Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Daffodils Daffodils Daffodils.............

They say yellow is the best colour to surround yourself with to create a happy mood. Well hello yellow!!! My lovely father has just delivered the most enormous bunch of mixed daffodils to me at my office. Within minutes they have been photographed, and put into vases - 6 to be precise - then photographed again!! Now here I am sharing their yellow cheerfulness with you all.

Just for fun, I separated them into the main groups of the whites and the yellows. Only because I had so many that I could, but also it is interesting that daffodils do not just have to be the classic yellow. These days there are thousands of variations. Best thing is to buy bulbs you like every year, in autumn, and plant them either in pots or in the ground. They multiply so well, and respond really well to being dug up after flowering, split apart, and replanted to make a larger group.
White bunch, yellow bunch.

Nothing says spring quite like a mass of daffodils....Thanks DBT - you have made my day!!! xo

Lobelia splendens 'Queen Victoria'

For a late summer accent of bright red, this perennial is excellent. It has height, intense and long lasting colour, plus the foliage is great. I bought some last autumn to fill a colour gap in my red garden, and have been watching it with interest to see what happens.

 Interesting to see that the plants I grew have stayed with the crowns in leaf over winter, which are a gorgeous dark red. And they have multiplied. If I am careful I will be able to divide the original plants. I will do that soon, but as well I have bought some more, for home this time. They are still waiting to be planted.
This was the flower in autumn last year. Very clear scarlet red flowers, and tall. 
Last year's plants have multiplied and I will be dividing them soon. 
New plants waiting to be planted in my red garden at home.
They naturally grow in damp, open, swampy areas in North America, which is interesting. This is a hybrid, obviously. Mine have been in full sun and not terribly well looked after, water wise, over summer. Thoroughly recommended plant. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

September Update - Orange and Purple Perennial Garden

From a distance, not much has changed in this garden since my last post in July. But as the weather has warmed, much new growth is occurring - bearded iris foliage is bulking up, delicate daffodils are flowering, and my favourite white primulas along the front edge are in full swing. And my favourite shrub, Fothergilla, is just starting to flower. I think that half the pleasure I get from this garden is the anticipation! I really look forward to small details such as the bulbs emerging, and the buds plumping up. It changes from week to week, and I love that.
These daffodils glow with the light behind them, and add a real highlight

The iris foliage is plumping up rapidly in the rear (three different species - bearded,
Siberican and Pseudacorus), with tiny details like the Daffodils,
polyanthus and Omphalodes creating interest from close up. 
Fothergilla just starting to flower. Wonderful shrub - I wish more nurseries grew it. 

Spring Blues

August and September in my garden are about the subtle plants - small pockets of interest - bulbs, primulas, polyanthus, and fresh foliage growth. I noticed on the weekend that blues are my feature colour, especially in miniature.

The Grape Hyacinth (Muscari) is a particularly nostalgic plant for me - childhood memories of picking little posies for my bedside table. The fascination of their miniature flowers is still with me, as is their subtle fragrance. I have split some clumps, and now have them in little pockets amongst white primulas, and fresh green foliage. They look fabulous. They also last for ages in a vase, and that way you get to enjoy the intricacies of their form up close.

Other blues at the moment are the polyanthus and Omphalodes. I can't get enough of the Omphalodes, and have divided it and poked in all the different gardens this spring. The bold foliage is useful amongst smaller leaves, but the colour of the flowers is fabulous. Like a very intensely deep forget-me-not, but without the pain-in-the-butt maintenance issues!

Omphalodes cappadocia.
This is a small division taken off the parent plant about 2 months ago. 
 Polyanthus are wonderful for a burst of colour, too. Any colour! I have mostly blues and purples, but also dark reds, but I definitely keep them within their colour groups in any one area. They stoically flower on for months through the wet and wild winter conditions. For only a few dollars, they give years and years of pleasure. It is these little details that make gardens more interesting for 12 months of the year.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Magnolia Stellata

After the dullness of June and July, it has been heartening to have some of the larger shrubs starting to flower. Appreciated all the more because of the bare branches around them. This Magnolia stellata is a favourite - flowering when not a lot of others have started, apart from the camellias and a few cherry trees (Prunus Felix Jury is spectacular right now, if you have it in a space it cannot clash with other colours!!).