01 June 2008

"...And the Rain Came Down" Garden Bloggers Muse Day.

It can never be said that I don't have rather eclectic tastes in music. From Alison Krauss to Albinoni, from Cowboy Junkies to Chopin, from the Tragically Hip to U2 to anything by Bach but especially the Goldberg variations, the only music I adamantly despise is urban/hiphop/rap. It's just not me. And I'm not crazy about bluegrass or real hurtme-twangy country music, but I do LOVE Steve Earle. And so it wasn't really a surprise that I sat up when his song "The Rain Came Down" popped into my head (rudely overriding a blissful moment I was having with Our Lady Peace) because REALLY...we're having monsoons here tonight. It's the weekend, after all. This seemed like the right snippet of lyrics to use as my entry for this Garden Bloggers Muse Day, brought to us by Carolyn of Sweet Home and Garden Chicago:

And the rain came down
Like an angel come down from above
And the rain came down
It'll wash you away and there ain't never enough

And the next song to go along with this should be Bob Dylan's Blowin' in the Wind. Because we've had nuttin' but wind all week long. After a few days of it, I get really cranky, because it's a cool wind off the water and I don't wanna do anything outside as a result.

The weather hasn't deterred the hummers, who are incredibly brazen--and voracious. They come look in the windows at me when their feeders need filling--and that is twice daily right now. I guess they think I'm safe, as this one was hovering waiting for me to finish filling before he dived right in.

This morning saw me on the road to Truro, where it wasn't raining, to give a talk on container plantings. First stop, however, was the Farmers Market, where I had a chance to chat with Jane Blackburn of Woodlands and Meadows Perennial Nursery. Jane carries a host of native plants as well as some wonderfully unique perennials, and today I was tempted by some new to me succulents. And a dandy epimedium. And the cutest little primrose.

This Sempervivum is called 'Viking.'

And this is the well-named 'Icicle'.Speaking of which...while we didn't have a frost the past couple of nights, we came close. And tonight--I have the woodstove blasting to take the chill and damp off. It's enough to make one scream.

And this intriguing little number is Orostachys spinosa. I didn't know this plant, so I went off to have a look for info about it. Here's what Kristl Walek of Gardens North Nursery has to say about it:
In a genus of largely fleshy, spreading plants, O. spinosa is the odd man out. It is often mistaken for a Sempervivum, although it is decidedly more elegant; forming a low, spiny, grey, globose rosette which can be 10cm across at maturity. This normally takes a minimum of 5 years and at its peak, the plant is a wonder to behold and a perfect study in symmetry. The rosettes are evergreen and emerge from winter shrunken and tight, shimmering like grey-green metal. The rosette expands and opens as the season progresses and changes to soft grey-green.

After I was done at the market and giving my talk, it was time to beat it back to the Valley for another project that I was committed to. But there was time to stop into a couple of garden centres in Truro....where I was singularly unimpressed by the quality and selection of plants. Two of the garden centres were not surprisingly dull, but the third one, a satellite nursery of a large garden centre in another county, REALLY surprised me because it had next to nothing of interest, and what it did have, at least in the annual selections, was way, way overpriced. Maybe they're stressed by heating bills, but if no one is buying, then they might need to adjust their prices somewhat.

However, as always I was thrilled by what Jane had, and likewise what Lloyd Mapplebeck of Hillendale Perennials had on offer. Lloyd doesn't have a website, but he's an excellent plantperson and I always buy all kinds of treasures from him every year. He did say he's seeing a lot of customers from the Halifax area, because quite frankly, Halifax has very little in terms of decent plant centres either. What's there is mostly the same ol' same ol' that has been carried by the same centres for the past number of years. I never make a trip to the city to go through garden centres--but lots of people head OUT Of the city for Truro, for the Valley, for the South shore. It's an interesting conundrum.

I did scoop up some more lantanas, as I am totally besotted by their colours. I love this one's name: Landmark Sunrise Rose. There's another one right beside it, but its label went among the missing. In my greenhouse. I think the garden gnomes carried it off.

The one astonishing find I scored at the Co-op garden centre in Truro was this new-to-me osteospermum. I love love love osteos, and the past couple of years the breeders have trotted out some glorious new colours. This beauty is called 'Summertime Blueberry' and I bought four plants because the brilliantly rich porange (pinkpurple orange) just thrilled me. some of the flowers have more distinctive divisions in the colour, but I'll plant them out and then take more photos--when the rain finally stops and the sun comes back out....

