Our summer blooming plants are making quite a show at the Inn on Mill Creek here in the Black Mountains of western North Carolina. The Pool Garden (once a pool, now a garden) has a variety of bee balm, daylilies, coneflowers, roses and herbs like lavender and thyme, plus russian sage, a butterfly bush and garden phlox (photo above taken in our garden this week). The Well Garden (once a well, now…well, it’s a garden, too) has coneflowers just starting to bloom in bright fuschia with black stems.
As the summer gardening catalogs begin arriving just in time to order for fall planting, we’re taking advantage of a great online resource for all things green and floral. The website is called Dave’s Garden — not our Dave, but that’s OK — and it has not only a very comprehensive user-driven database of plants but also a section called Garden Watchdog where you can read customer reviews of over 6,800(!) mail order gardening companies. The 30 companies that are most highly rated are given the collective title of the Watchdog 30. One of our “perenniel” favorites, Bluestone Perennials (located in our home state of Ohio) is on the list as are a few others that we will definitely be checking out for plants that we can’t get from our local nurseries.