Some clematis varieties open flowers with twice the number of petals and are called double blooms. ‘Diamond Ball’ unfurls cool white-blue double flowers. When fully open, the blossoms measure 4 to 5 inches across with a round or almost spherical shape. Expect to see flowers all summer long. In early spring, cut stems back to 18 inches high. Vines grow 5 to 6 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide—a great choice for an entry arch or pergola over a patio. Hardy in Zones 4-9.
Meet a clematis that adds a cool note to any garden with its ice-blue blossoms. ‘Diamond Ball’ clematis unfurls beautiful double blooms up to 5 inches across. It flowers on both new and old stems, making it an easy clematis to prune. Simply cut vines back to 18 inches tall in early spring. Give clematis a trellis or netting to climb in a spot with the head of the plant in sun and the base shaded. Vines grow 5 to 6 feet tall by 2 to 3 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 4-9. Why we love it: Blue is a must-have color in the garden, and this shade of ice-blue is especially unusual—and on an easy-to-grow plant.
Plants are bushy and lush, topping out at 2 feet and yielding large leaves packed with rich basil flavor. Flowers form late in the growing season, so you shouldn’t have to spend the summer pinching buds on stems. With regular harvest, expect to pick one-half cup of leaves per week. 'Dolce Fresca' basil is a 2015 All-America Selections winner.
The ‘Whirlybird Mix’ of nasturtium is beloved for its large, 2- to 3-inch flowers that hold their faces up—providing maximum show in the garden. Blooms open in hues of orange, red, gold, cream and rose. Japanese beetles likely avoid this annual because of its peppery bite, something that’s delightful in salads or on sandwiches.
Up to 10" in diameter, ‘Globemaster' flowerheads are practically as big as bowling balls. They're the largest of the alliums, held atop sturdy stems that grow 2 to 3 feet. These deer resistant perennials make fine cut flowers.
Grow an old-fashioned favorite by planting a crop of sweet peas. This pretty bloomer was a favorite in the Victorian era, when nosegays of sweet peas were cherished for their fragrance. ‘Knee High Mix’ sweet pea features a blend of perfumed types that open flowers in shades of pink, lavender, rose, purple, burgundy and white. Sweet peas grow best in cool seasons. Plants peter out when summer heat and humidity arrive. ‘Knee High Mix’ grows shorter vines, reaching 2 to 3 feet tall. Annual.
Pansies and spring bulbs like tulips make excellent planting partners. Tuck bulbs into soil in fall, then add winter-hardy pansies. In spring, watch the magic unfold. This pansy is Panola XP True Blue Pansy, a multiflora type that stands up to winter chill without missing a blooming beat. To help pansies survive when temps drop below 20 F for several hours, cover plants with a frost blanket or a 2- to 4-inch-thick loose mulch like pine straw (gently rake it off when air temps rise). Healthy pansies can typically withstand single digits for short spells without extra protection.
8. On the next string begin with a snowball, but cut the first straw in half and retain the other half for the top of the string. This will allow the balls to hang at alternating levels from one string to the next. Continue alternating the beginning straw from whole to half as you complete the remaining strings.
9. When you have completed all the strings, tie them to a tension rod that you have installed in the window. Hang the first string about 2 inches in from the window. Every strand after that should hang about 4 inches apart.