27 August 2012

nice combos

 Self-sown Foeniculum vulgare 'Purpureum' (bronze fennel)
with Helenium autumnale  'Moorheim Beauty' behind.

Cleome hassleriana 'Pink Queen' against
a backlit wall of Cotinus coggyria 'Golden Spirit.'

Verbena bonariensis doing its perky, cute thing
in front of Phlox paniculata 'David.'

26 August 2012

garden timeline: aster 'october skies'

I pinched back my clump of three plants twice or three times this summer so that now I have what looks like a two-foot high shrub about three feet across. First bloom (with thousands more buds just beginning to develop): 19 August 2012.


garden timeline: clematis paniculata

First bloom on sweet autumn clematis: 25 August 2012.


most-asked-about plants in margaret roach's garden last weekend

I love listening to "A Way to Garden" on WHDD radio. I hook up to it via an app called Stitcher on my iPhone and listen to it, along with BBC Radio's "Gardeners' Question Time," WGLT's "Gardening with the Dean of Green," and NCPR's "Gardening Conversations" with Martha Foley and Amy Ivy (which isn't on Stitcher, but is available as a podcast), on my drives north from the city. These are my favorites, because I don't feel as if they are advertisements for a particular agenda or product, and they seem most focused on presenting useful information in a way that isn't pretentious or precious or jokey or dumbed down. I wish there were more programs like this, but I'm just not finding them. Any suggestions?

But I digress.

In Margaret Roach's most recent podcast, she listed out the plants that visitors asked about most during her recent garden tour, which was last weekend during the annual Copake Falls Day. Here they are:

I'm particularly interested in Aesculus pavia, which has red blossoms during the spring. Unusual.

23 August 2012

daylilies for james

James, here are a few daylilies I took note of at Slate Hill Farm last weekend. They're all in bloom now. Fiery, but fiery red, rather than fiery orange, most of them.

'Ruby My Dear': Red with a yellow throat, late, 28 inches (Craig and Mary Barnes, 2011)

'Augie Lombard': Red blend, very late, 31 inches (Bell, 1991)

'Caroline No': Red-orange with a red band above a yellow-green throat, late, 36 inches (Craig and Mary Barnes 2008)

'Challenger': Warm brick red with gold midribs, late midseason to late, 72 inches (Stout, 1949); Mary Barnes noted that it was blooming beautifully in an area with half sun

'Poinsettia': Orange-red spider, mid-season to late, 36 inches (Stout, 1953)
I know you already have 'Autumn Minaret." Did yours come into bloom a few weeks ago like mine did? It's already over six feet tall. Just beautiful.

'Princess Irene' is a great orange (see my previous post), and it was in bloom at Slate Hill Farm last weekend, too.

Old House Gardens is selling two other beautiful late daylilies, 'August Pioneer' and 'Black Friar.' Have you seen them?

Good luck! I think I may go back and buy a 'Challenger' this weekend. It really stood out to me. I'll also be on the lookout for more fiery orange daylilies for you . . .

16 August 2012

slate hill farm, the 2012 edition

Gracious, more daylilies! After church last Sunday, I had a choice: Turn left and go home to weed. Hmmmm. Turn right and visit Slate Hill Farm, just to look around a bit and see what's blooming . . . What do you think I did? What would you do?

Craig and Mary Barnes took time out from their weeding to walk me through their late-blooming daylilies, all of which I wanted to buy. I somehow managed to limit myself to fewer than 10. But just barely. I'll pick them up on Saturday.

The information below is from Slate Hill Farm and other sites (including Bloomingfields Farm and Oakes Daylilies):
  • 'Kindly Light' Classic spider, glowing yellow, very narrow petals recurved, blooming from mid-summer for about five weeks, 30 inches (Bechtold, 1950)
  • 'Princess Irene' Rich, clear orange, blooming from mid-summer until frost, 36 inches (Zager, 1952)
  • 'Poinsettia' (for some reason this one isn't in the online catalog, so I'm linking to Google images): Orange-red spider, mid-season to late, 36 inches (Stout, 1953)
  • 'Frans Hals' (ditto on this one, too): Bright rust and orange bicolor, creamy orange midrib on petals, very long blooming from midseason, 28 inches (Flory, 1955)
  • 'Bitsy' Grassy foliage, small yellow flowers, reblooms, extra-early, 20 inches (Warner, 1963)
  • 'Gold Thimble' Tiny, tiny, tiny! Beautiful little cup-shaped gold blossom (Hughes, 1966)
  • 'Lady Neva' Soft yellow semi-spider with rose eye, fragrant, early-midseason, 42 inches (Alexander/Moody, 1970)
  • 'Scarlet Orbit' Red with chartreuse throat, reblooms, fragrant, early, 22 inches (Gates, 1984)
  • 'Easter Monday' Pale yellow trumpet, fragrant(!), mid-season to late, 52 inches (Craig and Mary Barnes, 2006)
Notice the Barnes's hybrid, 'Easter Monday'? It's a large trumpet and fragrant. Say no more. And the color is wonderful. All right, stop. And did you notice how tall it is? That's it: I love it.

I seem to be partial to older varieties, traditional shapes, and traditional colors, although I did kind of a double-take on an almost white daylily that the Barnes are trialing now. I bet that would look great among brighter colors.

The last daylily I want to buy this year is Sydney Eddison's favorite, 'Painted Lady.' I've found it at Lakeview Daylily Farm, and nowhere else, so before it gets too much later in the season, I need to put a last order in . . .

12 August 2012

upstate new york hosta society plant sale

Yesterday morning, I tagged along with my hosta-loving friend Pam to the annual hosta sale sponsored by the Upstate New York Hosta Society at Faddegon's Nursery in Latham, New York. We decided to go a little early after she told me about last year's sale: She and her friend Diane arrived at 8:45 for what had been advertised as a 9:00 opening. When they got there, they were almost run over by all the early birds pulling carts piled high with hostas back to their cars. The sale had opened early.

The injustice!

So this year, we arrived at 8:30. Who knows but that other hosta lovers cried foul last year, because the sale began at 9:00 on the dot.

Our strategy was to grab the plants we might want and then review our finds later, which worked really well for us. We bought for three gardens—Pam's, Diane's, and B's and mine—so our two-tiered cart was jammed. Between the three of us, we ended up with something like 20 beautiful plants and spent a grand total of $103. Here are my purchases:

(left to right) 'Abiqua Drinking Gourd,' 'Christmas Tree,' 'August Moon,' 'Green and Gold,' and 'Sum and Substance'
    All healthy plants, and we had the opportunity to talk to a bunch of other people who love hostas, too (they're a congenial crowd). What a happy morning!