Wednesday, April 30, 2014

More Gardening Videos


Here in North America we totally lack good programs on gardening, so it is no wonder I had a request for more links to U.K. garden shows.

Here are links to the first 8 episodes of Gardener's World 2014: Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3, Episode 4, Episode 5, Episode 6,  Episode 7 and Episode 8

Enjoy!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Joe's Garden: Part 1


As I sat down to write this post, I tried to think of the perfect adjective to describe Joe and the word "gentleman" sprang to mind. Joe is a gentleman in the most traditional sense of the word. Retired for a number of years now, he is a petite, shy man. He is also a serious plant collector, who weather permitting, can't wait to rush out the door each morning to work in his garden.

A regular feature on garden tours and open on a number of occasions each summer, Joe's garden is probably one of the city's best known private gardens. Like so many of the gardens I share, this garden is a labour of love. There are over 6000 plants that are tended with the greatest care. As you will see, the flowerbeds are all meticulously groomed and edged with exacting precision.


The drawing above is a very rough layout of the garden. Pathways take you down either side of the house and into the backyard. Right outside the back door there is a garden of roses and perennials. Just beyond that is a swimming pool and deck area. Toward the back of the property there are two symmetrical gardens with a central area of lawn in each. Then, back through a series of rose covered arches, is a potting area.


Let's take a stroll, shall we, starting off on the path to the right of the garage.

Astilbe chinensis var. taquetii, 'Superba': Feathery magenta pink flowers in early summer. Height: 90-120, Spread: 60-75 cm  Part shade to shade. Average to moist growing conditions. Normal, sandy and clay soils are fine. USDA Zones: 3-9 


For now, we will take a quick glance at the rose garden. In an upcoming post, we will come back for another look at the roses.



Hydrangea 'Annabelle': Height: 1.2- 1.8 m Spread: 1.2- 1.8 m. Average to medium well-drained soil. Intolerant of drought. Blooms on new wood and should be pruned in late winter to encourage strong new growth. USDA Zones 4-9.



Hydrangea 'Invincibelle Pink Annabelle': Height: 100 cm, Spread: 100 cm Sun or shade. Flowers June to September with deadheading.


Musk Mallow, Malva: Full sun. Height: 45-70 cm, Spread: 45-60cm. Average growing conditions. Normal, sandy or clay soil. Satiny, single hibiscus-like flowers in early summer. Cutting back the plant in August will encourage it to over winter better and survive longer. Readily self-seeds. USDA Zones 3-9.



A mix of perennials including several hosta, a Brunnera, a Heuchera and a Pulmonaria.


Astrantia major 'Roma': Average to moist soil and part shade to sun are best for Astrantia. Height: 60-90 cm, Spread: 45-60, USDA Zones: 3-9


A lovely combination:

European Meadowsweet, Filipendula ulmaria has ferny foliage and flowers similar to an Astilbe. Plants form a bushy clump with creamy-white flowers in early summer. This plant does best in moist soil in sun or part shade. Trim flowers after they bloom. Height 75-120 cm, Spread: 45-60 cm. USDA Zones 3-9

Astrantia major 'Roma': Average to moist soil and part shade to sun are best for Astrantia. Height: 60-90 cm, Spread: 45-60, USDA Zones: 3-9

Phlox Paniculata 'David's Lavender': Full sun or part shade. Height: 90-120 cm Spread: 60-75 Moist to average growing conditions are best. Sandy or clay soil.  Fragrant. USDA Zones 3-9.


Joe has an array of hostas that would be the envy of most gardeners. He combines them in groups and also mixes them in usual ways as he has done with these Carefree Delight Roses.



 

Coreopsis blooms for weeks and is a great self-seeder.





Variegated Japanese Knotweed, Fallopia japonicaVariegata: Joe has the free time to be vigilant with his perennials. Based on my own experiences, I would be very cautious of planting any Knotweeds! Maybe this is one plant that is best grown in a container. Morning sun or part shade. Height: 150-180 cm, Spread: 90-120 cm. Part shade. Average to moist growing conditions are best. Normal, sandy or clay soil. USDA Zones 2-9.

Hosta 'Sun Power': This variety of hosta has large chartreuse to gold foliage. Height: 70-75 cm, Spread: 120-150cm. Part shade. Average to moist growing conditions are best. Normal, sandy or clay soil. USDA Zones 2-9.



Phlox Paniculata 'David's Lavender': Full sun or part shade. Height: 90-100 cm Spread: 60-75.  Fragrant. Average to moist growing conditions are best. Sandy or clay soil. Resistant to powdery mildew. USDA Zones 3-9.



Echinacea 'Double Scoop Bubblegum': Height: 60-65 cm, Spread: 40-55 cm. Full sun. Average, dry or moist growing conditions. Normal, sandy or clay soils work. Attractive to butterflies. USDA Zones 4-9.

False Mallow, Sidalcea 'Party Girl': Is a personal favourite of mine. Height: 60-90 cm, Spread: 30-45 cm. Full sun or part shade. Blooms early summer, and with deadheading, again in the fall. Average or moist growing conditions. Normal, sandy or clay soils are fine. They self-seed, but not to the point of becoming a nuisance. USDA Zones 4-9.


