11 May 2008

They followed me home...honest!

Is anyone else having a May like this? We went through a spell of very nice, warm and sunny weather for a few days in a row; a little bit of rain or fog here or there, but nothing serious. I was planning to clear up some time so I could work in the garden this weekend, and what happened? The temperature dropped, the wind came up out of the north-east, and YUK! I don't wanna go outside. And I haven't, not at all on Saturday. Perhaps today, but we'll see what the morning brings.

Life has been madly busy, which explains both my lack of posting here, lack of answers to comments, and more seriously, lack of visits and comments on my favourite blogs. But I think most of us know what that's like; suddenly, the good weather comes that we've been waiting for (even if for some of you it started months ago) and all those things we wanted to do outdoors we can now do. But with the weather this weekend, I guess i'll stay inside and catch up on the indoor work and play, then take a day off next week when I can go outdoors.

On Wednesday, I went to Annapolis County to give a talk at the Clementsvale Garden Club, and that was great fun. Of course, I also had to stop at a few different nurseries and check out plants, though I resisted the urge to bring home very many. In the past week, however, there have been some great temptations throw themselves at me, so, smitten as I am by Urgent Plant Seeking Madness...I brought them home.

Top photo above, 'Sooty' Dianthus is such a lovely rich coloured flower, and while I had it for several years, it didn't come back last year, so it was time to add a couple of new plants to the chocolate-and-wine garden.

And as I prepare to develop my rockery this year, this pink pussytoes, or Antennaria dioica 'Rosea' batted its eyelashes at me (sure it did, didn't you see it?) I love the rich flower colour contrasted with the silver-green foliage.

Yesterday on my way back from Berwick, I had to stop at Briar Patch Farm and Nursery for a quick look around. I studied the hellebores for quite a while, but then decided instead to try my hand at growing a Lewisia again. I had one for several years that did just fine, and then I'm not sure what happened to it. The secret to lewisia is to give it perfect drainage, very little organic matter, and in my part of the world, protect it a bit from drying winter winds and excessive wet with some sort of protective mulch like evergreen boughs. And the jewel-like colours really get to me.

As many of you may remember, I'm obsessed with echinaceas, and have a fairly healthy collection of them. They're just starting to push through the ground, and so I thought that was as good a reason as any to pick up 'Lime Coconut' echinacea while I was at it.

On my last trip down to bug Rob at Baldwin's Nursery, I collected three native witherod viburnum (Viburnum nudum, formerly V. cassinoides) but also had my eye drawn to the handsome Judd viburnum. Into the truck it went along with three native red maples (Acer rubrum) and a 'Makamik' flowering crabapple. And a magnolia sapling. And a couple more Ilex verticillata (female Canada Holly).

I used to not do well with geums, but once I developed a bed with real good winter drainage, things turned around for me, and there are both yellow and orange geums to brighten up a midspring planting. I like these as much as I do perennial potentillas, which also began doing very well for me once I added them to the same well-drained area. So when I spied this 'Mango Lassi' geum the other day, I knew I had to have it.

And naturally, since I'm totally thrilled with the dazzling talent and obviously nice personality (and he's not hard on the eyes, either) of one of the three finalists in this year's American Idol (I NEVER watch the Canadian version because I despise Ben Mulroney), I had to have this Geum too. Its name?

Cooky, of course!

I don't think the geum will play a Les Paul guitar any time soon. But it's definitely a star in my books.

Oh, I crack myself up sometimes! :-)


  1. Lime Coconut echinacea. A great name for a gorgeous plant. I never paid much attention to echinacea except for the one I have that was given to me. Don't know it's name. I am going to start investigating.

