HYDRANGEA TOUR PART 2

                                                                     

The second garden on tour was that of Cheryl & Max Lenker.

It is a perfect English Style Cottage Garden; complete with rose arbor entrance, boxwood lined walk and welcoming plaque…

 The mixed borders are masterfully planted …

featuring an elegant shade structure that serves as focal point.

Adjacent to the house is an outdoor living room with all the accoutrements for gracious living & entertaining.

                                                                                                   

From this area one can enjoy the sound and sight of a split stream waterfall.

                                                                           

If one ascends to the upper level one crosses the waterfall.

Here the character of the garden changes and one discovers a quiet shaded walkway …

and a place for contemplation.

This garden has it all and of course the hydrangeas were fabulous!

We all see different elements in a garden, I have not touched on the amazing front of this house, so for more  on this garden see PRETTY OLD HOUSES  and LINDARAXA.

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.

THE FIRST CAMELLIA

The first camellia to bloom in my garden is Camellia sinensis, the Tea Plant.

                                                                                  

No big drumroll for it is not the showiest, but then neither are crocuses, yet we delight to see them.

 This plant is my introduction to the Camellia Season, and yes, this is the plant from which tea is made.

                                                                                             

Fast on its heels is Camellia sasanqua ‘Sparkling Burgundy’. 

                                                                                        

 Camellias and hydrangeas have the same cultural requirements; below, another  good reason to plant them in close proximity.

                                                                                              

This was taken in the ‘Circle of Friends’ so you can see this area is really non-stop beautiful throughout the year.

                                                                                   

A bit blurry, but you get the idea.

 BTW my Camellia sinensis has provenance. It was gifted to me from Penny McHenry but it was a seedling from the garden of Martha Tate.

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.

A GARDENER’S DILEMMA

Some areas of my garden are incomplete. The bones are all there, but the planting is far from ‘done’. For example, the lilies I have recently featured …

                                                                            

are a perfect companion to Hydrangea paniculata

                                                                                    

however, they are planted on either side of the bench in my cutting garden and not together.

                                                                                         

 So here is this gardener’s dilemma…do I dig up the lilies and plant them with the hydrangea or transplant the hydrangea? That’s a young gardener’s thought process.

 At my age I am thinking the easiest way to achieve what I would like, would be to strike cuttings of the hydrangea and plant them with the lilies. MUCH EASIER, the caveat being  TIME. It will take a few years to get the effect I am looking for.

Why isn’t life simpler? The young have both the time and energy…. need I say more?

WILD THINGS

Time for the WILD THINGS! 

                                                                                                 

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) popping up in the meadow. The name is derived from the red sap which bleeds as the stem is cut or the root disturbed. The Indians used this sap for paint and as a dye.

                                                                                  

 Trillium cuneatum naturalized in the meadow. I cannot take credit for this…they were here before me and keep multiplying.

                                                                                            

Woodland phlox (Phlox divericata) naturalized with the Trillium….delicate & fragrant.

I encourage all these to increase by allowing their seed to ripen and disperse before the meadow is cut. Slowly & surely this is happening. Every year at this time I wonder if I will live long enough to see my vision come to fruition. But then again its about the journey, and I am enjoying this one immensely.

© All photos & text 2011

CAMELLIA MADNESS

The Camellia Walk  is in full flower.

                                                                                                                                                                                  

 The Helleborus are also at their peak, I love them together, makes for a lush planting…the only kind.

                                                                                   

Just about here, I turn around to see………

                                                                                                                                                                                            The daffodils in The Meadow.                                           

Up close & personal………                                                                                       

                                                                                              

                                                                                                      

                                                                                            

© All photos & text 2011

ANOTHER ESSENTIAL PERENNIAL

Arum italicum ‘Pictum’ is, in my mind, essential in any garden where it is hardy.  This perennial sends out its foliage in the late fall and remains green all winter.

                                                                                       

The handsome leaves resemble arrowheads with strong creamy veining. They make a sensational groundcover. Since one NEVER cuts the leaves off daffodils (Narcissus),  the Arum makes a  good companion for them in a vase.

                                                                                              

In spring  a creamy spathe appears. The flower & foliage disappear in the summer, followed by a column of orange/red berries.

If one gardens in zones 6-9 they are indispensable in the winter shade garden.

© All photos  & text 2011

INDISPENSABLE PERENNIALS 2

Another indispensable perennial for the  winter garden would be  Epimedium or Barrenwort. Pleasant foliage all summer turning bronze / rose in the winter. They make a very useful groundcover in dry shade and  are magnificent paired with Helleborus. Below in my garden…

                                                                                             

 In very early spring the delicate flowers, commonly called Fairy Wings, emerge and proclaim winter officially over.

 Although they find their way into my miniature vases, they are by no means ‘show stoppers’. I use them primarily as ‘filler’ although some of the newer varieties just introduced from Asia can definitely stand on their own. Below Epimedium ‘Making Waves’

                                                                                            

 I encourage you to add some to your garden. The best & newest  can be found at http://www.plantdelights.com Another bonus… they are deer resistant.

