THIS ‘N’ THAT

THIS ‘N’ THAT

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!

P1240419There 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.

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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’

Blk. Mondo & Selaginella

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.

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Above, Leaves of three, Trillium & Poison Ivy; underneath, a carpet of Vinca.

P1230614 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.

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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'

Viburnum ‘Kern’s Pink’

So heavy with blossoms it has covered an unknown rose. 20160502_182613

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.

 

 

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RAINY DAYS

Not complaining, but these downpours really put a damper on going out to see what’s blooming in the garden, so….

P1230627on these rainy days I brought some of the garden indoors.

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sink above, is a new addition in utility room/downstairs potty/ mud/ laundry room.  Mirror will be painted & antiqued  with Annie Sloan paints and the room will be painted. Still contemplating colours.

MEANWHILE

Pictures taken between the raindrops, here is what’s  in the garden …

P1230583                                   Styrax obassia  delightful, fragrant, small tree that shades the entrance to the Potager

P1230587                                   Chinese Snowball Viburnum ( Viburnum macrocephalum)

P1230586                       Azaleas (Rhododendron indica ) and  Cranberrybush Viburnum (Viburnum opulus ) always good companions. LOVE the lime green phase of this shrub.

P1230581                            Viburnum ‘Kern’s Pink is what the label said. (Viburnum picatum ‘Kern’s Pink’) My plant has never seen even a blush. Beautiful none the less.

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A few Clematis too.

                    

 

INSPIRATION

I need to get out more often!

 The talk by Robert Mallet at the Hydrangea Society has inspired me to make some changes in parts of the garden.

                                                                         ROBERT MALLET

I was particularly interested in his recommendation to plant masses of Hydrangea macrophylla in the shade of the later blooming Hydrangea  paniculata.

There is an area in my garden where Oakleaf Hydrangeas (Hydrangea quercifolia) are combined with both ‘Annabelle’ hydrangeas and macrophylla types to nice effect; therefore, I am giving this recommendation much thought.

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The Viburnum court has been maintenance nightmare for quite some time. Although I love their foliage, flowers and  berries; they have been sprouting everywhere, and they are NOT easy to remove (my criteria for allowing self seeders).  Parts of the garden have become a viburnum forest rivaled only by the dreaded  Privet.

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So, in the interest of making the garden less of a maintenance headache, I am considering the removal of many Viburnums; perhaps adding a few sterile types (above) and more late-blooming hydrangeas. The only caveat being they would require hard pruning every few years. Easier than digging seedlings, no?

SIGNS OF SPRING

Finally there are signs of spring. The weather has been chilly in Georgia for an unusually long spell and bloom times are off.
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Looking out the window, the Snowball Viburnum (Viburnum macrocephalum) is in its beautiful lime green phase and I can see the Yoshino Cherry tree (Prunus subhirtella ‘Yoshino’) blooming in the background.

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These tulips ,below, were planted in the cutting garden about 5 years ago and although I cut them with their foliage every year, they still reappear. I must look up my orders and identify them.

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Next week promises to be warmer and I expect an explosion of blooms. Meanwhile spring pruning is underway (late of course).

SO NOT READY!!!

 It’s really September and I am so not ready for the change of seasons. The Camellia  sasanqua  ‘Sparkling Burgundy’ is blooming….

and all the berries on the viburnums are full & beautiful…

Neglected area..or should I say areas I left to Mother Nature are actually lovely, nurturing many beneficial insects, Humming birds  and other wildlife

…including deer. I’ve stopped chasing them away.. they love these hydrangeas!

Once again, The Season of The Mourning Bench………….

GARDEN TOUR 2

  I am tickled that the rambling rose Etain  is blooming for the very first time,

                                                                                   

I have envisioned it climbing  20 feet up the Oak tree.

                                                                                    

On the other side I have planted ‘Rambling Rector’, another rose that could, under good cultivation reach to 30 feet. So I have hopes for this area to have real impact …..in time.

                                                                                      

The Oakleaf Hydrangeas have formed their flower buds and are just starting to open, beyond them are the fig trees.

What I have long called the Viburnum Court should be refered to as the clematis court, since there are far more Clematis than Viburnum now.

                                                                                          

Shame on me… those majestic shrubs are reduced to being supports for my Clem addiction!

                                                                                                   

Whenever I pass the Schiaparelli bench I congratulate myself on choosing the paint colour.

Here is a good example of either buying a plant while it’s in bloom or ordering from a reliable source.

                                                                                             

The Clematis was supposed to be white…. oops,  sorry, love it just the same , in fact this is a happy accident.

                                                                                        

A quick peek at Clematis Josephine … So feminine!

                                                                                       

And Clematis ‘Polish Spirit’ above.

I am just now getting around to pruning the dead flowers off the Hydrangea macrophylla.  If one waits long enough there can be no mistakes, the new buds are obvious.

Earlier on I would have pruned more for shape than flowers; but now that I have the choice, I left some of the awkward branches for cutting.

When the Clematis are done… we will move on to rapsodising  over the Hydrangeas!

GARDEN TOUR part 1

“You should have seen it last week!” The familiar phrase heard from gardeners, when showing visitors around. Well to avoid that I’m posting a  time-lapse kind of garden tour. Photos from the garden over the last two weeks.

                                                                                        

The Dogwoods in the meadow, like most other spring-flowering plants, cooked in the 80 degree temperatures. the blossoms did not last long. Above, in their moment of  glory with the native Phlox (Phlox divericata).

                                                                                    

 Above, the view from a second floor  window,  Dogwoods, Lady Banks Rose (white selection) & Viburnums. Those ‘Snowballs’ (Viburnum macrocephalum) are trained into trees.

                                                                               

Love the tree right by the house.

                                                                            

Early clematis, blooming now for several weeks.

                                                                                 

Along the North Border….Viburnum ‘Kern’s Pink’  & Baptisia…. (below)

                                                                             

followed by Viburnum opulus, Purple smoke tree  (Cotinus coggygria  ‘Royal Purple’ ) & Styrax obassia ..heavenly fragrant bells.

                                                                                   

                                                                   

Clematis  ‘Carnaby’ &  Cotinus ‘coggygria ‘Royal Purple’

                                                                                     

Look at those knockout roses below.. not pruned this year, they are lush & voluptuous reaching almost 6 ‘ tall.

                                                                            

The rose,’ Madame Alfred Carrier’, burst out of her restraints..

                                                                                         

so….the trellis is moving again… to paraphrase Margery Fish, “In time she will learn to walk!”

                                                                                     

All leading up to the Shocking Pink Schiaparelli bench.

To be continued….