Tuesday, May 22, 2012

backyardovich developments

A hazard of working in a garden centre
is coming home each day with new adoptees.

I'm ridiculously excited about our new 'Striptease' hosta.
Lots of lemon verbena this year, a new 'Gay Parce' peony for the west side garden, and succulents for the west side of the new back porch.

Cosmos for Gromit.

I planted madly in the rain the other day: tomatoes and a jalapeno pepper, kale, Swiss chard, brussel sprouts, and the new yellow rose 'Rugelda' (Pavement Series, Hybrid Rugosa) for the middle trellis on the east fence. Though a little tender for here, he's not the first zone 4 rose I've grown - successfully. He'll just need a little extra attention during harsh winters. Our backyard near the lake is a micro-climate hot pocket, southern exposure, surrounded by old tall tree protection. It can be intensely hot during the afternoon from March - October.

I'm excited to watch & photograph Rugelda bloom
wegeila 'Red Prince' to the right, pink peonies to the left
in front: knautia macedonica,  alchemilla mollis 'Lady's Mantle'
monarda ' bee balm' & rudbeckia goldstrum
There are some gaps and empty spaces which don't bother me as much as they might have ten years ago. My younger gardener self was so eager to grow it all I packed it all in. I still have those tendencies, but rather than plant perennials I'm unsure of, I'll fill the spaces with containers full of the annuals I can't help but bring home each day.

Most exciting is our new Rhodochiton (Lophospermum) vine. This cultivar is new to me - not the same as lophospermum's I've had in the past. These leaves aren't as velutinous (velvety), and are much more ciliated – widely spaces 'hairs' along the edge: fringed, almost jagged - larger too than my previous plants, and star-shaped. I'd say more like dinosaur footprints.
I've planted in my oldest & largest (not for long) play pot with lots of compost, manure, and potting mix. The  stick trellis is a nice touch I think - though I suspect it will disappear under foliage and purple trumpet flowers soon. With the trellis it stands about six feet now, maybe more.., but I bet that won't be tall enough for this vine.
Keeping it simple, the lophospermum will live alone in that pot, and around I'll also keep it simple: some play with foliage, greens in pots. I've brought home lots of English ivy, lysimachia, vinca, chocolate mint, oregano - shades of greens that trail and tumble. The red tropical leafy guy - ti plant Cordyline terminalis? I think. He'll live outside in a pot until the autumn rolls in, then we'll see if I can keep him alive indoors until next year. Let's hope.

The west side garden, new last year, is coming up well. The Penninsetum setaceum 'Fireworks' (tender grass)(in a pot) moves around, homeless, like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone. 
'Sweet Sunshine' petunias in a cute white pot are now tucked in between Morden Blush & Wargrave's Pink Cransbill geranium
and the four hostas under the Tamarack.
cornflowers & hostas, hardy geraniums & blue irises
line the west side walkway
sky blue lobelia in a tulip pot looks sweet nestled between

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