This is a fabulous year for the garden. The French Hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) are full of buds and it promises to be quite a show. I hope I am not putting a Hex on it. Considering the unpredictable weather we are experiencing, tomorrow could bring an artic blast!
There are so many varieties I have not seen in years. The flower buds were killed by late frosts or some years, the stems are killed right to the ground. This has happened for several years; bad news for a gardener who loves them and has used them extensively in her plantings.( That would be me.)
Encouraged, I took many more cuttings.
I am also propagating two all white varieties ( Madame E. Mouillere & the lacecap White Wave) for my friend Mary who is creating an all white garden. She is well on her way and these white Hydrangeas will be the crowning touch. Isn’t it amazing how much patience a true gardener can exhibit?
My garden and I have matured. I no longer stress the small details and rely on good groundcovers through which I will plant some minor bulbs for more early spring interest.
Since groundcovers are all so similar in height is essential to play up contrast of either colour, or texture. Some of the better effects I had achieved in the woodland became so labor intensive, I had to abandon them completely. So my advice is “go simple’
Black Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’ ) and Golden Clubmoss (Selaginella ‘Aurea’) were a stunning combination. Then the weeds came. I have to admit that for a few years I painted weed killer on them with an eyeliner brush!
I am very fortunate to have on my property many native wildflowers, while they are ephemeral and will disappear when the summer heat comes on, the low growing Vinca does a great job picking up the slack.
Above, Leaves of three, Trillium & Poison Ivy; underneath, a carpet of Vinca.
This mottled ginger (Asarum splendens) is one of several types I planted, it is the only one that has survived & thrived. It is located across from the Mourning Bench. This was the only area where I originally planted perennials. What comes up now are the tough survivors or the plants that re-seed.
Below the subtle colours of Japanese Painted fern ( Athyrium nipponicum) & Mottled Ginger blend beautifully. Contrasting texture is the key here.
Elsewhere in the garden, the Viburnums have been sensational and there are still a few blooming. This year Kern’s Pink has outdone itself.
Viburnum ‘Kern’s Pink’
So heavy with blossoms it has covered an unknown rose.
The only misstep this year was the loss of two mature Clematis. Victims of the mow and blow guy….. I guess one cannot have everything…..all at once.