Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Late Summer at its most Beautiful (Part 2)

Ironweed, Vernonia noveboracenis at Edwards Garden. Height: 180-210 cm, 
Spread: 90-100 cm Full sun, prefers moist soil. 

I hope you had a super long weekend. 

We were very busy working in the garden and I have new things to show you- once I get out there and take a few pictures!

In the meantime, I have more late summer/early fall pictures to show you from my rambles here and there.

Summer Alliums, Lost Horizons Nursery

No matter how long you have been gardening, there is always something new that you haven't seen before or plants that you just plain overlooked.

I am very familiar with spring alliums, but summer flowering varieties of alliums have only recently grabbed my attention. I have a couple of varieties in my own garden (fairly new additions), and I am so taken with them, that I have started to notice them in other gardens as well.

Summer flowering Alliums in the spotty light of early morning at Lost Horizons Nursery. Sorry there was no ID available- quite possibly Allium 'Millenium'

There is always a getting-to-know-you phase with anything new to the garden. So far, my only concern is that these summer flowering alliums will set seed and spread a little too prolifically. To avoid any problems, I planted them in a spot where I can keep a good eye on them.

Also a soft, delicate beauty- Calamintha nepeta. This was my new favourite last summer. I haven't quite found the perfect spot for it though. 

Its pretty, the bees adore it, it blooms mid-summer and continues into fall-all great attributes, but where do you place something this dainty so that it doesn't get lost?

At Edwards Gardens, it has been placed at the feet of some tall Miscanthus. 
The purple spires are Liatris.

Spiderflower, Cleome with Zinnias in the distance at the Dixie Park in Brampton.

This was a drive-by shooting- I happened to see these huge Hibiscus flowers in a local garden and had to stop to take a picture. 

It always amazes me that something this tropical looking can happily find a home in a place with such freezing cold winters.

This one was growing at the Toronto Botanical Garden and so I have an ID for you. Swamp Rose Mallow, Hibiscus 'Kopper king' has coppery-red leaves and flowers that are 10-12" across. 

It dies back to the ground in autumn and does not break dormancy until late spring. Full sun, moist, rich soil. Mulch well in winter. Hardy zones 4-9 Height: 90-105 cm, Spread: 75-90 cm

Note to self- Japanese Maples and blue-green evergreens look stunning in fall.

Annual Fountain Grass, Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum' also looks great in 
combination with grey-green foliage.

Container planting at Edwards Garden 

Note the interesting use of the herbs sage and parsley in this container planting.

Davis Austin Rose, The Ingenious Mr Fairchild (Austijus) at Edwards Garden

Butterfly sipping nectar from a Butterfly Bush

Edwards Garden

Summer Snapdragon, Angelonia angustifolia 'Angelface' is an annual here that can be sown from seeds in spring. Full sun. Heat and drought tolerant.  Height: 45-60 cm, Spread: 30 cm

From the trial garden at Edwards Garden

Spiderflower, Cleome, Senorita Rosalita 'Inncleosr' a sterile Cleome that has bright magenta flowers. Full sun. Height: 60-90 cm, Spread: 45-60 cm

Edwards Garden in Toronto

Coneflower, Echinacea 'Colorburst Orange' Full sun. Height: 40-60 cm, Spread: 45-50 cm 

Can it possibly be the case that we need more varieties of Echinacea? 

It seems that some plant breeders think so. The Toronto Botanical Gardens was trialing several new varieties this summer.

Coneflower, Echinacea, 'Glowing Dream' is a compact Echinacea with watermelon-pink colored flowers. Full sun. Height: 40-60 cm, Spread: 45-50 cm

Hopefully up next are pictures of our latest garden projects.


  1. Realmente el verano es hermoso, es alegría!!Todas las fotografías son preciosas, con mucho color, me encantan!
    Un abrazo grande.

  2. I love reading your blog, but sometimes I wish you could just skip over to Sweden and teach me some hands on so to speak. :-)


  3. You live next to some gorgeous gardens... and your photos of the birds and butterflies are amazing too. I love keeping my eyes open for new plants. And I think white and other colors like light pink look best against a green background. Makes me wish I had a green house but it is tan so I have chosen some bold colors in the borders along the house. Hope you are having a good evening.

  4. Lovely shots of some very pretty flowers Jennifer.

  5. Gorgeous pictures, Jennifer. I haven't seen Edwards Gardens looking so beautiful in years - that shot of the lawn takes me back to my childhood as I spent many hours there.

    On my list is echinacea - don't know why I haven't bought any for my garden and I miss them at this time of year.

  6. Your gardens never cease to amaze me, Jennifer!
    So absolutely gorgeous.

  7. Beautiful! I love alliums, but they don't come back for me. Obviously, I'm doing something wrong. Laughed at the drive-by-shooting! Hibiscus are quite eye-catching! That photo of the Japanese maple with the blue evergreen is gorgeous. Looks very autumn-y. I would say that we have enough varieties of echinaceas, but these are quite pretty, so maybe not! ;)

  8. I was so tempted to pick up some of those Summer flowering Alliums the last time I was at our local nursery! I love their whimsy and form!! I have been trying not to plant too much right now because I have bad luck with late summer planting! You have convinced me to go out and get those for next year! Lovely shots Jennifer! Such beauty in your plant selections!

