21 August 2011

Lotsa August Colour & Heading to New Brunswick

What a wonderful few days I had on the road, talking gardens with fellow enthusiasts, photographing plants, cheering on fellow gardeners...thanks to my gracious hosts for their many kindnesses and generosity of spirit. We had great attendance at the talks and seminars, and as always, I think I learned as much as or more than those who came to the events. Tuesday I head out to New Brunswick, and I'll have more to say about that shortly.

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. 

Wednesday, I'm doing some research and also going to the 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....
Okay, where were we? Oh, the garden. Having been away for a few days, I really notice what's going on and how much things continue to grow and flourish. This daylily, for example, is doing brilliantly. If I only knew what its name was...I need to bring Wayne up from 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.
Oh, look at how the hollyhocks are blooming...marvelously, I must say. Are any of them yellow? Nope. But there's a yellow 'Sunny Knockout' rose near them, and a yellow yarrow. Maybe the colour will rub off on them. Yeah, right. In my dreams.
Okay, so maybe I'm doomed to NOT have yellow hollyhocks, but I do have some very fine blue gentians. Gentian blue gentians, in fact. They do well in two of my alpine troughs, as well as in a couple of areas of the garden that have great drainage. And they are really blue, did I mention that?
All of our gardens are planted with pollinators in mind, but I especially like this one because it's usually busy with bees and other pollen workers. There are several types of gallairdia, chocolate cosmos, echinaceas, stachys, day lilies and spirea in this bed, which has pretty good drainage. The chocolate cosmos will be lifted, and the gallairdia--well, I treat them as annuals but if they come through, great.
The echinaceas are doing really well this year--they've multiplied their crowns nicely and are very floriferous. In this photo, there's Pink Double Delight, Secret Passion, a regular pink one, Marmalade, Flamethrower in the background, along with rudbeckia 'Goldsturm', some shasta daisies, some perennial purple asters...and assorted shrubs with glowing gold or burgundy foliage.
It's also quite a year for hydrangeas, as you can see 'Limelight' forming up heads in the background, with 'Endless Summer Original' doing the blue blossom routine. Way back to the left, one of the Annabelle type hydrangeas is winding down its bloom. Meanwhile, in the foreground, Blue Fortune agastache, Jacob Cline monad, Goldsturm rudbeckia and echinacea Flamethrower are providing lots for pollinators to snack on.
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'. 
Lots of daylilies still going strong here, including 'Mateus', and 'Kwanso', the double orange faithful. A whole bunch of phlox is going to come along in the next few days, including pure white 'David' and deep rose 'Nicky'. I'm sure that even if it's hot and sunny the whole time I'm gone, there will still be plenty blooming when I arrive back home again. And we haven't even talked about the grasses yet, have we? Maybe next time.


  1. You do have lots of great color! My sunny garden is very colorful, too. And the shady part of the garden is colorful until mid-August when the Daylilies are done. Now we're back to a bit of color with the Lycoris in full bloom!

  2. Absolutely beautiful, Jodi. Love all the colours in your gardens.

    Brian started some hollyhocks this year and the plants are doing very well. I'm quite excited as we had some many years ago that died out for some reason.They are so beautiful. Next year will tell the tale. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

    Enjoy your New Brunswick tour. Sounds as though you'll be busy, busy.

  3. Your gardens are absolutely luscious! Enjoy NB and travel safely.

  4. Lovely blooms, are you getting rain or are you just watering lot's? Your garden looks so lush! Just beautiful...

  5. Jodi! Your place is a miniature botanical garden! The second pictures got my attention - why don't I have any of these flowers?!

  6. Your garden is just bursting with colour. Thanks for the inspirational photos. I got Sea Holly this year but I think Astrantia is next on my list, especially after seeing how well these plants look together.

  7. We share a love of the cone flower--the ordinary or the cultivar. Love them. I am amazed that we grow much the same plants in our gardens. Yours is lovely. Beautiful plants are quite hard to resist, aren't they?

  8. Lovely photographs as always! Those flowers are really in full bloom.

  9. I totally agree..for me, August (late summer into fall) is one of the best times in my garden! Love that Scabiousa...the color is lovely!

  10. "Kindnesses and generosity of spirit," pretty well sums up the gardeners I know and love. And yes, I think when you're teaching and lecturing you're also receiving information and growing from it.

    Love the colorful photos of the gardens. Our landscape is burned brown from the blowing sea spume last week.

    All joys to you and good luck in N.B.


  11. Beautiful display of color! It must be such a pleasure to walk outside and enjoy the fragrance of the flowers.

  12. oh your coneflower garden is gorgeous....I have that color in my garden too....it is awwesome against anything....even pollenators (loved that!)

  13. So enjoy visiting your garden, dear Jodi. Lots of color ... lots of variety ... lot of love.


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