GARDEN TOUR 2

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One of the joys of the Garden Tour Season I always look forward to, is the tour put on by Georgia Perennial Plant Association. Several chosen gardens are opened to the membership for one week- end a year. Most gardeners would have bottled water and iced tea available for the visitors. Margaret Moseley would serve her famous Almond Tea whenever her garden was opened. Last week Pimento Cheese party sandwiches were passed around on silver trays for the guests! (Did I forget to mention that in the last post?)

For several years I served as the Tour Chairperson of this organization as well as The American Hydrangea Society. I know firsthand about what it takes to create a successful event. So I was not surprised that in recent years the format has changed and only one garden is opened for a day. I like this change. One no longer has to budget their time and rush to see as many gardens as possible in the allotted timeframe. These are SPECTACULAR gardens where one could happily spend the entire day and still not take it all in.

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This year, the garden of Lyndy Broder was the featured garden. Lyndy is a dear friend and an expert on the genus Clematis. Her knowledge and talents however, go far beyond Clematis.  She has collected an amazing variety of unusual and seldom seen trees and shrubs to create a personal arboretum ‘par excellence’ on her property….and almost all are festooned with the most delicious varieties of Clematis one could imagine.

P1240753                                                                       A wall of  seed grown species welcome visitors

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P1240771                                                                            Golden Larch (Pseudolarix  amabilis) with Clematis

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The Canadian Geese Meadow leading to the lake above.

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P1240768                                            The Sanctuary of St. Fiacre, patron saint of gardeners ( loved working with Lyndy on this project)

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When a garden of this caliber is open….. everyone comes. This turned into a reunion of great plantsmen and gardeners,  a huge amount of talent here, the energy was palpable.

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.

 

 

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.

                    

 

THIS ‘N’ THAT

I planned this post about Robert Mallet’s lecture but I got carried away with the early Clematis and the Southern Azaleas (Rhododendron indica) and… and…   So here goes…a bit of this and that. (Robert’s inspirational lecture next, promise)

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The walkway from the work /compost area.

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The drive doesn’t look so bad after all. Blooming plants are a great distraction. When the Azalea (Rhododendron indica G.G. Gerbing) is done, the Oak Leaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) on the right will start.

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The first clematis to bloom for me is the Japanese cultivar ‘Asao’. followed by…

P1210528‘H.F. Young’ and…

P1210534‘Josephine’. This year she is not as double as most. Lyndy, can you shed some light on this please.

Then there is my favorite rose…

P1210539‘Madame Alfred Carrier’.

The garden is glorious and I have not yet mentioned the Styrax obasia, the white Lady Banks rose, the Viburnums (more about them in the next post)…Life is good!

SPRING IS HERE!!

I’m finally convinced that spring is here! Sufficient rain and warmer weather have created ideal conditions for an explosion of blooms.                                                                      Viburnum plicatum & Azalea

Above, Viburnum plicatum & Azalea indica ‘Formosa’

Hydrangea anomala petiolaris

Climbing the wall;  Hydrangea anomala petiolaris & Clematis ‘Freckles’ using it for support.

Phlox divericata

The Phlox divericata encouraged to naturalized between the daffodils.

Clematis "asao'
Clematis “asao’

I have pruned all the Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’, and almost all the Hydrangea paniculata. I still have to deadhead the Hydrangea macrophylla but I like to attend to those last lest I get too enthusiastic and remove this years flower buds.                                                                             Aesculus pavia

Aesculus pavia

  Pruned some of the clematis that require it and took an inventory of the garden.

Some of the news is not good. I have record losses this year. There is no sign of life on several Clematis, and my favorite Quince ‘Apple blossom’ has bit the dust.

Over the last few years I have let some shrubs go and now they require some drastic pruning. Good thing I bought a good excellent lopper. That is another post, promise.

THIS ‘N’ THAT

Due to an injury I have been unable to garden. I finally got to take a walk and snap some photos so here goes.. a bit of this ‘n’ that.

This scene makes me smile every time..the faded flowers on the hydrangea and the Camellia sasanqua ‘Sparkling Burgundy’ perfect partners.

Stewartia  showing some of its famous exfoliating  bark. This was the year  to remove all the lower branches, it will look somewhat awkward for a few years…

Camellia sasanqua ‘Daydream’ I rescued this plant from the trash at a nursery. Margaret Moseley told me it was the only fragrant sasanqua in her garden…If  Margaret was growing it ..I needed to have one too; but it was an old variety and no one carried it. One Autumn day, plant shopping in Alabama, I caught a sweet fragrance and went to investigate…there it was, a broken scraggly mess, lying in the trash heap… the treasure I was seeking!  They gave it to me.

Beautiful colours on the lacecap hydrangea…

 eggplants and peppers still going in the potager…

and the clematis that bloomed all summer & going strong still… Clematis ‘Odoriba’

Life is good.

MEANWHILE…. BACK IN THE GARDEN….

While we rush about getting the baby vegetable plants into the potager, the garlic screams  for attention…it is ready….

                                                                                          

it makes itself known by browning leaves, ( 5 to be exact) and a tendency to fall over.

                                                                                       

Another item moves to the top of the ‘to do’ list… this is ‘ Emergency Management Gardening’. They will be cleaned when they cure.

                                                                                                 

MEANWHILE…. back in the garden… The first Hydrangea macrophylla  is open..’.Penny Mac’  I can hear my friend Penny, in heaven, laughing with delight!

