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.


  1. I was always leery of planting daylilies. Mostly because I didn't want them to grow rampantly throughout my gardens. But I want to create a border down my driveway, and I think they may be just what's needed in my sunny, windy yard.

    I'm so envious of your lilacs! I miss them so much...

  2. Do you think your plums heard you and decided they better be extra special this year? Smart of those sneaky devils. Thanks for the gratuitous shot of my girl Daisy, and the mention of my blog. I hope a lot of people go to Barrys open garden. It is hard to find people who will open their garden to the public and it is an especially nice one. Looking forward to KG tomorrow, hoping a find a lot happening!

  3. Rebecca, I think my garden is a little ahead of yours, but I also have that sense that I can see things growing by leaps and bounds. I'm glad you've discovered the wonders of daylilies, despite the bad advice about them that may be out there (drifts of 200?!?!?) I have dozens of varieties of daylilies growing throughout my garden, and they are the backbone of my blooms for much of the season; the earliest begin blooming in June and the last don't stop blooming until frost (September, if I'm lucky). -Jean

  4. Hi Kyna, thanks for your message! Daylilies would be beautiful, I've also seen Dicentra spectabilis used along a driveway and made for a lovely border. :)

    Hi Deborah, I do think the plums heard me, it's their way of saying 'see, we're worth keeping around!' lol. I look forward to the next installment from KG, and you're most welcome for the mention & the gratuitous pic. ;)

    Hi Jean, June til Sept? How lovely! We'll see how mine are, I think I actually planted 9 or 10, various sizes and colours. They come in such an amazing palette. I will be adding more this year, and already have spots picked out for them.

  5. Hi Rebecca, nice to see so much progress after the late snowfall. It's always a relief to know things have survived. Is that a cotoneaster hedge you are growing? We planted one along the front of of our last house and when I drive by I see it is filling in very nicely.

    Love the lilac bud shot :-)

  6. You must be so happy to see so much coming up. I had our camera for about 5 years before I even knew it had a macro setting. Your picture is great.
    I had the same feelings about daylilies. I thought they had to be planted in huge drifts, which I don't have room for. But after admiring them on so many blogs I decided to try some in my garden this year.
    I'll keep my fingers crossed that the rest of your plants start to look better soon.

  7. Hi MsS, yes, it is a cotoneaster hedge. It was just bare root 'sticks' a few years ago, but fills in quickly. It is really growing on me, I like a hedge but find cotoneaster boring, but it does leaf out early, attracts ladybugs like crazy & has great fall colour. Not so dull afterall. Thanks for the comment on the lilac shot! El Cheapo is doing a pretty good job lol.

    Hi Catherine, Thanks for your message! Nice to know I'm not alone in my daylily misconception. If a plant has great foliage (which they do), their flowering time/length isn't as much of a concern for me. Glad to know I'm not the only one unfamiliar with 'macro', mine is on 'auto' 99% of the time. A photog I am not.

  8. Spring is such a happy time... growth is springing fast! Great to see it is coming to you too!

  9. Your garden looks about a week ahead of mine with its growth. I enjoy the look of the first foliage tips, especially those that come up red, like your Dicentra. How fortunate that the double flowering plum buds survived the late spring snow, and you'll get to see them this year. I've found the Blizzard mockorange to be a reliable bloomer. Last year mine had an especially strong scent that I could enjoy next to my patio.

  10. Hi Rebecca,

    I can't wait to see your Dicentra in bloom. I just love the flowers and they do not grow where I live.

    Daisy must be a wonderful gardening companion :-)

  11. Hi Rebecca...lovely post..great photos! i Looove Mock orange..the scent is amazing..I have always wanted one..maybe this year!
    Happy gardening!

  12. Hi Carol, Thanks so much for stopping by! The plants seems as happy as we are to finally have some warmth.

    Hi Northern, I also like the burgundy foliage tips, they are very pretty and it's fun to watch them change to green. Hope to have new 'Plum' pictures soon, I'm glad I kept them.

    Hi Noelle, I'll be sure to take pictures for you, I have one plant that is especially impressive. Daisy does like the garden time a lot. :)

    Hi Kiki, Thanks for your great message! Happy Gardening to you too!