  2. Jodi .. I have been out in the garden planting almost two weeks now .. the house displays my naughty "garden madness" BIG time ! .. I have two of the "Sooty" planted last Autumn can't wait to see how they turn out. Orange Geum paired with a deep purple Salvia, maybe May Night?( I know I have the name in my cluttered brain some where .. lots of different Salvia .. went a little crazy for Cardonna ? last year) .. that orange and dark purple is a WOW spot for sure.
    The garden is leaping up with our very warm days cool (but no frost) evenings .. even within two day periods , the growth is amazing. My pictures can't keep up with it. I was out at 6 this morning taking more pictures because it is another beautiful day here.
    Good thing our neighbors sleep in .. I'm scary at that time of the day ?
    Planting Madness is too RIGHT !

  3. Lime coconut echinacea -- sounds good enough to eat! I bought an overpriced orange version (Sunrise?) and am disappointed. It begins a lovely orange and turns pink, just like the standard variety.

    Like you, our weather's been too up and down to get much done. I've yet to plant my pansies and put out my herbs... maybe after I'm back from my trek to Nova Scotia?

    Happy Mother's Day.

  4. Jodi, I figured you had been very busy. With spring coming to your area everyone wants the views of the 'expert'! I'm sure it's fun though. The trees you bought sound great. I would love more trees, especially flowering ones, but no more room. I am fascinated by the new cone flowers coming out. Have 2 kinds of the pink and would like to add to the bed this year with the orange, yellow and green. They are one plant that pretty much takes care of itself and spreads with abandon. Hope your good weather returns soon.

  5. Jodi, we've had a chilly spring here too, peppered with a day or two here and there of glorious sunshine and temps in the 70's.

    I can so relate to the busyness of this time of year! I was so happy to have some time in the afternoon yesterday to play in my garden and bump up some seedlings. Today will be a day of cleaning, cooking, then relaxing and enjoying the afternoon with my mom and two of my girls.

    Have a wonderful Mother's Day!

  6. I think everyone's spring has been chillier than usual this year. My plants are way behind where they should be. Maybe it will make it last a bit longer then???

    I know what you mean about those plants just hopping in your cart and following you home. It happens to me all to often!

    Happy Mother's Day.

  7. Doesn't it feel and sound just like October today? Yuck! The Lewisia is stunning in color -- you must put it near something blue. :-)

  8. Definitely cooler than normal here--even the troll is reluctant to leave his huddled position under the bridge. But the cooler temps make it far nicer to do pruning and sod removal and otherwise labor intensive work in the yard.

  9. Lovely post & pics and am very jealous of all the gorgeous plants you took home! I have a plot of empty dirt outside begging to be filled up with lovelies like those - am working a little at a time :)
    ~plantgirl of

  10. Oh you crack me up Jodi... Put your lime in da coconut and stir in some....

  11. Oh my, that Echinacea is stunning! We're expecting cold rain here tomorrow. What happened to May?

  12. I love your choices, Jodi. It's been rather wet and chilly here too. I have so much to plant but working outside in the damp cold weather is not enjoyable to me. At least the weather has allowed some time for my back to feel better.

    Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog and for leaving your sweet comment. You brightened my day!

  13. Yeah, this has been one wacky spring! I laughed at the title of your post... I use something similar. "Oh, those? Hmm... those must have jumped into the car right after me. I didn't even notice them until I got home..." lol.

    Your pussy-toes' flower reminds me of the color on my 'Sunset Strain' lewisia that followed me home last week. I love that warm tropical orangey-pink.

  14. Just when you have the time to get outside the weather throws you a curve. Hot cocoa sounds good doesn't it although the lime echinacea has me thinking of fruity drinks. There will be time to enjoy the gardening won't there?

  15. Bedazzled again by your floral line up. BTW I adore the "cats in the cupboard" photo. That is so funny. I hope you have the right brand of cookies for them as they look particular. :)

  16. I think I've been infected with UPSM, too. I love the Lewisia, but it sounds too finicky a flower for this neglectful gardener. I can't wait to see all these blooming in your garden.

