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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Adenophora lilifolia

Adenophora lilifolia has been with me for many years. I know I brought it from my old house where I had a nice little clump growing near the back door. What I don't remember is where or whom I got this plant from.

Adenophora is very similar to a Campanula. It grows a tall stem that is very upright and in early July (in New York) it is covered with lavender blue bell shaped blooms.

In another day or two I should have quite a few of these beauties blooming.

This morning I did a google search to see what information I could find out about Adenophora. According to my research, they like sun to semi-shade, are slow to establish, need excellent drainage, rich soil and resent being transplanted.

Much of that information is accurate with my own experience in growing them for 20 years. I have them in full sun with lots of compost (but they are slower there) and I have them in very filtered light with very lean soil. In the shady spot they are much more numerous, although it's taken years for them to fill in.

In the last year or two my Adenophora have self seeded into the gravel of the driveway. I was amazed at how many seedlings were there this year. Unfortunately the information on-line was correct when it said they resent being transplanted. I've worked hard to get them while they are very young.

Last year I managed to get a few seedlings out of the gravel and put them in a pot. They overwintered extremely well in the pot and filled it with growth in early spring.

If you have the chance to grow these beauties, I would advice you to give them a try. Today I'm going to cut one off and see how they hold up as cut flowers.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Time, Thyme, never enough in the garden...

There never seems to be enough time to work in the garden. Nor does there seem to be enough time to post!

This is just a little note to say that I'm still here but working furiously in the garden. I've been playing with lots of new container ideas and hope to finish them up in the next day or two and start posting some photos of them.

If you're looking for more to read, hop over to my other blog Old Country Gardens to see some of the things I fell in love with on a recent garden tour.

Back soon, I promise!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Blooming succulents

May 27th I potted up this square trough. Although I knew the Sempervivum 'cobweb' (hens & chicks) was putting up a bloom spike, I really didn't think about it as a beauty feature.

Today though I was totally struck by the charm of the bloom in this container. You can see it poking up in this photo.

Getting a bit closer, you see more and more of it's delicate beauty. By the way, those are the plant name tags tucked in behind that small rock.

From right above, it stops me in my tracks and makes me look once more.

One final zoom shot. This is where I wish I had a macro lens. If memory serves me correctly, these semps bloom for a long time. I'll be taking notes this year to see just how long.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Jigsaw pieces

Sometimes when I have a few spare minutes (not this time of year) I visit a Jigzone and do a jigsaw puzzle online. They let you upload a photo and make a puzzle out of it but I've never done so yet. So here's my version of cutting up a photo. The idea came to me when I was cropping and zooming some photos for my other blog, Old Country Gardens.

Growing along the top of the rock wall here is a little piece of Sedum acre. People are always groaning when they see this plant and tell me that's it's invasive. Well, it's not invasive in the shade but here it is, creeping along the wall in a dry shade location. Can't ask for more lovin' than that!

The Hakonachloa (Japanese forest grass) has a few solid green reversions that I need to get in and pull out. They'll get moved to another place, even as solid green pieces they're well worth growing. The dark purple Heuchera 'Palace Purple' has been there for years and is just fine in this hard to grow location.

At the base of the rocks is a lovely little stand of Asarum europeam (European ginger). It looks better than it's parent which is at the top of the wall and squeezed in on both sides. I've been sneaking out pieces every few days.

Here's the whole photo put together. Isn't it cool! I just love playing with my garden photos.

Off to try to ease my aching back. A hot soak and some muscle cream is in store for me.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Picture perfect

Rain rain, go away... yet another rainy day in this incredibly wet season. I don't think I remember a spring being as wet as this one in many years.

Thankfully I took lots of photos in the past few days so here's what's blooming at Old Country Gardens.

Don't you love this arrangement? It would never win a design award but I'm perfectly happy with it just the way it is.

Newly arrived hardy Geranium 'Jolly Bee' is putting up lots of heavenly blue blooms. I'm really excited about this geranium and hope it's just the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

What could be wrong with waves and waves of hot pink Silene Armeria?

Well, when your waves of Silene armeria totally hide the teeny Astilbe 'Darwin's Dreams' then a decision has to be made. Time to thin out the Silene.

The blue flowers on the Amsonia work very nicely with the Lysimachia punctata 'Alexander'. I have no idea why this variety of Lysimachia just limps along instead of taking over the world like the other Lysimachia's do. I wouldn't mind having a bit more so I could share it with friends.

Just couldn't resist these bronze Sedums. I bought some for me and some for you.

Centaurea dealbata. The buds are lovely but the blooms are exquisite. Unfortunately all the open blooms have been decimated by our rains and it looks like a few more days will go by before I get to photograph an open bloom.

Why am I cultivating a huge pokeweed? You have to go visit Old Country Gardens to get the full story.

I just couldn't resist this close up of an Astilbe bloom. For years I ignored this plant family. Even though I grew several varieties, I could never find a photo of one. This year I plan on taking lots and lots of Astilbe photos.

Thank goodness for blogs, rainy days would be so boring without them. What do you do on rainy days?


Monday, June 15, 2009

Lychnis 'Vesuvius'

Last year I bought Lychnis 'Vesuvius' at the Agway out in Riverhead. I didn't know where I was going to put this plant but I didn't care.

Garden writers always advise to never buy anything without a plan but in reality I rarely have a plan when I see something that strikes my fancy. This Lychnis with it's purplish foliage and hot orange bloom was a must have.

