Friday, July 11, 2014

Lots to see in the Garden

I'm off to a new design job in a short while and thought it would be great to catch up.  

Kevin and I took a couple trips to the Royal Botanical Gardens.  I was horrified to see how ghastly the entrance to the rose gardens looked.  I know the staff have been hustling over at the Laking Gardens, but this is just so sad - look at these weeds!  Wonder if we might start a Members Weeding Day?


There was a bit of construction equipment around the Kippax wildflower garden.  Hopefully, it's all gone by now.  The beginnings of the art installations were found here and there:


Once inside the rose garden, there were some very pretty roses to see:



And over on the Cherry Hill Trail - we were sung through by the frogs:


My garden is looking really full.  The Persicaria polymorpha in the background is having its best year ever.  The Thermopsis is a little smaller though, perhaps having to grow through the elbows of the Pp.  And, the dreaded Japanese Beetles seem to have taken a real hit this winter (HOOOORAAAAAY).  Can't remember a summer where I haven't had to bring out the Japanese Beetle Bucket of Death.  This may be the first in 10!


An old perennial in my garden - Lysimachia 'Alexander'.  Found a small bit of it suffering in an overcrowded bed last year.  So much happier now.


Wish it were mine, but alas no.  From a lovely garden down by the lake.


On Canada Day July 1st, Kevin and I packed a picnic and headed back to the RBG to the newly polished Laking Garden.  Just wonderful and absolutely empty.


It was almost as if we had our own acreage.


Terrific.


It was just a perfect day.


Reading this post back to check for goofs and realize it's a real whiplash post - we're home again now.  This bed is about 70 feet long or so.  Can't believe it had taken me until July to finally get in and do the edging.  Cut out quite a bit of dead on the bushes.  And am seriously considering changing quite a bit.  Had a beautiful variegated Cornus alternafolia that was to anchor this bed.  It is no higher than my knee after five years.  I've had words with it.  We'll see if it picks up its socks.  You can see it valiantly waving its little leaves beside the lime-coloured Hosta.


Really dry shade in this section.  Should I win the lotto, I'll be adding irrigation.  Until then the plants just have to suffer.  Lost 3 Autumn Ferns (Dryopteris erythrosora).  Hardy perhaps, just not in my garden.


So many of the newer varieties of Hosta handle a bit of sun without blushing.  Will have to find some deep shade on the other side of the house for this sun-crisped plant.


Cute plant alert:  Ecomis 'Aloha Leia' from Garden Import.


So many of the ornamental grasses were killed this year.  Fortunately most of my Carex made it - which is a good thing given the number I've got planted.  (C. 'Ice Dance' on the left putting on its summer growth.)


Hmmmmmm, do you see what I see:


A client of mine lines to squish them when they're busy making more beetles - exclaiming, "Forever together!"

Such a lovely plant:  Hydrangea 'Invincibelle Spirit'.  The buds go through a very queer colour change before they bloom, but once they start to open, everyone stops to check it out.


And the weather continues to be weird.  Such a strange time of year for fog.



And a day later....



Can't remember a year when the Hosta looked so good.


The orthodontist always makes a point of having a good-looking garden.


Teeth straightening buys a lot of pretty baskets - even in the parking lot.


My favourite Hemerocallis  - a red spider from the RBG sale.


Containers for mansions in case you ever need to put one together:


Symphyandra hoffmanii - highly recommended for dry shade, or sun, or just about anywhere.


Monarda 'Grand Mum' is blooming - hard hit from the cold winter - but seems to be coming back better than some of the taller varieties.


And rather than point out how others need to weed, perhaps I might get some of my own weeding done.  The spot where the hemlock came down.  (All neat and tidy again at 3:30 p.m. today!)



 Odd name but very pretty Coreopsis 'Permathread(TM) Red Satin from Loblaw.



 One more of my lily:


And one of the many creatures that have kept me company in the garden over the past few weeks:


Aren't their wings absolutely magical?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Garden is finally starting to look like a garden

I've been so busy in the garden, I haven't had much opportunity to chronicle.   But my hard work is starting to pay off - it's all starting to look like a garden again rather than a hodgepodge of plants.

