10 Jan 2014

August-September 2013: The Gentle Decline: The Year in Review

1545201_575403029211789_1448999888_nI’m consistently asked why I don’t like the ‘Endless Summer’ macrophylla type of Hydrangeas – so now instead of answering the question, I simply walk folks over and show them ‘Twist ‘n’ Shout!’ I listen to people bemoaning the fact that their supposed ‘endless’ bloomers tend to be duds – hence the fact that you do not see them on the benches at Cedar Spring! Excuse me? Are you listening? Stop staring at the photo will you! No. Seriously. Ogle it to death – or at least long enough for it to imprint itself on your subconscious mind so that you’ll be first in line to ask for it for the new gardening season. I love its lacecap inflorescence with both sterile and fertile florets, not to mention the awesome coloration…. pink, mauve, blue and apple green…… hortgasm worthy if ever there was!

DSC_0235   August dawned considerably warmer – to the point of scorching – than the previous months, which meant it was time for me to become caretaker of ensuring that the kids remained hydrated. Not a lot to ask o9f any proud parent. Anemonopsis continued to amaze with a steady proliferation of delicate blooms. It remained the scene stealer for yet another month – even usurping the stunning beauty of Twist ‘n’ Shout!

DSC_0237The various Roscoea species continued to grace us with their orchid-like blooms. Just as one flower begun to look tired, new flower spikes would magically appear. While it is another of the late bloomers in the garden, it has proven reliably hardy for me with little winter protection aside of a layer of finely shredded oak leaves,

DSC_0245  Cassia marilandica is also known as wild senna, and grows into a rather substantial shrub each season. I love its legume like shaped foliage, which works wonderfully as a compliment to the foliage of Baptisia – both members of the legume family.

DSC_0251The bumper crop of Kirengeshoma flowers this past year was amazing! I have never seen quite so many – to the point that some of the branches were weighted to the ground. I love its statuesque beauty and the fact that it is such a late bloomer in the garden. It is the perfect compliment to the late blooming Aconitum species, most of which are blue or purple. Plant the two among one another for stunning effect! Trust me on this one!

DSC_0237I’d mentioned in my July post about the climbing Aconitum alboviolaceum that was winding it’s way up the length of Thalictrum delavayi ‘Splendide’ – here’s a photo to show just how perfect the combination was/ Even better is the fact that as the season progressed, the foliage of the Aconitum turned a fabulously chartreuse colour! Hello!

DSC_0242A pot of the tender Nerine bowdenii surprised me with this wonderful bloom! I’d all but given up on it, remembering having read somewhere that in some cases they only put forth foliage in their first year after being planted.

DSC_0263Few Salvia species are tolerant of shade, with the exception of Salvia koyomae, a sublime foliage plant native to China. Late Fall heralds spikes of canary yellow flowers, similar to others within the genus.


DSC_0289DSC_0275 I love the near translucent, papery helmet shaped flowers of my Fall flowering Aconitum species. Another relatively new addition to the garden is Spiranthes cernua ‘Chadd’s Ford’ – also known as fragrant ladies tresses – a delightful terrestrial orchid native to Eastern North America. Tiny, vanilla scented flowers appear in late Summer, filling the air with their intoxicating fragrance!

DSC_0256DSC_0252Cimacifuga, Actaea, Snakeroot – all names for one of my all-time favourite Fall flowering perennials. Dark purple, near black deeply incised, fern like foliage gives rise to statuesque [1.5m] flower wands that more resemble bottlebrushes than anything else. Each tiny bud is a lovely wine/pink colour before opening to sublimely fragrant flowers. It literally fills the evening air with the most divine fragrance, which is why you must place it close to your outdoor seating area. The bees and butterflies are drawn like a moth to the proverbial flame.

And there you have it – the gardening year that was. As I’ve made mention of on numerous occasion, 2013 goes down in the record books as the best ever here at Teza’s Garden. Can hardly wait to see what 2014 has in store for us!


Ms. S said...

Well! I've spent the past hour on your site catching up with the gorgeousness of it all. It really is becoming quite fabulous. Wishing you more of the same in 2014. :)

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Hello sweetie !
I think I had my Twist'Shout before you and harped on it because of those fabulous colours it pumped out. The name was , hum? cheesy? but I had to get over that! haha
Again I am totally in love with your
Anemonopsis .. stunning ! and that climbing aconitum is so gorgeous.
YES ! one of my snakeroots (name escapes me now) is so huge and so full of flower heads in the Fall the scent truly is heady at the least .. I love it to bits!
I am so hoping my "Splendide' makes it through this weird winter weather .. I am fear full of what plants I might lose. I know we can always buy replacements .. but I am attached to my babies like you are yours.
Gorgeous show as always !
Joy : )