I really like where I place it, right in front of a Salvia verticillata 'Purple Rain'. There's just one problem, I need more! Lots and lots more of Lychnis 'Vesuvius' to play against the larger clump of Salvia.

Maybe it's time for a trip out to Agway. Hope they have it again this year!


Sunday, June 14, 2009

White blooms

While I don't consciously seek out white flowers, there were a number of them blooming in my garden today.

The first was this nice Astilbe, white flowers, dark green foliage, unknown name. I've promised myself to photograph every Astilbe this year and note it's location in the garden.

The blooms on the variegated Kousa dogwood are still going strong even with all the rain we've had. They are as pristine white as can be.

The saxifraga just started blooming and although the top of the bloom is pink, the petals are white. I have tried to move starts of this plant to so many different locations but the only spot it thrives is this one, near the entrance to my shady compost area.

Oh heavenly beauty, the white blooming Baptisia is one of my all time favorite flowers in the garden. I wish, I wish, I wish I could find a way to propagate this darling.

One more White Astilbe, the same unknown variety I have in the back bed but this one is out front near the mailbox. Two Astilbe down, only 20 or so more to go ;-)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Open Garden!

Tomorrow is open garden day here. Right now I'm so tired that I've just posted the same photo here as I did on my other blog. This is me at my sales booth today, thankfully most of the plants had already sold by the time this photo was taken.

The foxgloves are in peak bloom here along with a number of other perennials. I hope you can stop by and see us, bring an umbrella and wellies if it's raining, I'll still be out there :=)

Come any time from 10:30 - 4:30!


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Rambling thoughts

Tonight my brain is all discombobulated, there's just so many thoughts tumbling around it after spending the day setting up for our big flower show that opens tomorrow. Rather than form something cohesive from it, I thought I'd just continue to ramble around through some photos I took yesterday.

Cute little birdbath here but I was actually taking a photo of the teeny weeny Aruncus athusifolius seedling just in front of it. So far it's the only Aruncus seedling I found this year.

Want to learn more about Aruncus? After all, it's one of the most perfect perennials for Long Island Gardens. Just click here on Old Country Gardens (after you finish reading this post) and you can see why you need to grow this beauty.

Here's a new little planting area I'm working on. The brown bun at the bottom is a new Sedum I just bought. Hopefully I'll have enough energy to get out there and get the name of it and also remember to post it here someday.

Never be afraid to cut foliage. In order to take the above photo I had to trim back some of the daylily and iris foliage. It was worth it!

Calie the wonder-doodle (with dirt covered nose) is asking me why I'm such a softie that I let that silly Foeniculum vulgare seedling grow right in the middle of her path.

I MUST work on dividing that Hakonacloa macra 'All Gold' clump because it's just breathtaking and I need more, more more!

Hello, I thought I was taking an inspired photo of how these two beds flow together. What the heck is that old pool slide doing stuck in the back of the pool house?

Lamium 'Pink Nancy' (I think), this is what foliage is all about!

Hey, the shade border is filling in nicely. If I squint, I can almost not see the mold covered white vinyl fence at the back...almost...

Ok, time for some paperwork for tomorrow's big day. Hope you get the chance to stop by our flower show and say "hi".


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Flower Show Prep

Yesterday the local garden club I belong to held a meeting. We are hosting a flower show later this week and all kinds of last minute preparations are going on.

I belong to the Nathan Hale Garden Club, it's a federated garden club located in Huntington NY and has been around for about 77 years!

My job was to cut and bring in some examples of horticulture. Since our show will feature petite plants and designs, I had to choose petite/miniature/small/dwarf plant material.

Here you can see three different Geranium cantabrigiense varieties in flasks.

What might end up being the hardest challenge for us is finding the bottles and containers we need to exhibit our plant material. The rules tell us we must use clear glass containers and they must be in scale with our plant material.

These tiny bottles were given to me by a friend who works in a hospital. They are the perfect size for little bits of horticulture. The flasks in the top photo are the ultimate container, unfortunately I only have 4 of them. We wish we had found a source for more of these containers, many of our members are on the hunt today looking for something similar.

I hope you get the chance to stop by and see our flower show. I'll be entering my troughs in the dish garden category, right now they are overgrown from all the rain we're experiencing and I need to get out there and give them a haircut!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Perennial bloom

Blooming in my garden today are the final blooms on the white Siberian Iris, I'm madly in love with them!

The Sedum senanense is just covered with tiny bright yellow blossoms.

All three varieties of Aruncus are blooming today. I've photographed all of them and will put together a post highlighting this great perennial.

Ooh look... the Kniphofia (Red hot pokers) are just about to start opening.

Still going strong are the Thalictrum aquilegium in the back of the border. Remember, if you are going to grow this variety of Thalictrum, it will take a while before you get enough plants to give you bloom that you will see. I've let my Thalictrum go to seed so there's probably a dozen plants in this spot.

Right now I'm waiting for a line of thunder storms that the radar shows will come barreling through Long Island. I need to cut blooms for a horticulture demonstration so I'd better get going!


Sunday, June 7, 2009




Somehow I feel like a huge giant sneezed on my Rhododendrons.

Last week my Rhododendrons were amazing.

In fact, last week my Rhododendrons were fanstastic!

Even the white ones that have taken a bit longer to settle in, decided to put on a show.

Today though I'm not so in love with them. Can you believe that somebody told I need to deadhead my rhododenrons? I think it would take a month for me to do that.

Still, each year I can't wait for them to bloom.