SO NOT READY!!!

 It’s really September and I am so not ready for the change of seasons. The Camellia  sasanqua  ‘Sparkling Burgundy’ is blooming….

and all the berries on the viburnums are full & beautiful…

Neglected area..or should I say areas I left to Mother Nature are actually lovely, nurturing many beneficial insects, Humming birds  and other wildlife

…including deer. I’ve stopped chasing them away.. they love these hydrangeas!

Once again, The Season of The Mourning Bench………….

ALMOST MISSED IT!

                                                                                       I was away for the peak bloom of the lilies, in fact I almost missed it. They do bloom  over an extended period of time so I was able to cut a few that are still looking good today.

                                                                                                 My bouquet was pretty sparse this year so I had to fill in with Hydrangeas; three types, Hydrangea paniculata, Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ and Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Penny Mac’

                                                                                                       

Not my usual Beverley Nichols moment but still lovely…..

                                                                                                

I discovered last year, they give off a delightful fragrance….at night.

A HUGE thank you to  ‘Little Augury’ a blog that stimulates and inspires. THANK YOU for that wonderful mention!

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

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

HYDRANGEA PANICULATA

Hydrangea paniculata is one of my favorite hydrangeas.These are the hydrangeas my grandmother grew in Montreal, Canada. She also grew H. paniculata grandiflora,aka Pee Gee but I don’t have that cultivar in my garden. (soon to be rectified)

                                                                    

From Left, cultivars ‘Pink Diamond’ ‘Tardiva’ ‘Chantilly Lace’

The major differences in the cultivars are the size of the sterile florets and foliage, ‘Pink Diamond’ being the largest.

This hydrangea can be cut to the ground and it will grow right back and bloom late summer.(see here) I guess that is why it was the choice in her Zone 3 garden. The winter would cut everything to the ground. However, it is NOT necessary to cut it back. The flowers (pyramidal panicles) will be more profuse but smaller if left unpruned.

I also have observed H. paniculata ‘Fragrant Mountain’ given to me by Eddie Aldridge* but it seems to be a later flowering plant and it has not yet opened. Last year I observed that there was NO fragrance, but maybe this year…

 

*Eddie Aldridge and his father discovered and introduced the Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Snowflake’. Eddie and his lovely wife Kay donated their home and acreage  to establish Aldridge Botanical Gardens in Hoover Alabama. Visit if you can, it is extraordinary! Read Eddie’s book ‘A Garden of Destiny’

© 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

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.