A Friendship – and out-of-zone plants – grow in this NY garden!

As a part of our regular walks through the farmer’s field down the street, my 5-year-old daughter, Maya, my golden retriever, Buddy, and I always like the visit to “Liz and Sue’s” the best.

Buddy gets his play date with their dogs, Macy and Missy. Maya gets to play on Sue’s swing set and have impromptu graham cracker-and-juice tea parties with Liz (sometimes wearing a big garden hat borrowed from Liz).

But my treat is walking through Liz’s garden. She always has a plant (or a bunch of plants) I’ve never seen before, at least growing in the relatively cold climate of Zone 6a in western NY!

These pics here are from our visit in mid-July.

(From left): Liz and Maya checking out a fountain surrounded by papyrus (far left, near dog) artemisia ‘Silver Mound’ (far left, by Liz’s cup), irises (behind fountain), lantana and blue African daisy (in container at foot of fountain), lady’s mantle (at right, at the foot of the green metal arbor), castor bean (to right of lady’s mantle), bugleweed ‘Burgundy Glow’ (purple/green groundcover at front to left of pansies)

Cardinal vine (now has scarlet flowers, which the hummingbirds adore), above coleus on trellis.

Note the banana plant underneath the left hand edge of the patio umbrella. Liz overwintered that outside – here in cold Zone 6a! The branches under the right side of the umbrella belong to her mimosa tree (a usual sighting in Florida, but not here in Rochester)! She has also successfully kept calla lilies and a sago palm outside for the winter, and they returned like gangbusters this growing season!

Ligularia ‘The Rocket’ – one of my favorite plants for the shade, but only diehard gardeners grow it around here.

Liz is a fan of unusual trees and shrubs, too. At left, in the pot, is a scholar tree (Sophora japonica) and next to that (in the black pot) is a ‘Perkins Pink’ yellowwood (which, when mature, has spectacular pink blooms). At the back of her lot, she also has a little grove of sassafrass trees – now-grown-up seedlings from sassafrass trees I’ve only seen in our little area surrounding the farmer’s field.

This collection of patio plants includes rex begonias ‘Escargot’ (the curly foliage in the pot at right), white pentas (far right), dracaena and variegated nasturtium (in the terra cotta-colored pot to the left), variegated ivy (in the greyish container at the the back left), pale yellow African daisies (at back) and a banana plant (far left, in whiskey barrel planter).

So, do you have neighbors whose gardens you regularly visit? Are you like me, and drawn to the rare, out-of-zone and unusual? Or do you favor more traditional plants? Post a comment, and let me know!

One Response to A Friendship – and out-of-zone plants – grow in this NY garden!

  1. Graciebelle November 19, 2012 at 2:42 pm #

    It’s really cool that your friend could overwinter a Banana plant outdoors in Zone 6a! I’m very envious

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