They're here at last! The first flowers. Crocus ancyrensis, and Galanthus with no label. When my arthritic knees permit, I will lower myself to ground level and peer closely at the snowdrop to see if it's 'Plenus', 'Samuel Arnott', or 'Viridipictus'.
I'm direct-sowing my seeds this year, either mid-May or mid-June. I'd normally aim for the end of May, but I'll be away on vacation then.
Greenhouses are a mixed blessing! I have one that is heated with an electric fan heater to keep it just above freezing, but the temperature inside will drop to minus 5C when the outside temperature is minus 25C. And then on sunny days (like today), even with all the vents and doors open, the greenhouse interior will overheat to 25C. I use it mainly for overwintering potted hardy cacti (in a sand bench), tender shrubs, and containerized perennials. Last spring, the greenhouse got too warm and the cacti flowered early.
In the garden, Iris histrioides 'George' has begun blooming.
I used to have a green house attached to the garage,
but when sewer had to be dug and replaced----I lost the greenhouse.
Your pics of spring flowers are inspiring.
There are signs here that the local hares have probably dug most of them up here?
Eeek, I had no idea that hares would dig things up! I have not seen hares around here, only rabbits. They are nibblers - crocuses, emerging daylily foliage, and ornamental grasses are high on their list - but the dwarf Iris blooms will probably be snapped up by deer. I lose my tulips to deer as well. In recent years, chipmunks arrived in my garden, and they burrow underneath plants, or bury plants in their excavated dirt. So far, the chipmunks have not eaten anything except bird seed - I keep them well fed! Nothing gets dug up unless I use something like bone-meal or blood-meal at planting time. If I do, the plant or bulb will be dug up by raccoons or foxes excavating for what they think is buried food. I stopped growing lilies in pots on the deck after having to re-pot them every morning after the raccoons had visited. They don't touch the potted cacti, although sometimes they will poop on them in retaliation for being pricked by the spines. After 10 years of gardening here, and gardening with deer, rabbits, and groundhogs for the previous 10 years in Pennsylvania, I should know how and what to plant. I still can't resist planting things that I know will get chewed, though, and I continue to experiment with new plants.
What other wildlife do you have, apart from voracious hares, CL? How will you protect your annuals and vegetable seedings from them?
Do you mulch or fork-over your flowerbeds, Caroline? I find that using no mulch, and letting the dirt bake to a hard crust between plants, makes a flowerbed less inviting to squirrels. When planting bulbs, I make sure to press the earth firm and flat afterwards, so there's no sign of soil disturbance. I use a sprinkle of hot Hungarian pepper as a final deterrent!
I found no new flowers in my garden today, but I noticed buds starting to swell on the Lilac bushes.
This morning it's -5C, with a wind-chill of -15C, and strong gusts of bone-chilling wind are delivering snow squalls off Lake Huron, but every now and then there's a moment of calm and the sun comes out. Iris danfordiae has decided spring is here, anyway.
There's migratory duck activity on the pond. Common and hooded mergansers have begun dropping in for some fish on their way north, and a pair of wood ducks has arrived. Wood ducks sometimes raise a brood here, as the pond is fed by a stream that flows through woodland.
June it's so lovely to see blooms! thank you. I have a G house too and will be starting it up around the 20th of April. I have found that heated seed mats generate enough heat to ward off the minus's. I use a floating row cover to retain the heat just over the trays overnight and remove it if the day will be warm enough. I did try the fan heater but have found that keeping the little guys soil warm gives me a better result. I have a 8X16 from Costco that was purchased about 6 yrs ago that has weathered very well.
I have my Canna's and Begonia's started and some overwintered bare rooted geraniums too. Some seeds are up for my Eucalyptus and a few Hosta's. Tomatoes will be right behind i'm sure. These are in the basement under lights and against the windows.
We still have 3 ft of snow!
Ann, where will you grow your Eucalyptus - aren't they huge trees? I haven't tried using a heated seed mat. I wonder if that might be the secret to successfully overwintering fuchsias. The fuchsias from my hanging baskets go into the greenhouse in fall, and although they always lose their leaves, in theory they should leaf out again in spring. However, often I'm just left with dead sticks in a pot. I think that if their roots get frozen, they're gonners, so bottom heat may be the answer. When does your snow usually melt? I hope you get a gradual thaw, not a flood.
Nice to hear of your greenhouse---I am seriously considering getting one.
I over wintered fushias in the house-----geraniums too.
Only two cannas,but I have roots for more. Begonias are just getting going.
They seem so hard and dried,but they are sending out shoots.
Petunias, tomatoes and peppers are under lights in basement.
Unfortunately, there's no space anywhere in this house for my grow-light stand, which has been stored in the garage since I moved here. It's a 3-shelf unit, and I used to grow all sorts of things under lights before we down-sized to a smaller home. I'm going to have to re-organize this house so I can do gardening indoors, I'm so envious hearing about all your cannas, begonias, geraniums, and seedlings sprouting.
This morning it's -10C, we have an inch of fresh snow, and the pond has re-frozen - so not much chance of any new flowers today. Pics of indoor gardens, sprouting tubers, seed trays, etc. would be welcome!
The Eucalyptus is the decorative kind I think it's called silver drop or silver dollar, I'm at work and don't have the packet here. they do have the smell and are very hardy in pots. I also cut them and bring them inside for decoration.
The heated mat makes a big difference for my plants but I don't think it would help your Fuchsias. If they are dormant they probably can be a bit dry but if they are growing I don't imagine that they can take being too dry. They can't take any cold at all and I think they would need to come inside and let to die back in the dark but not freezing. Kind of the way I overwinter my geraniums.
Anyone else want to wade in here?
Snow is slowly melting away and I too hope for no flooding. Most roofs are clear here but some have dandy icicles.
Weatherman is calling for more
The Eucalyptus sounds delightful. I'll have to keep an eye out for a potted plant for my deck, once the garden centres are open. Supermarkets and hardware stores will start selling plants in a few weeks time, way too early for this zone, but Head Office in zone 6 sets the date. (One time, I asked an assistant in one of these garden centres if he was aware that he needed to take the flats of impatiens inside as a frost was forecast for that night. He shrugged and said that if they died the greenhouse would send more).
Can you all tell me: When you bring outdoor plants into the house for winter, how do you ensure that they don't bring aphids and earwigs and other undesirables in with them? My oleander bushes had so many aphids on them after spending summer on the deck, I sprayed the heck out of them with Safer's Insecticidal Soap before putting them into the greenhouse, but they still have aphids hidden among the tightly-held leaves at the growing points.
some I take cuttings off of.
I do the bare root thing for some. I let them dry out a bit in the fall. Knock most soil off them , swish the foliage in soapy water, let dry and turn them upside down in a 5 gallon pail. Put them in a dark corner of the basement and sprinkle water on the thickest part of the root every once in a while. Then when things sprout in the spring I pot them up and I will take cuttings off the guy downstairs in the next week or so. Begonia's I let freeze back and then take most soil off and put them in a bucket under my sink in the Laundry room I check for any fungus or mold. I have 3 that I've had for 4 yrs now and they are so big they won't fit in a small pot, need about 6 inch square at least. The others are smaller.
Canna's are a whole new story and I was successful until this year , because I didn't follow my usual method.
For my big ribbon bush I sprayed with water outside and let it dry then used a huge clear plastic bag over it and sprayed with an insect soap keeping it closed for about two days. It seemed to work but there aren't too many plants that have such flat surface's.
I will take a photo of them.
Yes bugs are an issue and you do have to be ruthless.
It doesn't always work.
Here are a couple of photo's , please excuse the basement window as a neighbors cat won't stay out of my yard and he is making a mess of that window.
One is the Begonia's Big ones beside a small one and the small orange pots behind them are the ones purchased this year. I bulk start them to conserve space under the lights, they will need transplanting soon. Canna's beside them.
Two is one of my Mrs Pollack Geraniums that I overwintered. She has lots of new shoots that I will be able to use for cuttings
Three is the Ribbon Bush from the Solomon Islands that I had Identified on another forum. I kept a cutting a few years ago from a small bush that I bought at a green house. it was quite unique and I liked the funky look it had. I probably could do the same with cuttings again. The big plant in that corner is my Hoya (uknown exact one) That I have had since I was 19 so about 35 yrs now. It gets wound around it's self and it stands about 4 ft tall in a big pot.
