03 June 2011

Catching up with some great catches

Well, I'm baaaccckkk! Vast improvements in the weather coupled with a need for a bit of a break have kept me in the gardens and away from the blog, but today is cool and showery, a great day to do a little catching up. I've been roaming around the province, doing book events plus of course checking out nurseries; I haven't been to all my favourites yet this year, but have certainly visited those in the Valley and part of the south shore. With the book-travel winding up soon, there will be more time for just relaxing travel to gardens and nurseries.

Before I go on about some of the great plants blooming here, a couple of interesting housekeeping tidbits for those who visit Facebook and nursery websites:

Baldwin's Nurseries now has a Facebook page, and I hope people will visit and 'Like' it.
Glad Gardens has a new website as well as a Facebook page. I think these pages on Facebook are extremely useful for keeping people current quickly.
The Friends of the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens are holding their Native Plant sale tomorrow from 9 am til noon at the gardens. The gardens are at Acadia University in Wolfville. Baldwin's Nurseries, Bunchberry Nurseries and I will all be there, and the Friends are selling a host of native species great for home gardening.



Now, on to the plants! I have become very fond of geums in the past few years because they've been vastly improved, more vigourous and longer-lived. Last year I added 'Eos' to my collection, which is certainly electric neon-gold and orange. In the top photo is another new variety, 'Mai Tai', which is more subtle but equally splendid.

One of the most interesting of the well-behaved (ie, clumping) anemones is 'Vestal', known for her delicate double centre. She looks sort of like a daffodil, except she's the size of a dime.
I'm developing a deep and abiding fondness for alpine gardening, though I'm very much a neophyte with this specialized type of gardening. One of the easy to grow and striking plants in my alpine collection is Rosy pussytoes (Antennaria). They are very eyecatching and spread slowly to make a nice clump.
A little more challenging, but very rewarding to grow with the right conditions, are the lewisias, or bitterroot. These have fleshy leaves something like ice plant or other succulents, and produce a raft of striking flowers. They need perfect drainage, especially overwinter, which you can provide by planting in gravel, or in a potting medium well amended with sand. Native to parts of North America, they are just dazzling when in bloom.
In previous years I've had problems growing tiarella, or foamflowers, mostly because there are a couple of aggressive plants where I tried the foamflowers and the latter got overwhelmed. But last year I put in the most excellent 'Pink Skyrocket', which has rewarded me with a fine, spreading colony of dainty flowers and foliage. Encouraged by this, I'll likely add another one or two.
Some of the new releases of euphorbias have been less than hardy, and I'm not entirely sure about 'Helena's Blush' yet. However, I had success with 'Ascot Rainbow' so I'm giving this one a whirl too though it's rated for zone 6. We'll see what happens.
A couple of years ago I decided it was time to add a flowering crabapple to the plantings here, and so I selected one of the darker-flowered ones. This is 'Makamik', which is just flushing into full bloom here though varieties in the Valley have been in bloom for a week or more.
This may not be recognizable to many people, because it's a different species of Weigela than you're accustomed to. This is Weigela middendorffiana, the Middendorf weigela. It blooms about 3 weeks earlier in my garden than the standard W. florida cultivars, and as you can see its flowers are yellow and very different from the usual trumpet-shaped variety. I know this plant is available at Bloom Nursery in Hammonds Plains, and likely also at Springvale in Berwick; I don't know about anywhere else.
I'm gradually getting braver and adding more and more rhododendrons and azaleas to my gardens. This is a species called Rhododendron russatum, and it's about the bluest of the purple-blue flowered varieties. It's a small-flowered/lepidote species, and a tidy plant in my garden.
We grow deciduous azaleas here, which are hardier than the evergreen species you see down south in warmer climates. I am very fond of the Northern Lights series, and 'Mandarin Lights' is in nearly full bloom at the moment. This plant just glows on dreary days!
It's well known that I am not usually a fan of petunias, much preferring callibrachoas in my hanging baskets. However, I was intrigued by the new Potunia line of plants, which form a mounding clump of blooms rather than a wave of straggly stems. This is 'Papaya', and I am thinking I like it quite a bit, though it's still early days yet.
I love putting snapdragons in my containers, and when I saw 'Peachy Dragon', I knew I'd have to try it out. There's a whole series of these open-faced snaps, but I only have this one--so far!
In the past, I've found cupheas to be messy and ugly when their flowers are spent, but I was really impressed with the bloom colour on this variety, 'Vienco Lavender'. So I had to add it to a container planting, and we'll see how it fairs this summer. The hummingbirds have been over to look at it, but I don't know much about it yet.
The hummingbirds love the well-named hummingbird mints, agastache, and I love the Acapulco series of colours. This year I was able to get a new-to-me one, 'Pink and Yellow'; I also have an apricot coloured variety that did overwinter (different series, from Jelitto Seeds), and Acapulco Orange too; so these delightful plants will be pleasing me and the hummers and other pollinators all summer.

Plenty more new and new-to-me plants to show off, but that's enough for one post! What new plants have you excited this year?

