11 Jun 2013

We Are Loving This Weather

DSC_0133I am speaking on behalf of the ‘children’ and myself when I use the plural ‘we.’ Never before has the Rare and Unusual border been this exuberant with its foliar display! In gardening circles I have been given the name ‘Heathcliff’ deriving from my penchant for cool drizzly weather. I think the ‘kids’ take after their old man!

DSC_0136Cotinus ‘Grace’, Cornus ‘Golden Shadows’ and Metasequoia ‘Goldrush’ are all soaking up the abundance of rainfall we have received during the last two weeks. Weather forecasts are predicting a cooler and wetter Summer than normal – music to this gardeners ears!  It does make it difficult to keep people milling about the plants at work but you can tell a fellow plant geek from ten paces – wellies, brellies and a list of plants they are in search of! Gotta love and embrace our geekdom!


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So many of the kids are blooming, or just on the verge! Paeonia x ‘Going Bananas’ is mere days away from bedazzling me with its first blooms! A frail looking Enkianthus campanulatus ‘Showy Lanterns’  is smothered in bloom this year! I had contemplated its removal earlier, but decided to give it another season to woo me over – and its worked! Clematis recta ‘Purpurea’ is once again smothering the obelisk and has just begun blooming – a frothy mass of tiny white flowers that look so striking against its bruised foliage. Earlier in the season it tried to leap from the obelisk to embrace its sibling Cornus ‘Golden Shadows’ who wanted nothing to do with it! [Was it the Cornus or myself?]

DSC_0143DSC_0144… and YES, I have two more ‘Lingholm’ buds that continue to hold me in suspense of their unraveling! The kids do love to tease their Papa!

DSC_0155    Apologies in advance for the garish white back drop, but my pink ‘Martagon’ has finally [three years later] decided to bloom! I have been extremely diligent in keeping an eye peeled for those bastardly Japanese Lily Beetle, which, knock on wood, have not made an appearance.

DSC_0157The first of the instantly recognizable Arisaema ciliatum var. lubiaense have emerged, If you look closely you can already see the whip like spadix while the spathe remains tightly wrapped against the stem. I have spotted quite a few of these Asian beauties poking up out of the fresh compost, ensuring that my clutch of garden serpents increases yet again this year!

DSC_0164While on the topic of garden serpents, check out the foliage of our native Arisaema triphyllum – I have the foliage resting on my knee in order to support it! They have all been massive in size the past two years. ‘Jacks’ will always reign supreme in my gardens!

  DSC_0160 DSC_0158 DSC_0163 Its a small property, with a lot of shade [the concrete kind created from having two closely positioned houses as bookends] but it suits me just fine!

DSC_0168DSC_0169The property has allowed for me to bring together a collection of mainly rare and unusual shade loving perennials, many of whom will end up on the benches at work if they meet my somewhat strict performance guidelines. I have been thrilled to hear clients commenting on the increase of such rare beauties in the past three months! They ain’t seen nothing yet!

DSC_0170   And even the not so unusual add a sense of charm to the property. I will forever be enamored of Nectoroscordum siculum var. Bulgaricum with her gorgeous multi coloured pendulous bells!

DSC_0175For those familiar, my Dracunculus vulgaris is getting ready to bloom. In the past I have always removed the flowering spathe, dreading the fact that it, [the flower] while magnificent in all of its parts – a deep wine rubbery spathe like confection, requires flies in order to pollinate, and as such, for three days after opening has an odor reminiscent of rotting meat! Bite the bullet baby.

DSC_0179I will leave you with what was yet another ‘Sweet Baby Jesus’ moment for me today. I moved my Anemonopsis macrophylla a year ago and had one bloom! This year I have three vertical flower spikes with what appear to be six or seven flower buds. I am so proud of my children!

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