  13. Rebecca girl ! Your garden is bursting with life now : ) it will "steam-roller" and jump forward so fast each day most of the plants will have put on new growth. I too have been guilty of "prune-mania" that isn't even a word but that is what happens to me when I see a "problem" and those darn black aphids are HORRIBLE .. they gross me out and I can't get rid of them fast enough. I think the plants know we are trying to help them .. that is why they hang in there for us ? LOL
    Hey .. how did you not know about day lilies girl ?? they are work horses for not so great areas .. I latched unto them QUICKLY as a cure ? LOL .. too bad you aren't here in Kingston I would gladly share with you .. I'm sharing with Martha from Water Roots and she loves them too.
    Thanks for your response on my post girl !
    I appreciate it : )

  14. Hi Joy, Thanks for your message, it is steamrolling ahead now, such a great time of year! garden centre got a bunch of shrubs & perennials in, I went to buy some fertilizer and came home with A LOT more, I'll post about it soon. Need to start ripping out more sod. You're most welcome re my reply. The rating system is REALLY not sitting right with me. :/

  15. Hi Rebecca! A lot of action in your garden! I also see some things emerging in my garden that I can't recognise so far...

  16. Daylilies can fit in anywhere. Very few cultivars are rampant like the orange ditch lilies, and there's such a range in bloom times that it's possible to have some blooming all growing season. Plus, there's lots of repeat bloomers now. But they can be addicting!!! :)

    I'll bet you're glad that spring has finally reached the far frozen North!

  17. It is too bad that plums are not flowering as much. I hope you will get more flowers from them soon!

    Everything else is looking great, especially when I remember that snowfall you had not so long ago.
    When I buy a new perennial, I forget its name in few months... I should try to be organized like you.

  18. Hi Tatyana, the problem with the garden 'surprises' is that it's hard to tell them apart from the weeds. So I let them all grow and thin later.

    Hi sweetbay, I had forgotten about orange ditch lilies, I don't think they grow here. You're right about them being addicting, I bought another yesterday...

    Hi vrtlarica, I'm pretty obsessive about names and other facts. I keep a book where I record everything and keep track of height, sun preference, bloom time etc and can make notes as needed.

  19. Everything seems fresh and active! A gardener loves it when the sun shines down bright. Aahh! Macro is the best setting, isn't it? You did a cool job and I'm sure you'd get better at it soon.

  20. Happy Spring, Rebecca! Looks like LOTS of promise over there! Have you been getting rain this weekend? It's made everything so lush... I can hardly see through the trees anymore. :-)

  21. What a nice selection of plants you've got there! I envy you the belladonna, a plant I've always meant to grow; may the plum and rhodie live up to their youthful hopes! I had the exact same progress with daylilies, though I only like the antique types.

    So - I hear over at Northern Shade that you have a hard time with bulbs in your garden. I'm a bulbomaniac - interested in troubleshooting with me?

  22. Hi Shady, Happy Spring to you too! We have had some rain these past few days, we watched the grass literally turn from brown to green in a few hours. The trees are happy too, although haven't leafed out yet.

    Hi Pomona, Thanks so much for dropping by! As long as we don't have any more snow or deep cold, the flower buds should be alright. I appreciate your offer of bulb help! I always make sure to plant to the correct depth, I dig ~2 inches deeper than the planting depth and then replace with a mix of loose top soil and peat moss with a bit of bone meal, I place the bulb on the little prepared spot, then backfill with a mix of soil & peat. I water in well after planting and then lightly water 1 week later. I do have a lot of shade in my garden from mature trees, so it may contribute adversly. Also, the soil is heavy clay and very alkaline, although I am careful to use good quality soil when planting.

  23. Chandramouli, sorry I missed your message! I'm glad you think my picture is cool. :)

  24. And I always love Chandramouli's pictures (and writing), too, even though I'm unable to comment on his blog and say so.

    About your bulbs, Rebecca: OK, clay soil and a fair amount of shade. How's your drainage? Are the trees deciduous, or evergreen? What kind of winter chilling do you get? What kinds of bulbs have done well for you (or at least appeared, preferably repeatedly) and which haven't?

  25. Hi Pomona, the drainage could be better, it's ok to about 8-12", but then is on a ROCK hard base, we have a mix of deciduous and conifers and we're in zone 4 (near the 3 border) and temps can easily be in -35 or lower. Daffodils and crocuses do very well, tulips do alright for the first year, but rarely after that. In fact I have quite a few places where old tulips are sending up leaves with no hope of flowering. I'm not sure what to do with them at this point, they are deep, so digging them out is kind of a pain. Good News! My muscari is just forming flower heads, I thought they had given up after their leaves emerged, but it was probably the heavy snow that set them back. Snowdrops & fritallaria did not appear this spring, I think the snowdrops might have sent up a few leaves.