The sun is still out so I'm going out to enjoy.
Bye for now
Thanks, Ann, for the great advice, and excellent photos. You surely have some monster Begonias! I love the variegated foliage on 'Mrs. Pollack' - what colour flowers does she have? Your Ribbon Bush is very interesting, and the 35-year-old Hoya is amazing! Also, I like your lampshade.
Mrs Pollack has bright orange single petal flowers that are almost insignificant compared to the foliage. You can't quite see but the more sun she gets the darker a burgandy color in the middle of the leaf becomes.and with the cream and lime green she is very lovely even if you don't have flowers.
The Lampshade is an antique that was in my MIL's house in the basement with silk covering it. The silk just turned to dust when you touched it so she and I rewraped the wire and recovered it with a silk fabric matching the orignal design as best we could. She restrung all the beads on dental floss and we saved as much of the brickbrac trim as we could. Base is all original.
Someone just told me that we are getting a ton of snow tomorrow! Darn!
Sorry to hear you are expecting more snow, Ann. It's still below freezing here, with a wickedly cold wind, but sunny. I can see a blue crocus, ready to open, but it's waiting for a warmer wind. Maybe tomorrow!
I feel sorry for the wildlife at this time of year. Recently-arrived grackles, cowbirds, and red-winged blackbirds were beseiging my bird feeders yesterday, while being pelted by snow squalls borne on wild gusts of frigid wind. The insects must be frantic for a warm day, to get out and find some pollen and nectar. Sometimes at this time of year I see bees on the bird table, mistakenly gathering dust fallen from the corn kernels.
How disappointing to lose the petunias, Caroline! It sounds like an attack of damping-off fungus. There used to be a product called "No Damp", a liquid fungicide to add to the water before watering seed flats. I wonder if it's still available. So many useful gardening chemicals have now been withdrawn due to toxicity and environmental concerns that the gardener's life is becoming more and more difficult. Of course, Big Agriculture can still apply toxic substances to entire fields by the ton, but don't get me started on that topic.
I found an old pic of pollen-starved bees picking up dust from the corn on the bird table. A bee-keeper told me that when the collecting bees get back to the hive, the bees in charge of feeding the larvae will just dump the fake pollen.
June-Lovely sight and I will be able to show you some after the snow goes. Do you think the dust would be sweet? Corn has a lot of sugar in it. Maybe that's how the bees are fooled.
Caroline I have been using the ProMix BX which is a soil less mix. I also have watered with strong cold tea to combat the damping off thing. I did purchase the damp off but I didn't like the smell. I only had trouble when I used the coir pots or peat pellets to start seeds in. Are you using them? It's very frustrating when they just get going and then you loose them.
Ann, I don't know if corn dust tastes sweet to bees, but you could be right!
After some discouraging clouds and snow squalls this morning, the sun broke through in the afternoon. There's still a cold wind, but Crocus tomasinianus is blooming. These crocuses are small, but sturdy, and are gradually increasing in numbers - maybe seeding themselves? - despite being in the shade of a purple-leaved smoke bush (Cotinus coggygria 'Grace') when it leafs out later in the season.
After a "mild" night (3C), Galanthus elwesii finally emerged from a snowdrift. Now, I'm not one of those people who notice every little variation in snowdrop flowers, but I do see that G. elwesii's leaves are broader and more gray than those of G. nivalis. That's assuming that I have the correct labels for both species, of course. At this time of year, most of my labels are strewn willy-nilly across the garden, and it's a process of inspired guesswork to re-unite them with their plants.
Caroline, do you have a map of the flowerbed in your journal, with the plants pin-pointed on the map? If I was starting my garden record-keeping all over again, that's probably how I'd do it, but I have a lifetime habit of reliance on labels in the garden. I have in recent years begun replacing those short, plastic labels that either shatter, fade, or lift out of the ground. I now use metal labels, and I particularly like the ones with long, wire prongs that anchor them firmly. They still get flattened when a deer or a clumsy gardener steps on them, but can be bent upright again.
I don't keep a garden journal any more, but I do have an alphabetical card index for each plant (full name, from whom & when purchased, where & when sown or planted, when flowered, description of flower, etc., and finally, when died.) It was very useful in the past, when my memory was such that I knew the name of everything I had planted, but these days I find myself paging through the index and hoping to find the name that matches up with the mental image of the plant.
I don't map it . But use identifiers like---"between the Spruce and the Ash" etc.
I know what you mean with the names---I used to have all the names in my mind---Latin name too.
Now I am trying to recall them---and sometimes can't.
The only new things up in the garden this morning are the water level and my blood pressure. There was a deluge yesterday afternoon and evening, and so now the ground is saturated, the pond is full of murky brown water, and all the streams and ditches are running strongly. I just checked the weather forecast for the remainder of the week and I could not believe my eyes - it's going to be 16C this afternoon, and then we're supposed to be getting SNOW on Thursday and Friday. No, no, this can't be happening!
I put on my waterproof coat and boots for a quick circuit of the garden. Most of it is still above water, but the pond has invaded my plantings in a couple of areas. I was pleased to find Chionodoxa 'Pink Giant' is high and dry, and flowering despite the rain.
This morning, it's more a case of "what's down" than "what's up". The aftermath of yesterday's freezing rain is a garden and pond littered with fallen bits of tree. The beaver is very happy nibbling the bark off all the long, tender willow twigs, but he leaves his dinner table in a mess.
It's been a crazy weather day. It was 4C at dawn, and still below 10C and cloudy when I went off to a doctor's appointment in the morning. By the time I returned home the sun had broken through the clouds and the outdoor temperature had rocketed to 23C, and inside the greenhouse it was 35C. Oops! I should have opened up the greenhouse before I left. All day, there were showers off and on, and rumbles of thunder. Then in the late afternoon the real storms arrived, with wind so strong it ripped bird feeders off the laundry line, and rain so heavy the pond looked like it was boiling. Despite all that, Daphne mezereum 'Album' decided it was a good day to bloom.
The temperature roller-coaster is going up again. Despite a series of frosty nights, the days are now quite mild. Pulsatilla vulgaris has opened its hairy buds in the sunny rock garden. In the shade on the other side of the house, pink Corydalis solida 'Beth Evans' is blooming. 'Beth Evans' seeded herself, and I got all excited, but then all her offspring turned out to be muddy mauve.
I had one tiny snow drop and one tiny pushkinia.
The tulip and daffodil leaves are coming.
I think we are late this year----I'll have to check my old journals.
There are lots of seedlings all over the house.
My lighted shelves are full.
Now I am moving geraniums to the north windows so,--
I can use south windows for tomatoe plants.
Hooray, Caroline! Flowers in your garden at last! You have one more pushkinia than I have. Every spring I realize I don't have at least one desirable bulb, but by the time the fall bulb cataogs arrive I've forgotten what it was. I'd better go and write myself a reminder to order pushkinias.
I was looking at my flowering-time records yesterday, and the first blooms were late this year, but no worse than other late springs I've recorded. It's not the end of the world as we know it (yet).
I hope you don't run out of spaces for the seedlings in your house! I can see flower buds forming on some of my potted cactus plants in the greenhouse. I'm always worried about over-watering the cacti, but if the weather is going to stay mild I'll risk giving them a drink. The pots of species cyclamen have finished flowering and their foliage is starting to die off, so they don't need much water now either. On the other hand, the containerized shrubs have begun to produce new leaves, so they're thirsty. I'm glad I didn't schedule a vacation for this time period, as I'd never have been able to trust DH with the watering.
Oh boy, that's a lot of snow waiting to melt! Lilypon, I earnestly wish you a gradual spring thaw. Do you have a way to keep your basement dry? I'm in a valley, with a stream-fed pond close to the house. The pond and stream have overflowed several times already this spring, and groundwater is very high. My house's basement has a sump pump, and I can connect the pump to a generator when the power goes out. So far, the sump pump is working hard, but coping (fingers crossed).
CLScott yep it is a lot of snow...record breaking to be exact. :'( Not since Europeans settled here has that much snow fallen here (and very little has melted up til now). :S
Thanks June and am sending best wishes to you as well! My childhood home up on the plains and it had a spring under it (most of the time we were happily unaware of it until a bad snowfall year came around). My brother lives there now and I reminded him to make sure his sump pump is working. Sump pumps are one of the bestest flood prevention inventions out there (my parents got theirs after I woke up to a foot of water in my basement bedroom back in '74).