Happy June Muse Day, Friends. I'm coming to visit, except for one: Where the Heck is Flowergardengirl gone to? She left a comment here but I can't raise her blog? Anyone know what's up?


  1. Happy June Muse Day Jodi. It looks like you found some wonderful plants for your garden.

  2. Jodi, all your new plants are lovely. I especially like the new succulents. I have a renewed interest in them this year for some reason. Maybe it's because I have noticed all the new varities. I have a new one that is the green version of your 'Viking'-of course I can't find the name right now.

    Hope your weather improves.

  3. Flower Garden Girl is on a new Typepad address. I've got a link to it under "The Usual Suspects."
    Why are none of these fabulous Osteos available in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago? I've looked at 5 independent nurseries, & they all have the same "Sonatas" & "Symphonies" & that's it. Your muse reminded me of the Stevie Ray song "The Sky is Crying." Hey, at least it's not drought.

  4. My goodness, Jodi, you're busier than a one-legged man in a butt kicking contest : )

    Thanks for the June musings. I'm sending some sunshine up your way .

  5. Thanks for honoring David Cook!! :)

  6. Such a great post, Jodi! I love the color of the bearded iris.

    And I have to say that your new profile photo featuring the catchildren is just adorable! Hubby said with a twinkle in his eye, "It must be hard to get them all to pose that way."

    Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

  7. Love that osteospermum! We have nothing like that in our garden centers here, but I did find a couple lantana that look like yours, which I snapped up immediately. I can empathize with your weather, though it finally seems to be summer-like here. I'm working on a Garden Muse day post, but it won't be up till tomorrow (postponed due to rain).

  8. Great Muse Day post. Your photos of the succulents make me want to go out and get some. I love the lantana photo. I, too, can't get enough of them.

    Always Growing

  9. Thanks for the plug of my nursery. I try really hard to carry thing no one else has. About that over priced nursery in Truro, I couldnt agree more. I was in there 4 weeks ago when it first opened and was floored at the price of the annuals in the GH.
    I do believe in paying for good quality plants but almost $10 for a double inpatient in a 5-6" pot was too much.


  10. As always, your photos are wonderful. And I too love the porange colored osteospermum.

    Have you seen the movie Wordplay? It's a fabulous documentary about the New York Times Crossword -- who makes them, the editor, the people who love them. Very enjoyable. I'm also a word nerd.

  11. Nice words and good photos, Jodi - the sempervivums are very cool!

    If we had to sing about weather it would be more along the lines of "How Dry I Am' or "All Day I face the barren waste" ... no rain and 97°F/36ÂșC. Any rain here would indeed be greeted as arriving "
    Like an angel come down from above".

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  12. Well, the rain does make for pretty pictures! We have had so much wind here this spring! We are not near the water like you are. Love those osteos. Happy belated muse day to you.

  13. I still see the hummingbirds zoom past but have yet to see them at the feeders. Hopefully soon. I love that sherbet colored lantana.

  14. Great post, Jodi. I like the "porange" color of that osteo, but I LOVE that little 'Icicle' sempervivum. I need to find myself some of that to tuck in with the cobweb ones. Fun. :)

  15. What a beautiful post. Our hummers have not yet shown themselves here,which is highly unusual. Hm. I, too, love lantana - the Dallas Red seems to draw the most butterflies here.

  16. Such great photos! Your hummer is wonderful - loved reading about them watching you through the window, waiting to have their feeder refilled!

  17. Did you know I have a really hard time listening to music. I can't hear the words for the life of me. I really feel like I'm missing out. I love Allison Krause--but it's the tune and not the words that work for me.

    It's the same if I'm in a room full of people. If you try to talk to me, I can't single you out. I avoid crowds cause of this. And flowers do the same thing to me. I am simply overwhelmed when there are so many of them talking to me at once. It's quite emotional. Do I sound like a crazy person.

    Gardening and music can only come to me in one or the other fashion but not both together. Like---I can read the words to a song and get it. When I'm looking at a big garden--I see the flow of colors and not just one flower. If I want to see just one flower, I have to walk right up to it and look down at it and focus real close on it to block everything else out. Otherwise....i start blending. Have you ever heard of such a thing?

  18. Another beautiful post with lovely words and nice photos comme d'habitude! Have a happy weekend/ Tyra

  19. I love that Osteospermum, too, Jodi! One of my favorite colors as well. I save eh seed from my osteos every year and they come true, so I wonder if yours will?


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