16 January 2008

Wishlists in the wind AND snow, Part 2

(Photos are from various nurseries and propagators)
WE're back to winter here in the beautiful upper Bay of Fundy, which suits me just fine; I'd rather have winter now, not in May! I can sit here happily, reading catalogues (mostly online) and watching birds through the window, and making plans for more new plants (when don't we need new plants?) Here are a few more I'm going to be on the lookout for, starting with a dandy primula, 'Green Lace'. Isn't it splendid? Well, maybe you have to be a fan of primulas AND a fan of green-flowered plants, and of course I'm firmly in both of those camps. I plan to add a number of new primulas this spring, as they do quite well here and they're just such fun plants.

This cultivar of delphinium, 'Delft Blue', has been around for several years, but I've not seen it locally. It IS available in a certain Canadian catalogue that I refuse to mention by name, having long since given up on this company for all but its seeds; I won't be ordering any of their overpriced and undersized plants any time soon. At any rate, I'm hoping to find it somewhere in my travels other than from that PEI company. If you know who I mean....;-)

WE already know I'm quite dotty about eryngiums, so it will come as no surprise that 'Amazing Jackpot' is on my list of plants I can't possibly live without. There's a similar new one, 'Paradise Jackpot' that is also appealling, though I can't really tell a lot of difference between the two from only a photo and scant description. Both are very floriferous and have tightly packed heads of brilliant blue bracts and florets. Sea hollies are always a good choice for a pollinator garden or for growing near coast areas, as they're salt AND drought tolerant. And they're blue, too.

Well, look at this! It's Bergenia 'Solar Flare', and our friend the Blackswamp Girl (Kim), is also quite enchanted by it. I actually have to move my bergenia, because where they are, they just don't get enough sunlight, and sometimes don't bother to flower. So they'll be relocated come spring, and hopefully I can tuck this unique cultivar in to set the others off.

Like Mr. McGregor's Daughter, I'm quite smitten with Campanula 'Blue Eyed Blonde'. She asked, "do I need another campanula?" and I asked myself the same question: the answer was promptly "You bet!" Especially one with gold foliage like this! I love the peachleafed bellflowers at the best of times, being easy to grow, requiring little fuss, and reblooming when I remember to shear them back, and this also reminds me of Tradescantia 'Sweet Kate'..

This is a new foxglove, 'Candy Mountain', which is getting quite a bit of attention because its florets face upwards. Foxgloves are also dandy pollinator plants, and hummingbirds adore them, which is why I encourage them to selfseed all around our garden, and add new plants each year just to make sure we have lots.

Speaking of delphiniums, here's a perfect candidate for my 'CHOCOLATE AND WINE" garden, Delphinium 'Chocolate'. According to White Flower Farm, where I found the best information,
It's a border Delphinium in the traditional style of well-packed flowers on tall stems, but each floret varies in color and patterning. Shades range from dark bitter chocolate to milk chocolate and light cocoa to white chocolate (sometimes including a pale pink wash) with contrasting veins and stipples. The hairy "bee" in the center of the bloom may be brown or white.

Delphinium do well for me here because it's cool in the summer, although I do have to stake some of them because of the wind. I wish I had access to the good people at Chocolate Flower Farm, because then I could REALLY develop my chocolate and wine garden! But I use their plant list as inspiration for my garden, as chocolate isn't just a food group, it's a great colour for plants.

I'm planning a post on more Goldberg Variations, this time focusing on gold-foliaged plants rather than yellow or gold flowers. I LOVE the way gold foliage lights up a garden, especially in a shady spot, and this lobelia, 'Golden Torch', looks like a must-have plant for my pollinator patches. Lobelia is a hummingbird magnet in our garden, and tends to come on later in the summer (probably because it's cool), making it a good plant for those birds that tarry a bit longer before winging their way to warmer winter climates.


  1. *sigh* I wish you would name some of those seed and plant companies - We're looking to actually plan this year, and order seeds and plants from a catalogue, instead of purchase all our plants at the closest garden centre - but I have no idea what Canadian businesses are dependable! Perhaps you could mention a few reputable firms on my blog or via email?

  2. What wonderful color for a gloomy ole winter day. It gets my creative gardener self all stirred up. I love delphiniums but they just don't tolerate our hot humid summers here. Ihave tried them in many places. I will just have to drool over your photos of them.

  3. What a great list--and I'm amazed to see that there is actually a delphinium in existence that I would consider planting. (I don't know why, I just love that color on the chocolate one... and even though I'm normally a huge fan of blue I don't like most delphs.)

    And you totally got me on being in love with 'Solar Flare' bergenia--guilty as charged! Funny, I was planning to order it from White Flower Farm just after the new year when I discovered that it was Sold Out. So when I saw it a few days later amongst Plant Delights' new offerings, I snapped it up before I missed out again. Just a warning in case you see it somewhere, that since it's new it may be out of stock relatively quickly this year.

