I am always delighted to hear from readers. On occasion, I even get an invitation to visit their gardens!
Teresa is regular reader and passionate gardener who has managed to fit an amazing array of plants, trees and shrubs in a modest urban garden. We had a pleasant morning strolling through her garden talking about plants.
The garden starts in the front yard and continues all the way around her red brick home. In this picture you can see the garden that runs the length of the driveway and a glimpse of the patio area.
One of my personal favourites is this little vignette with a table and two chairs.
I also love the simplicity of the variegated ivy and the beige urn.
Adjacent to the front door is a small patio area with an umbrella providing shade. Plantings at the front of the house make the area private.
Teresa has added color with cheerful blue accessories and restricted the plantings to a quiet palette of green and white.
The fountain was a welcome gift.
A table adjacent to the front pathway.
Next on our tour is the backyard. At the corner of the house is a very pretty hydrangea. The blooms start off magenta-pink and slowly fade to a soft beige.
'Invincibelle Spirit' has magenta-pink flowers that fade to soft beige. 'Invincibelle Spirit' prefers full sun, but will tolerate part shade. It blooms on new wood, so prune in late winter/early spring. Height: 4-5ft inches. Spread: 4-5ft inches. USDA zones: 3-8.
On the left is the pathway to the backyard. On the right is a detailed look at the begonia you see in the hanging baskets.
Tucked into a corner at the back of the house is a dining area with seating for six. There is no fence between neighbouring properties, so Teresa has used a tall metal shelf to add some privacy. The shelf is also the perfect excuse to create a display of plants and favourite collectables.
Tropical indoor plants spend their summer's outdoors in Teresa's container plantings. Just before the first frost in the fall, she cleans them up and brings them back indoors for the winter.
Oakleaf Crotons have become popular indoor plants. They have leathery leaves that start out green and become accented with yellow and orange as they mature. They can grow as large as 5-6ft. Full sun.
Right next to the dining area is more comfortable seating. In the lower left of this picture, you can see more of Teresa's collection of hydrangeas.
Oakleaf Hydrangea, Hydrangea quercifolia gets its name from its foliage which is shaped like the leaves of an oak tree. Oakleaf hyrangeas like hot summers and can tolerate dry conditions much more than many other types of hydrangeas. They like rich, well-drained soil. There are both single and double blossom varieties. They bloom on old wood, so prune just after it flowers. Note: they are not as cold hardy as some other types of hydrangeas. Full sun or part shade (depending on the variety). USDA zones:5-9.
A few cultivars to watch for:
'Spikes Dwarf' is a dwarf variety with a compact, rounded shape. The flowers are white and fade to pink. Full sun to part shade. Height: 2-3ft, Spread: 3-4ft. USDA zones:5-9.
Proven Winner's 'Gatsby Gal' has white flowers on a smaller shrub. Height: 60-72 inches, Spread: 60-72 inches. USDA zones:5-9.
Monrovia's 'Ruby Slippers' has white flowers that quickly turn pink. The foliage turns mahogany in fall. Part shade. Height: 3-4 ft, Spread: 4-5ft. USDA zones:5-9.
Proven Winner's 'Snow Queen' has white flowers that turn pink. Part sun. Height:4-5ft, Spread: 6ft. USDA zones:5-9.
Monrovia's 'Alice' is one of the larger cultivars. The flowers are white. In the fall, the foliage turns crimson. Part shade. Height: 12-15 ft, Spread: 12-15 ft. USDA zones:5-9.
This is the flowerbed that runs along the back fence. A row of cedars forms a backdrop for the planting that takes advantage of every square inch of space.
1. Tree Peony, Paeonia suffruticosa 2. Ligularia 3. Maiden grass, Miscanthus 4. Lavender 5. Agapanthus (summer flowering bulb that is hardy USDA zones: 8-10. They can also grown elsewhere with some winter protection or by overwintering the bulbs indoors.) 6. Weigela
I am not sure of the identity of this hosta, but here are several cultivars that have a green leaf with a stripe of butter yellow:
Hosta 'Stripease' has green leaves with a golden-yellow centre. Height: 45-50 cm ( 18-20 inches), Spread: 90-120 cm (35-47 inches). USDA zones:2-9.
Hosta 'Touch of Class' has blue-green leaves a central streak of pale yellow. Height: 30-40 cm (12-16 inches), Spread: 45-60 cm (18-23 inches). USDA zones:2-9.
Hosta 'High Society' has a warm yellow centre that brightens to white mid-summer. Height: 20-25 cm (8-10 inches), Spread: 40-60 cm (16-23 inches). USDA zones:2-9.
Hosta 'Thunderbolt' has thick, rubbery leaves with a gold flash down the centre. Height: 60-75 cm (23-29 inches), Spread: 75-90 cm (29-35 inches). USDA zones:2-9.
Big Leaf hydrangea, Hydrangea Macrophylla
A re-blooming daylily with yellow flowers, a red Bee Balm, Monarda, a variegated Dogwood shrub and Smoke Tree, Cotinus in behind.
A few Re-blooming daylilies to watch for:
Hemerocallis 'Sunset Returns' forms a compact clump of grass-like foliage and has fragrant golden-apricot flowers. Height: 30-40 cm (12-16 inches), Spread: 45-60 cm (18-23 inches). USDA zones:2-9.
Hemerocallis 'Red Hot Returns' has orange-red flowers with a lime-colored throat. Semi-evergreen. Height: 50-60 cm (20-23 inches), Spread: 45-60 cm (18-23 inches). USDA zones:4-9.
Hemerocallis 'Rosy Returns' has rose-pink flowers with a dee-pink eye and a yellow throat. Height: 30-35 cm (12-14 inches), Spread: 45-60 cm (18-23 inches). USDA zones:2-9.
Hemerocallis 'Stella de Oro' has fragrant golden-yellow flowers. Height: 25-30 cm (10-12 inches), Spread: 30-60 cm (12-23 inches). USDA zones:2-9.
A grass pathway leads into a little alcove where Teresa has a collection of hosta, miniature hosta and other shade loving plants.
A Buddha watches over a tiny hosta.
Hosta 'Blue Mouse Ears' is a miniature hosta with blue-green foliage and lavender flowers. Good slug resistance. Part shade to full shade. Height: 10-15 cm (4-6 inches), Spread: 20-30 cm (8-12 inches). USDA zones:2-9.
The plantings continue right around the side of the house. A grass path leads you back to the patio area at the front.
Thank you Teresa for a lovely visit!