Thursday, December 10, 2009

Today the temperature dropped to 8 degrees Celius below zero as witnessed by the ice covered sedge beside the fountain.

The Arbutus blossoms are frozen solid, but still looking ok for now.

I took this picture of Abelia Ed Goucher a few days ago. It has been in bloom all summer. I checked them again today but the flowers have disappeared.

Another amazing bloomer is Campanula Blue Waterfall. It has also been in bloom all summer and this picture was also taken a few days ago. The blooms are still there today, but a little more shriveled than they appear here.

The cylindropuntia (foreground), pencil cholla (centre left) Agave (centre right) and Yucca gloriosa (behind agave) seem unfazed by the cold.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It's December the 2nd and so far we've had a few light frosts. Many plants are still green and a few are still blooming. Here is Viburnum pragense which will keep its foliage all winter.
(Click on pictures for a better look)

Magnolia grandiflora Victoria, though not the hardiest, has done well for me.

A nice evergeen grouping, Prunus laurocerasus (evergreen cherrylaurel, top) Polystichum (Christmas fern, middle) Aucuba (bottom).

This is the first year for the hardy Cyclamen so I'm not sure if it's evergreen, but it looks good so far.

The flower is out of focus (I need a new camera) but this Lithodora has been in bloom all summer. You can't beat the blue color.

I think the Erica (Heather) thinks it's spring. It doesn't usualy bloom in fall so I wonder if it will still flower in April.

Still one of my favourite perennials, Euphorbia amygdaloides robbeia can't be beat for deep green foliage.

It sometimes looks like a forgotten houseplant, but the spotted Aucuba looks great right through winter.

Farfugium Kaimon Dake is a new addition to the garden. I had a yellow spotted form years ago but it died after about five winters. Maybe this one is stronger.

And the Leucothoe Margie Jenkins is also bracing for it's first Canadian winter. I think it will be fine.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I recently visited a Niagara Falls garden with a great collection on uncommon plants. (Click on pictures for a better look.)

This Magnolia Edith Bogue has done very well since being planted as a small plant five years ago. In front is a Cryptomeria.

A great grouping of broad-leaved evergreens (except the Japanese maple) include Aucuba (left), Ilex (top left)) Mahonia bealei (centre), Viburnum davidii (bottom left), Skimmia (top centre) and Leucothoe scarletta (just visible in the bottom.

I was surprised to hear the Colocasia Pink China survived the winter with no protection. I tried these myself with no luck.

This is a plant I hadn't heard of. Daphniphyllum macropodum is native to Asia but is hardy here.

I will have to try and find these this year.

Another plant on my wish list for 2010 is Hosta Empress Wu. (This one is not in the Niagara Falls garden, I found the picture online).

This great bamboo is Sasa palmata. I wanted to ask for a little piece of it, but I think it is still a fairly young plant. maybe in a few years.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

This Clematis rehderiana was planted three years ago and has never bloomed. I was just about ready to replace it when I noticed a few little flowers this week. In spite of the early cold, it has still managed to come into bloom and the flowers are mildly fragrant.
I took the next two pictures at work on containerized plants because my garden specimens will likely never produce flowers or fruit in our climate. The berries (which are toxic) are on an Aucuba serratifolia.
These small flowers are on a Strawberry tree (Arbutus) which we are trying in the display garden at Coles in Grimsby.
There was a very cool, drizzly day last week, and while it wasn't fun to be outside, it created some great effects for photos. The first is Papyrus and the second is a Lady's Mantle (Alchemilla) leaf.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The kids are back in school and summer-like weather is finally upon us. With that, here's a quick look at how things are growing in the garden.

The Agave has grown a new leaf every month since being planted in May (left). I am curious how it will do in winter.

The little cholla cactus has tripled in size since spring. Yet still no blooms. It gets sun from about 2:00 on, so maybe not enough.

What I thought were flower buds on the Echinocereus (left) turned out to be spiny side shoots. The zone 8 Hebe (right) has recovered nicely from the winter damage.