We cleared all snow off our garage and have pushed back all near the house...melt coming down the hill is a worry but more so for the house beside us (their basement and yard has flooded in the past) and the house across the street has already had to empty their garage due to melt coming down the hill.
Tensions are now high here re whether our river will have an ice jam. My house is safe from the river (though one co-worker's isn't), should be safe from melt coming down the hill (I hope) and we all worry about the possible flood and how far it will spread into our downtown. A lot of unknowns this year...we were very dry going into fall but we have more snow than ever before so...
Please keep us posted on your situation, Lilypon! Looking on the positive side, your garden should look good this year after having such a deep protective winter blanket and then receiving extra spring moisture. Cool spring temperatures here meant that the snow lay longer, and it saved my little Erica carnea bush from getting wind-burned.
I think summer is here. By lunchtime it was 22C, and 33C in the greenhouse. Panic stations! Potted culinary sage and mint, a planter filled with dwarf hostas, and a containerized Deutzia are now outside the greenhouse. They'll probably need to go back in, as frost is still possible here for the next four weeks.
The first daffodil has bloomed, and it's 'Gigantic Star', which is neither gigantic nor stellar, just a chunky yellow trumpet, on short, stout stems. In the shade, Hepatica nobilis is blooming. The pic is from last year, when it had some surviving leaves. This spring, there are only flowers. The first primula to bloom is an unnamed seedling that appeared in a sowing of Thlaspi seeds from the local rock garden society. It survives (barely) in the shade of a rock in my otherwise sunny gravel garden.
Finally got some crocuses blooming in Ottawa about a week ago. I had about a zillion of them but they are fading fast. Now have the earliest of my little tulips, the pulmonaria, and scilla blooming. No daffs yet or other tulips, though I have a lot of new tulips that I'm looking forward to. Was in Vancouver last weekend and I guess things are delayed there as well, but the cherry blossoms and tulips were lovely.
Pics aren't too exciting but this is our SIGN OF SPRING!!! :D :D :D
She's broken, moving fast and rising... I don't think we will have an ice jam though :D (ice had rotted more than usual this year). Larger chunks are under water but no where near as thick as I've seen other years. Police blocked people from entering the park shortly before we left.
The crest should come around the middle of this week. We were so very lucky to have a number of very warm days prior to the melt water reaching us. Usually the sound of the ice breaking is like hearing dynamite going off and the chunks are big and thick. Not so this year.
That's encouraging news, Lilypon! I hope it all keeps on flowing, with no ice dams, and no floods. Let us know how it goes.
There was more heat here today, although not quite so summery as yesterday (and it's raining now). Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) has begun blooming. When I moved into this house, the foundation planting was a mess of weeds and invasive grasses. I dosed the the flowerbeds with Roundup, waited until everything turned brown, and then dug the ground over, before planting anything. I did not plant bloodroot, so I was very surprised when it popped up next spring! In the pic, the brown knobby things are the flower spikes of Pachysandra procumbens, which I unwittingly planted on top of the bloodroot.
ViolaAnn, what little species tulips do you grow? I've planted a few, but they haven't done well - they gradually get fewer and disappear, despite being in full sun and good drainage. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong!
Caroline, do you have any more spring flowers to report?
June - I have some little yellow ones that I've had for decades. Someone identified them for me a number of years ago, but I don't remember. Those aren't blooming yet, but it won't be too long. For the others, I really have no idea. But I did take some pics today. I'll download them tomorrow and post and will also try to get an ID on them. I think I've had them for about a decade or more and they have multiplied.
Here are those little tulips. They always start blooming before the crocuses are finished. I've also got increasing mats of scilla which tide the garden over from crocuses to daffs and tulips. I DO have one daffodil blooming in a warmer microclimate in the garden. Crocuses are largely finished in front of my house though I have a few left in cooler spots.
Hang in there, Caroline, the snow will give up and go away soon!
Wow, ViolaAnn, you have a lot of beautiful bulbs - and you have planted them very effectively. I only buy small quantities of bulbs, then I dig one hole per variety and they all go in close together. I end up with little blobs of colour. I do like to see carpets of bulbs, though. At the public garden where I worked (ten years ago), an army of gardeners went out every fall and planted bulbs from sun-up to sun-down, rain or shine, and the result in spring was spectacular. However, from where I sat in the administrative office, the immediate result was that I received many reports of repetetive motion injuries to the bulb planters' knees, wrists, etc. I hope you didn't hurt yourself planting your bulbs.
Tulips are good herbivore fodder here. Since hope springs eternal, I planted T. greggii 'Fire of Love' , which has incredible striped leaves - and every leaf got eaten every year, until it finally gave up. The rabbits seem to like tulips more if they are expensive or unusual varieties.
Lilypon - how disheartening. I hope you see spring soon, but not TOO soon with all that snow to melt.
June - some of those crocuses have been there for 40 years. I rarely buy new ones - just dig up the clumps that are getting really overcrowded and divide them into the spots where I don't have crocuses. They multiply rapidly. I have a FEW smaller species crocuses which just got lost in the mass of big saucy ones; so I ended up digging them out and massing them in one location, but I didn't get a picture this year. They were at their best while we were in Vancouver last week.
As far as tulips, most of mine seem to disappear after a few years, but this little one has been there maybe a decade and continues to do well. I have a few other little ones, but this one is doing the best. Have quite a few NEW tulips this year, but most of them are barely above ground. I tend to buy new ones only every few years because at planting time I'm never sure where I still have good tulips - so I wait until most have died out.
Oh yes, the scilla is almost a weed. Multiplies very rapidly once established. They started as a freebie courtesy of the squirrels. And when I actually bought some, the squirrels dug most of them up and moved them around. But once established, I think they overwhelm those rodents.
Good grief, Lilypon! Not a good day to go for a drive, then. Lovely pics, though!
ViolaAnn, I've never gardened in the same place for more than 11 years, so I don't know if any of my bulb plantings have lasted for 40!
Do you recall how at the beginning of 'The Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy' Arthur Dent looks out of his window, sees a bulldozer, thinks "Yellow", goes back to doing what he was doing, and a few minutes later runs out of the house to throw himself on the ground? I had a "yellow" moment this morning, but it was a tulip, and I was on the ground with my camera. I had forgotten all about Tulip urumiensis, which has been languishing underneath an overgrown Genista 'Lemon Spreader' for the last year or so. Well, the deer ate the Genista this winter, and I can see the tulip now.
Those yellow tulips look a bit like the yellow ones I have. Short and long-lasting. Again, I bought them many years ago from a bulb catalogue. I have them in several parts of my yard and they aren't blooming yet, but won't be too late. BTW, they produce seeds to and they seem to come true though they take several years to reach blooming size.
ViolaAnn, you're right about the tulips seeding themselves. The surrounding area is sprouting similar leaves. Too bad I'll have to dig them up later. The outer edge of my gravel garden/rock garden has been invaded by grasses and weeds and I need to take it apart, clean it, and replant it.
The second "yellow" moment of yesterday was seeing the first dandelion flower in the lawn. Actually, calling it a lawn is a bit of a stretch since it's more weeds than grass. DH mows it, and last year he managed to get the weeds to flower in stripes.
That's great news, Caroline! Honestly, I wish spring had arrived more slowly here. It got very warm very quickly, and the spring bulbs have rushed into flower, and then quickly wilted. The daffodils will be over in a matter of days if this heat keeps up - and it is forecast to do so.
The "what's up" for today is more of a "what's in the air". The bugs are starting to get troublesome. I got my first blackfly bite of the season while I was removing dandelions from the flowerbeds. Tree pollen is also coating everything and making my sinuses ache. I'm starting to wish for some rain. Are gardeners ever satisfied with the weather?
Well, it's been lovely the last couple of days in Ottawa. Haven't had much time to get into the garden today, but hope to tomorrow. Every day there are more things blooming.
Daffodils - a couple of varieties
A couple varieties of early tulips - I've never kept track of the names but the last one is, I think like yours above. I've got only a few in the front yard. Most are in the back yard and won't bloom for awhile.
More - Pulmonaria is blooming both blue and white. Nice at this time of year but a real weed. I've got several of the blue plants.
I also have some ground cover blooming in the back yard - don't have a picture. Trillium won't be long.
