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.

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.

                    

 

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.

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!)

 

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.

CLEMATIS, HYDRANGEAS & BURNT SUGAR

                                                                                                                                                                               

Nothing signals the end of summer like Sweet Autumn Clematis (Clematis terniflora) and  hydrangeas cut for drying.

                                                                                    

                                                                

The hydrangeas are cut with some ‘old wood’ I find they hold their shape better that way. Later, when I arrange them, I will cut the stem to whatever length required.

                                                                                      

Sometimes, when cut on the tender green stems, the flowers tend to curl up. These looks really luscious…

                                                                                  

 I hope they stay that way.

 The fragrance of  Sweet Autumn Clematis is one of my favorites; perhaps, because for me,  it  elicits  nostalgia.  When I went to cut a few sprigs, I caught the aroma of burnt sugar… Creme Caramel? I sniffed my way to the Katsuratree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum). Typically, when the leaves start to colour to a buttery yellow in fall, it emits a scent some have likened to cinnamon  or cotton candy.

                                                                                   

Mine, is definitely Creme Brulee!

With the temps consistently in the 90’s since May, I cannot say I am sorry to see this summer wind down. And…

                                                                                  

 the camellias are already showing their buds. I welcome another gardening season.

I posted about this clematis here, please read it if you plan on planting one.

GARDENING TRUMPS BLOG!

Goodness , I have no idea where the time goes. It is already Friday Saturday! This week there was so much to do in the garden. The pruning of ‘Annabelle’ hydrangeas & Hydrangea paniculata, along with some Clematis… Still not done with all the ‘Annabelles.’ Every year I have the same lament. When I am pruning I have too many….when they bloom there are not enough!!

                                                                                           

Much weeding in the potager where I am growing salad ….delicious! A few stragglers from last years tulips popping up between the lettuce… and much weeding ….

                                                                                           

                                                                                                                                                                          

 Spring is going forward at breakneck speed, it seems. Viburnum burkwoodii in bloom. If I could share the fragrance, you would know why it is so cherished among gardeners.

                                                                                           

It does get  large, with a beautiful vase shape. There are several Clematis planted at its feet. Reminders of a lovely day, shared with dear friends, in a beautiful garden.

                                                                                          

The new kitty is at the vets with serious upper respiratory infection…….

© All photos 2011

THE COUNTESS & THE CLEMATIS

                                                                     

If you have been following this blog you already know I have a passion for Clematis .

                                                                    

( if you missed them see under categories) they are planted  at the base of almost all the  viburnums  in the garden. So, no surprise today when I came across new growth on Clematis Catherine Clanwilliam ( photographed above in May)  and saw…

                                                                   

FLOWER BUDS!!..

I am so looking forward to this re bloom.  Which brings me to my post today.

Several weeks ago I received an e-mail through the ‘contact me’ page on this blog. Cheryl Purdin  requested  seeds of  Clematis Catherine Clanwilliam. Her plan was to have the gardener start the seeds so her employer, who just celebrated her 87th birthday, could see the plant bloom again. It was to be a surprise. Her employer is Her Ladyship Catherine, Countess of Clanwilliam for whom  Barry Fretwell named said plant.

                                                                  

 The Countess seen above in a photo from 2008, “is a very keen gardener who has made interesting and delightful gardens both in Northern Ireland and in the county of Wiltshire in South Western England.” -Attributed to Barry Fretwell.

Since it would take several years for the plant to bloom if started from seed; my friend Graham, in the UK, helped me locate a mail order nursery in Germany & year old plants were ordered.

 So the countess & the clematis named for her were reunited once more.

 

Don’t you just love a story with a happy ending?

The Countess’ photo appears with the permission of her 6 daughters.

HYDRANGEAS & GARDEN UPDATE

Hydrangea paniculata looking particularly lovely…

 taking on its autumn hue

                                                                   

  So is Hydrangea macrophylla below.

                                                                 

AND I am loosing the groundcover war @ the Mourning Bench.                                                                     

Some critter is digging up all my transplants and I have to fix them every morning. I have resorted to laying chicken wire over the lot & hope it deters whatever. My guess is a racoon digging for the worms in the compost I spread.

                                                                  

 Perennials need so much maintenance.I think I remember why I thought the vinca could take over!! I cannot spend every day replanting & trying to save what has been dug up with so many other tasks to attend to. AND, I am directed to economise and unfortunately gardening help is very low on the list of priorities. Good thing is, I am getting into shape.

Moving on…

The Perilla I allowed to stay…

                                                                 

 MUST be out of here before it sets seed. So far I have loaded the ‘dump truck’ and I am not done yet.

                                                                       

It served its purpose ; which was to shade to roots of the clematis planted around the perimeter of this garden room.; and, with no effort from me , will return again next year so will the cleome. My garden philosophy is to let the self seeders do their thing.  I can look after the shrubs & clematis. When this part of the garden, The Viburnum Court, is between bloom & berries, the clematis, perilla & cleome really liven it up; then the perilla & cleome take over & keep it ‘furnished’ till the berries show.

                                                                   

What I did Labour Day Weekend… below

                                                                    

  I really like it , It just recedes into the background without calling any attention to itself.

 The To Do list gets another check mark.

And finally… more plants I will be rushing to banish before they set their seed. But oh, the butterflies & Hummingbirds.

                                                                    

not to mention I love the colours!!

