Sunday, July 15, 2012

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, July 2012

Isn't this lovely! I WISH it was my garden but my garden looks more like the photo below

Hosta do not like the heat or suddenly
becoming a sun plant!
While there are a few plants blooming in my yard this month, most are looking rather weary and fried. There are an assortment of coneflowers, helenium, phlox all seeming to "deal" with the drought and heat conditions. Most are looking more like the beleaguered hosta and hydrangea that comprise the majority of my landscape planting. The front is especially hard hit from the loss of the birch tree earlier this summer and are waiting eagerly for me to decide on the replacement tree to once again make them shade plants. (Sorry little plants it may take a few years to get that much shade again)
'David' Phlox in the foreground, and a pink one behind.

Various coneflowers and helenium

Hydrangea 'Little Lime' just getting going.

So meanwhile to escape the heat, well escape it to another location of heat, my cousin and I took a trip east to Pennsylvania to look at some much happier gardens. In four days, including drive time from Indiana we saw two Frank Lloyd Wright designed homes, Longwood Gardens, including a fabulous light installation by Bruce Munro, Chanticleer, and Phipps Conservatory. I'm not sure whether these delighted our senses or caused depression at the sight of our fried gardens. They were enlightening and were all well worth the copious amount of dewy complexion we under went while viewing.
Chanticleer Asian woods garden

They are all wonderful places to visit and we saw many other places we would like to visit as well in addition to visiting these gardens again when it cools down.
Chanticleer great lawn
Longwood Bruce Munro, exhibit

So if you haven't been here's a few teaser pictures.

Longwood Children's garden sunflowers
And who wouldn't love this for
their vending machine!

Longwood's Idea Garden was full of wonderfully colorful
plants that didn't seem to mind the heat at all.
Phipps Conservatory

Phipps Conservatory

Phipps Conservatory

Phipps Conservatory

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spring Forward… way forward it seems.

Siberian Squill
Here just, like much of the rest of the country, spring has erupted with a blast. I fear there won't be anything left to bloom once spring actually arrives!

Spirea 'Ogon'
The record temperature today just caused my Siberian Squill to pop out of the ground and into full bloom in less than a day! I've had this little clump for several years and each year I dig a few up and move some around the yard. Cold and snow don't seem to dampen their spirits but I thing them must be particularly fond of the current weather they way they are blooming this year.

Hellebore 'Ivory Prince'
Just to the right of the Squill is a newly planted little Spirea 'Ogon'. I had one here several years ago but one particularly bad winter did it in and for years I wasn't able to find another one. Last year I happen to be driving by one of the local nurseries and there sitting in their display were just two of them. One wild right turn later this little baby was in my car and ready for planting. I noticed the other day that it is covered with buds with a few of the sweet little white blooms starting to show themselves.

All of my Hellebores are in full bloom, finally, lagging behind some of the others who've been posting their lovely blooms. Last month the Royal Heritage Strain was out in abundance, as were several others but this little Prince was holding out. But he's out there now!

Out back the usual suspects are showing their happy faces. The daffodils are now coming out so by another week of this I should have a full backyard of them. They are all intermixed with lots of other perennials so the foliage can wither down. However I'm just too much of a neat freak I guess I end up cutting them back :(

I don't usually get both beautiful hellebore blooms right beside my daffodils! Maybe by next month I'll have hellebore blooms and hosta, that occupy that bare spot in front of them. Maybe even the daffodils will still be in bloom, who knows.

I've always loved Heathers and have for the most part just considered them annuals in my yard but I just keep hoping one year one will make it thru. I guess if it was going to make it this would be the year. I bought one last year at Lowes, on sale, in anticipation that I probably wouldn't see it this spring but I noticed buds this weekend when cleaning out the bed and today while taking pictures I see they are beginning to open up. So maybe I'll get to enjoy it for another year.

One of my really old clumps of crocus is also up and blooming profusely. They too have been transported all about the yard with transplanting. Currently the crocus are replaced in a month by Hosta 'Shade Parade' so I will have nice round little leaves with spikes for a good portion of the summer! A fun contrast.