  4. These are all lovely, but the delphinium and the 'Amazing Jackpot' eryngium below it are just gorgeous! Sigh. It's so great to see this burst of color during such dull, cold days. :)

  5. Oh my Jodi. You see, this is the hard part to swallow for a southern gardener. These beautiful flowers are, for the most part, not even options for my Central Florida garden and I sometimes think I need to move NORTH just to have the thrill of growing such exquisite offerings. Great choices and oh so fun to make a wish list when dreaming of the beautiful weather surely coming your way for the spring/summer.

    Okay, I think I've caught my breath from the envy of all those luscious flowers that first got my attention...

    Congratulations! to you on the Medallion for Excellence. You are much deserving and I am proud of you.

    Thank you for stopping by my GBBD post. There were so many entries this month it has taken me a while to make the rounds. I just loved your bloom day post with all the displays of how you've surrounded your home with permanent blooms. The snow crystals photo was perfect!Can you imagine-- I am enamored with snow?

  6. I think I might have to bookmark this page because I want what you want! Especially that eryngium (wow!) and the chocolate delphinium (omg!). We grew 'Delft Blue' for a couple of years and loved it - it rebloomed in late summer beautifully. But then the plant bit it one winter and we haven't been able to successfully replace it. (our local source has had trouble getting non-rotten starts from their source...) I hope you have better luck and maybe we'll think about trying again!

  7. Your choices are mouth watering, for sure. I love green and black flowering anything, and those primulas had caught my eye. Delphiniums are not something we can grow here but did very well in the garden in our first house in Pennsylvania. I grew the candy mountain foxgloves last year, the plants look good and will bloom this, the second year, hope they look like the photos. I have a post drafted about eryngiums, another item we can both grow even though our climes are so different. Bergenias were planted for the first time here this fall, we shall see how they fare. Thanks for a colorful and informative post.

  8. Thanks for visiting my blog! Your cats are adorable too. I especially love the one that is laying on the flowers in the pot! Gardening is my way of getting away from painting but still creating.

  9. I'm with Kim - I love the Bergenia! As always, you never cease to stun me with your words and photos. You rock, missy!

  10. I'll have to try the Lobelia 'Golden Torch'. Cardinal Flowers usually turn out to be "annuals" in my garden but I can't resist them. I can't seem to find a place they will winter over. So what's your "secret"?

  11. I have got to stay away from Terra Nova's website! I haven't come across that Campanula offered for sale anywhere yet. If you do find a source, please, don't tell me!
    I like the look of that Primula, but I have primulaphobia. I really should find an easy-to-grow variety & give it a try.

  12. Not surprisingly, you have a couple of things on your list that are also on my list. Oh, you haven't seen my list, have you? You thought my post on Plant Delights Nursery was my wish list? Nope. That was just what I saw in their catalog that I liked. I'm still forming my list for this year. I usually write the names down and keep it with me as I visit various nurseries and hopefully will find something on my list. If I don't find any of them, then I consider ordering.
    The foliage on the campanula you show ('Blue-Eyed Blonde') reminds me of one I have called 'Kelly's Gold.' It's actually glowing in the garden right now. It has white flowers edged in blue.

  13. I just happend to find your blog.
    Have bookmarked it and will be back.

  14. The foxgloves are sooooo tempting. Mine are winter plants and are in leaf right now. I'll probably have blooms in a month or so. I'm really tempted now to add the new variety.

    Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

  15. It's fun to 'window shop' and drool over all the wonderful choices, isn't it? I'm looking forward to seeing your gardens in the spring and summer.
    I enjoyed your memory garden post :)

  16. HI Jodi...sorry I have been here in a bit. I love the Delp-Choc... that is beautiful. I wish I had a garden to plant it... you make me miss the farm life LOL

  17. So many pretty new things! As usual, I am drawn to the blue plants. I will add more sea holly this season for sure.

    We are getting rain down here, on top of an inch or so of snow. Wonder how long it will take this storm to get up to you?

  18. Beautiful choices, Jodi! So when c we begin planting? LOL

  19. If I just compile myself a wish list from everybody else's wish lists, it's going to save me a lot of time ;-)

    Blackswamp Girl already convinced me to try a Bergenia this year...I've been thinking about Eryingium for a while...and wow! my favorite wildflower now comes in a gold-foliage version. It's going to look great next to the red-foliaged one I grew from seed last year. Thanks for the tip!

  20. How lovely these blue and purple colours!

  21. Yesyes! I'd agree with Sarah O.-though I am seriously overdue in commenting;-) Any catalogue ideas or online resources for ordering? I'm up here near Seattle, and am just getting plugged into the resources in this area, etc;-) there are several wonderful nurseries including the Windmill Gardens in Sumner, WA just down the road from my soon-to-be new abode. Thanks for all of the pictures!!! I loooooove the eryngiums! Spectacular! And the Candy Mountain Foxgloves;-) Delphiniums are among my favourites, because I've always fancied them as faery hats:P

  22. So many plants, so little time. How does one choose when you only have so much space, and energy? I WANT THEM ALL!

    --Robin (Bumblebee)

  23. I love the Delft Blue Delphinium, but alas it isn't for here. I'm with you on the Sea Holly. I will have to check out if it would survive here. I love Sea Hollies - they do incredibly well here. The Bellflower is beautiful as well.