© All photos & text 2010

GARDEN & HYDRANGEA UPDATE

It was my relationship with Penny McHenry* that instilled in me the love of hydrangeas.

I have to confess I always found the blue mopheads rather  flashy, I much prefered the delicate lacecaps. Working over a period of time with Penny on reinventing her garden, I had the opportunity to observe the plants closely in all their stages of growth. When they began to fade and look like this…

                                                                        

  and this …     

                                                                                                                                    

I was hooked!  Suddenly I appreciated the versatility of this shrub and how many months of beauty it contributes to the garden.

                                                                   

The paniculatas are late blooming, above & below, Pink Diamond (Hydrangea paniculata ‘Pink Diamond’)

                                                                    

Right now this is a magnet for butterflies and several species of bees. When the sun shines here, the area is all a flutter.

AND THE REST…

                                                                   

The oak Leaf hydrangea turns amethyst, true to its name. (Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Amethyst’)

                                                                    

Annabelle hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’) is that lovely Chartreuse colour, blends beautifully with the hosta. Notice there is no foliage left on Annabelle. The deer love her. 

                                                                         Hydrangea ‘Snowflake’ is still flowering..

                                                                     but starting to show some browning.

                                                                   

The berries on the viburnums are ripening, these above  will be red…

                                                                  

and these are the yellow berries of Viburnum ‘Michael Dodge’ starting to colour up.

                                                                   

More delights, the seed heads of Clematis. Once described as curled up little terriers.

                                                                  

Figs are starting (above)… and below, ongoing blueberry harvest.

                                                                  

with more to come. The late blueberries are just starting. 

                                                                   

Ah, summertime!

* Penny McHenry dear friend and founder of the American Hydrangea Society.

© All photos & text 2010

NOT A GOOD THING!

I tried to grow some Clematis with Hydrangea paniculata, the late-blooming  panicle hydrangea, (sometimes refered to as ‘Pee Gee’ or ‘Tardiva’.) but this is not successful.

                                                                   

  Clematis Purpurea Plena Elegans In Hydrangea paniculata ‘Pink Diamond’    ( above & below)                                                               

This hydrangea is pruned drastically early spring. When the clematis starts to grow, the branches of the hydrangea are low and bare .  There,  they intertwine. The hydrangea however, keeps on growing, thus  the clematis  blooms deep in the shrub and not in front, where it is wanted.

 Here Clematis texensis ‘Gravetye Beauty’  hidden in  foliage.                                                                   

 Another lesson learned.

CLEMATIS CRUSH

I previously mentioned my Clematis Crush ( here and here ). Beside the beautiful flowers,  the fact is they require only vertical space. That makes them the perfect companion to any shrub or small tree. Most shrubs have a limited bloom time so a well-chosen  flowering vine can really extend the season of beauty. Also, from a design point of view, any element seen at eye level has tremendous impact.

 I thought I would showcase some of the clematis blooming in the garden now.

                                                                         

Clematis  viticella ‘Venosa Violacea’ climbing through a viburnum.

                                                                     

 Clematis texensis ‘Catherine Clanwilliam’ on an obilisk till it reaches into the branches of Styrax obassia. Below, looking up into the flowers.

                                                                      

                                                                      

Clematis ‘Piilu’ or sometimes called ‘Little Duckling’, an Estonian hybrid with smaller flowers.

Most of  the above are blooming in viburnums that are passed their peak.  The clematis fill the  gap between bloom time and berries in this part of the garden.

Below, Clematis ‘Rouge Cardinal’ being trained to clothe Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Snowflake’.

                                                                     

Finally, Clematis purpurea plena elegans, chosen to bloom with the roses. Below.

                                                                     

I hope you consider adding some to your garden.

© All photos & text 2010

AN INVITATION

To a peek through parts of my garden. Nothing is styled here, this is real-time. Hoses snaking around beds and weeds.

                                                                           

Poppies, from a dear friend who acquired them from a 90-year-old gardener 40 years ago. End of this month we will celebrate her 94th birthday.

                                                                     

 some semi double, some single,  all stunning.

                                                                       

I spread the poppy seed on cultivated soil in the late fall, after a rain. These seeds need light to germinate. If they were scattered in cultivated dry soil & then watered the soil would cover the seed, excluding the light.

I always allow the seed pods to ripen. After extracting the seed to be used in bread making and saving some for the garden, the pods are used in  dry arrangements. This is an annual show.

And there are more Clematis.

                                                                     

This  Clematis is ‘Multi-Blue’,  the Viburnum  is ‘Michael Dodge’.  The viburnum  flowers will turn to clusters of  yellow berries in the fall when HOPEFULLY, the clematis will bloom again.

                                                                      

Another clematis, ‘Duchess of Edinburgh’ cascading through a Tea Olive (Osmanthus fragrans).

And finally,

                                                                      

The Potager. Growing now, Onions, Leeks and garlic. All the beds are enclosed with wire to keep the rabbits out.

© All photos & text 2010

PLANTING GONE AWRY

Sometime, no matter how much thought goes into companion planting, It just does not give the results anticipated.

On a Variegated Tea Olive (Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Variegatus’) I planned a creamy white Clematis to peek through Tea Olive’s foliage.

 

                                                                            

 I did not plan on the green foliage of the Clematis!

                                                                      

So… variegated leaves peek through clematis foliage to pick up the creamy white flower!

Not exactly what I had expected. Pretty still.

© All photos & text