  9. It's all so beautiful, but I was particularly taken by the container plantings in Edwards Gardens!

  10. I'll second that, those containers were wonderful. The coneflowers are gorgeous, but I have given up on growing them myself.

  11. Calaminta nepeta is a favorite of mine as well. You're right that it is hard to place well - mine is in front of some Rudbeckia Goldstrum and it is kind of overwhelmed there. Do you have a problem with hibiscus sawfly up north? I have a Kopper King's sibling - Crown Jewels - and it is eaten alive by the hibiscus sawfly no matter what I do.

  12. I always enjoy your visits to other gardens, Jennifer--there's always some new idea to be found. The hardy Hisbiscus is the "new" plant I've found this year, too. We have one at our Idea Garden whose blooms can't be missed--they're huge. I especially like the ones with darker foliage and stems.

    I've added more summer allium to my garden in recent years, too; the different textures really add a nice accent. Looks like the goldfinches are adding their input to the trial echinaceas:)

  13. How beautiful this all is. So much wonderful color. Here everything is past bloom and pretty dried up. You are fortunate to still be surrounded by so much loveliness.

  14. Late summer is glorious. I love all the colors of coneflowers,especially the deep reds and burnt oranges you show. That little finch eating the seeds is a happy guy. All the end of summer shots are beautiful!

  15. beautiful photos! With the Nepeta, if you want it to stand out, perhaps put it in a container that will show it off, like a black tall pot? Then you can place it where you think it will be given enough attention. ;o)
    I'm growing my Nepeta (the standard variety) with a dwarf buddleia in a pot.

  16. What glorious pics....images to last us all well into the winter. I loved the butterfly drinking. Adorable.xxxx

  17. So much to see and respond to in this post Jennifer! Summer allium, the gorgeous containers (still in such good shape), the bees, the yellow bird, the Echinacea…..the list goes on! Glad you found these pockets of beauty so late in the season.

  18. Once again I love your post. So many beautiful photos!!! Love the Spiderflower and yes, the combo of the Japanese Maple and the blue-green evergreen is stunning. Great shots of the butterfly and bird!!! So many pretty photos!

  19. Love the container colour combinations - very inspiring. I just wish I could grow Echinacea, I have tried many times to no avail - maybe one day.

  20. I want to comment on EVERY photo, but that would take too long ;) You have some beautiful shots, and it's so nice that you've named all the flowers. I've been enjoying some white flowers in my shade garden (astilbe for one) as they just seem to glow in the darkness, and get lost in the bright sun. The spring alliums remind me of a tiny wedding bouquet. I also didn't know that the fountain grass is an annual (darn!), I just bought some for around my son's pond and thought that all grasses were perennials. Oh well, it's doing really well, and I guess I'll just buy it again each year since it looks so nice hanging over the water. Thanks for sharing all of these photos and information Jennifer! Wendy

  21. Just beautiful! More ideas for my annual fall redesign, which at some point I hope I no longer have to do. It's too much like never leaving Square One. So tired of it. I think I need to add angelonia to my garden next summer. I'll take anything that's drought resistant and colorful. :o)

  22. Great idea, Jennifer! I love planting parsley in the container!
    Your photos are beautiful, you've visited nice gardens.

  23. Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos from your ramblings. I was very taken with the Japanese maple/blue-green evergreen combination! I also love those hardy hibiscus.

  24. What a spectacular stroll through a spectacular garden! I'm dizzy with the colorful joy of it all!

  25. Absolutely gorgeous pictures of stunning flowers....I love the native hardy hibiscus and also think it so tropical for our cold climate....

  26. Hello Jennifer girl !
    I love your rambling tours : ) ... these are gorgeous pictures and it is a gentle push towards Fall .. although today and for a couple of days we are being hammered by hot humid weather(hopefully the last of it !) .. some rain fall is good for the garden though .. phew!
    Love all the different colours and textures .. and yes! finally herbs are coming more and more out of the closet and into displays with flowers and plants. I am an herb-o-holic ? haha ... love to use them every where and I too have been looking at summer blooming alliums .. making notes in my head!
    Joy : )

  27. I love the Calamintha nepeta at the foot of the silvery miscanthus. I have nothing in front of mine and always felt it needed 'something' so thank you!!

    This tour was lovely, and so many great photos, especially the planters.

  28. I'd seen this all at the beginning of the summer at our Loblaw event. Definitely will get back there before the month is over to see it all again. Looks like they've had a very good year. And pleased to see you've shown felons eating in the garden (NO PICNICS) - it was one of my grandmother's favourite places for a family picnic - glad to see there are those who have chosen not to read the signs and are enjoying some of the best outdoor space that Toronto has to offer.
    Jennifer - something's up with my id? only given alternative of using google id which goes no where.....oh what a moving target life is.....

  29. so very beautiful. But aren't Canadian gardens the best :~)

  30. oh oh I forgot to make a proper comment -- I loved the Lavatera. I lived 40 years in Edmonton and grew up with Lavatera as one of the showpiece flowers in our garden. It always reminds me of my mother -- love it.

  31. I see ideas worth stealing in those black planters.

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