Lastly this one lone little spring beauty has popped up in one of my perennial beds. As a child I recall our back yard just covered with these each spring. It was a site and so when it showed up last year it made me happy. I need to find some more of these and cover the back easement with them. Something to beautify it in the spring!

So that's about it for May, I mean April, oh no I mean March. What month is it, anyway!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - February 2012

Well I guess it's time to get back to this blogging. Work has slowed just slightly so February 2012 Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – thanks to Carol Michel of May Dreams Gardens for it's creation – seems to be the perfect reason even though there isn't a lot blooming in my outdoor garden.
There are lots of snowdrops, Galanthus, in bloom and standing ready for the hint of sunshine to open their blooms and and gather it in. They are the usual harbingers of spring, up and blooming long before anything else is up in the garden. I love that the bulbs are so easily distributed. I will frequently dig them up when rearranging the perennials in the beds and just move them along with the plant that is being relocated. The squirrels and other bulb snatchers seem to leave them alone as well.
One, albeit small, advantage of living in a zero-lot line edition is that you can often have conjoined gardens, such is the case with my current northern most neighbor. We consider our back garden as one continuous bed, there is a simple fence on the property line, an addition I added some years ago when the current resident in her home was less than concerned about anything happening in his backyard. When the house with it's blank-slate landscaping was on the market, she decided on it because of my yard. She knew she had someone to learn from and turn her emptiness into a beautiful garden, which she has done. So while these daffodils are not "technically" in my yard, I consider them part of my yard! It's funny that these have chosen to bloom so soon as they are not protected by anything. All of the others around our yards are just up and waiting for a little more warmth.
My Hellebores are also ready and waiting for that little added dose of warmth so maybe the anticipated warm-up over the weekend with be just what they need to finally break open and bloom.
Helleborus 'Mrs. Betty Ranicar'
Helleborus 'Pink Lady'
I certainly have an abundance of blooms. Waiting are Helleborus orientalis, Helleborus 'Mrs. Betty Ranicar', Helleborus 'Pink Lady', Helleborus 'Ivory Prince' and others.
They are one of my favorite perennials because the have interest all year. They are great with my hosta, are shade tolerant, and the deer don't care for them, although deer aren't a problem for me.


For now I can enjoy my inside blooming plants. I hold over a number of annuals thanks to a couple of light carts. One I have had for over twenty years now and it lives in my garage. It has a snug fitting cover that keeps everyone quite warm even on the coldest of days. So there are cuttings from various non-hardy specimens, many happy to bloom all winter for me, various geraniums, Gerber daisies, begonias, and, of course, my orchids. I've been very fortunate that several have produced multiple blooms year after year.

Phalaenopsis and Mini-Oncidium Passionata Red Galaxy

A Dragon Wing Begonia and Fuchsia in bud
For now this will have to suffice for blooms but with this unseasonably warm weather approaching I am excited to see what March's Garden Bloggers Bloom Day will bring.

Monday, August 15, 2011

August Garden Blog Bloom Day

So this month the heat and lack rain has taken it's toll on my blooms. A few things are struggling along in the "sun" area. It's on the margin of being considered sunny. On my sunny deck the Bougainvillea 'Raspberry Ice' has decided to bloom this summer. This has been a consistent performer for several summers now. I just bring it in over the winter and put it in a sunny window, it sometimes looks near death by March but it always seems to come out of it.
A little sunny rain shower helped perk a few things up but not enough, we need more rain.

But it seemed to be enough to encourage one of my reblooming daylilies to put out another bloom or two. It's been hanging on in the increasing shade, although I have moved it around to be in the few remaining spots of sun. And, of course, the annual salvia in pots on my deck have become a great source of entertainment as the finches do a tight rope act to get to the seeds.
But it wouldn't be August without a few naked ladies dancing in your garden. That would be the Lycoris 'squamigera' type, not the two-legged type :)
But sadly I am left with color sourced from the foliage. This year I bought a large bag of random sized and color caladiums, from the Caladium Bulb Company. I used these in my front bed by the house, along with some coleus and sun impatiens to get some color in that usually drab spot. I've been delighted by the outcome. I want to play around with the combination some more next year but the random color of the bulbs has been fun to watch.

