Thursday, May 28, 2009

I have visited some more local gardens in the last few weeks. First I visited the garden of Eva in Grimsby. I have been working in the retail plant trade for twenty years and I saw things in Evas garden I have never heard of as well as some surprises like a seven feet tall Pieris japonica, and a 20 feet tall Magnolia virginiana (pictured below).
Click on pictures for a better look.

I'm not sure what type of tree this is (below), but the blossoms open yellow and then mature to an orangy-pink color. I think she called it a popcorn tree.

I hope to post some more pictures of this garden later in the season. Closer to home the Magnolia tripetala in my garden bloomed this week. I recall the person who gave it to me saying to plant it at the back of the yard. And now I know stinks. But a large interesting bloom nonetheless.

I was talking to Greg from Grimsby (Ontario, Canada) this week about his Trachycarpus (Windmill Palm) that he has brought through two winters so far. After applying the required fungicidal treatment to prevent crown rot and spear pull, and a spray of wilt-pruf to slow dessication, he wraps it in late fall with several layers of a product called better than burlap. The whole bundle is then wrapped with mini-lights set to turn on when the temperature dips below about -8 C. It sounds like a lot of effort, but the results speak for themselves. It is still only May and Gregs palm has put on three new leaves this year. Greg also has a Needle palm which is slightly hardier but which does not produce the nice trunk like a trachycarpus. The coldest Greg recorded in his garden this winter was -19 C

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

It is the middle of May and things are starting to grow. I just finished checking my collection of oddities and found one surprise. The Clerodendron I planted last year is leafing out right to the tips of the branches. I didn't expect it to do that and certainly not this early. I more thought that like the Albezia it would come to life in June. Pictured below is the flower on the Clerodendron last summer.

It looks as though both the green Albizia as well as the summer chocolate Albizia have survived. (Visit the Summer Slide Show in an earlier post for pictures). The Fig is growing new shoots and the little Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle) which I thought was dead, is sending up three tiny new shoots. We'll see.

The evergreen cherrylaurel (Prunus laurocerasus) is getting ready to bloom (below) and the bees are getting drunk on the Rhododendron.

The Fargesia robusta is sending up many strong new shoots. This one gets better every year. The tallest new shoots are over three feet already and I expect them to reach about seven feet this spring.