And today, my garden grew an arbour. Actually, I used to have an overgrown mock-orange in this location. Dug it out a few years ago and have had problems with the hostas in this bed getting sunburnt ever since. It's an east facing wall and previously they had done well here. I didn't think the bush was a factor since it was north of the hostas, but the adjacent house - about 10 feet away also has white aluminum siding on their garage wall. I think the sun bouncing back and forth between the two houses intensified the sun's rays. I'll stain the arbor tomorrow and I'll get some Clematis to grow at the sides of it. Am hoping that it will do the trick.
There's someone VERY handy at my church. And my church just underwent a 2.2 million $ reconstruction project that was closer to 3 million $ when finished because of problems that were found. We have debt. I approached this person about building me the arbor and what I pay him above and beyond his costs, going to the revitalization fund - his donation so he gets the tax receipt. He thought it was a great idea and voila!
I just read back in the thread. I've also started quite a few seeds. Some hostas in January which are doing well and are now outside. And inside, I started peppers in early April. Sowed my tomatoes and eggplant just before we went to Vancouver on April 18 and they were starting to germinate when we returned 5 days later. They are all under lights, but I'm thinking about potting them up in deeper pots and starting to harden them off. And just last week I started some Zinnias which germinated in about 2 days, some Lavatera which are now beginning to germinate, some 4 O'clocks - not yet germinated, some Balsam which has germinated, some zucchini - half germinated and some Nicotiana - not yet germinate.
Caroline, I'm glad to learn I'm not the only person who uses kitty litter pans (minus the litter) as trays for pots!
Lovely flower pics, ViolaAnn, and your arbour looks fantastic. You should ask your carpenter to build you a matching garden seat! I too have some of those old, invasive pulmonarias. They were in the garden when I took it over, but doing poorly because they had been planted in full sun. I considerately moved them into the shade, and now they are doing better than I need them to.
I have run out of trays---but got more of the KL trays-----
They are sturdy and will hold the heavier paper cups of soil.
I am going to move some tomatoe plants outside for a few hours today.
It is a busy time now---outdoor flower beds and inside seedlings need care.
I braved the blackflies to take pics of today's new blooms. Now I'm matching them up with their catalog descriptions.
Fritillaria meleagris. I planted 20 bulbs of a mix promising "bronze, grey, purple, and white". The few that came up so far are all flowering purple. They are pretty in a disturbing sort of way.
Muscari aucheri 'Blue Magic'. Said to be "two-toned...with sky-blue fertile flowers on top and white-rimmed dark blue lobes below". If I squint, there does seem to be a hint of turquoise at the top of the flower stalks.
Narcissus 'Waterperry'. Described as "shell-pink cups with slightly overlapped and twisted white perianth". Maybe it colours differently as it ages, but at the moment the cups are pale yellow and the perianth cream. It is a lovely, small daffodil and I like it anyway. In my humble opinion, too many of the newer varieties are "supersized" monstrosities that have lost their natural grace.
Narcissus 'Gentle Giant'. The catalog says it has "a wide, snowy perianth with a frilly-edged bright orange gem at the centre". The cup is thankfully not as garish as advertized. This is one large daffodil that I actually like. It's big without being clumsy or top-heavy.
I agree, Caroline, the pink daffodils are never much good. I'm even less inclined to grow the doubles. To me, the whole point of a daffodil is a cleanly shaped trumpet or cup, and so I view a split or doubled daffodil flower as an abomination. Some of the new ones look as if they have either suffered a terrible accident or were developed on a nuclear waste site. Call me old-fashioned!
The heatwave continues here. There have now been 6 consecutive days with a high in the 20C to 25C range, and no rain. Fortunately, the ground is still moist from the spring thaw. Trees and bushes are leafing out, perennials are shooting up - too soon, too fast! The first of the rhizomatous iris is blooming, Iris pumila 'Atroviolacea'. In the rock garden, a short plant with a long name is covered with tiny yellow flowers: Vitaliana primuliflora var. cinerea (I had to look that name up!).
I'm doing my best to enjoy my spring flowers, but the bugs are beginning to get annoying. The blackflies are bad enough, but now there are mosquitoes as well. While I was taking pics this morning, a mozzie bit me on the forehead. As is normal for my first mosquito encounter of the year, the bite swelled up enormously, it itched like crazy, and I had to go out shopping with a big red mark on my forehead. The only pic that turned out OK is of Muscari aucheri 'Ocean Magic'. This Muscari really is two-toned!
My other pics were really lousy. I took close-up pics of a white muscari and a white leucojum, and could not get the right camera settings. I tried reducing the exposure compensation from 0 to -5 and changing the ISO speed from 'auto' to 80, but the white flowers still turned into featureless blobs. Does anyone know what I'm doing wrong?
My camera is a Kodak EasyShare C533. I don't see anything labelled "macro". It just has a selection wheel for the following types of picture: auto (for general picture taking), landscape, close-up, special scene (e.g. snow), and video. There are also zoom-in and zoom-out buttons. On its screen menu there are options for: exposure compensation, picture size, white balance, ISO speed, focus zone, colour mode, and long time exposure. I don't know what half those options are for! The camera is great for landscape pics, but I have to play with the exposure compensation every time I take a pic on "auto" or "close-up" as the default setting usually makes the picture look over-exposed, whether the sun is shining or not. Pics definitely look better on cloudy days, though. Is the problem the camera or the photographer?
Today I practiced photography on Tulip bakeri 'Lilac Wonder', which is growing in gravel that you can't see because it's been covered by creeping thymes. Both these pics were taken in full sun, around noon, with the exposure compensation setting reduced to -1, but one pic is more gray than the other. I moved around to take shots of the exterior and then the interior of the flower. I didn't realize that different angles would make a difference to the colour!
Thank you for all the encouraging words! Today's plant was a devil to photograph, as it was half in sun and half in shade, and the fllowers were different distances from the camera lens. This was the best of 10. It's Brunnera 'King's Ransom'.
Hi Betty! I'd like to get a closer look at your spring flowers, but except for number 2, your pics are not enlarging when I click on them. Did you down-size the pics before you posted them? Or has something gone awry with DG?
Today I gathered a few more pics, and a few more blackfly bites. Maybe if we get the wet snow and/or frost that is forecast it will diminish the bugs!
First is Tulip 'Orange Princess'. This is a reliable bloomer for me, going strong 6 years now. I like the plummy shadings on the outside of the petals.
Next is Daphne cneorum 'Parker's Variegated', planted as a wee little thing 8 years ago. It's now about a metre across. It's not fully in bloom yet, but I was afraid that if I waited another day or two before taking a pic, either frost or wet snow would collapse the flowers. The dwarf conifer behind it is Juniperus communis 'Compressa', which usually suffers terribly from wind-burn every winter, and is nibbled by deer, but it refuses to die.
Finally, here's my best shot at Leucojum aestivum 'Gravetye Giant', almost but not completely in focus.
Love the flowers as well..will put Parker's variegated on my list of wants..just love it!
Drats had all kinds of outdoor " to do's" for the boys this weekend, our annual do as mom asks. Lol but Mother Nature hasn't co-operated, cold and rainy yesterday, this morning it's freezing, winds are high so doubtful any outdoor projects will get done.,
It only went down to 2C here last night, and so far there's been only a few sloppy flakes of snow traveling sideways on a squally wind, so no damage here - yet. Frost is still in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow night. I have covers for the large planters containing my cactus collection on the my rear deck, and huge cloth bags for the oleander bushes on the front deck. I have temporarily stowed all the other potted plants either in the greenhouse or the garage (which has windows). I'm resigned to there being some frost damage to the leaves of perennials such as daylilies, delphiniums, and peonies, which are all twice as tall as they should be for this time of year, thanks to the early heatwave, but all should recover. I'm worried about the local apple farmers, as they lost their crop last year when their trees bloomed early and then got frosted.
Happy Mother's Day to those who celebrate it. No family here, just cats. Although DH and I do refer to ourselves as the cats' parents, they have yet to give us any Mother's or Father's Day gifts other than the occasional hairball.
The wind was pretty fierce here too, Betty. I had to run outside a couple of time to rescue frost-covers that were being blown away. It snowed on and off all day, and this morning there was a crisp layer of frozen slush on the deck. All the plants look OK, though. Tonight is forecast to be frosty again, but after that we should be getting mild weather again. I feel sorry for the hummingbirds and orioles, which must be wondering why they left Florida. They're on the nectar feeders this morning, but looking a bit stunned.