I even planted a few of the caladium blubs in my back shade bed to liven it up a bit, as well. I just wish they survived our winters, as I've not had good luck holding them over but I will try again. If not then I just order more!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Garden Bloggers Bloom day

Raccoon damage
Well gosh, I can only marginally refer to myself as a blogger, never felt I had that much to say I guess -- unless you ask me right now about a family of raccoons that have decided to redecorate my yard. But I'll play along with Garden Bloggers Bloom day because I love to take pictures of my flowers.

Blooming in my shady yard is usually limited to the few shade plants that are tolerant of the conditions. I have about 13 variety of hydrangeas and too many to count variety of hosta and all have different blooming cycles. It current showy-mode is Hydrangeas Peppermint, Double Pink, Blushing Bride, Endless Summer, Blaumeise (Teller Blue), Teller Red, and the hydrangea rescued from my mom's nursing home several years ago, so I call it Maxine.

Hydrangea 'Double Pink'
The hosta H. 'Jimmy Crack Corn', a hybrid of Piedmont Gold, is turning out to be a show stopper this year. I guess it's pretty happy with it relocation to the spring wetland area of my yard. It's just starting to bloom and has nicely-formed buds that open slowly for a continued show. Also in bloom is Sum and Substance, Stained Glass, Paul's Glory, Wylde Green Cream, Ventricosa, Fortunei Aureomarginata, Captain Kirk, Guacamole, and several others.
The bloom of H. 'Jimmy Crack Corn'

Hydrangea 'Blaumeise' and H. 'Fortunei Aureomarginata'
coneflowers and yarrow mixing it up
Perennial Smash
Asiatic lily, possible Stargazer
Hydrangea 'Peppermint'
Liatris emerges
With so much shade in my yard I have to depend more on texture and foliage color to keep it interesting. But I do have some areas that receive just enough sun to allow a few perennials that would be considered sun worshipers. So crammed into a little space in the back of my yard are a mingling of coneflowers, yarrow, liatris, Alstroemeria, agastache, helenium, phlox, menarda all currently in full bloom. On the other side of the yard but filling the air with fragrance day and night are my Asiatic lilies, they have been there for many years but I believe they were Stargazer, but that tag is long gone. Others are hanging out waiting for next months edition of Garden Bloggers Bloom day.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Educating New Gardeners

This years Flower and Patio show was a wonderful way to bring you out of the funk of winter, it's always great to see and smell all the amazing flora that is jam packed in to complement all the wonderful hardscape that seems to prevails at these shows. The number of gas firepits had to have taken the Exhibition Hall up one growing zone! I really liked the theme of neighborhoods; it was a great idea, as there are numerous great neighborhoods in this city. Overall I think the show was done nicely and was thankful to see the number of non-gardening related booths limited.

What's missing is the opportunity to really educate people about realistic gardening. As a Master Gardener, one of our responsibilities is to educate the public and I like to work at our booths to facilitate this goal but so often while working at shows like this I get some form of the same question, "How do I get my garden to have everything blooming all the time like these are." Now I work in advertising and I realized that having non-blooming plants in the display wouldn't bode well in a feature garden. It would be admirable if someone could figure out a way to show how to stage continuous instead of having a full season of blooming plants all blooming simultaneously! For those of us that know this is not a possible view it gets a little frustrating trying to explain to novices that is they want this sort of profusion of color for three months they might be spending a lot of money on annuals and pumping them full of bloom-builder fertilizer.

Maybe next year someone could be daring and not have every plant that is possible to force into bloom, in full bloom crammed in together. It's just not right to see tulips growing amongst full grown hostas, after all this is not Bree Van De Kamp's hydrangea garden on Wisteria Lane.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

royal saga continues

Well got the big boy dug up and split apart. Took pictures but it seems my camera is acting out so maybe after a short respite it will behave again. Moving and dividing such a large hosta can be quite a task and why it's best done either in the early spring, I believe. First there are not any leaves to contend with and they actively growing so the perfect time to get them to produce a good root system before winter.

Now I have one of my own that needs a good breaking up. It's taking over my side yard, not that it's a bad thing, especially when they bloom. Being one of the older forms of hosta it is still a fragrant hosta. Sadly when they are hybridized for interesting leaves or flowers the fragrance is lost, just like so many of the roses and other formerly fragrant perennials.