A newly planted Leucothoe Margie Jenkins (left) is doing well. The three year Grimsby Trachycarpus (right, and see earlier post) is looking great, but the owner plans to move it this fall. I will post an update when I know more.

Another new addition is Viburnum rhytidophyllum (left) which will one day grow over the bamboo behind it. And finally the Campylotropsis that mentioned in my "wish list" has produced a flower, but it is not not the blue that I hoped it would be.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Well, summer finaly came to Niagara. We've had a few weeks of hot humid weather forcing many plants into growth and bloom. One of my favourite perennials, Kirengeshoma (Waxbells) came into bloom this week.
(Click on pictures for a better look)

I noticed this impressive Albizia in south end St. Catharines has been in bloom now since mid-July

I've added a few new perennials to my collection. I've always liked Stokesia (Stokes Aster) but have never bought one because of their floppy habit. This new one called Stokesia Peachie's Pick stood out because it is sturdy and upright.

Another new addition is Brunnera Diane's Gold. This shade lover has nicely cupped, yellow foliage which should look great once the little blue flowers open in spring.

Finally I took this picture at work of a bee dangling from a yellow Asclepias.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

I planted some Phyllostachys nigra last year. It came throught the winter ok but it was very late to send up new shoots. It is just now starting to show some vigour.

This has me a little worried because I spoke with a lady a few weeks ago who had planted some two years ago. After seeing 20 foot rhizomes creeping around her garden this summer, she decided to dig up the bamboo and discard it.

I went on-line and found some great tips on how to manage an unruly bamboo. The advice I liked best calls for a string to be layed out beyond which you don't want the bamboo to spread. Then simply work the line with a good spade, pushing it as deep into the soil as you can. They recommend doing this in the fall. This, the writer claims, will sever any culms that have crept beyond from their food source, and these will consequently die.

I would love to hear from people who have this stuff in the garden in zone 6. Any tips for control would be appreciated.

The summer of 2009 is notable for its unusual weather. I'm not sure if this has anything to do with it, but it is a summer of "firsts" in my garden.

I have never seen a Hummingbird in my garden, but this morning there was one very busy little Hummingbird in the Clerodendron. I hope to catch a picture of him later.

The Albizia has never bloomed for me until this year. I did notice though that it is about two weeks later than those further inland, away from the cooling effect of Lake Ontario.

Another first is a bloom on an evergreen Magnolia after it's first winter. This is on Magnolia Edith Bogue which was only planted last summer.

August 4, 2009

August 6, 2009

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Have you ever planted something and couldn't remember where it was the following spring. It's happened to me as well. I had some unusual plants given to me this spring, and added some others I've been wanting to plant for a while. In order to ensure I don't dig them up next spring to plant something new, I undertook to "map" out the garden. This is not a detailed grid map, but rather a list of plants in each of the beds. I hope this will serve as sufficient reminder next spring.
I did not include anything I know won't survive the winter outside here in Niagara.

