Saturday, April 25, 2009

Agave paryii

I planted my first Agave in the cactus border today. Like the cacti these should take the cold as long as they are in a well-drained spot, where there is little rain or snow accumulation. I know of several other gardeners growing these desert plants in our wet winter and spring climate.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

David's Garden

I met a gardener a few weeks ago who, like myself, is pushing the boundaries of what will grow in Niagara. Today I had the chance to visit his garden. It is located near the shores of Lake Ontario, just north of Beamsville. All pictures taken on April 22.
Click on pictures for a better look.

Calocedrus decurrens (Incense cedar) and Cunninghamia (Chinafir) are just two of the unusual evergreens in the garden.

The evergreen Skimmia is just beginning to flower, while the yellow winter Jasmine is late this year. It usually flowers in March.

A pathway leads down a hill where a Cryptomeria shares space with a clump of bamboo (Phyllostachys). Pink flowering Abeliophyllum is sometimes called white Forsythia.

A fine looking Araucaria araucana (Monkey Puzzle Tree) is nearly six feet tall. The blue Arizona cypress (Cupressus glabra) is another uncommon sight in Niagara gardens.

While the Ackerman Camelias are said to be hardy these beautiful plants spend the coldest months in a minimally heated greenhouse. I visited just in time as the blooms will be finished soon.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hardy Cacti

The hardy cacti are starting to plump up after spending a winter looking like shrivelled up prunes. The key to success with the various types of hardy cacti is a very dry location. If the cacti are plump with water going into winter, then a hard frost will cause the water in the plant cells to freeze, and consequently expand and rupture. The strip against the west side of my house has very dry soil and receives little natural moisture or snow accumulation.

Among the cacti that have survived Niagara winters in my garden are various Opuntias, including Opuntia kleiniae (2nd picture) Echinocereus, the ball cactus (3rd picture) and the tall Cylindropuntia imbricata (5th picture)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Well I thought we had seen the last of winter. But In Canada you never know. The Sabal will not be bothered too much I hope, but the little Violas probably like this about as much as I do.