Monday, August 31, 2009

Blooms that make me smile.

This beautiful vine is Thunbergia, commonly known as 'black eyed susan climbing vine'. It grows incredibly quickly, and inch or more per day, and flowers well, even with very little sun. The pumpkin coloured flowers are delighful.

I am a big fan of Blue Star Petunias, I plant them every year with some white & blue lobeila. I find them very cheerful, and they bloom beautifully, even with only receiving a few hours of morning sun.

Also in my east facing shaded beds are a few yellow snapdragons, I'm surprised at how well they're doing, and will be sure to add more next year. This bed has been a bit of a challenge, and is a work in progress. It has daffodils in the spring, and in previous years has been left mulched, but this year I added a few perennials and annuals to liven it up.

Here is another new addition, Delphinium grandiflorum 'blue elf'. I love the shape of the flowers, they remind me of witches hats. The colour is much nicer in real life.

This is a recent picture of my H.F. Young clematis. I'm so pleased with it, since i wasn't expecting to see any blooms until next year, and there are at least a dozen buds forming. I've had to add on to my 4 ft trellis.

The base of the trellis is planted with these lovely 2 tone purple & white osteospermums. They have grown incredibly well, I'm hoping they will somehow self seed and come back next year.

They remind me of the simple, and always pleasing shape of a shasta daisy.

I planted a few obedient plants about 3 years ago, and they did very poorly. A few would come back but only grow some foliage and not set any flowers. This year, many are growing quite vigorously and blooming well. I like the way this one looks alongside C.carpatica.

And finally, the belle of the ball, Kyushu hydrangea.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Edges of the Beds.

The square edge of the hedge....

The straight edge of the hedge. Cotoneaster hedge with skybound cedar accents.

The curved edge of a bed..

From another perspective. Plants include: My Monet Weigela, Autumn Joy Stonecrop, summer blooming Pink Spirea, Common Bleeding Heart (2 pink, 1 white), Blue Fox Willow, Dicentra Spectabilis 'Alba', European Dwarf Burning Bush, and Pocohontas Lilac, among others.

Another curved bed, where the Hydrangea Kyushu is tucked in between 2 mature Double Flowering Plums (Prunus triloba 'multiplex').

And 2 new round beds, a weeping birch underplanted with small colourful plants including cheddar & maiden pinks, spring asters, dwarf icelandic poppies, a few varieties of baby's breath, perennial flax, fairy thimble bellflowers, sea thrift & mountain garlic. Also, a frog and a turtle, just because.

And finally, a young Crimson King Norway Maple, underplanted with a Bonanza daylily, Caesar's Brother Iris, Globeflower, Coreopsis verticella, and one of my new favotires, the Dwarf Delphinium "Blue Elf".

Friday, August 14, 2009

Varieties of Variegation

I really love the look of Variegated leaves, I find them interesting and beautiful and they are a lovely contrast to solid green. Here are the ones in my garden:

This is a "My Monet Weigela", it stays small, approximately 2ft x 2ft. The variegated leaves are beautiful, and many are edged with pink.

This is my Ivory Halo Dogwood, it grows quickly and is quite bushy. When it gets wet it practically collapses, but recovers shortly after the rain stops.

This new addition is a Creeping Jacob's Ladder, Polemonium reptans 'Stairway to Heaven'. Like the Weigela, some of the leaves are edged in pink. It is suppose to have clusters of pale blue/violet bellflowers. I look forward to it's return next year, it receives very little direct sunlight, but seems to be growing well.

I have planted 3 of these variegated obedient plants, in sunny spots. I absolutely love the little clusters of foliage, and look forward to the hot pink blooms that these will produce.

And finally, a few Hosta pictures. This poor hosta has been snack food for slugs, but seems to be recovering (my poor Whirlwind isn't). I believe this is the Hosta Francee, I think this leaf is adorable, with it's 'hat' from a neighbouring bleeding heart.

This new Hosta is Albo Marginata..

..and this one is Medio Variegata, I hadn't realized til now that it has the opposite type of variegation normally seen, the centres of the leaves are white and the edging is green. It is in quite a sunny location, I hope it doesn't get too much sun.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Pretty in Pink (& Purple)

This is the potentilla pink beauty, I find many potentillas look somewhat ragged and unkept (probably due to being grown in some very undesirable locations, such as medians), but I hope to keep this one lush and shaped.

This is the Dwarf Balloon Flower Platycodon grandiflora 'Astra Blue', I happened to notice that one of the flowers has only 3 petals, whereas the rest have 4. I wonder if it's a sign of good luck, similar to a 4 leaf clover? It is growing along the east side of a small shed, and the flowers seem to turn towards it. I suspect that it might be to face the heat radiating off the wall, so I might relocate it to a new spot.

And here is a new addition, the purple coneflower Echinacea purpurea. It's currently in a pot, being moved from spot to spot trying to find the right location before planting.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Kyushu, a Beautiful Hydrangea

I am absolutely smitten by this beautiful Kyushu Hydrangea. The open panicles are so elegant and lovely, with a nice elongated shape and a mix of sterile and fertile florets. Some say the panicles develop a slight pink hue in the fall, I've read elsewhere that they fade to a pale yellow. Perhaps like other Hydrangeas it is dependant on soil pH? Due to my soil being quite alkaline I did mix in a healthy amount of peat moss. Since this is my first season with Kyushu, it remains to be seen what the fall colour is like.

Friday, August 7, 2009

New Blooms!

I always find it very exciting when a new perennial blooms for the first time. To me, it indicates that the plant is happy in its location (although not as indicative as returning for years to come), and you can confirm that the plant you purchased is the variety intended, although mislabelling usually turns into a pleasant suprise.

Here is the first bloom of the Clematis 'H.F Young', it was a sad little twig when I bought it a few months ago but has now climbed to the top of the 4ft trellis. The bloom is very pleasing, I read that the first flush of blooms in the spring produces double flowers, and then it blooms again in the late summer/fall with a few single flowers. It is rated zone 4, but since we are considered 3b/4a many zone 4 plants do well, and it is in a sheltered location.

'The poppy and the frog', sounds like a children's story, doesn't it? This is the dwarf icelanic poppy Papaver nudicale 'Garden Gnome'. I wasn't expecting it to bloom this year, so I'm very happy that it did. I will let it set seed to ensure it's longevity in the garden.

This is the Globeflower Trollius x cultorum 'Lemon Queen', I like the unique shape of these round flowers.

And finally, a Purple Beauty Aster 'novi-beligii x hybrid'. I found this little Aster on the discount table for $1, all by itself. It has exceeded expectation, and looks like it won't be long before it has a full flush of blooms.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Happy Heliopsis

It has been quite drab here for the last few days, and there is nothing cheerier than a group of bright yellow flowers. These pictures feature the False Sunflower 'Heliopsis helianthoides, Summer Sun'. They grow well in a variety of conditions, and tolerate part shade very well.

I recently added some Jacob's Ladder 'Polemonium caeruleum', I think the blue/purple colour coordinates very well with the yellow.

They are also a favorite of bees.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

First Post - Introduction

This is my first attempt at blogging, so I expect a few 'trial & error' moments. I would like to keep an online record of my zone 3 garden, for reference and to watch it change and develop. Enjoy!

This beautiful daylily is Hemerocallis 'Bonanza'. The blooms are over 5 inches across, and very showy.

I've always been a fan of purple leaves, and the Crimson King Norway Maple is one of my favorites.

I really like the way my Purpleleaf Sancherry (Prunus x cistena) looks in this picture, it is still young, but growing nicely.