Acanthus Tasmanian Tiger (Variegated Bears Breeches)
Acer palmatum
Acer pseudoplatanus Brilliantissimum (Sycamore Maple)
Aconitum arendsii (Monkshood)
Agave paryii
Albizia jullibrissin (Mimosa, Silk Tree)
Albizia Summer Chocolate
Alstroemeria, hardy (Princess Lily)
Amelopsis brevipedunculata (Porcelain Vine)
Anemone hupehensis
Anemone sylvestris
Aquilegia (Columbine)
Arisaema triphyllum (Jack-in-the-Pulpit)
Arundo donax (Giant Reed)
Arundo donax versicolor
Asimina triloba (Paw Paw)
Athyrium filix-femina (Lady Fern)
Aucuba Gold Dust
Aucuba Mr. Goldstrike
Aucuba serratifloia (Saw Toothed Laurel)
Araucaria araucana (Monkey Puzzle Tree)
Bergenia Solar Flare
Bletilla striata (Hardy Orchid)
Brunnera macrophylla variegata (Siberian Bugloss)
Brunnera Diane's Gold
Brunnera Jack Frost
Calamagrostis Karl Foerster (Reed Grass)
Calycanthus floridus Venus (Sweetshrub)
Campanula cochleariifolia
Campanula persicifolia (Peach Leaved Bellflower)
Campanula sarastro
Campylotropis macrocarpa
Carex Ice Dance
Carex Lemon Zest
Ceratostigma plumbaginoides (Blue Leadwort)
Cercis canadensis (Redbud)
Chamaecyparis obtusa nana (Dwarf Hinoki Cypress)
Cimicifuga simplex Brunette
Cimicifuga racemosa
Clematis alpina
Clematis Nelly Moser
Clematis rehderiana
Clerodendrum trichotomum (Harlequin Glory Bower)
Coreopsis Zamfir
Cornus kousa Satomi (Satomi Dogwood)
Corypantha vivipara
Crocosmia George Davidson
Cyclamen coum
Delphinium New Millennium
Dianthus deltoides
Dictamus (Gasplant)
Digitalis Spice Island
Dracunculus vulgaris (Dragon Arum, Voodoo Lily)
Dryopteris erythrosora (Autumn Fern)
Echinacea Coconut Lime (Coneflower)
Echinacea double white hybrid
Echinacea Doubledecker
Echinacea Sunrise
Echinacea Tiki Torch
Echinocereus reichenbachii (Lace Cactus)
Echinops (Globe Thistle)
Ephedera regeliana (Joint Fir)
Epimedium sulfureum
Eremurus (Foxtail Lily)
Erica carnea (Winter Heather)
Erodium Bishop’s Form
Euonymous alatus (Burning Bush)
Euonymous fortunei Gold Tip
Euonymous japonica rokujo
Eupatorium rugosum (Chocolate Boneset)
Euphorbia amygdaloides robbiae (Leatherleaf Spurge)
Euphorbia myrsinites (Donkey Tail Spurge)
Euphorbia polychroma (Cushion Spurge)
Fallopia japonica Milkboy
Fargesia robusta (Clump Bamboo)
Ficus Brown Turkey (Fig)
Gardenia Kleim’s Hardy
Gaura lindheimeri
Gentiana acaulis (Trumpet Gentian)
Gentiana septemfida (Crested Gentian)
Geranium pratense Midnight Reiter
Geum borisii
Hakonechloa macra aureola (Japanese Forest Grass)
Hakonechloa All Gold
Hebe pinguifolia Sutherlandii
Hedera helix Erecta (English Ivy)
Helleborus Betty Ranicar
Hemerocallis Garden City
Hemerocallis Stella D’Oro (Daylily)
Heptacodium miconoides (Seven Son flower)
Heuchera Green Spice
Heuchera Mini Mouse
Hibiscus moscheutos Blue River (Dinner Plate Hibiscus)
Hosta Blue Boy
Hosta Designer Genes
Hosta Francis Williams
Hosta halcyon
Hosta On Stage
Hosta Sum and Substance
Hydrangea Annabelle
Hydrangea macrophylla
Indigofera heterantha
Iris ensata Gusto
Itea virginica (Sweetspire)
Juniper ssp
Kirengeshoma palmata (YellowWaxbells)
Kniphofia Primrose (yellow Torchlily)
Laburnocytisus adamii
Lagerstroemia Pecos (Crapemyrtle)
Larix decidua pendula (Weeping Larch)
Lavandula angustifolia Hidcote (English Lavender)
Leptodermis oblonga
Leucothoe fontanesiana Rainbow
Leucothoe axillaris Margie Jenkins
Ligularia stenocephala The Rocket
Linum perenne (Blue Flax)