21 comments:

  1. All beautiful, Jodi -- I've never thought of putting snap dragons in containers or baskets, but they'd work beautifully, wouldn't they? Love those colours! I especially like the orange geum with that bright foliage.

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  2. Jodi, I wish I was closer to the nurseries you linked. I skipped most of last week blogging. You are so right! it is hard to get all the spring stuff done that a garden requires and still have time to blog unless you stay up all night and I haven't been able to do that in many years.
    nellie

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  3. I haven't been to a nursery with any new plants around here. I need to drive an hour or two to nurseries that have new flowers. Your selections look marvelous. I really like geums but never see them around here. I also like that potunia color. Must go shopping.

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  4. Jodi these are gorgeous and of course I will have to add a few to my list of "must check out". I love geums too and have finally gotten a few to grow here in zone 5 NY...mostly I have been adding native plants and shrubs where I can...

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  5. Thats an awesome Collection of plants you have lighting up your garden Jodi. Have to try and grow the crabapple here myself. Lovely pic.

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  6. Beautiful post! Peachy Dragon is so fancy, I don't *need* any more annuals, but will keep my eyes open for it. The blue Rhodo is truly amazing, I wish it was hardy in my zone. Lovely double anemone, I didn't realize some were badly behaved, I hope mine are not terribly unruly, although I do enjoy them immensely. :)

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  7. Jodi, I particularly like your Weigela in that soft buttercream colour. Nice a nice time of year to not be inside when one can help it. :)

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  8. Jodi:

    A wonderful post that has intrigued me with many of the new selections that you highlight. I must say that you Weigela Middendorffiana is smashingly beautiful, what with its whipped buttery yellow bloom that is indeed a fresh change from the species! Love Lewisia but they don't love my overly rich acidic soil, or not thus far. Will read the article you have on FB and see if this changes!

    Plants of interest for me this year is the new[er] Corydalis curvaflora 'Blue Heron' with its electric blue flowers [gee really? LOL!] and Acanthus 'Whitewater' although it has struggled mercilessly through the cool wet weather so far! [Zone 7-10 should also make it interesting come frost time in Teza's Hollow!]

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  9. Hi Jodi, good you are back to posting again despite your hectic skeds. Thanks also for visiting my post earlier.

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  10. Well it's been a long time, but I thought I'd drop by and say hello. How's your Hollyhock making out?

    If you're ever in Cape Breton, you'll have to stop in for a visit.

    Jim

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  11. I may have missed it, but what is the very first bloom pictured in this post? Gorgeous!! Makes me think of a salmon coloured meconopsis, but is probably something else...

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  12. Jodi, Yesterday and today have been unbelievably hot and humid. Most unusual for the shore of Lake Michigan. Since it is way to hot to work in the Gardens at Waters East, it is a good time to catch up on your Blog and other Blogs I am following. We could use a little of your rain right now! I like the white Anemone you posted. The native Anemone here at the Gardens at Waters East just started blooming this week. (It has been a loooong Winter!) It is a single not double like the one posted. I do like yours. Jack

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  13. That azalea is gorgeous. Loving these zone 5 flowers.

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  14. oh good! I've seen lewisias on another blog but didn't think they would survive here. Now I know that it's possible I need to think about a spot to create for these plants. I just love those flowers.

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  15. Flowering Pear13 June, 2011 06:35

    WOW! That's an awesome Collection of plants, I am very inspired from your blog..
    Thanks for sharing with us..

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  16. Peachy dragon snapdragon is a winner! Isn't it wonderful to have color blooming in your garden? I'm enjoying June blooms in my garden.

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  17. Hello from Ontario Jodie .. today is a rainy day so I finally have a day off now myself .. phew ! Great for the garden and the birds are very busy here too !
    I have Pink Skyrocket (for years actually) and I always love seeing those gorgeous flowers .. Mandarin Lights was my very first azalea and it was so covered in blooms this year I was shocked ! .. It must like where it is now .. it has a Ghost fern and Fred the Japanese maple for friends along with all the hellebore .. a gang that seems to he satisfied with where they live .. for now ? haha
    Geums ! Yes ! I like that gold one .. i will have to keep an eye out for that !
    Joy

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  18. You have a very beautiful garden here and I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to link in with some photos...either current or past (during the dormant seasons) to Flaunt Your Flowers on Friday with me. Many absolutely gorgeous gardens participate in this party, and yours would be a welcome visit for them all to make!
    I have enjoyed my visit here today...happy gardening!
    (¯`v´¯)
    `*.¸.*´Glenda/Tootsie
    ¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
    (¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`•.

    www.tootsietime.com


    I am your newest follower as well!

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  19. I so liked you positive outlook when you said "gardening can be entertaining" when you referred to the puddle from the rain storm. Great outlook! We all needed that this Spring and early Summer. Weather was not friendly here either as was the same with you on the Bay of Fundy. I'll think of that comment "entertaining" more often.
    backyard design

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  20. You have some really lovely blooms and plants. i especially like the unusual shades of apricot/salmon

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  21. Hi, from Quebec City ! Were you satisfied all summer with your Agastache Acapulco yellow and pink ? You're in zone 6, aren't you? Here is zone 4. I wonder will I had enough heat for this plant ?

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