    Happy weekend!

  24. Hi: your photos are excellent. Can't wait till spring to write about gardening again. Wonder what will bloom this year among the things I've planted.

  25. Finally taking some time to answer again.
    Sarah, I don't feel comfortable mentioning that particular company online; My theory is rather than give negative publicity, I just won't give any at all. Contact me at jodi AT bloomingwriter.ca if you want some suggestions. I personally only usually order seeds, rather than plants, from mailorder companies, in part because seasons vary so much across the continent, and when a company in BC is ready to ship plants, we're still shovelling snow!

    Lisa, feel free to drool away! Instead of Delphinium, some sages recommend aconitum, which is lovely, but just doesn't do quite the same, does it?

    Kim, I won't be surprised if I don't see that bergenia locally--but I've also been surprised at how quickly some new plants have arrived here.

    Nancy, we're getting our share of dull days this week, aren't we? Though there were a couple of great days too...

    Meems, we have a trade-off, don't we? You have all those incredible tropicals that I can only treat as annuals, and I get to play with things that wilt in your heat. Like you, it's taking me a while to get around to everything (and then there was the blog-reconstruction to deal with, too!).

    Kris, It's realy frustrating for our nurseries when the sources they deal with have CRAP for material, isn't it? It's an ongoing problem, for sure.

    Frances, I thought that Candy Mountain was supposed to bloom first year? Maybe I'm confusing it with a new hollyhock...and your post on eryngiums is delicious, as I told you!

    Hi Catherine, Toby Soprano was pleased that you liked his naughty flower-arranging. I can't get my photos to reload in the sidebar right now, guess Blogger has had enough of me for one weekend.

    Debi, good to see you here again, and thanks for the compliment.

    Wiseacre...hmmmm; good drainage is important for many lobelias (except the blue one, > Syphilitica, which has gotten half-drowned in our garden but come back. Otherwise, I think some of them are a bit marginal, but we had a red one come back two years now. I'm waiting to see about another new one I put in last summer.

    MMD: Primulas are problems for you? Too much heat, perhaps? Too wet? Try the Japanese or drumstick ones if you have wet soi; conversely, they do want MOIST soil, just not soggy. And the ones in the grocery store tend to be marginally hardy outdoors; sometimes they'll overwinter, but mostly they're like the houseplant azaleas, designed for indoors.

    OOOOH, Kylee...I can just imagine what your list will look like. I have more, too, much more. Just haven't had time to source photos, etc.

    Britt-Arnhild, welcome! I'll be around for a visit to your blog soon, too.

    Cindy, I now have foxglove envy! Bloooms in a month? Can you grow the Chocolate foxglove? I just LOVE it, and it did well here last year. Hopefully it will return.

    Hi Kerri, thanks for the visit. With me, however, the windowshopping becomes quite....car-or-truck-filling!;-)

    Hi Katt...can't imagine not having a garden. No farm, yes, but no garden...must be difficult.

    Sandy, since your comment we've had the gamut of weather--real mild and rain, then snow, and now tonight it's about 10 degrees F...and dropping. And windy, of course. There IS snow cover, however.

    Dirty Knees...I think it'll be a while for us yet, except for indoors with seeds, of course.

    Entangled, that's sort of what I've done too...there have been plants in the past I've loved, and written down, from other blogs...now, if I can just find that list!

    reader Wil, Welcome! Bet my plants are rather different from what you can grow.

    Kileah, I'm not much help for US gardening resources; check with Kylee, Carol at May Dreams, Kim at A Study in Contrasts for their recommendations. I love the description of delphs as faery hats!

    Robin...I'm with you. Like the Queen song goes (sort of) I want them all...and I want them NOW! I do have the room...just not always the energy or the funds.

    Kate, I think some of the sea hollies are good to zone 3...but you'd have to check on that to make sure. I can see delphs having a tantrum in Regina, sadly. A pity, because they're perfect colours for you.

    Hi Book Bird Dog, thanks for visiting! It's always a puzzle, what will come back each year, isn't it?

  26. Je recherche aussi des graines de delphiniums bleu delf ...
    Pas encore trouvé ...

  27. Oh I really understand you not wanting to order live plants from "that Canadian company." We too have suffered from tiny, overpriced plants and will never order live plants or bulbs from them again.
    Are you growing Eryngium? That same dreaded company is selling some Eryngium this year and I absolutely refuse to purchase it from them. But I want that plant so bad. If you know of anyone who would be willing to part with some blue Sea Holly seeds, please let me know!


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