25 May 2010

A little midweek miscellany...

Actually, these photos were taken on Monday, rather than midweek--but you get the point. I like to wander around the garden, camera in hand, and see what's new and exciting each day. The fun part about the garden at this point in spring is that there are still new things emerging while others are half-grown and flowering, and still others are beginning to wind down.

It's no secret that I love poppies of all kinds. The first to bloom in my garden are the Icelandic poppies, which come in a nice array of fresh, warm colours. This photo doesn't do justice to the colour of this particular poppy, which is vibrant deep salmon as opposed to 'just' hot orange. It's new to the garden because most of my Icelandics are yellow and it was time to introduce some other colours.
A lot of the veronicas are known for having spikes of tiny flowers, but this one is a little different and quite wonderful. It's Veronica gentianoides, and it is the first to bloom in my garden. Its pale blue flowers are accented with deeper blue and pruple lines, plus it has that wonderful chartreuse throat and blue stamens. It's been a faithful bloomer in my garden for about a decade: I divide and move it around occasionally and it always settles in nicely.
Sometimes, a plant simply doesn't need to flower, because its foliage is so glorious. This is Filipendula ulmaria 'Aurea', with vibrant gold foliage. It should be in a little more shade than it is because the foliage does burn in too much hot sunlight (see the browning in a few leaves on the left hand side of the plant). Behind it is Actaea 'Pink Spike', which I think is tied with Actaea 'Black Negligee' for having the deepest black foliage. They make a good foil off each other.
Fragrance is extremely important in my garden, and I was very glad to locate some wallflowers (Erysimum) on the weekend. While the fancy coloured ones don't seem to be quite as fragrant as the old fashioned yellow and orange varieties, I can't resist them. This is 'Apricot Twist'.
And this is the well-named 'Pastel Patchwork', easily my favourite wallflower ever. The flowers remind me of a lantana or a pulmonaria, in the way they change colour as they mature.
This basket of three different colours of annual alyssum (and some spiral rush in the centre for accent) was totally irresistable to me--had to have it for the bees and hummingbirds. And for me--I love the fragrance of alyssum and put this on the stem where I can enjoy it as much as the pollinators do.
Still waiting for me to find the right place to plant it is 'Gro Lo' fragrant sumac. The flowers are tiny and not fragrant--the foliage and twigs give off a scent when they are bruised or broken. It's supposed to have tremendous fall colour and will grow only 1-2 feet tall although it does naturalize like its common sumac sibling. That's okay with me. What's cool about this plant is that it can be monoecious OR dioecious. I'm not sure which mine is yet.

Several years ago, I saw the royal azalea (Rhododendron schlippenbachii) displaying incredible fall colour at The Willow Garden in Antigonish. I had to have one, and came home with one tucked in the car a couple of weeks ago. It's now blooming, but I don't so much care about the flowers as I do the foliage. However, I'm in no hurray to see the fall colour display--we're just nicely into high spring here, with things bursting out all over.

Funnily enough, the weekend was blisteringly hot in the Valley, but we had fog Sunday and most of Monday, which also brought a little moisture to the soil. It's astonishingly dry in the parts of our garden that have good drainage, which makes me worry about those who live in the Valley where they don't get the fog we do. It could be a tough summer for farmers.


  1. These photos showcase some of your lovely plants. I admire Icelandic poppies as do you. Like you I read and appreciate each comment, as we make friends spread across the earth.

  2. The apricot twist is a delicious color!

  3. It has been awfully hot Jodi...but I am not complaining YET))). I loved the Filipendula Ulmaria Aurea next to the Actaea...that black and acid yellow green...such a showstopper! Cooler tonight...thank heavens. Sleep well.


  4. I like to take a walk through daily. I have been busted more than a time or two on the way out for the evening , all dressed up and wandering through the garden plucking weeds as I go!

    The Pastel Patchwork is beautiful. I might have to seek it out. Thanks.

  5. Hi Jodi, if only i am near your place i will also ask permission to roam and linger around your garden! There's a lot of resources for the senses there, your first photo is really irresistible, maybe that's why for the Chinese peony is very symbollic for feng shui.

  6. I love that Flipendula! I planted the Low Gow sumac in my woodsy garden last fall, it is doing really well, having survived the winter and has put on a lot of new growth. I love it so far!

  7. That simultaneous contrast, phrase of the week in my house! Is right there in that foliage photo, love it, want it, need to see it! Thank goodness for the mid week blog, keeps me going, back is all ache, muscles are all fatigue, but its getting there!
    The gardener T x

  8. Some nice blooms Jodi, but that Actaea 'Black Negligee' has me drooling!

  9. Thanks for showcasing all these gorgeous plants. I'm just starting flower beds over here in PEI and you've given me some great ideas. That Filipendula is amazing is on my must buy list now!

  10. Yummy! That 'Pastel Patchwork' is heavenly! Beautiful blooms, jodi!

  11. Oh Jodi, what wonderful and diverse plants you have. I'd never seen the Veronica and I too love the scent of the garish, but lovable, old fashioned wallflowers.

    Sending love from the road,

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island AND a Saab packed to the roof with luggage, books, and goodies.

  12. Jodi, I love the variety that you have in your garden. The Apricot Twist caught me eye. I'm curious to know how you take care of it, and what conditions it needs.

  13. We have not had much good rain here either. We could sure use a day or two of soft soakers. I love your poppy photo ... reminds me of the circular skirt of a dress I use to love to dance in... Wonderful! Sweet Alyssum has always been a favorite of mine too. Your golden Filipendula is glowing in next to your darker Actaea plant. Nice contrast!


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