I have little green fruits on my two potted strawberry plants (which are sheltering in the garage at the moment)! My mouth is watering in anticipation.
How many marigold and pepper plants do you have, Caroline?
In the office, think they forgot to turn a/c back to heater..brrr, can't even feel my fingers..numb!
Calling for frost tonight so will bring in the hanging baskets..normally when May arrives I plant topsy/turvy pots but decided against it this year thank the Lord or I'd have lost them all
I have about 20 to 25 Pepper plants and about the same in Marigolds.
I did not get them all potted on. Moving geraniums outside to make room in the windows.
Then some mail ordered stuff came and had to make room for those.
The flowers beds are not ready!
I have unready flower beds too, Caroline. I spent several hours frantically weeding, pruning, and edging today. The weather has turned warm again, and dandelions and other weeds have responded enthusiastically to the heat. My mail order plants have not arrived yet, but I'm hoping they will be here before I go on vacation in at the end of the month so I don't have to write detailed un-packing instructions for DH to follow. The plant-watering instructions are going to be hard enough to write!
It was incredibly windy here today, so I didn't try to take any pics.
There doesn't seem to be much damage in the garden from two nights of frost. The delphiniums, which had been lured by a succession of warm days into making metre-high growth, shrugged off the cold with nary a shrivelled leaf. I grew them from seed supplied by DG member annabell52 (Ann), in Edmonton, and she did promise they would be cold-hardy.
There is a major infestation of quack grass in some of the beds here.
This year I am spraying it. Digging it, just spreads it further.
Delphiniums are hardy. I have several, and more as seedlings.
We have to watch for that moth which damages delphiniums.
I don't see any evidence of it so far---but I have the talc baby powder ready.
Also the pyrethrum rose spray---but it is expensive and baby powder is cheaper.
I hope it works as well.
This is the first I've heard about delphinium-eating moths, but the leaves on my roses are attacked every year by caterpillars. I'll have to look for some of that pyrethrum rose spray. What are you using to kill the quack grass? The herbicides sold in Ontario seem to be getting less and less effective. Roundup was withdrawn last year, and now I can't find Wilson's weed-killers either. All that's available to the home gardener now are herbicidal soaps that kill only leaves and let the weeds regenerate from their roots. If you're a farmer, of course, you can buy toxic weedkiller by the tanker-load to spray on your thousands of acres. Something wrong there, but I can't quite put my finger on it...
June, thought I saw round-up in the store the other day. will post a photo of a plant that has taken over a few of the gardens..drats, wish people would tell you if it's invasive when giving you the 'pretty'
It's variegated green/yellow and can grow as tall as 5 or 6 feet, large roots that travel underground, been pulling and pulling but no go, more I pull more shows up.
worked a bit last night and omg thank the Lord I put on weight because the wind would have taken me away.
Nature is working hard to catch up after the cold spell. A cloud of blackflies trailed around the garden after me as I looked for subjects to photograph this afternoon. Whoever invented the head-net, thank you! (I'm assuming it was invented by a man, as it looks so awful to wear, but it sure saves me from being eaten alive.) Today's pics are:
An unnamed purple-leaved cherry bush, planted by the former owners of the garden.
Globularia trichosantha, growing in gravel in the rock-garden. This will seed itself quite freely, but is easy to pull up if not wanted.
Veronica peduncularis 'Georgia Blue', possibly. Some plants I bought under this name are compact and some are mat-forming, and I don't know which are the true 'Georgia Blue' and which are seed-grown plants. Or maybe the label got switched at the garden centre. They're all pretty anyway.
Violets. I planted purple-leaved Viola labradorica, but they've hybridized with some green-leaved violets that the previous owner planted, and a small white violet that grows wild in the lawn.
Euphorbia polychroma 'Bonfire'. Very hardy, a show-stopper when in bloom, and I find the dusky foliage makes a good contrast with silver- or grey-leaved plants.
After days of muggy, buggy heat and frequent, violent thunder-squalls, today's cool-down came as a great relief. I took a stroll around the garden and then ventured off into the woods (carrying a big stick in case I met the bear that has been sighted a few miles away). Pics are:
Ajuga repens 'Golden Glow'. I've had bad experiences growing purple-leaved Ajuga varieties, which disappointed either by losing leaf-coloration after the first flush of growth, or by becoming too invasive, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that 'Golden Glow' will behave better.
Arisaema triphyllum (Jack in the Pulpit), growing wild in a wooded valley.
Dicentra spectabilis. One of the common names for this plant is Lady in the Bath. Detach a single flower, turn it upside down, gently pull the side petals apart - and the lady stands up in her bath tub.
Dicentra spectabilis 'Alba'. Possibly my favourite white flower.
Viola pubescens (Yellow violet), growing wild on a walking trail in the woods. This is the only violet that I have been able to identify with any degree of certainty, as none of the purple ones match the descriptions in my wildflower reference book.
We have a much needed, good solid, rain this week.
I am trying to get seeding done. I wish that I had my vege plot prepared.
But my veges may come from the garden centers this year.
Lost many tomatoe plants over the last week.
Yes, indeed, planting out anything is risky at this time of year. It snowed here this morning! I hope you still have plenty of tomato plants left, Caroline. My "vegetable garden" consists of a planter containing two strawberry plants. They are sheltering in the garage today.
is indeed..had DG friend who brought along a few friends here for a week..
She taught hypertufa mushroom class for me and I was to teach her rhubbarb stepping stones, lordy have some big ones, each will need at least 1 to 1 1/2 bags but we had torrential rains so no go..but did manage to do a birdbath, no sooner done did it start raining, covered it with plastic as it was dug and made in my driveway lol and filled with water..
sure thought that was the end of it until this morning
went to look, still filled with water, was sure when I dug it up it would be in pieces but not..some of the bobbles and mirror pieces got covered, am sure if I can locate them I can get them clean..
yes, we gardeners sure do the oddest things in the oddest things in snow/sleet/wind/rain...then we wonder why we are chilled..
Amazing bird bath, Betty! You are a creative person. Me - not so much. I think about making something, but the plan always goes awry. One time, I decided to paint a rock, bought outdoor paints and decorated a small stone to look like a mouse, sealed the paint with varnish, let it dry, tried to pick up the stone and it was glued to the table, pried it up - and the varnish peeled off, taking all the paint with it. All I had to show for my hours of work was a blank stone!
I hope your tomatoes haven't washed away, Caroline.
I'm going on vacation tomorrow, away for two weeks. I'm not sure if I'll be able to check in with DG while I'm traveling since I don't have an iPad or similar device, but when I get back I'll enjoy hearing what's "up" in everyone else's gardens. Mine will be full of weeds!
Morning, sorry about your tomato plants!
Now don't you give up on that planted rock, takes time to perfect so do try again.
Listened to the weather before heading to bed last night, frost is looming..
Worked the entire weekend non stop and still didn't get the 50 Perrenials bought at church plant sale Saturday planted..20 are phlox, color unknown which are my favorite.
Hired a young 12 year old to do edging, what a fantastic job he is doing, my first year of running out of endless energy..says he will be back this evening to do another garden,
Well it's time to organize myself, been off work for a week, pleasing to say I can finally get to rest going to work.
It is not in the garden,but the first petunia just opened under lights.
These were started beginning of April from a Stokes seeds pkt called
"Color Parade Mixture".
My baskets won't be colour coordinated as I plant these green.
I played my viola d'amore this morning - or at least I put a bow to string. It will be awhile before I know how to play her. I was to have brought her home today, but a sympathetic string broke last night in tuning. Help me name her. I'm down to these 30 names. Want an old-fashioned name that doesn't have a strong personal reference for me. In that aspect, YMMV. Your thoughts?
Hi, I'm back from my travels! i have no objection to your musical musings, ViolaAnn. What did you name your new instrument?
Caroline, you must have more petunia flowers by now, and a lot else besides.
Lovely pics, Betty.
I'm in shock from how much my garden has changed in two weeks. I can hardly see the flowerbeds for the weeds! I'm trying not to feel overwhelmed by the days of weeding ahead of me, and to just relax, be happy, and enjoy the flowers - there are irises, peonies, verbascums, hardy geraniums, nepetas, helianthemums, and chives blooming. This morning, I saw goslings and baby raccoons gamboling together on the lawn, and a snapping turtle was making purposefully for one of my flowerbeds to scrape a hole to lay eggs in. How did the season go so fast?
