20 April 2012

Slow down, Spring, you move too fast!

It seems there's a trend across the continent for a blazingly fast spring. I don't know whether we're starting to be like Australia (where this fabulous plant, Kangaroo Paw hails from, but is used for containers and specimen plants here), or just what is going on, but things are moving quickly in the nurseries and in our gardens.
The early warm weather is catching all of us off balance, but our local nurseries do have plenty of product to sell, and more plants arriving daily. Over at Blomidon Nurseries, there is a nice collection of heaths and heathers,
And some of the earlier blooming rhododendrons are starting to put on a show, like this beauty, 'Blue Baron'.
If you're thinking about annuals, it's plenty early to do anything with them unless you have a protected greenhouse to hold them in til the risk of frost is past. But with the Hort Couture plants (such as that Kangaroo Paw, above) we are going to see a lot of clever use of tropical plants, some with spectacular foliage or flowers, in container and specimen planting.
The staff and customers at Briar Patch in Berwick were all staring eagerly at 'Limelight' yellow magnolia, trying to will this flower bud to open. Probably on the weekend. There's just something about yellow flowered magnolias. This is my year to plant one.
Briar Patch has a great collection of hellebores, including this lovely 'Pink Frost'. I like this one because its flowers face outward and upward, not as shy as some of its cousins.
'April Mist' is a dainty double-flowered rhododendron, with delicate petals that look almost like tissue paper.
Today was the first day of being open for the season for the folks at Glad Gardens in Waterville. As always, they have a terrific collection of plants, annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees of all kinds.
Succulents in containers are popular both indoors and out, and Glad Gardens has a great collection of non-hardy succulents this year. These plants will overwinter nicely in a home, but don't leave them outside for the winter or they will be mush.
Things are blooming hot and heavy at Baldwin's Nurseries in Falmouth. Rob has always had fantastic trees and shrubs, and in the past couple of years he has become besotted with perennials, too. Including these fragrant and colourful dianthus. This variety is 'Black Cherry Wild' and it IS very fragrant.
'Golden Lotus' hellebore is just the prettiest double flowered beauty, isn't she? Actually, I personally have never met a hellebore I didn't love.
Den Haan's in Middleton is going full tilt too. Their greenhouses are filled with annuals basking in the heat, while perennials, shrubs and trees are in more ordinary climates. I love the cheery colour of this pink strawberry plant.
And this rhododendron, 'Janet Seleger' caught my eye because the flowers have a bluish tinge to them. I have been very good at resisting purchasing plants right now--it's not time yet.
I have lived at our home for 13 years, and know the land and the climate and the garden as intimately as I knew the body, mind and soul of my beloved Lowell. This year is the EARLIEST I have seen the plants blooming and breaking dormancy and flourishing. Pieris 'Captain Steele' is opening its cascades of fragrant flowers,
The puschkinia are competing with snowdrops, crocus, chionodoxa and early dwarf iris for attention in the 'small bulbs' category.
In the pond, the cattails are doing brilliantly, making the red winged blackbirds and the frogs very happy.
Wait a minute. These aren't my cattails.
They're the work of the fabulous Al Simm, metal worker and 'reluctant Artist, from Avon River Metalworks. Al will be displaying some of his work in my garden during my second annual Open Garden Fundraiser (this year, June 30-July 1). He will also be unveiling a special memorial sculpture to my long-suffering Lowell that weekend--it'll be a surprise for everyone.

08 April 2012

Top Ten Easy Perennials

I know I haven't posted in a while, and for that I apologize. Grieving is hard work, as is the business of coping with life without my beloved. Some days are easier than others. What really works best is for me to work, talking about plants, writing about plants, working on bloominganswers.com, and so on. The hints of spring in the air are helpful also, although the surprise snowstorm we got as an Easter resent was neither helpful nor appreciated. However, we're not going to talk about that any further. We're going to talk about plants.

We all love Top Ten Lists, although I find they work best when there is some explanation to go along with the selections. Thinking about beginners who are nervous about planting, but who want lovely blooms and colourful foliage and tough plants, I looked through a big pile of photos from my gardens, and picked out ten plants I recommend quite regularly. Now, for me to pick ten plants is a challenge--I could do my top ten favourite day lilies, top ten sedums, top ten echinaceas, and so on. But for now, I've selected cultivars in some cases, or simply genus and species in other cases.

Here in no particular order other than they uploaded this way, are my Top Ten Easy Perennials

Great Gardens and More

Photobucket

Search Bloomingwriter

Custom Search