  17. What a great selection of plants!! I made a trip down the street to my parent's place this weekend and came home with a van stuffed with loot - now that I've got all I can for free I can visit the nursery with a clear conscience :)

  18. I love the echinacea--stunning! I agree with Joy--sounds like a wonderful beach drink:)

  19. The only thing that truly restrains me at the nursery is the thought of actually having to plant all the stuff I buy. Not a serious impediment to annuals & most perennials, but trees & shrubs give me pause. I hope you're not going to try to plant all those trees & shrubs yourself!

  20. Oh Jodi, you crack us up also. Great choices, I have lewisia envy, but maybe will try again. Supposed to be good trough plants. Daughter got Coconut Lime, haven't seen it bloom yet but it did winter over. We tried geums for the first time this year, so far so good. Glad to see you are buying more plants even if you can't work in the garden today. You must have a pretty good pile up by now. ;->

  21. So many blogs, so little time...

    And for me, the spring has brought terrible rains and wind. Now there is the cleanup to contend with.

    Hang in there...

    Robin at Bumblebee

  22. I've been controlling myself so far, but I broke down and bought my first hydrangea of the year today. I think my self-control has met its end. But, for once I have gotten the yard cleared up before the planting has started! Hurrah! Glad to hear you are out having fun in the garden

  23. Those darn plants - ornery little boogers, aren't they? ;-)

    Lewisia must be gaining in popularity around here because I found four different ones this spring. One of the two I'd already had survived the winter, so that brings my total to five. One of the new ones is 'Rainbow Mix' and is a brilliant shade of reddish pink. The others are more pastel colors (yellow, peach, and pink). I just love them!

    I've had both orange and red geum for a few years now and it comes back better each year. Mine is blooming right now, too, and looks much like yours.

    Isn't it amazing how quickly our gardens came to life this spring, once they started?

  24. It's far too hot here and has been for more than a week now. It's difficult to work in the garden when it's that hot outside.

    I love Sooty, Lime Coconut and Cooky looks good too. Viburnums are great shrubs to have; I'm going to buy a few next autumn for my new border too.

  25. Jodi, you are a gem. With your 'crazy' life, please know we all understand since most fans are experiencing 'crazy' lives themselves. The garden (and gardeners) teach us that 'on & off' days are what life is all about.

  26. Great selection of plants....lovely forms and colors!

  27. Hello Jodi. I am posting from SUNNY England - yep, honest, is been fantastic weather here. I am a gardener by trade and also have a passion for plants that is un-tempered by thoughts of "Do I have room for that?" .

    Just wanted to ask,how on earth do you get your Echinacea to grow so well ? Here we get slugs and snails by the bucket-load (I don't use poison as I also have cats and a dog) . Loving that Lime Coconut! WAAAANT one! Claire, Twickenham, UK

  28. I'm a crazed bleary eyed and half mad digging in the dirt woman right now in my own gardens. I'd show you my hands but they are covered in dirt and I'm ashamed. It's been good planting weather for us and I've been enjoying my garden--can't say the same for my job.

    I'm in a foul mood cuase the folks at my job have gone off the deep end and are on a plant killing frenzy that I can't write about on my blog so I'll vent here---way up here in the North where no one but Jodi and a few our good friends will see my half crazed state. I got one more week of this job and then I can go peacefully back to the real world of gardening as it should be.

    It's been a bad week and if I have to haul one more dead plant around the store and sell it to someone---I'm going off the deep end. Jodi--can I come hide out in your conifers? Evergreens?

  29. Hi;
    I'm obsessed with echinacea, too! They grew wild in the fields where I grew up as a kid. Mom and I used to ride horses to those fields so she could take pictures.

    Things follow me home all the time, too. :)


  30. Hi Jodi, I can totally relate to the need to take a break issue, especially since there are really no blooms yet to speak of. All in good time.I also agree with your American Idol choice, and think that it sounds like a totally logical reason for a new plant:).


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