Thursday, June 23, 2011

Late Spring Garden beds

Among the various garden beds on the property there are two that did really well this year. I have been tweaking the rose bed over the years and have never been satisfied. Roses have been planted and dug up and I am slowly coming to the realization that roses and I do not work well together. There are four roses in this bed, one a patio rose, is swamped by a columbine and a masterwort. Father Hugo has already bloomed this spring (and spectacularly too) while Sombreuil, a climbing tea, and Muscosa or Old Pink Moss, have yet to bloom. 

Rosa hugonis or Father Hugo


So over the past few years I have slowly altered the plants in this bed, adding Max Frei geraniums and two types of Willow Blue Star. My motto is keep adding what is already doing well. And so I am. The colour combination to my eyes is wonderful.

From the left is peony Miss America, wild columbine, Willow Blue Star, Max Frei geranium and a dwarf variety of Blue Star. The columbine seeded itself there and has been left for the season. Fortunately you can not see the patio rose and the masterwort duking it out.

Miss America
Another bed that has had a good spring showing is by the front door. It is fairly new and I call it the Red Bed. Three Diablo ninebarks dominate the bed at spring and bloomed profusely this year. A good chop after flowering by about one third gets great results. For spring colour there is Thalictrum aquifolium or Meadow Rue and Blue Alliums for contrast. This planting also includes two clematis, one pink and one red, a ruby red hollyhock, japanese maple, and of course pink liatris and coneflowers.

Ninebark and Japanese maple

Allium cernum in bud
in flower
Meadow Rue
I post this on a rainy day. A day when it is good to remember how wonderful the garden looked, if only a couple of days ago.


  1. Hi Patty,
    I am always moving things trying to improve my colour combinations. You have lots of pretty blooms, but I have to say that Sombreuil rose was outstanding. So pretty! I just love the older (?) rose varieties like this one.

  2. Thanks Jennifer. I have a preference for old roses. As we speak my moss rose is starting to bloom. I hope to get a photo soon.

  3. Meadow Rue is recommended for shade. I'll have to try and get some. Our lower bed is actually looking not bad this year after John edged it. But the upper bed is still a disaster. - Laurie

  4. Lots of colors going on in you garden, Patty. Even in the Red Bed, good show of colors. They do make a rainy day better. Is the Sombreuil picture from before then?

  5. Not sure how I missed your post, I am usually more observant. I too have a preference for old roses. Less disease and tons of show. Your tour was wonderful with the pretty blooms.

  6. It's interesting how you can be in a home for so long and not tire of the garden as it is ever changing. We're always looking for combinations that suit the flowers or ourselves. Perhaps your moss rose has bloomed? Lucky you to have the rain...I'm a teensy bit jealous ;)