Monday, May 28, 2012

That Certain Look

This weekend found me back at Northwind Perennial Farm in Burlington, Wisconsin.  It was exactly one year ago that I wrote a post on Roy Diblik's extensive gardens based on the philosophy of Piet Oudolf.

This year I was definitely after something other than a garden tour.  I was in search of a look, the look of a non-patterned garden design, a feeling of form and texture with surprises of color.

The gardens are very different than this same time last year when it was a true springtime garden.  I was so glad to see many plant varieties that were not in bloom last Memorial Day.

Geranium Magnificum in the foreground

The layering is extensive, plants packed closely but with enough room to flourish and the use of many types of grasses to always soften the effect.

There is a great deal of room to plant at Northwind but I am realizing that layering is not just for the smaller garden but for any garden that wishes to have continual seasonal interest.

A smaller draped conifer is wonderful along a pathway, wish I had room for one of these!

A large spreading conifer, striking yellow and mirrored in the pond below.

Color is repeated throughout using dissimilar plants.

The allium is Star of Persia.

Large twisted conifer with pink chives

Garden decor is incorporated so it peeks out of the garden.

The piano doesn't exactly peek out but it surely is a garden surprise!

Persicaria Polymorpha
I have this plant along my fence and it requires support because it does not have the full sun all around to give it structural strength.

Philomis was in full bloom and it made me think of the last time I tried to grow this plant.  I am now attempting it again with Philomis Russeliana the yellow variety.

Amsonia Northwind Select
(not on the market)

This is not an easy concept to understand and execute but I think I am finally getting it at least on a small scale.  It is not your normal garden design, three of this five of those and repeat across the landscape. 

Water is an important feature at Northwind.

I will be visiting Millennium Park in Chicago (July) which is one of Piet Oudolf's largest designs, can't wait to see this philosophy on a large scale!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Looking For Beauty

It is not difficult this year finding beauty everywhere as I look around the garden.  The roses are bigger and better than ever (although I do notice some brown fringes on the petals from the frosts that occurred before they opened).

Carefree Beauty is huge this year!  There were years I almost pulled it out because it just didn't seem to be flourishing.

Pink Promise is my only hybrid tea that I purchased packaged with a shrub rose.  Both were All America Winners.  This one was almost pulled because for the last few years it did nothing, small flowers and very few branches.

This year Pink Promise certainly deserves the award, huge blooms with a wonderful fragrance.

Cinco De Mayo
This is the shrub rose that came packaged with Pink Promise.

I have decided not to use annuals this year in the border.  The impatiens were getting so large that they interfered with the roses.

Rainbow Knockout
This is a rose that is the first to bloom in the spring and the last to bloom in the fall.

The back border is full and just about ready to give up the spring blooming flowers to make way for summer blooms.

I was surprised when I saw the fritillaria coming up because I did not remember planting them.  I think I bought them at the Morton Arboretum last fall.

This small border is to the side of the veggie garden and has really filled in this year.  Geranium Magnificum is a short bloomer, so it will be cut down to make new leaves which turn red in the fall.  The space is shared with Heuchera Carmel and Miracle, Max Frei Geranium Sport and spring flowering bulbs.

Mary Rose( David Austin Rose Shrub Rose)
This is my favorite rose not just because of the way it looks but the fragrance is intoxicating.  It is a rebloomer.

Celosia Intenz
This is a new introduction that is supposed to grow about two feet tall and wide.  I have never had much luck with celosia but I couldn't resist trying this one because of the flower and leaf color.

La Bella Snapdragon
I grew this from seed last spring but it got crowded out last summer in the south border.  It came back this year because of the mild winter, moved it to a better location, and it is just beautiful.

Krinkled White Peony
This is my only peony, might find room for some tree peonies that rise above the other border plants.

The best of the best petunias, Bordeaux and Bubblegum!

Gaura Picotee
Sometimes a perennial, sometimes an annual but I am trying it in my south side raised bed to add some color before the daylilies bloom.

Dicentra Spectablis Red Valentine
These are new this spring and in a bed on the north side where they can die down undisturbed without affecting the growth of any other plantings.  I think I will move the pink ones into this area, another redo!

Rouge Cardinal Clematis (Type III)

The Type III clematis are just beginning to bloom.  Now is the time to cut down the Type II's as they finish their major display if you want to rejuvenate them for next spring.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Black Is Back!

I don't know if you have noticed but black is the new white in the garden.  I have said many times that I do not like black in my perennial border.

I have color in my border, lots of color when everything is blooming, but not black.  The closest to black is my brown mulch.

Rainbow Knockout

Geranium Max Frei
Beautiful blooms in the spring but blooms very sparingly throughout the summer.

Sport of Geranium Max Frei
It is looser and more sprawling but I let it be where it bloomed.

Well, I have given into a certain extent and have really gone over the top this year with black in my containers.

Dahlia Mystic Illusion is the star with Phantom Petunia, black Moneywart and Tip Top Aeonium

What is that orange gerber daisy doing in the black picture?

I don't know what came into my mind but I just started buying black plants and couldn't stop.

Coleus Sedona with Black Heart Sweet PotatoVine

Black Coral Elephant Ear

Coleus Merlin's Magic
This is a ruffled coleus, can't wait to see what it looks like as it grows larger.

Geranium Bob's Blunder
This is a dark one in the border but not considered black, more of a bronze, blooms all summer into fall.

As I said, I like color in my borders and Stoplight Heucherella really stands out.

Geranium Lancastriense Striatum
This is lovely when it blooms, short cycle, put it where you won't miss it.

Geranium Karmina
I brought this one from my last home, but again it is a short cycle bloomer, leaves turn red in the fall.

Geranium Magnificum
This one was also brought from my last home, did not bloom for many years and then I moved it to a sunnier location.  It is a short cycle bloomer.

Geranium Rozanne
This is a geranium that blooms all summer into fall, getting ready right now, no blooms yet!

Geranium Blue Sunrise
I love this geranium, blooms and weaves in a lighter manner continuously throughout the summer and fall, but lost one of them and no longer carried at the nursery where I purchased them.  This is not a good sign, usually signals a plant that is not always hardy in this area.

What would we do without color as we know it?

Carefree Beauty

Clematis Henryi
I had Miss Bateman on this same trellis but I don't see it this year, think Henryi has taken over.

I think this is General Sikorski, but it seems short for this variety?

Home Run Pink
This rose is a winner so far, growing very well in my garden, gave some of the red ones that I was trialing to my daughter.  I just do not have the room for eight more roses, kept a couple of reds and two pinks.

I have this mystery plant from my neighbor's garden, about three feet tall (laying down right now) with yellow daisy like flowers.  If you know what it is please let me know!