Ups and downs in a sun-challenged garden

My tomatoes are seven feet tall, my Monarda suffered a severe lopping after a heavy downpour, and I'm seeking stakes in the spooky shed. It's just another day in a sun-challenged garden. If you have a yen for sun-lovers but in reality have too much shade, stakes are your best friends. 

Hydrangea arboresens 'Incrediball'
  When I planted the new Proven Winners Hydrangea 'Incrediball', I figured it would swoon like a Victorian lady when the rains came and weighted down the big flowers. Thanks to a little preemptive application of 4-foot wire fencing, that hasn't happened. It's actually turned into one of my go-to favorites, blooming for weeks and weeks without a hitch, a browned leaf or a soggy head.

An experiment in the world of upsie downsie.

When my father in-law gave me this pot, called the Upsy Downsy Tomato Planter, I was skeptical. But when I purchased a cell pack of four Super Sweet 100 tomato plants and then found I had no place to put them, my husband planted them in the Upsy Downsy. So far, the only retrofitting to be done was the attachment of the pot to a post that extends from our fencepost. It needs water at least once a day, and I feed it with a water soluble fertilizer in addition to using Osmocote. We have fruit! And although it's suffered a few total meltdowns from lack of water, it's not doing bad.

Phlox 'David's Lavendar is heading heavenward.

Although I've yet to stake this Phlox, it has the advantage of being sheltered from the wind by its proximity to a trellis and fence. Another advantage is that it's even too tall for the deer to reach. Of course, I suppose if it were in their normal traffic route--pretty much anywhere--it would be a goner.
Origanum 'Kent Beauty' benefits from its own little fence.
Even the little guys in a sun-challenged garden need support. In this case, the ornamental oregano called 'Kent Beauty'. I love it for dried arrangements, and if you keep clipping it, itremains somewhat short. 
Oriental-Trumpet hybrid lily - staked, of course.


  1. Great save on those Hydrangeas. They look brilliant standing up tall. I was intrigued by the Upsy Downsy Tomato Planter. It does seem to be working so well for you.

    Loved the simple pure white of your Oriental-Trumpet hybrid. It's a stunner and looks great with those gorgeous cerise blooms and apricot Hemerocallis behind it.

  2. Those hydrangeas are definitely what I would call 'mop heads' it is a wonder they manage to stay upright with all the weight at the top.