My mantra in these dog days of August, as many people know, is that we CAN have plenty of colour as we go through late summer and into autumn. The photos in this blog post were all taken today, in my gardens. Above is part of the coneflower garden, but all of the garden is looking pretty enthusiastic. Perhaps there are a few weeds, but we'll declare those pollinator plants and carry on.
Astrantia 'Lola' is in the background of this photo, and I did cut back all the dried flowers, the better to encourage more bloom and show off the richly coloured 'Beaujolais Bonnets' scabiosa and 'Jade Frost' eryngium.
So Tuesday morning I head out first thing to catch the Digby-Saint John Ferry, which is always a great trip. I love taking the ferry every chance possible; the ship is lovely, the crew knowledgable and pleasant (I've been up on the bridge on one crossing, and had a great time). After landing in Saint John, I will hustle off to Fredericton, or more accurately, Lincoln, to visit Scott's Nursery, which I profiled in the most recent issue of Saltscapes magazine. I'll be at Scott's from 130-330, and hope to see some of my New Brunswick gardening friends there. Plus of course we ALL know there will be plants I can't live without, won't there? I'd better sell some books so I can afford plants without dipping into the grocery fund. Tee hee.
NB Botanical Garden in St. Jacques, near Edmundston. I haven't been there since about 2004, and I'm really looking forward to visiting and seeing how things have changed since then. It's a magnificent place, and well worth visiting.
Thursday, I'm at one of my favourite places in the whole country: Kingsbrae Garden in beautiful St. Andrews by the Sea. I'm doing a talk at 11 am and can't wait to see how the gardens have changed in the past two years since my last visit. Plus lunch in the cafe is always a delight, and a trip to the plant centre will result in more plants in the car. (PS friends please buy some books so I have ROOM to take plants home with me...)
Friday, I'm off to visit Corn Hill Nursery, near Petitcodiac; it's been two years since I was there as well, and Bob Osborne is one of the finest plantsmen I know. If you're a rose enthusiast and live in colder parts of North America like I do, you NEED to have Bob's book Hardy Roses, which includes the breathtaking photography of fellow writer and photographer Beth Powning, author of The Sea Captain's Wife.
After a couple of other stops for research purposes, I'm going home and falling over in my own garden for a few days. No more travels for a bit. Or so I say....
Canning Daylily Gardens to identify some of my plants, because it's just so hard to get accurate colour in photos, even with a new Canon DSLR.
A question for my fellow plant addicts. This is rattlesnake master eryngium, (Eryngium yuccifolium), a native wildflower of the central midwest. Does anyone know if there is a related species with sort of similar flower heads? Because I have another plant that I've had for years, and it doesn't look quite the same. I'm mystified. (That's not really that unusual.)
I do love all echinaceas, whether they're the original species or the white ones or the flamboyant new cultivars. I've long since forgotten which one this is, but it does brilliantly--and looks especially fine with the unusual meadow sage Salvia nemorosa 'Schwellenburg'.