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.

FRAMING THE VIEW

Recently, Tara Dillard of A Garden View, posted  about frames in the landscape. It brought to mind a lovely vignette I saw in a garden while in England. Initially I thought an artist had set up to paint.

As I approached

                                                                       

I saw

                                                                        

What had been ‘Framed’.

 The lesson here is that framing a view brings it into relief.  Scroll back to the last photo, see the difference? See Tara’s post here.

©All photos & text 2010

GARDEN UPDATE CONTINUED

                                                                      

Plants with a cascading habit,  call attention to the ground plane.  Above, The heavy flowers of  Snowflake Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Snowflake’),  draw the eye to the  Japanese painted fern (Athyrium nipponicum).

                                                                     

 The flower on ‘Snowflake’  has  double sepals, significantly different from that                                                                    of ‘Amethyst’ above, or ‘Alice’ below.

                                                                      

                                                               

Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’   forming it’s  flower heads. This is one hydrangea that SHOULD BE PRUNED early spring. These hydrangeas form flower buds on NEW GROWTH.

UPDATE ON EPHEMERALS:

                                                                   

The Trillium are fading, (see yellow foliage). What will clothe the ground now is Vinca. I really tried for Selaginella kraussiana aurea, below

                                                                    

 but it prefers the path so I’m going to stop fighting and let the vinca do its thing.

                                                                   

Arum foliage has died down & the berries have formed. They need to ripen, then they will be spread where more are needed. See previous post on Arum.

FINALLY THE POTAGER:

 Below squash, peppers, cucumbers, beans, Eggplant                                                                  

  and below, TOMATOES!!                                                                

 Have a great week end!

©All photos and text 2010

GARDEN UPDATE

The  Hydrangea serrata are in bloom.

                                                                         

Hydrangea serrata ‘Kurenai’ + Hydrangea serrata ‘Shichidanka’

                                                                     

Close up of flowers, H. serrata ‘Kurenai’  above. H. serrata ‘Shichidanka’ below.

                                                                   

 The grapes will soon obscure my old tool collection. below.

                                                                   

 Mouth watering anticipation…Blackberries (thornless).

                                                                    

Base of Tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) with a river of Japanese Painted fern (Athyrium nipponicum) & Japanese  Hydrangea-vine (Schizophragma hydrangeaoides ‘Moonlight’) Below.

Oak Leaf Hydrangeas ( Hydrangea quercifolia) below, in all their glory.

                                                                   

© All photos & text 2010

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

TEXTURE

How important is Texture?  Texture can be more pleasing than flowers, and persist longer. In smaller gardens where every design element  is seen up close, it is of particular importance.

                                                                    

Here the  bold glossy leaves of  Lenten Rose (Helleborus orientalis)  stand in a mass of delicate Maidenhair fern (Adiantum capillus-veneris).

                                                                      Plants used for background need to be fine, dense and matt in order to be a suitable foil for either statuary or flowers. Above St. Fiacre against a matt evergreen Arborvitae (Thuja plicata).  On either side the coarse, shining leaves of Gardenia (Gardenia japonica) and  Banana Shrub (Michelia figo),  reflect too much light to be an effective background.

Contrasting textures apply not only to plant relationships.

                                                        Here the fine ferny foliage of Japanese Maple ( Acer palmatum) stand out in sharp contrast to the smooth Bluestone walkway.

                                                                      

 The best effects are achieved with simplicity.  Texture = contrast = beauty.

© All photos & text 2010

SOMETIMES

It works just like one imagined!

                                                                          

It has taken some years but finally the Variegated Aralia (Acanthopanax sieboldianus  ‘Variegatus’ now called  Eleutherococcus sieboldianus) is sending it’s graceful arching canes into the Viburnum dilatatum.

                                                                                                                                                       

Later these viburnum flowers will become clusters of red berries, many will grace the Thanksgiving floral centerpiece.

                                                                          

Somewhere in there is planted a white clematis. It has not been seen yet this season. Although the earlier viburnums have a delicious  fragrance, these do not…

© 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