Monday, April 26, 2010

Wishlist 2010 Update, Many Found!

This past weekend I went to the Garden Centre in search of fertilizer for some young shrubs. It has been very quiet there all winter, but this time parking lot was FULL and as I approached I realized there were PLANTS in the outdoor section. Loads of them!! Rows of trees & shrubs, and tables covered in perennials! I thought 'it's too early, I'm going to wait to buy anything. But I'll just check if my wishlist plants are here.' Many of them were, and I was afraid of missing out on them, so I grabbed a cart and started loading up. I did remember to buy fertilizer, it is sitting on the bottom level.

From my Wishlist, I found the Peonies 'Bowl of Beauty' and 'Festiva Maxima', Little Boy Blue Lilac, the shrub Roses 'Morden Sunrise' and 'Sunrise Sunset'. I also bought some Moss Phlox in 'Emerald Cushion Blue', a white Daylily 'Gentle Shepherd' (I knew they would become addictive)an Icelandic Poppy 'Champagne Bubbles' and another Fairy Thimble Bellflower, they are one of my favorite plants.

Here is a closeup of Sunrise Sunset...

..and a few of the others.

I realized I spent more time in the shrub section than the perennials, and forgot to look for a Jack Frost Brunnera, so I went back, and luckily there were 3 of them. Then I went to do some returns at a hardware store, and of course, browsed the garden section. I have been on the lookout for the perfect gnome/gargoyle for 2 years, but they are either to scary, to silly, too big or too small (sounds like a Dr Seuss book!). As I was exiting past the fountains, I stopped, backed up and looked in behind a large birdbath, and there he was. There were 2 but the other was darker in colour and more sinister looking, and I decided he would frighten me on a regular basis. So off we went to the self checkout and I put him in the back of the car with Jack Frost. Now I need to find a sheltered spot for him, tucked away in the garden somewhere.

I have very few openings left for new plants, which means more grass will have to go. As much as I'd like to start planting right away, I think I will wait for a few weeks, so I can keep the plants sheltered if needed. This way too, grass can be removed slowly, and will hopefully be less backbreaking.

I have a new plant finding mission now. My cherished 'Blue Star Petunias' are not going to be available this year ( :( ), so I will call garden centres near & far to try and find some. I have tried other annuals in boxes, but am never happy with the way they look.

Here's a question for all of you avid gardeners. I would like to have a low hedge (3ft?) between our front yard and the neighbours, but rather than a formal shrub hedge, I am thinking of planting a row of Heliopsis helianthoides. I think it would be bright and interesting, and not a terrible amount of work. Is such a thing ever done or am I breaking yet another gardening rule?

One last picture, here is the Dicentra from my last post, with an additional 7 days of growth. If you scroll down they can easily be compared.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Spring Growth.

Things are picking up here, and the rate of growth is increasing exponentially. Some moisture and sun, and the plants are as happy as can be. Here is one of my Dicentra spectabilis, this picture was from a few days ago, and it looks much bigger already.

This lovely foliage is Gentian Speedwell 'Barbara Sherwood', I bought it late last season, and have not seen the white/blue flower spikes yet, but the evergreen foliage is a nice addition to the shady bed.

I am tickled pink (pun intended) about the flower buds all over these Double Flowering Plums (Prunus triolba 'multiplex'), we have lived here for 7 years, and they have only bloomed well once. In fact, I had booked them for removal last summer, but changed my mind at the last minute. I'm so looking forward to them being in full bloom.

I hope the tiny PJM Compact Rhododendron follows suit, it hasn't bloomed for a few years, since it is *very* borderline hardy. It seems to have nice flower buds, I hope they are viable.

My 5 year old Blue Fox Willow (Salix brachycarpa 'Blue Fox' ), is looking very nice, it had a hard summer last year, being ravaged by black aphids and then my brutal pruning attempt, I hope it has a good year and recovers/fills in well. It was planted to commemorate a special feline, so I am extra fond of it.

And here is a gratuitous picture of the yellow Daisy, she enjoys doing daily garden rounds with me.

The most advanced growth is still the little hedge, (how I wish it was curved like the one Deborah has recently shown us). Sir Mulch A Lot and I just need to agree on how tall it should be.

The new 'Blizzard' Mockorange seems to have survived it's first winter here, I hope it produces many deliciously scented blooms this summer.

Drumroll please.....I finally figured out how to use the Macro setting on my little point & shoot. I'm VERY pleased at how this picture of an emerging lilac flower bud turned out. Pocohontas has lovely deep purple blooms, with the usual intoxicating scent. The 2 white lilacs are a little further behind, just starting to open to green buds, which didn't photograph well.

Why didn't I know about daylilies sooner? The name deceived me, I thought their beauty would be fleeting and I remember Martha Stewart saying something about how they 'should be planted in drifts of at least 200 for full effect, since their bloomtime is rather brief'. So, I would skip the daylily section all together. Anyhow, I find they bloom very well, each flower lasting for more than a day and another one ready and waiting to take it's place, and the foliage is beautiful. I planted 8 last year, and can see becoming a collector of these beauties.

Here is the little Globeflower Trollius x cultorum 'Lemon Queen', I'm so pleased it survived it's first winter as well.

The Peachleaf Bellflower has the loveliest clusters of foliage, I've only seen blooms in pictures, but I'm really looking forward to them. Look at the little baby clusters in the parent plant, how cute is that??

Belladonna has also returned. It was a sad sprig last year (end of season clearance) that died shortly after planting. I didn't think she'd be back, but suprise! These leaves recently emerged.

I planted so many new perennials last year, and although I catalogued them carefully, I am seeing all kinds of little new leaves popping up here and there, from plants I had forgotten about. It will be an exciting season, provided I can keep them from getting trampled by little feet or paws.

Everyone is looking pretty good, although the 3 hydrangeas, 2 of the 3 Weigelas, the Dwarf Burning Bush, the Pink Potentilla and the Group B Clematis are still rather crispy, but perhaps less so than last week. My 2 year old Blue Arrow Juniper looks terrible, it did last year too and then recovered somewhat, if it doesn't pick up I might replace it with the interesting DeGroots Spire Cedar.

Some of the daffs are sending up their flower stalks, so I hope to have more spring bulbs pictures for you soon.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

After the snow.

The garden has recovered quickly, fortunately it didn't take temperatures long to climb to the mid teens so the vast majority of the snow is gone. The crocuses survived being buried, it was nice to see them again. The whites came on quickly after the snow.

The garden is waking up, albeit rather slowly. Many perennials are now producing many new shoots, but the trees and shrubs are still at the bud stage. I am a little worried about my 3 hydrangeas, they seem very brittle still and I wonder if they made it through the winter?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

WEEPING Birch, et al.

Weeping Birch
Weeping Spruce
Weeping Flowering Plum
Weeping Cedar
Over a foot of snow fell overnight. The heavy, wet, hard to drive in & hard to shovel type.
The tulip bed is quite sheltered, so not a terrible amount of accumulation, but where are the crocuses?

The power is out throughout most of the city,
cars are stuck everywhere,
and all schools have declared a snow day.

Spring! Please come back!