29 September 2007
Autumn miscellany part 2
A stroll around the garden this morning revealed more interesting treasures. My favourite new echinacea, Green Envy, is still putting up new flowers, to my great delight. I hope this plant multiplies and is as tough a performer as its relatives, because I sure do love it.
Penstemons have never been a favourite of mine, but because I built that chocolate and wine garden this spring, I decided to put in this variety called 'Sour Grapes.' I'm really glad I did because it's a beautiful colour, rich and vibrant, and the plant has been extremely vigourous in growing. Because it's new to me, here's hoping that it overwinters well and comes back next year with as much vigour; my previous experience was with 'Husker Red', which I found a vast underachiever.
A fabulous 'Paprika' yarrow that I bought this summer has settled in well--so well that it has put up a huge bounty of new corymbs of flowers. It's planted with a similarly coloured helenium, some brilliant orange asiatic lilies, and several daylilies in similar sunset colours.
This spring I got excited at Glad Gardens and purchased two phormium, or New Zealand flax, in wonderful shades of terracotta, rose and bronze. They've been outside in containers all summer, but are soon to come indoors and live in my office--where I can shut the door and keep little phormium-sampling cats at bay.
One of the Proven Winners Colourchoice shrubs that really impresses me is Sunshine Blue Caryopteris. The golden foliage really makes the flowers seem more blue than purple, don't you think?
Like others, I always wait eagerly for the apples to start. Most of the summer apples leave me less than excited, but I do like Sunrise, an apple bred in Canada with Golden Delicious and Mac in its background. I dislike Macs intensely as Macs, but they work well for this apple's taste. The only thing with Sunrise, as with other summer apples, is that it doesn't keep well; but the Cortlands, Honeycrisps, Galas and Cox Orange are soon to be coming along.
Kate of Kate Smudges put me on to the beauty of gas plant, or Dictamnus seedheads earlier this summer; right now they are especially striking, with their pods opened up to release seeds. I understand from a local nursery that these plants are hard to get (and will be very expensive next year as a result) but I've had mine for four years now; it's not huge, but it IS a strikingly lovely thing, fragrant and distinctive in the garden.
Just as we have seedheads to signify the true arrival of autumn, there are buds--beautiful, fat buds--on the horse chestnut tree that is my longsuffering spouse's pride and joy. This tree has grown nicely in the past year or two, and it looks like next year it's going to really get some height and breadth to it. It's one of our favourite trees, even though the leaves get rusty later in the season.
There are still plenty of things blooming--and plenty of chores that need doing--in our garden. Today I managed a little bit of weeding and cleanup, and tomorrow, weather permitting, a little bit more. And of course the most important question of the week is where to plant that new Chamaecyparis Nootka glauca?
And I haven't even started really plotting out the bulb planting!
Sigh. A gardener's work is never done, is it? What's on your must do list?