Hello everyone. I hope you all don't mind me dropping in on this thread. I'm new here and I've recently moved to Victoria and found irises planted around the property. They're very pretty - pic 1. I've found two beds that were under heavy shade (and a bunch of daisies) that had a bulbous root structure underneath - pic 2. An iris or two were connected to it but they never flowered. One of these structures was over a foot in diameter. Another one is over 3 feet and I don't think I can move it to a spot with more sun without gouging it. What should I do with it? Will irises spring from it with some sun? I've transplanted the leafed irises under shade to another location - pic 3. They look healthy but droopy. I emergency transplanted them after my DH ripped them out. They are gorgeous plants. I would like to salvage them.
It's a new garden. We're still cleaning it out and starting to plant. Much of it is under the partial shade of oak trees - pic 4. We have a lot of deer, too, who enjoy pruning lilac bushes into trees (if they're tall enough!).
Hi Poinget! You can break up that huge mass of iris rhizomes into bits and replant them where you want them. The best time to move bearded iris is mid-summer, as they go into an almost dormant state after flowering. If a rhizome has long leaves, cut them back by half before replanting, to reduce the stress on the roots. Plant shallow, with the top surface of the rhizome at or barely below the surface of the soil. Good luck!
Gorgeous..ugly??? not, just different! But I won't rush out to purchase it..lol
My gardens this morning..
front peony (don't have a name)
smaller pond, sat and had my coffee, was so pleasant watching the fishies and tadpoles
back 40 garden area, no flowers as yet other than a few who are popping their heads
Goats beard, I have 3, lordy they grow to giant sizes
June, the Do Tell and Ivory Inspirations are really lovely. Did you choose green lotus thinking it would look nice and was disappointed that it didn't? I ordered green halo this year, and when I show my DH the pics of the flowers I had chosen he says: "Except for that cabbage, very pretty." :/
My one Peony , From Fancyvan's garden, is just getting ready to bloom. It's Dandy Dan and I will post photos of him.
Nasty Hail yesterday that did a big number on my Hosta's. We will see just how much in the coming week.
Hostas are majestic plants. It would be a shame to lose them for the year. Good luck, Alberta Ann.
June, I understand the sentiment. I intended to buy cactus style peonies a few years back when I happened upon one in the nursery. I know there are people who adore them, but my first reaction to it was: "Omg! What happened to it?!" I knew then I should stick to the less different varieties. :)
How do you like your Prairie Moon? I wanted to add yellow to the garden and this is on my list for next year. Could I convince you to take a pic of the bush? I'm interested in seeing how it looks overall.
Betty, I forgot to mention that it looks like you have ninebark in your last pic. I discovered that plant for the first time a couple of months ago and loved it. I bought a little one lush with foliage and flowers. I left it outside for less than an hour thinking it reasonably resistant to deer. It is now cozily seated on my deck. Let's see if the deer can jump 15 feet!
Poinget, I can't get a pic of 'Prairie Moon' in her entirety as she's closely surrounded by other plants, but I can tell you that she's tall, with light green leaves on stout stems, and has never fallen over in the rain even though the flowers get bigger every year. She's an excellent, strong peony that can cope with encirclement by globe thistles and chipmunk burrows.
Betty, I've had mixed success and failure with Oriental poppies. They disconcert me by going dormant after flowering, and look dead until fall, when they produce leaves again. Sometimes they disappear for good, but once they decide to stick around they are phenomenal. I planted 3 'Beauty of Livermore' in a patch of unmowed grass, and thought I'd never see them again, but four years later I was surprised to see red flowers "floating" above the tall grass. One of the plants hadn't died after all!
Did a lot of pulling out plants in back garden this morning, many painted daisies grew towards the front and hides what else is planted there so I will on my way home Monday will pick up a few Oriental Poppies to add color back there.
I always try by seed, perhaps that is not the way to go..
The peony near the pond next to pea tree is really standing tall as well, will have a few flowers, today one lonely soul opened to say hi
Thank you, June. I love hearing that it's tall and tough.
CLScott: I'm sorry. I'm not knowledgeable enough about plants to recognize yours, except for the Hosta (at least I think it is!) in the first pic, which is lovely. What is that interesting plant in the last pot?
This is my first finished bed (I still have to clean up the weeds at the foot of the rocks). I don't know if all the plants will work out location-wise or visually. I have Viburnum, mock orange, fuchsia, abelia 'kaleidoscope' (a cultivar that doesn't seem to like the full sun location), amsonia, gaura, dwarf kalmia, elderberry, styrex, sedum, escallonia behind the tree, euphorbia, hypericum, armeria, and artemesia. The foxglove is wild. I'd like to replace it with another flowering plant that grows in spears, but I'm not sure what.
The bed has deer fencing on one side and not the other. It was put there to prevent easy grazing, forcing the deer to work a little to get to the plants. The fence is temporary. I'm hoping that when the plants get big enough, they will resist occasional nibbling and still look great.
*I thought the plants were 3 feet apart, but they were only 2, and so not enough for the large ones. I'll deal with it next year. :)
I'm glad to learn that you and your garden are safe, Caroline, after looking at the flood pics on the Internet and TV. I can only imagine the heartbreak for those people whose homes and businesses have been inundated, and the mess that they'll have to clean up once the water recedes.
The season turns, regardless. It's summer, and the roses are blooming. Here's Rosa rugosa 'Henry Hudson'.
Poinget, what about Verbascum phoenicium as a replacement for the foxglove? It's pinky-purple, tall, pointy, and deer-proof. The only drawback is that verbascum flowers close in the afternoons, so if you don't look at the garden in the morning you miss them. Another tall, pointy plant that comes to mind is Eremurus (Fox-tail lily). Some perennial Salvias are quite pointy, too, as well as being deer-proof. Salvia transsylvanica is a tall one, while Salvia haematoides is shorter.
I don't feel sad for the perennials! Some may only bloom for a month or two, but that's part of the ever-changing tapestry of a garden. One perennial finishes, another begins. I like a garden that's never the same two days running.
CLScott: Brunnera! Nice. I saw my first Brunnera at a nursery a couple of weeks ago. I thought it was a Hosta then, too, before I noticed it was fuzzy. And that Sulphur Queen (I looked it up) will be a stunner when it opens up. Thanks for identifying your flowers.
June: Great suggestions, thank you! I think, due to space available and height desired, verbascum is the way to go. Though, that Eremurus is something else. I'm thinking of how I can include it. There will be another small full-sun bed eventually, but I don't know if I have the energy to fix it up this year. I'm still working on a fuchsia bed, and then have a raised peony bed to prepare before the bulbs come in September.
There was this unidentified rose (badly abused by deer and shade) planted in the soon-to-be fuchsia bed that was years and years old. I just found a piece of the tag that went with it. Rather silly to be excited about it, but I loved having a clue to its identity and the fact that it was there at least 20 years!
I never thought of horseradish as an ornamental, just something to avoid eating, but it looks quite pretty! Lovely roses and peony, too, Caroline.
The following pics are:
1. The original Verbascum phoenicum variety that I planted, with violet flowers.
2. Verbascum seedlings flowering a year or two later. The peach-colored ones I think result from the original plants hybridizing with yellow-flowered Verbascum thapsis, which grows wild around here.
3. David Austin rose 'Tamora'. It's struggling. Every year it suffers some crisis - such as being browsed by deer, cut back by a hard freeze, hit by drought, or defoliated by caterpillars - so it's only about a foot tall, but it still manages to flower.
5. An unidentified wild rose. Why don't the deer eat this one, instead of 'Tamora'?
6. Rosa rugosa 'Scabrosa'. A horrible-sounding name for a rose that's not at all scabby.
not a lot of different plants in bloom, same old/same old just more of them
thrilled with seeing roses as I cannot grow roses, was going to pull out the wild rose near back deck staircase but now it's all in bloom I think I shall let it continue to grow there
what brings color while waiting for other species to bloom is Sweet Williams, lordy they have such variety of colors
What joyous colours in the garden. Makes me happy to see. Lovely pictures everyone. Betty, what is that first pic with the handsome yellow flowers? That looks like a bed-filler.
