Slightly belated Christmas greetings to all--we had not a drop of snow in Nova Scotia, and in fact had record breaking mild temperatures and torrential rains this year. It made travel easy, and we spent a very happy Christmas day with family. Since then I've been on an actual time-off from work, allowing myself a few days of just doing whatever I want, which has mostly been playing with photography, sorting through my image libraries, reading, and catching up with people I care about.
We often have end-of-year retrospectives on many topics, including, of course, on gardening. I decided to do one primarily because most of my favourite plants this year, with one or two exceptions, have been around for a while and still remain some of my favourites.
Let's start with the photo above, which is mostly of Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit'. There is a double flowered form in the background so that's why I say mostly. Otherwise, all those blossoms in the foreground, the orange, the yellow, the deep red-pink, are all from Cheyenne Spirit plants. These were planted in 2013, sailed through the winter, and bloomed their faces off this season, in these and other hues. I like them so much I bought several more, and now have no less than 8 different hues from the one cultivar. The only drawback, of course, is that you have to wait until they flower if you have a specific colour in mind. Hardy and vigourous and highly recommended.
I don't grow a lot of annuals from seed, and mostly, I grow annuals in containers to make portable gardens that I can move around the yard. One that I usually buy started at a good nursery is morning glory 'Heavenly Blue', which is surely one of the most marvelous of flowers. Large, blue starry flowers tinged with purple, a yellow-white throat...what's not to love?Taming Wildflowers by Wildflower Farm owner and advocate Miriam Goldberger, and it's an utterly fabulous book. Well written, easy to follow, and while it's not exhaustive in its scope, it does profile dozens of wildflowers that work beautifully in garden situations, and teaches you how to use them on your property. Miriam is justifiably proud of this beautiful book, and you really ought to have it in your library.
Blomidon Nurseries. It has been dug up and moved twice, and has settled in nicely to its (hopefully permanent) home here in Wolfville. It's a thing of great beauty, don't you think? As an added bonus, it fades to a soft, pale yellow as the flowers age.
Canning Daylily Gardens.
Foxglove lady's gloves. My sister kindly gave me a pair of the gloves for Christmas, and while it's not garden season outdoors right now, they are also fantastic for another passion of mine: photography! They are form fitting and protect your hands but you can also do fine work with them, including working with a camera. As for the amaryllis (okay, Hippeastrum but you get the point), this is my first year growing this colourful variety but it won't be my last. Although there have only been two flowers on each of the two stems that have bloomed so far, there is a third stem coming along now, so that makes up for it. And such colours! It's a perfect Christmas plant with its red, white and green flowers.
Harbour Breezes Daylilies and Japanese Irises in East Jeddore, NS. Allan is also the breeder and seller of a daylily named after me, which is pretty amazing and humbling. I got out to visit a lot of gardens this past year, but intend to visit many more next year, whenever possible.
post earlier this year, thanks to a workshop several years ago with Pam Eveleigh of Primula World, I discovered a new passion for primulas of all types. They also have grown very well in my garden, from this P. bulleyana, grown from seed she gave us at the workshop...
Garden Making's website in early September about the absolute joy and excitement of discovering a new-to-me plant. In this case it was Anemonopsis, which I saw at my friend Nina's garden the month before, and which I discovered that Rob Baldwin had brought in to his nursery. I wasn't long in installing one in my garden, too! It's a plant suited for shade and rich but well-drained soil, as it doesn't like poor drainage over winter. I put it beside my blue poppy in the little woodland garden I made, and we'll see what happens next spring.
There were many other plants that caught my eye and arrived in my garden, but these are some of my favourites from this year. What about you? What were your must-haves or stalwart favourites this year?
Happy Gardening New Year to all...may we all have a blooming great year next year!