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?

MORE LILIES!

Starring in the Cutting Garden now are lilies!!

                                                                                         

                                                                                Above, Lilium ‘Montreal’ and Lily                                              

 I love them with hydrangeas.

                                                                                          

 a few feathery branches of Kerria japonica  and we are done. (not done yet!)

Several years ago, on a first consultation, I watched my perspective client pull together an  arrangement on a grand scale in no time at all while we talked about her needs in regard to her ‘outdoor space’. I always try to emulate her. The arrangement was loose, natural & ‘happy’, the  antithesis of   Beverly Nichols’ ‘Our Rose’, famous for torturing stems into fantastical & outlandish shapes.  I recently visited with the  gracious Ms C. I will post her garden in the next few days.

Meanwhile…..harvest from the Potager…..

                                                                                          

How fortuitous to have a coordinating bowl for Delicata squash!

© all photos 2011

HYDRANGEAS, HYDRANGEAS, EVERYWHERE!

                                                                                     

 In the summer,  Hydrangeas form the backbone of the shade garden, they will carry the garden through the summer and keep my vases filled as well.. 

                                                                                                                                                        

In The Circle of Friends, the camellias are  now backdrop, and these beauties are showing  their stuff.

                                                                                     

Most Hydrangeas are rounded in form. From a distance they are indistinguishable…                                                                                 

On closer inspection however……

                                                                                         

many are quite distinctive, above Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Jogasaki’

                                                                                         

                                                                                         

The lacecap Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Lanarth White’ above.

                                                                                         

Hydrangea quercifolia & Hydrangea macrophylla above. Although I do enjoy the delicate lacecap flowers, the big blue or white balls are certainly  eye-catching in the landscape.

                                                                                   

Above, Oakleaf Hydrangeas mark the entrance to the Viburnum Court.

What carries your garden through summer?

LILIES

  I cannot describe my elation when I came in with this bouquet gathered this morning.

                                                                                    

Lilium formosanum. Stunning, but no fragrance.  Okay, I’ll forgive that, very easy to grow, comes readily from seed & blooms the first year.  In fact most all of these seeded themselves.

                                                                                

Late blooming with fabulous seed capsules that are choice if one does dry flowers for the winter BUT… knowing I would  post about them today, I looked them up in Armitage*.

“Unfortunately bulbs are susceptible to virus diseases, particularly lily mosaic. The virus causes rapid decline of the bulb and increases the potential of infection to other bulb species in the garden. To avoid infection, it is not advisable to plant Formosa lilies among other lilies.”

Deflated!!  Well I’ll think about that tomorrow, right now I am going to enjoy my Beverly Nichols* moment!

* Allan Armitage  is THE acknowledged expert in herbaceous perennials & is professor in the department of Horticulture, University of Georgia. Author of Herbaceous Perennial Plants. A Treatise on their Identification, Culture and Garden Attributes. (a must for every garden library)

*Beverly Nichols (1898-1983) writer, best remembered for his gardening trilogy Merry Hall, Laughter on the stairs & Sunlight on the Lawn. He loved lilies and grew masses of them in his garden. More on Beverly Nichols here. (Another must for a garden library.)

© All photos & text 2010