I planted a bunch of Iberis sempervirens in April. I thought they were at their end of their flowering cycle a couple of weeks ago, but it looks like they are coming back. They do have yellow leaves at the bottom. I read it could be too little sun or too much water or rot, but there's no slime. I'm leery to overwater because I don't think that area has the best drainage.
The garden is very wet from all the rain that fell yesterday. My one and only double peony, the luscious 'Raspberry Sundae', is nose down in the dirt - so no pics of that! Plenty of other flowers are holding their heads up, however. Today's pics are:
1. Geranium 'Brookside'. Very hardy and reliable, and mound-shaped. Its parentage includes G. pratense and G. clarkei. It will self-seed, but the offspring are variable, with some more lilac than blue, and some with smaller flowers.
2. Potentilla 'Fireflame'. A bright orange-red, the flowers are small but very noticeable.
3. Kniphofia 'Fire Dance'. I was skeptical about its hardiness when I planted it in August 2011. I saw no flowers last year and assumed it had died. I was quite surprised a couple of days ago when these flowers appeared from what I had thought was a clump of chives.
4. & 5. Cephalaria gigantica, in all its 2m glory, and a close-up of its tiny flower. The nurseryman I bought it from warned me to dead-head it, as it can be an aggressive self-seeder. So far, no problem.
Here's Knautia macedonica in front of Calamintha nepetoides. I looked for a patriotic red and white pic, but maroon and white was the best I could do. Does anybody have a real national flag-coloured floral combo?
It takes a brave person to have a totally red planting. Here's one that's in France. The garden's path leads first through a dark tunnel of vines, emerging into a brilliantly white enclosure of 'Iceberg' roses, and then the path goes into a red enclosure (rose, all the same variety, with red gravel mulch), and it ends at a pentacle-shaped pool set into a lawn. Can anyone guess the theme of the garden?
No guesses? OK, the theme of the garden is Alchemy. Alchemical research and study was done in three stages - the first was Black, the second White, and the third Red - and the goal at the end of it all was the Philosopher's Stone, which they hoped would turn lead into gold.
More red flowers - here's Weigela florida 'Red Prince' in my own garden (I apologize for the weeds in the shrub border), and a closeup of the flowers. My camera has turned the colour to dark pink, it's really red to the eye.
I love Weigelas! Beautiful. I noticed Betty's weigela in her garden pics, too. I hope you don't mind if I intrude with a few of mine; I feel I can contribute. The first is Sonic Bloom. I left it outside in a pot and it got munched down to two inches of even growth. It was unhappy for a while. Plus, some of the leaves burned. However, over the last two weeks, it has filled out again and has new flower buds.
The second is Wine and Roses I think. It's done blooming, but looking very healthy.
The third is Weigela coraeensis. I thought it was done blooming, but I put it in the ground and it seems satisfied with its new home. The blooms came back. (Apparently, I only take blurry pics with my telephone. Sorry!)
Also, I finished planting my fuchsia bed believing the blooms would be eaten, but they have been spared. Woo! Check out the pic - those are deer tracks. They walked right through :)
I love variety in the garden, but I'd also be pretty happy with a bunch of weigelas, peonies, fuchsia, and japanese maples filling my yard.
You have quite the collection of Weigelas, Poinget! 'Sonic Bloom' (love that name!) and W. coraeensis are new to me. Besides 'Red Prince' I am growing 'Purpurea Nana', which is a dwarf with purplish-green leaves and pink flowers, and is currently hidden by tall weeds. I also planted three rooted cuttings of 'Nana, yellow form', which has yellowy-green leaves with a darker green blotch in the centre, but the deer ate them to the ground and only one is showing signs of regrowth.
I sure wish I could grow fuchsias as shrubs, but they get winter-killed in my Zone. I use them as summer container and hanging-basket plants, then over-winter them in a greenhouse - not always successfully.
Sonic Bloom is a repeat bloomer. It's hardy to zone 4 (-30 F). It reaches 4-5 ft tall and wide, and it flowers in spring and late summer to hard frost. (I have the tag) The leaves are bright green and the flowers are red. I think I had 'Red Prince' at my other house, which I loved, and I wanted one just like it, so I got Sonic Bloom because it was similar. At the time, the red flowering types were hard to find in nurseries. Pink and wine are very popular now.
And coraeensis is really neat, but not as hardy (z6). Todd Boland on PlantFiles said it is the parent for many hybrids. Its flowers change colour as they mature, so you end up with white, pink, and wine-red flowers in one cluster. Out of 9 pics, these two came out clear (or one did and the other not as blurry) - don't laugh. What is wrong with me?
Never can tell what the deer will eat. They were prepared to eat Sonic Bloom to the ground, but haven't touched coraeensis. The Nanas sound beautiful (and apparently, yummy!). I can't find pics of the yellow form.
As far as fuchsias, I haven't had success overwintering them, but I intend to try again with my patriotic Marinka. I'm more confident with plants these days. I had a black thumb until recently!
(If you noticed in a previous pic, there was a flag in my weigela pot as well. The kids have stuck those flags amidst all of my patio plants. lol)
Your pics are great, Poinget! I have to take dozens of pics of a plant, from different angles and distances and with different camera settings, in order to get one good pic. I don't know much about digital photography! My DH allowed me to download an authorized copy of his high-powered Adobe Photoshop software onto my laptop, but I only ever use it to downsize pics for e-mailing to friends who have slow Internet connections.
Here's a pic of my hanging basket fuchsia from July 2010. I still have this plant (or a cutting from it), and it began flowering today.
I thought of you when I wrote about Sonic Bloom, Betty. I wondered if you would make room for it in your gorgeous, chock-full-of-goodies garden. They're available in pink, red, and pearl (white that turns pink).
June, you're forgiving. All I hear is "Here, give me the phone, I'll take the picture"! :) It's nice to know I'm not the only one challenged by a small camera. Very pretty fuchsia. Does it get a lot of visitors?
CLScott, did you stick blue into your Canada Day pot when July 4th rolled around? Lol that's awesome.
I have not ventured out today to see what got flattened by the rain yesterday, but I can see Iliamna remota still upright in the flower border next to the house. Iliamna is a native mallow, and I was so pleased with the tall stalks bearing pale pink flowers that I planted another one in an island flowerbed far from the house. Unfortunately, the deer discovered the isolated plant, and found it wonderfully tasty. It never managed to produce flowers, but responded to the deer's pruning by putting energy into growing underground. I am dismayed to find Iliamna sprouts coming up in a wide circle around the second plant, encroaching on other perennials in the flowerbed. The first plant, unmolested by herbivores, has been well-behaved so far.
Sorry to hear about your phloxes "rusting", Betty. The hollyhock is another plant that has a rust problem. I've been encouraging my hollyhocks to self-seed, in the hope that rust-resistant plants will be strongest and form the most seeds, so most of the offspring will inherit rust-resistance. The hollyhocks started off at the back of the flower border, then migrated forwards through the bed, and now they are growing in the driveway gravel at the fore.
I was off the Internet all weekend, due to water getting into the works of the satellite dish and forming condensation that obstructed the signal, but now it's fixed and I'm back. What has everyone been doing, these past few days? It's been way too hot and humid for gardening here, except for a few hours in the early morning. Lots of flowers, though!
Hemerocallis, unidentified, peach colour with dark stems.
Hemerocallis 'Baltimore Oriole', a stand-out orange-red.
Lily 'Jolanda', a nice, clear orange Asiatic type.
Lily 'Capuchino'. Not sure if I like it or not. I'm an espresso gal, allergic to milk.
Leucanthemum superbum 'Banana Cream', a lovely Shasta Daisy that opens yellow and fades to near-white.
Thank you all for your "likes"! It is incredibly hot here today, 34C according to the outdoor thermometer. Who likes red? I have a super, blood-red bergamot flowering at the moment, Monarda 'Jacob Cline'.
What a great picture of the Monarda. Wow on that Jolanda. June, you make me want to go out and buy lilies and I don't have anywhere to put them!
I recently finished a bed, though I'll have to do some tweaking. It's unguarded and the deer gave it a visit. There are some irises there I haven't cleaned up (were there already), Jupiter's beard (the pink flowers, now gone), the wine weigela (although stout and woody, also being chewed down), wallflower (out of the picture), fuchsia (out of the pic), and halimium iasianthum. The plant I worried about the most was the halimium, but it was the only one left untouched (along with the irises).