Phlox Paniculata 'David's Lavender': Full sun or part shade. Height: 90-120 cm Spread: 60-75. Moist growing conditions are best. Sandy or clay soil. USDA Zones 3-9.




Yellow Fumitory, Corydalis lutea: Height: 20-40 cm, Spread: 25-30 cmPart to full shade. Nice ferny foliage and pretty yellow flowers from June into fall. Average to moist growing conditions. Readily self-seeds, but seedlings are easy to pull. USDA Zones: 3-9

Creeping Thyme, Thymus 'Doone ValleyHeight: 5-10 cm, Spread: 30-60 cm. Full sun. Needs well-drained soil. Average to dry growing conditions.


Trumpet Creeper, Campsis radocans: Trumpet Creeper can reach a height of up to 40' and can spread as much a 10'. In other words, it is a pretty aggressive vine that is hard to control. Full sun to part shade. Easily grown in moist soils. Blooms on new growth so spring pruning is not a problem. Attractive to Hummingbirds. USDA Zones: 4-9


Hybrid Mullein, Verbascum chaixii Height: 40-55 cm, Spread:3--45 cm. Full sun. Average to dry growing conditions. Well-drained normal, sandy or clay soils are fine. Plants flower for a long period and tend to exhaust themselves, so it is a good idea to take cuttings in spring to make new plants. USDA Zones: 5-9



Sneezeweed, Helenium autumnale 'Moerheim Beauty': Height: 75-100 cm, Spread: 45-60 cm. Full sun. Average to Moist growing conditions. Plant likes fertile, well-drained soil. Pinch back in June for a fuller, shorter plant. Attractive to butterflies. USDA Zones 4-9.




Trumpet Lilies by the back door.



This Climbing Hydrangea is only about 5 or 6 years old! 

Climbing Hydrangea, Hydrangea anomala petiolaris: is a large deciduous vine that can reach as much as 50 ft at maturity.  In early summer this vine produces lacy, flat-topped flowers 5 inches or more in width. Shade, part shade or sun if well watered. Plant in rich, well-drained, moisture retentive soil. One drawback is they are slow growers and can take years to really get going. Once established they do grow more quickly and may need pruning in summer after they flower. USDA Zones 4-7

Here's a link to Joe's Garden Part 2


Bookmark this post with a Pin.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Two Challenges/Two Water Features


It has been awhile since I have showcased any gardens with water features, and so I thought I would make up for it today. Each of the two gardens, I am about to show you, faced a number of hurdles when it came to designing a water feature. 

In the first garden, size was an issue: the backyard was a shallow, long, rectangular piece of property with not much room for a pond. 

The delicately balanced ecosystem of a healthy pond requires full sun or part shade at the very least. Mature trees however, cast most of this particular backyard into shade. 


In answer the challenge of insufficient sunlight, the pond was placed off centre and close to the back fence where there was a small pocket of sunshine. 

Water flows from a reservoir next to the fence and spills from a small waterfall into a shallow pond. To the right there is an area of lawn and to the left there is a patio area of flagstones and fine gravel.





Plantings around the pond include a pale mauve Clematis, a variety of grasses, daylilies, Bigroot Geranium, 'Geranium macrorrhizum', a Japanese Maple and a Corkscrew Hazel.

Next to the house a Penstemon, 'Husker Red' glows in the afternoon sunshine. 

Penstemon 'Husker Red': Full Sun. Height 75-90 cm, Spread: 30-45 cm. Normal, sandy or clay soils are all suitable. Average to moist growing conditions. Flowers are attractive to butterflies. USDA Zones: 3-9


Bigroot Cranesbill Geranium, Geranium macrorrhizum: Full sun, part shade or even full shade. Height 25- 30 cm, Spread: 45-60 cm. Normal, sandy or clay soils are all suitable. This is a pretty adaptable geranium: average, dry or moist growing conditions all work. Magenta-pink flowers in early summer. USDA Zones: 2-9

Goat's Beard, Aruncus dioicus assumes grand proportions, but is a wonderful 
plant for part shade if you have the space.

Goat's Beard, Aruncus dioicus: Full sun or part shade. Height 120-180 cm, Spread: 90-150 cm. Moist or wet growing conditions. USDA Zones: 2-9


The difficulty this next backyard presented was a fairly steep slope. The designers of this water feature  turned what could have been a problem into an asset. 

Just off the back deck, they put a koi pond (hidden from this vantage point by the plantings around it).





From the koi pond, the water runs down the sloping terrain and under a small foot bridge.

Yellow Loosestrife, Lysimachia punctata: Lysimachia punctata is a vigorous plant that forms a spreading clump with spikes of star-shaped yellow flowers.  

Yellow Loosestrife, Lysimachia punctata: Full sun, part shade or even full shade. Height 60-90 cm, Spread: 60-90 cm. Normal, sandy or clay soils are all suitable. In a border Yellow Losestrife needs to be reduced in size every year or two so it does not take over. There are a number of newer cultivars, some of which are better than others. I'd recommend doing a bit of research before selecting this plant for your garden. USDA Zones: 2-9


The stream empties into a second, larger pond at a lower elevation.





Do you see the frog stretched out on lily pads? 

Isn't that the life! Sunbathing and swimming all summer long.