Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tulips Galore

Once again I volunteered with the Master Gardeners at the Royal Botanical Gardens Tulip Festival. It has been a poor spring with the weather and the day I was there it was grey and spitting rain from time to time. That however did not deter the tulip lovers from coming out to the Rock Garden. I tried to get some names for those of you who would be interested but sometimes there is no tag... I heard that stolen plant tags are number one on the hit list at most public gardens.

Now that I have your attention

The Rock Garden is a sunken garden with terraced levels and winding paths made of local stone. Here are a couple of views from the top.

The main beds are full of colour

Of course it is not all tulips

An unknown viburnum (close up below) with a Cercis canadensis alba or a white Redbud

and a pretty cherry in flower

How lucky to get this shot. This apple is in the parking lot. As I was the first one to arrive I benefited by a car -less lot.

Goodbye from the Royal Botanical Gardens.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Shade lovers in my Garden

Thank goodness the worst of the rain is over -  two weeks! The sun comes out now and the temperature is now in the double digits. A respite in which I took some pictures.

A large portion of the garden is shaded. To varying degrees to be sure, but with a lot of trees, and more desired, it is to be expected. Naturally the shade garden is at its best in the spring when the ephemerals make themselves known. But you better be quick or you might miss their visit. We are blessed or cursed (the choice is yours, but I go with the former) with three Black Walnut trees that are only now leafing out. Perfect timing for the spring bloomers to catch as much sun as possible before they are shaded out. This year the Trilliums are doing really well and the Hepaticas which have always been quite shy are slowly pushing themselves onto the scene. Ferns and Solomon's Seal always do well, and this year I have (after a lengthy search) two small plants of False Solomon's Seal both of which are in flower. I know you are aware of the ongoing battle with rabbits however the elderberries are recovering, though the honey suckle is still struggling. Ironic of course, since both were planted with feeding the animals in mind, if only the bunnies would let them live first. 

Who can resist the Bleeding Heart?
Oddly the native ones do not do well in my gardens.
Rue Anemone or Anemonella thalictroides is a sweet little thing
Flowers are now over but the foliage of Hepatica nobilis is great
Virginia bluebells start out pink and then turn blue. They mix nicely with bleeding hearts, trilliums etc.
The Jack's are doing really well and transplant without a problem
The Great White Trillium is known for its three white bracts and three leaves
False Solomon's Seal form is similar to the true but the flowers are not as showy
Solomon's Seal flowers. The plants come in varying heights, mine top out at 3.5 feet
I never knew the Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis)  flowers were so interesting
Here's a close up - just because

Here's hoping for a productive week in the garden.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Plant Sale

Every year the Royal Botanical Gardens has its annual spring plant sale. It is held in the arboretum, a wonderful area filled with hundreds of kinds of trees. It is also famous for the lilac festival which is held in June.
I arrived before opening at 9am along with a hundred other eager people, searched for a parking spot and then high tailed it to find the end of the queue. Then of course the mad dash as we all elbowed our way past each other to begin the plant sale extravaganza. Now I am not really the type to line up hours ahead of time to ensure my ticket or place in line. And I am not a collector trying to find the elusive primula that only grows in Tahiti. But since this is my third year going, I guess I enjoy the environment and the feelings that accompany the rush and excitement of a good find. I was more organized in my preparations than I have been in the past. I remembered to bring a sturdy plastic bag and a cardboard box for my potential goodies. Others were obviously veterans of the plant sale and brought wagons, boxes, carts and most importantly, the list. No list for me. Actually I was just curious to see what they had and then see if there was a plant I could not leave behind. I did make  a few purchases (at 20% off too, being a RBG member).

First photo are two Thalictrum diocum or Early/ Tall Meadow rue. I have other meadow rues in the garden but this one grows in a shady area and will go in the native area. Hopefully they will survive as they are quite small right now, almost insignificant in fact, and yet I decided to make the purchase.

Trillium erectum. I have tried this red trillium a few times unsuccessfully so far. I can grow the large white ones or T. grandiflorum with ease it seems, but the red eludes me. If it flowers the world will know, but maybe not until next year.

Not quite an edible. Nodding onion or Allium cernum is a pretty member of the onion family whose flower head nods towards the ground before the small white flowers open and straightens to face the sun. I lost the only one of these I had a few years ago when we were re-stacking our stone wall. I tried to remove the plants I wanted to keep before hand but being a small bulb among other small bulbs it was not to be. Seeing as they only had one left at the sale I grabbed it.

Lastly I could not leave without this heucherella hybrid Sugar and Spice. The leaves are lovely with that purple blotch and the flowers are a dainty pink. I imagine from the name is has scent but I have not been so lucky yet.

There are many other plant sales advertising in and around my area right now and I hope to go to one or two more, just to see. If I had had a list with me this time it would not have helped, as what I need are trees and shrubs and the RBG sale did not have much in that area. Who knows, maybe next plant sale I'll come home with a tree sticking out the trunk.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Spring Collage

An attempt at something more than just loading photos. Happy Wednesday.

Do you know what the plants are?

click on photo to enlarge