Photo of  Epimedium “Making Waves’   used with permission from Plant Delights Nursery.

AN INDISPENSABLE PERENNIAL

I am not a huge proponent of perennials. I find they require too much maintenance for a very short show and then, even the foliage disappears for the winter. There are of course exceptions. Peonies for example are worth whatever effort is required for even one day of bloom but of course they do last 10 days to 2 weeks in the garden and are stunning in a vase (see Reggie Darling on the pronunciation). The foliage too is quite handsome for most of the summer and useful in arrangements with other flowers as well.

The perennials I consider indispensable are those that have evergreen foliage. Perhaps the best of these are the Hellebores (Helleborus species).

                                                                                                  

They exhibit handsome leathery foliage, appreciate shade, and furnish the garden with much-needed greenery when it is most welcome .

I particularly like them planted at the feet of deciduous shrubs…

                                                                                             

 and at the base of large trees where not much else will grow.

                                                                                                

  Planted in masses, they make an effective ground cover.

Even in northern climates where there is snow cover for most of the winter, their flowers popping up through the melting snow is a sight to behold.

I do hope you include some in your landscape.

© All photos & text 2011

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

PROJECT MOURNING BENCH

For this area, the Vinca has too  much movement & energy; the glossy leaves reflect so much light one can hardly make out the ‘star plants’…

                                                                 

  So out it went (to a friend’s garden).

                                                                   

The golden club Moss,(Selaginella kraussiana ‘Aurea’) on the other hand, has a matt texture & absorbs the light. It makes a much calmer background which allows the ‘stars’ to shine..

                                                                     

This is so much better. I first added a wheelbarrow of rabbit manure & raked it over the ground. No digging is done here because there are Trillium rhizomes underground. Then I dug up the Selaginella from the path on the other side…

                                                                  

                                                                   

And transplanted it. While I tried for whole ‘sheets ‘ of the moss, it falls apart, so little pieces with roots are pushed into the ground. They will shortly spread to form the carpet needed for this area.  All the while…                                                                     

  Cleome supervised.  

This type of gardening is really painting beautiful pictures with plants…but the one element the other arts do not have to deal with is TIME.  If I was using paints or pencils…it would already be coloured in.  

The Star plants are:-

                                                                      Black Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’)

                                                                   East Indian Holly Fern (Polystichum acrostichoides)  and…

                                                                       Amorphophallus rivieri, a type of voodoo Lilly.. all improved by changing their background.

                                                                  

                                                                  

A good days work all in all, and part of another project started.

                                                                   

“Success depends on simplicity, one plant supplying the quiet background, while the other stands out clearly against it.” – Sylvia Crowe*

*Sylvia Crowe, distinguished British Landscape architect.

© All photos & text 2010

THE CONTINUING SAGA OF…

Here is what I have learned about Lilium formosanum, The Formosa Lily.

                                                                      

It DOES have a fragrance… at night, not as sweet or strong as ‘Casablanca’ lilies, but potent none the less. They last perfectly for exactly three days  in the vase before starting to decline. With judicious grooming the bouquet can last 4-5 days. I had to remove it from the house as both my husband and I experienced symptoms of allergy. Still we endured another 24 hours  before relegating it to the veranda.

                                                                     

In the garden they are still going strong. 

                                                                     

 In the cutting garden their tall and lanky habit is exposed. BUT in my mind’s eye I have combined them with the Hydrangea  paniculata blooming at the same time.

                                                                     

I think that would be a lovely plant marriage. The H. paniculata will provide the camouflage the gawky lily stems require, and the white flowers, one lacy…

                                                                     

 the other bold …

                                                                       

will be a fabulous combination. (as is the one above) See this post on combining plants.

All in all the adventures with lilies comes to a close…for now, the seed heads are very interesting and I expect PLENTY of seed to share.

I wonder if the clematis buried in all that foliage could be persuaded to climb the lily stem…???

© All photos & text 2010

GARDEN TOUR ENGLAND & WALES

Its travel season again.  If my passport does not get here in time, I will  be homebound. I am consoling  myself with  photographs from trips past & exercising a mighty imagination!

with Tara Dillard (left) above, we enjoyed this perennial garden which we entered via. . .

this opened gate, (above) we found. . .

along this wall.

Look at the perfectly edged Vegetable garden below. Can this be real? No mulch, that means constant weeding & cultivating!

Look at these gardens below. The English are masters of the ‘mixed border’.

Notice how the repetition of tall plants gives the  border  below rhythm, while the one above is colour driven.                                                                     

Ancient yews,

some clipped into fantastical shapes,

elegant balustrading punctuated by a pot on every pier. . .                                                              and  the incomparable countryside …                                                                      There must always be time for tea.

and more gardens. . .

featuring hydrangeas!! I know I promised no more … but these  are not mine and I can’t help that others find them as appealing as I do.

© All photos & text 2010