And speaking of plants, this definitely seems to be the year of the hosta - they are brilliant this year in our gardens.




And, for those ferns that survived - a tricky year for many of the native ferns - they're looking very pretty as well:






Nothing like 3 hours of edging to give you some new ideas for the garden.  I've decided that I'm going to corral and combine my heuchera/ellas/tiarellas to add a little more impact.  A number of years ago I had the good fortune of visiting Terra Nova's display garden and was certainly impressed with how fabulous they all looked together.  Then visiting the Chelsea flower show and seeing this marvellous display (and how the heck did they get so many of them to bloom at the same time.....!!!!!)


Buffalo's Jim Charlier Art of Gardening showed just how great they can look in a home garden (and as a plug to anyone who is a couple hour's drive of Buffalo - do hope you're going to enjoy at least one day of their splendid Garden Walk Buffalo on either July 26th & 27th)

As I was going through the garden found that I've got quite an inventory, from the Heuchera 'Dales Strain' that I've grown from seed:



to H 'Lipstick'


H. (Terra Nova Tag Gone Silver and Maroon)

H 'Vienna' - wonder if it will expand in size when it is returned to its family?



H. 'Blackberry Crisp' above...below maybe 'Georgia Peach' - although I do like it next to the Geranium.





And another to be moved just to the left at the bottom....a bed I've yet to get a firm grip on.  And looking below, Empress Wu is asking for a bit of room.  Yet another case of the plants not reading their tags correctly and growing accordingly.  Not the Empress - she's huge, it's about those Phlox that were not supposed to be competing the year after I split them.



Such a lovely peony - such a shame you can only see it when you lift it up.



My big bed on Saturday a.m.



and after!



and after the rain:



The Achillea is so much happier now.  Moved from under an overgrown bush last year.



I really like Deutsia 'Chardonnay Pearls'.  Long period of bloom.  Stays small.  And of course, has chartreuse leaves which brighten any darker patch.




I know it's completely weedy, but thank goodness for weedy when I've lost so many old perennials Lysimachia punctata:



anything looks great if the lighting is good:


Haven't been doing too much in the back garden - still waiting for an arborist to clean up the pine - afraid of being clobbered by one of the dead branches when the wind picks up - and of course the fence to be rebuilt - but here are a few snaps of what's happening:


Agatha's final resting spot:


The Aruncus dioicus just starting to bloom - didn't realize its fragrance was so lovely.


and its black velvet shot - it was covered in pollinators - large and small:



Clematis much smaller this year - but Martagon lilies are just fine.  And, no lily beetles.....


Last week brought more stormy weather:



But when the weather cleared - I noticed how well all the white plants were doing:

My Hydrangea heteromalla I grew from seed:


More of the Aruncus:



Anemone canadensis: (warning - it's invasive.  Bart runs through it - I yank it out in handfuls when it's finished blooming)


And, my Persicaria polymorpha - SANS JAPANESE BEETLES - was our winter from hell good for something?  Could their numbers have been knocked back significantly?


Gillenia trifolia: (Can be invasive further south of here - but for me it stays in a nice little patch)


Took this on a morning walk - as they said at the RBG - there is no rhyme or reason about what lived and what died after this winter - so sad - they're about 3-4 meters high.  These twins obviously planted at the same time years ago.


Back garden with all the lovely annuals I potted up from Loblaw:



Geranium 'Splish Splash'.  Every year I take a close-up and issue a warning.  Yes, very pretty if you're up nice and close - however, if you want to understand the impact of this plant in your garden - drop a candy wrapper across the street on a neighbour's lawn run across the street and there you have it - 'Splish Splash' in your garden.  The power of a cute name and freckles.


The fairies are hiding inside to keep dry:


I cut back the fall asters to keep them nice and bulky and full.  Actually I did it because I was tired of edging and I was looking for an excuse to do anything else.


A truly silly Allium that like the others is an excellent self-seeder.


And one last shot of Lake Ontario from this a.m.  Looking at this it really does look much cleaner than it used to.   If it ever gets warm again, I might just be tempted to join this duck for a swim.