                                                                              

 Next to her is ‘Madame Emile Mouillere’, a white mophead.

                                                                                              

Hydrangea quercifolia, Oakleaf Hydrangea, is glorious…

                                                                                                

all three types together, H. quercifolia, H. arborescens ‘Annabelle’ and H. macrophylla. ( below)

                                                                                                

More Clematis blooming…..

                                                                                       

 Above, Estonian hybrids  ‘Ruutel’   and  ‘Piilu’    both raised by Uno Kivistik, the names mean ‘Knight’ and ‘Little Duckling’  respectively.

                                                                                               

 Clematis ‘Odoriba’, with its delightful little bells, ‘Carnaby’ in the corner,  and below, Clematis ‘Confetti’ blooming for the first time.

                                                                                                              

Now I must rush to harvest the seeds of the mustard we grew this winter; indispensable in some Indian dishes, the recipes for which have been waiting while the seeds ripen.

                                                                                                  

I also let the lettuce go to seed.

                                                                                                         

It was a delicious mix of salad greens ( Winter Mesclun Mix) which survived the little frost we did have. The flavor improves I find, when sowing seeds that have been raised in the same soil. (Ask anyone who has tasted my Basil!)

All this to say.. I’m busy…..

                                                                         

as my bees!

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….

FROM GARDEN TO VERANDA

 

                                                             

Bringing bouquets from the garden onto the veranda is a nice way to connect the garden to the house.

                                                                               

None of the big pots of hydrangeas  are here yet. I wait till the 15th of April before taking them out of the Bothy. That is our last frost date.

                                                                                     

As mentioned in earlier posts; If they make good companions in the garden they will combine well in the vase.

Going to post a Spring Garden Tour…stay tuned.

Clematis

 I recently posted about Clematis Bell of Woking, who reappeared after a two-year absence. I hope a few ‘no shows’ this year will surprise me in the future.

It is so disheartening to plant, feed and coddle a plant only to have it disappear, leaving so sign of life..not even a bit of dried stem!

Good to note here that I do NOT, as a general rule, coddle ornamental plants. I believe any plant worth its space should be able to survive on its own or with minimal attention; given a good start. BUT, with Clematis, it is another matter. For me, they are special. The jewelery in the garden; that one great  statement accessory that brings pizzaz to the basic little black dress (or am I dating myself here?)

 For some its roses or daylillies or Iris …for me its Clematis.

So, back to the Clematis Belle of Woking. Below, the bud…

                                                                                    

opening,  a bit like a cabbage….

                                                                                      

finally, fully open & stunning.

                                                                                     

WELCOME HOME! You have been missed (and about to be replaced!)

 

WOW! ASAO!!! or THE FIRST CLEMATIS

First clematis to bloom in my garden. Clematis ‘Asao’

                                                                                               

My friend Lyndy Broder is going to show me how to take cuttings of Clematis. This is a good thing; these babies are expensive and there are hundreds out there I want. (Plant Greed raises its ugly head!) Most of the plants I want LIVE in Lyndy’s garden!!  How fortuitous that she is as generous as she is knowledgeable.

I planted over 65 Clematis in my garden, however, not all have survived or been successful. Sometimes, I am told they take holidays… below,

                                                                                               

Clematis ‘ Belle of Woking’ reappearing after a two-year absence.  I thought I lost it.

FINALLY!… WELL,SORT OF..

It has taken a few years but I finally have a purple Clematis blooming with the yellow berries of the Viburnum Michael Dodge…..sort of.. She is Elsa Spath and she is usually all  purple.

                                                                                              

I have no idea  why she presented this way but….. a gardener’s hope springs eternal… maybe next year…

ELECTRIC POKE

I love the electric  poke weed! How can I cut it down?

                                                                          

How can I leave it?!

How can I cut it down?!

                                                                                  

It is brilliant with the yellow berries of Viburnum dilatatum ‘Michael Dodge’. I’ll deal with it when I deal with the Purple Perilla… Both are thugs!

The No- show at this party…the purple clematis.

SURPRISE CLEMATIS!

Just as I thought the garden was winding down, look what I found…

                                                                                

  two surprise clematis!

                                                                                  

This little darling  above is Clematis odoriba … below, Clematis texensis  ‘Catherine Clanwilliam’.

                                                                            

What joy!!

 Clematis odoriba, is not covered in any of my books (and I have many).  Enter my super knowledgeable friend Lyndy Broder… (the Clematis Queen). She informed me that this plant was  bred by the late Mr Ozawa in the 1990’s  in Japan. It was only  introduced in the early 2000’s.

Mr. Ozawa crossed  two native American clematis,  Clematis viorna and Clematis crispa and created this beauty.

                                                                                        

 In Japan, these are grown extensively for the cut flower industry as they are favored in flower arrangements for the Tea Ceremony.

That got me thinking… I have a small collection of miniature, museum  reproduction, Japanese porcelain vases. They are the perfect size for a small sprig of  flowers… so..

        

Love the shadows, below…

                                                                           

She is wonderful close-up.                                                                                        

 The other Clematis that is blooming now, is Clematis texensisCountess Catherine Clanwilliam’.

I have posted about her several times (see categories), including an anecdote about  being contacted by an employee of THE Countess Catherine Clanwilliam. 

 In my garden she is one of  the all time winners,

                                                                                 

 blooming throughout the summer, and now she is blooming again. Not a big show but so appreciated  this time of  year.

Guess it comes as no surprise that both these super-acheivers are natives.