That halimium was one heck of a performer when I had it in a pot. Nonstop flowers for about three months. It grew well over a foot already, maybe two, and it's still growing. I love that plant.
Poinget, there is always room for lilies! If space in my flowerbed is tight, I use a post-hole digger to make the planting hole. You might need to put deer-fencing up, though. When I had an extremely deer-infested garden, I used to grow my lilies inside an upright tube of wire-netting - not a very attractive method, I know - but I just HAD to grow lilies somehow.
The halmium sounds great. I wonder if it would be hardy in my zone. I can grow helianthemums, which are related, but they are relatively low-growing and get the protection of snow cover. The helianthemums, being semi-evergreen, are much loved by the deer in wintertime, and they will scrape away the snow to get at the leaves. The pic is an unnamed seedling helianthemum growing in my gravel flowerbed.
This is a picture I took after it gave me about a month and a half of solid flower show where I could barely see the leaves. It gave this display for the remainder of the blooming period with occasional bursts of higher flower count. I couldn't give it enough water. It drank all I gave it, and the more I gave it, the better the display. Although, it looked very good without all the water, it exploded when I gave it more. (It was in a pot for over a year.)
How clever to use a post-hole digger! I'm not at that point yet. I have space where plants could go, but I have to make that space into proper beds. I think this is going to take another couple of years. About the deer-netting, my DH hates it. He thinks it's ugly and doesn't want to use it unless absolutely necessary. I wanted to net my Sambucus nigra as it has been stripped, and he stubbornly protested until I reminded him that it was my plant! Our yard, but my plants - lol. He agrees, too :) He would have a fit if I started putting it around a bunch of individual plants. We are planning to fence part of the yard in a year or two, so until then, I will have to resist those beauties. No reason I couldn't keep them in a pot, though.
Very nice flower colour for your helianthemum. It's not a colour I have in my garden, not until the peonies bloom next year (if I'm lucky). Digging into the snow to eat them - my goodness!
Your Halmium is gorgeous, poinget! In its honor, all my pics today will be yellow. They are:
Achillea 'Sunny Seduction' (purchased by mail from Gardenimport).
Allium flavum (grown from seed kindly donated by Todd Boland).
Glaucium flavum (bought from Humber Nurseries near Toronto). It's biennial, but self-seeds.
Hemerocallis 'Free Spirit' (bought from Nottawasaga Daylilies near Creemore). A graceful, light yellow flower.
Hemerocallis 'Yellow Lion' (purchased by mail from Gardenimport). A big flower and an outstanding pure yellow.
Not around much...hauling plants to save them from possible tornados, hail, high gusts, monsoon rains, etc. has kept me busy (as well as working). Also had surgery so no heavy lifting...used a fridge moving cart a lot.
A sampling of what is doing well here.
not sure if these will post in the order I uploaded them so here is what is pictured
Hibiscus Snow Queen, Duranta, Hawaii'an Sunset vine, Plumeria, and a waterlily (didn't trace it back to pot for id).
gorgeous flowers, I'm so envious
gardens are pretty well finished with
this weather and not being able
to water, thought for a bit when it
was rumbling tonight that we just
might get rain, but passed us by.
just to show you, here is my front lawn
leaves from the trees had already
fallen and dry..will be raking this
weekend for sure
Beautiful, beautiful flowers. Lilypon, that waterlily is stunning. June, I love your allium, but I must absolutely have that Achillea. I will look into it for next year. Betty, is that a rose? I cringe whenever I guess. I'm amazed at the toughness of roses. I rescued mine from shade and deer where it would survive on a few partial leaves the whole year. I put it on my balcony and it now has a lot of new growth, as you can see below.
Unpredictable, dangerous weather these days. Lilypon, I feel for you having to emergency-haul around your plants.
Lilypon, I love those tropical climbers. Did you grow them from seed? Are those little flies sitting on the waterlily mosquitoes - 'cos if they are, you have more than I do! I hope you are soon fully recovered from your surgery.
Betty, the storms missed here too yesterday, but the water table is still high and so I see no drought symptoms in the garden yet. Amazingly, I still have green grass, even though DH insists on mowing it short when the temperature is 30C.
Today, I think I'll post white flowers to help those of us suffering from the heat feel cooler. The pics are:
Clematis 'Kaiu'. It was supposed to climb over a rose bush, but the rose didn't grow, and so the vine wanders all over the flowerbed. It usually dies back to the ground in winter.
Delphinium 'Double Innocence'. Needs staking, or the first storm knocks it over.
Echinacea 'White Swan'. Seeds itself if I forget to dead-head, and a good proportion of the offspring are white.
Lilium 'Navona', an Asiatic type, pure white, no spots.
Nicotiana affinis. Annual, but self-sows.
June your white garden is gorgeous! I've been admiring some delphiniums here (but want to make sure my nasties are truly gone before I purchase some).
June the tropical climber I picked up at a local greenhouse. It wasn't blooming and wasn't named. All they could tell me was it had a pinky orange bloom with gold inside and they thought it was a perennial morning glory. I grinned ear-to-ear because, with their description, I was pretty sure it was a plant I originally saw here (a member from Hawaii originally uploaded it). I think it was just last year I saw some Floridians growing it (still pretty rare for many in Florida). So you can imagine my shock to see it in a prairie greenhouse. Now when I first got it it was small and the buds turned brown due to our cold (for it) temps. It also got a bad case of edema due to being unable to expire moisture (again too cool for it). Since then I found one more (it had broken vines and trellis). I'm trying to baby it along since my daughter expressed interest in it. Floridians are reporting it takes 6 months to a year to root (in their perfect climate) and even with paint brush pollinating it isn't working. I can easily understand why it is a rare beauty here.
The flies on my waterlily are aphids. It seems in certain weather they just love to make themselves at home on them (and one can't spray with fish sharing the water). Now the leaves I'll wash off but the flower I just leave alone.
I'll be coming back to this thread once the insanity of summer is over to ask about other plants that catch my fancy here (and there are many :o) We are also painting the porches on our house as well as rebuilding brick pillars and rebuilding a deck so not a lot of spare time.
The deck that we are rebuilding is on a side of the house not often used. We thought we'd make an Italian garden on that side. A couple of nice roman type pots, maybe a fountain and a couple of grape vines. Maybe I should start a thread looking for ideas for that area.
And whilst I don't have too much time here I would like to say how much I have enjoyed looking at your lovely plants/flowers ladies and thank you for your compliments re mine. The prairies have been more hot and humid then normal prairie dry here so I thought if my location is recording Florida temps (some years) I may as well grow the beauties that they do (or at least try).
Your garden is endless, June. It's a joy to look at it through your spyglass of a camera. The delphiniums in the nurseries didn't look nearly as nice as yours, but I secretly want one. Do you mail order most of your plants?
Lilypon, funny you say that about Florida, they have experienced weird cold snaps. I went to school there, and I remember that one day the temp had dropped to below freezing (2 degrees if I recall). It didn't snow, it was just cold, and all schools were cancelled. :) That was a long time ago.
I don't have anything to show off in my garden, but my son recently chose this dahlia as his own. He is taking care of it.
Hi folks, sorry I haven't posted for a few days. The storms on Friday afternoon knocked my garden flat, and I was without power for about 5 hours. Then when I got back on the Internet, I discovered that the latest round of software "updates" at DG have affected my computer adversely. I can only see half the lines in the text box in this post - the right side just runs away out of sight - and only seeing part of a sentence makes it hard to grasp the meaning. I'll give it a couple of days and if the programmers don't fix the problem, I'll try opening a new thread. In the meantime, feel free to carry on without me!
That's lovely, Betty. Seeing pics like those makes me hopeful for my future garden. And yes, I agree, I'm glad my son is taking an interest in gardening. He loves the huge flowers, too. He stops for sunflowers and the largest dahlias, begging me to buy them lol.
It seems June has left DG :(
Lilypon, I know you mentioned this on the fuchsia forum, but I've been noticing surges of particular fuchsia varieties throughout the season. A month ago, I started seeing Galadriel. I found large Autumnales, by chance, at a roadside nursery and nowhere else. However, a few days ago I saw a few sprouts at one of the large garden centres. This was after I had asked a guy four months ago about fuchsia, and he had basically said good luck because it was the end of the season - he was so wrong! You might find some goodies if you check inventories every few weeks. I've never bought so many plants before so this is all new to me. I'm learning!
This is my newest acquisition: Fuchsia denticulata