Tuesday, September 14, 2010

It's been a very hot summer in Niagara. And this has meant the desert garden is doing well. This past spring we added a Caesalpinia that started blooming late August and is still blooming beautifully. I have my doubts about its hardiness, but we'll see next spring.

In my own yard the Clerodendron has also been in bloom since mid-August. Here it is flanked by Magnolia g. Victoria on the right and a Fargesia robusta on the left.

In the front of the house Magnolia g. DD Blanchard has added about two feet this summer. Although while Edith Bogue and Victoria both bloomed in the back yard, the east facing DD Blanchard did not produce any flowers.

It was a different story in a friends garden. His DD Blanchard faces south and did produce flowers. The southern exposure might also explain why the Crape Myrtle is doing so well.

Note the size of the DD Blanchard blooms compared to the beer bottle.

A few weeks ago I stopped by Gregs in Grimsby to see the Trachycarpus he moved last fall. It had been in his garden for three years but needed to be moved for some construction. I suspected it wouldn`t last through the winter, but Gregs protection methods (outlined in an earlier post) paid off. While the original Trachy (foreground) looks a little weathered compared to the new palm added this spring, I have no doubt it will continue to grow in this Canadian garden.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I recently returned to a garden in Beamsville that i visited last spring, (see Dave's garden in an earlier post, March 2009). Magnolia liliflora blooms later than the more familiar Magnolia soulangia.

A seven year old Paulownia (left) is competing with a Cedrus (right)

Papaver somniferum is not hardy but apparantly seeds itself readily.

Ilex opaca is not thought to be hardy this far north, but here you see that books aren't always right.

I nearly missed this and Dave had to mention it twice, "Hedgehog Holly" (click on picture for a better look)

And another Ilex with very small leaves, although the plant was over my head.

The Araucaria araucana (Monkey Puzzle) is about seven feet tall.

Back in my own garden, the eight year old Magnolia g. Victoria which has never flowered, is loaded with buds this year and the first one opened today.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A few surprises after a mild winter.

The Corypantha vivipara (aka Escobaria) doubled in size last summer and is now blooming nicely.

The Fargesia robusta, which kept its color all winter, has many new shoots between 7 and 8 feet high.
(Click on picture for a better look)

Yucca gloriosa, which I've been told will not survive here, came through the winter without a scratch.

My "not hardy" Magnolia DD Blanchard is still the nicest of the three I have.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

It's been a while since the last post. April was unusually warm and as a result blooms are here earlier than most years. The (deciduous) Magnolias and spring bulbs are nearly done, Lilacs are in full bloom and many spring flowering shrubs and perennials are making an early show. Below a sampling of what's blooming in the garden today. (Click on pictures for a better look.)

Lithodora is a perennial that behaves like an annual. It flowers from may until frost. Give them lots of sun and very well drained soil. These little alpines will grow a few inches high and spread about a foot.

Prunus laurocerasus is a strong evergreen for zone 6. It's masses of little white, fragrant flowers are poised to open here.
This year we will finally have some to sell at Coles.

Aucuba serratifolia (laurel) is a broadleaf evergreen that flowers in spring, but you've got to look closely.

Sanguinaria plena (double Bloodroot) has pure white flowers that last all too briefly. Plant them along the walk or driveway, so you don't miss the show.

Polygala chamaebuxus is a tiny little alpine with evergreen foliage and these beautiful flowers brought to you courtesy of the macro lens.

Rhododendron ramapo is a dependable little bloomer for someone like myself who doesn't bother too much about giving plants what they need.

Saruma henryi was given to me last year. I was glad to see it survived the winter.

Phlox subulata is as common as the dirt it grows in, but for a spring show it can't be beat.

Omphalodes is still one of my favourites for May bloom.

Mukdenia rossii is not really grown for its flowers. The green "Heuchera-like" foliage takes on interesting red edges in a partly sunny location.

Helleborus Betty Ranicar. I'll admit I paid too much for this, but the flowers will last through the summer, provided you can be bothered to flip them over when everything else starts to bloom.

Erodium 'Bishop's Form' is one of those unusual little plants that always get left on the bench at the nursery.
If you've got a dry spot in the garden it will flower from May until frost and it's dependably evergreen in zone 6.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

On the weekend I drove out to The Niagara Parks botanical gardens to see if there was anything of interest in early March and I was surprised by the variety of plants still in leaf after a cold winter. The bamboo (phyllostachys) is still mostly green.
A beautiful Ilex (not sure which one) is just one of many in the garden. (Click on pictures for a better look.)

This Daphne didn't seem to have suffered in the winter.

A beautiful Pieris looks like it's ready to start blooming.

This Viburnum rhytidophyllum is how my little plant might look one day.
I checked on the Monkey Puzzle tree in Niagara on the Lake and it seems to be doing fine.

This gorgeous Magnolia grandiflora (I presume Edith Bogue) is one of two growing in front of a house in Niagara on the Lake.

Monday, January 18, 2010

This little windmill palm (in Grimsby, ON) is protected only with Freeze Pruf which the manufacturer claims buys about a half a hardiness zone. So far this palm has seen a low of -14.7 C. I'll post updates as I know more.

This Aucuba in my own garden is doing well despite being completely exposed. The one in the background is in a more ideal, sheltered location. (All pictures taken today)

The Fargesia robusta has not lost any foliage yet.

Viburnum rhytidophyllum.
I saw a nice 9-10 foot specimen in a local garden this week, but I didn't have my camera with me.

The Heather is still blooming. It is a strange winter again.

Hebe sutherlandii has not been bothered by the long stretch of freezing temperatures with lows near -15C.

I wish I could say the same for the Agave. If anyone has any thoughts on whether this will survive I would love to hear them.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Just a few pictures taken around the garden today. The hardy cacti and broad-leaved evergreens are looking great. The plant I'm most curious about (Agave paryii) is buried under snow. I thought I should leave it that way.