Lithodora (Blue Lithospermum)
Magnolia grandiflora DD Blanchard
Magnolia grandiflora Edith Bogue
Magnolia grandiflora Victoria
Magnolia tripetala (Umbrella tree)
Miscanthus gracillimus (Maiden Grass)
Miscanthus Goldbar
Miscanthus strictus (Zebra Grass)
Miscanthus Silberfeder
Mukdenia rossii
Omphalodes cappadocica (Starry Eyes)
Opuntia humifusa (Prickly pear Cactus)
Opuntia imbricata (Chain-link Cactus)
Opuntia kleiniae (Pencil Cholla Cactus)
Opuntia phaecantha
Paeonia suffruticosa (Tree Peony)
Paeonia Itoh
Panicum Heavy Metal (Switch Grass)
Papaver brilliant (Poppy)
Paulownia (Empress of China Tree)
Pennisetum alopecuroides Hameln (Fountain Grass)
Penstemon nana blue (Beard tongue)
Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage)
Phlox subulata
Phyllostachys nigra (Black Bamboo)
Physocarpus Darts Gold (Ninebark)
Picea pungens glauca (Blue Spruce)
Pinus mugo (Mugo Pine)
Podophyllum (May Apple)
Polygala chamaebuxus grandiflora
Polygonatum officinale (Solomon’s Seal)
Polystichum polyblepharum (Japanese Tassel Fern)
Potentilla neumanniana Nana (Alpine Cinquefoil)
Primula veris (Cowslip)
Prunus laurocerasus (Evergreen Cherry Laurel)
Pyrus communis (Pear)
Quercus virginiana (Live Oak)
Rhododendron Blue Peter
Rhododendron Ramapo
Rubus fruiticosus (Blackberry)
Rubus idaeus (Raspberry)
Sabal minor
Sanguinaria canadensis plena (Double Bloodroot)
Sambucus Black Lace (Elder)
Sarcococca confusa (Sweet Box)
Saruma henryii
Sciadopitys verticilata (Japanese Umbrella Pine)
Sedum Autumn Joy
Sedum Purple Emperor
Sedum sieboldii (October Daphne)
Sedum ternatum (Appalachian stonecrop)
Sempervivum Oddity
Sempervivum purple beauty (Hens and Chicks)
Sisyrinchium angustifolium Lucerne (Blue Eyed Grass)
Spirea Goldflame
Stewartia psuedocamelia (Japanese Stewartia)
Stokesia Peachies Pick (Stokes Aster)
Taxus media (Yew)
Thalictrum aquilegifolium (Meadow rue)
Thalictrum flavum gluacum (Yellow Meadow rue)
Thuja occidentalis (Cedar)
Tricyrtis Samurai (Toadlily)
Trollius Gold Queen (Globeflower)
Tsuga canadensis Jeddeloh (Dwarf Hemlock)
Vacciium corymbosum (Blueberry)
Viburnum plicatum (Doublefile Viburnum)
Viburnum plicatum Summer Snowflake
Viburnum pragense
Viburnum rhytidophyllum (Leatherleaf Viburnum)
Viburnum x carlcephalum (Fragrant Viburnum)
Vinca (Periwinkle)
Vitex agnus castus (Chaste Tree)
Vitis vinifera (Grape)
Wisteria sinensis
Yucca elata
Yucca nana
Yucca recurvifolia
I've just returned from a week at the cottage and I find it amazing how much changes in the garden in a week. When you see it on a daily basis the changes are not as noticable, but after a week it's an entirely different garden.
(Click on pictures for a better look)
The front bed is in full bloom. Although it contains few unusual plants, I still like it.

Clerodendron is getting ready to bloom.

Magnolia Edith Bogue was only planted last summer, but it is producing blooms now. The first time an evergreen Magnolia has flowered for me after it's first winter in the ground.

I'm not sure if that's a flower starting on the Echinocereus, I'll know in a few weeks.

Indigofera has the fine textured foliage of Albizia but in a shrub form. The flowers opened this week while I was at the cottage.

My newest addition to the garden is this incredible orange, Echinacea Tiki Torch.

This is one of may favourite plants because it is so unusual. Ephedera is a prehistoric evergreen.