Jay and Sherry Sinclair like to plan their garden.
They know what the plants will grow into, and plan accordingly. Instead of a cramped garden, they have spacing that is appropriate for the full growth of the plants.
They also like to play around with plants: A flower bed in the front yard is a testing ground for new varieties, and they're growing hostas under the back porch.
Their garden is full of color and variety, with plants such as bright-red dinner plate hibiscus (named for its plate-size blooms); lespedeza, which blooms twice; red bottle brush plants; Pinky Winky hydrangeas; a Dooley bigleaf hydrangea; and a tulip popper that has bright-yellow blooms that look like tulips.
Much of the garden is about a year old, but many plants are older, starting as potted plants the Sinclairs had when they lived in a rental home. It took two trips with a truck to transport all their the potted plants.
Mrs. Sinclair loves to take garden cuttings into the house.
"I have to have a bloom," she said.
There's something in bloom all year, with varieties including the winter-blooming "Freckles" clematis.
She grows annuals in pots, including one that acts like a perennial. Million bells, a supposed annual, keeps coming back, she said.
In the front yard, she keeps different levels of pots, which include purple oxalis, creeping jenny, begonias and johnny jump-ups.
Besides sight, scent is present in their garden. The banana shrub, part of the magnolia family, gives off the scent of the fresh fruit.
Reach Sarah Day Owen at (706) 823-3223 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
GARDEN TIPS FROM JAY AND SHERRY SINCLAIR
- Always read labels.
- Have patience: Plan for future growth, not just what you have right now.
- Use slow-release fertilizer once a year.
- Clean pruners to avoid spreading plant diseases.
- Prune -- and do it right. Check for the correct time and place to make cuts for each plant.