Friday, April 18, 2008

A Thousand Words

Since my time for actual gardening is itself at a premium right now, I'm having a hard time justifying extensive blog writing. So I thought I'd just post some pics of what's happening in the garden this week, without a lot of explanation. This is a Paeonia suffruticosa hybrid, "Shima nishiki". Viburnum opulus 'sterile', the ubiquitous hand-me-down "Snowball" bush. It's beautiful even before the flowers turn white.
Amsonia tabernaemontana - one of my favorite plants. These are clumps I grew from seed several years ago. Some have been taken over by violets and need rescuing, but they're a little touchy re. root disturbance, so I'm not sure how to proceed with that (which makes a good excuse for ignoring this particular chore - just call me "Hamlet")Iris japonica, a great little evergreen groundcover growing in deep, dark shade, yet producing lots of blooms this year. I need to pull out lots of it, since it's taking over the path, but I can't bring myself to do so, at least until it stops blooming.Arisaema serratum var. Mayebarae Paeonia cambessedesii - a fifth-year seedling which has yet to bloom, but has great foliage with purple on the reverse.Trillium grandiflorum, Trillium flexipes, and Trillium cuneatum with Tiarella wherryi. Though not often grown in our area, trilliums have been very successful for me, and I have dozens coming along from seed. These are very slow - from seed to bloom can take from five to seven years, but it's fun to watch their development from year to year, and they don't take up much space. Most of them are planted around the tree peonies, since both prefer to be kept on the dry side during the summer.Rosa laevigata ("Cherokee Rose")- this will probably be removed after this spring. I love the blooms and the winter foliage (glossy with bright red thorns), but it's a rampant grower (about 30' across at this point) which is infested with Japanese honeysuckle; pruning it requires full body armor! Purple tree peonies, Azaleas canescens and austrinum Narcissus "Katie Heath" Winter window boxes which need to be changed out soon, but have been very attractive all season: Autumn fern (Dryopteris erythrosora) and Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae. I stuck in some red Nandina berries for the holidays and let them spill over the sides. Neither of these plants wants to be kept in such tight quarters for long, but they're both easy to propagate, so I'll probably plant these out and repeat this combo next year. The Euphorbia has essentially the same colors as Helleborus foetidus "Wester Flisk", but transplants much more easily for this application.A couple of thugs, Rosa banksiae lutea and a double Wisteria blooming in combination. I threaten to remove both of these (they're all but destroying what's left of the back fence, and the Wisteria is strangling a sweetgum) for most of the year, but always relent when they bloom. Arisaema trifoliata, the native Jack-in-the-Pulpit. I've grown dozens of these from seed, and they're all over the place now. Can't beat 'em. I haven't devoted a lot of space to doing the "dogwood/azalea" thing in this garden, since so many others take care of that and I can drive around and see as many as I want, but these gigantic indicas ("George Lindley Tabor", in this case) are worth the space. Okay - that's it. Gotta go pull weeds, repot plants, cut grass, mend fences, and - oh,


Zephyr said...

Jeff, I loved taking a tour around your garden! And your handsome window box from the winter makes me want to move south!

I really enjoyed my visit this morning and I will be bookmarking your blog so I can visit regularly.

By the way, I'm vicki, of Ken Druse-REAL DIRT. I have my own blog also...that I started ages ago as a "therapy" also...and my blogging handle is "zephyr". Check it out when you have a moment.

Piondröm said...

Hi Jeff!
Very beautiful pictures on your flowers "for the weeks".
Thank you so much.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff,

I have a Japanese Snowball - Viburnum opulus - and I was hoping to ask a ?.... The flowers are great, but the plant is growing full & blooming at the bottom with empty 6-8" stalks up the middle and then leaves and blooms again at the top. Any advice? Thanks, Rhonda in Maryland

Jeff said...

Hi Rhonda-

Sorry to be so slow in responding. I had a death in the family, and the blog has kind of been abandoned for the last few months. I'm no expert on pruning (anybody who's seen my yard can vouch for that), but I think the best course of action is to wait until the bloom is finished (like now, here), and prune the stems at graduated heights - take the older ones completely out, leave some others at medium height, and cut some between those heights. That way the shrub will fill in at all levels, and next year's bloom is forming on this year's growth.

Hope that makes sense!