It's hard to believe that we are in June already - although the pace at work tells me it can only be the hectic early weeks of yet another garden season. Not that I am complaining in the least - this is my favourite time of the year by far!
I'm not sure what to believe in regards to the predictions for weather for this area for the next three months. TWN claims that we are in for a repeat performance of last year - noticeably cooler temperatures with an increased amount of precipitation - although from what we've had thus far, I'm not so sure about the whole precipitation prediction. Its been bone dry so far, and what little precipitation we see is usually in the form of a much reduced amount than originally predicted. Alas, with the third retractable hose of the season thus far [oh yes, I refuse to give up hope just yet as once you've used one of these wonders, its hard to go back to fighting with the unforgiving plastic ones, even if I've spent enough to probably buy ten of them twice over! Stubborn fool I've become since turning fifty earlier in the week!]
The first photo shows why I live for foliage! Every year, without fail, the green voodoo magic transforms the narrow space between mine and the neighbour's house into a tapestry of colour, form and magical texture. It truly does make the heart sing!
One of my acquisitions from last season was a diminutive specimen of what is my favourite conifer - Abies concolor 'Blue Cloak' - which is supposedly a weeping form! He remains quite small, but as you can see, his long needles definitely live up to his adorable name. I think I have another shot later in the post to show his actual stature. I was contemplating naming him Tyrion, but worried that GRRM might take offence and sue!
While I do not cultivate many bulbs here at Teza's Garden, I refuse to be without the stunning Nectaroscordum siculum var. 'Bulgaricum.' Its cream and wine coloured bell shaped flowers that hang in umbels atop stems to 1m are nothing short of mesmerizing. I sometimes wait to hear the bells that should be accompanying their presence in the garden!
I am thrilled each and every season with the appearance of what has proven to be a hardy and reliable blue flowering Corydalis. Originally collected from the garden of plantsman Keith Wiley, Corydalis 'Wildside Blue' has quickly come to be the go to selection of the mesmerizing blue flowering species.
Did I mention my love affair with foliage? In this one photo alone I can see six of my favourite foliage plants: the fabulously chartreuse Aralia cordata 'Sun King,' the shredded umbrella appearance of Syneilesis aconitifolia, the deeply toothed, coarse foliage of Deinanthe caerulea, the now deep green foliage of Polygonatum x hybrid 'Betberg,' the lacy palmate foliage of Aconitum kyrlovii, and last but certainly not least, the distinctive foliage of Disporum uniflorum, which has become a new favourite this season! While on the topic of foliage, the photo below is that of what is probably my most anticipated woodland gem, that of Anemonopsis macrophylla! Sigh!
I have a lust for all things Arisaema, and was thrilled to see the long, cylindrical protuberance that signifies the return of one of my favourite species: Arisaema ciliatum var. lubiaense. Its whorled leaf pattern and distinct purple, green and white spathe, not to mention its somewhat towering height, make it a visitor favourite every year, and thanks to its easiness to propagate, I find myself with a delightful clutch of vipers in the garden every year!
People shake their heads in amazement when they see my thoroughly well behaved Persicaria, which is also sold as Fallopia japonica, which is known to yet others as knotweed. Although he is towering well above the 2m so far this year, he has not spread beyond a 1m section of the garden. I love his heart shaped, cream and green splashed foliage, not to mention the ruby petioles that clasp said foliage to the towering stems. Call me crazy, but he and I have a well versed, no nonsense agreement with one another!
While most of my beloved Epimedium species have finished flowering for the season, I am always pleasantly surprised when 'Windfire' continues to produce a flush of startling yellow and blood red tipped flowers well into June. It is a smaller species from Japan that has proven to be quite vigorous - enough so that I now have this demure vixen in three locations on my property.
Polygonatum is another of my favourite genera, and when I read about Polygonatum verticillatum, I knew I needed to own one. It is an oddity within a genus of stiff stemmed, sentry like species, what with his thin, somewhat lax stems and distinctive whorled leaf pattern. You can just make out his signature white pearl shaped flower buds. He is a darling that causes people to point with a perplexed look on their faces! Always expect the unexpected when visiting this garden!
I needed to have a true yellow flowering Paeonia, and Paeonia x 'Going Bananas,' fills the requirement, and then some. Beautiful crystal clear, whipped buttery yellow single blooms with a wine coloured central stain, surrounded by a boss of golden stamens bring me to my knees in supplication each and every season, and with eight swollen buds this year it is bound to be a case of Sweet Baby Jesus, I've fallen over and am suffering a hortgasm, but please, ignore me if you can!
Ok! You know there had to be at least one in my garden this year! Thanks in large part to an article in the Globe and Mail by plantswoman Marjorie Harris, the gardening community has been abuzz with chatter about one Digiplexis 'Berry Canary,' the second selection of a genus cross between Isoplexis and Digitalis, resulting in one very seductive, somewhat pricey garden annual. Forget the term temperennial - unless you live in Z7 or higher! Overwintering?!? Been there, tried that, not so much!
But.... one that is reliably hardy, and is having a stunning bumper crop of blossom this year is Baptisia! I adore this tough as nails, drought resistant beauty in all of its parts! There is a slew of new ones making an appearance this year including the annoyingly named 'Blueberry Sundae,' whose flowers are more of a periwinkle colour with a delightful yellow keel. I brought in five two gallon pots last week at work and they were gone the same day! This time I've doubled the order. This is one of the 'Prairieblue' series from a few years past: Twilight Prairieblues to be exact.
My container planting this year is doing quite well. A trio of Agave 'Queen of Threads' with a pair of my signature plant topped with a smashing blue grey variegated Euphorbia has everyone talking - including the Purolator dude who has been delivering my new bi-weekly obsession - A&F! I managed to overwinter a second Agave, of whose name I cannot remember in a pot last winter, so he shares the front stoop!
My Deinanthe caerulea got off to a slow start this year, but he is now filling in quite nicely. I love his exquisite flowers!
She is the only perennial Geranium that I grow and for good cause. I love the brilliant variegation of her foliage and the demure, typical phaeum shaped flowers make 'Margaret Wilson' a true standout selection. It was one of my best selling perennials last year, but sadly I am having a terrible time trying to locate her this year. Patience to those clients who are holding out - I think I know where I can find some if my first source does not come through!
And we'll close with my demure darling..... Acer campestre 'Carnival,' who, like many other woodies in the garden's repertoire, got off to a frighteningly slow start, but who has definitely made up for it in the past two weeks. My garden is my sanctuary, my refuge, my resolve from a world filled with too much noise, and tonight's visit has reminded me of why gardening continues to be the pulse of my existence.