6. Oh dear. I'm sure you will come up with something wonderful!

  7. They are a bit puny and brown. The tag should have mentioned they are extremely slow growing and need good draining, yet moist soil. They hate being in any wind too. At our plant auction this year, we sold holly that were five feet tall and round for $35. And all as green as emerald color. Holly is a plant many find difficult, mostly due to location and soil conditions.

  8. That happens, doesn't it? Jeesh though, 10 years is a looonnnggg time to wait! What about a Ceanothus or Camellia if you wanted something evergreen?

  9. Caryopterisis are good choices too. Love drought. Get about 4 ft by 4 ft, so a little smaller than the holly. LOADED with purple blooms that all winged creatures love!! Good luck trying to make a decision!!

  10. I have to put a vote in for summer phlox (P. paniculata). Mine blooms for 2 months, easily, and with just a bit of extra water during really hot, dry times, it does very well here in Kansas.

    I can't imagine camellia liking it on the prairie, unfortunately.

    I've tried 2 different Agastache varieties, but neither has come back well for me.

    There is a deciduous holly that is supposed to do well in Kansas, but I've never tried it. As with all hollies, you'd need to plant at least one male bush along with the berry-producing females.

  11. Room for drought-resistant pollinator attractants??? Agastache -- definitely -- Joe Pye -- haven't grown it, but would like to. If you don't already know them, you should definitely get catalogs from High Country Gardens and Prairie Nursery. Both are experts at drought-tolerant plants, HCG especially. They help with soil amendments as well. Prairie has the most informative catalog for challenging gardening. A new bed!! How exciting!


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