Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Early Bird Bloomers

We all expect our spring bloomers to be considered early bloomers but it is an added bonus to plan for unexpected perennials that bloom when the bulbs have barely finished.

Bourbon Clematis (Type II)
This is a shorter clematis (about six feet), perfect for an obelisk or tuteur in the garden bed.
Clematis Multi-Blue (Type II)
This is another shorter one that will grow in part shade and has a wonderful lighter green leaf.
Clematis Bee's Jubilee (Type II)
Looks great growing up the pergola with Fireworks!
Clematis Fireworks (Type II)
Clematis Miss Bateman (Type II)
Clematis Dr. Rupple (Type II)
I love the Type II clematis for their large flowers and early blooms, but you are taking a chance when you grow them.  I have several others that the rabbits got to during the winter and cut to the ground.  When this happens they still will regrow but will bloom later and with a much smaller bloom.
My method with Type II's is to cut them down after the first flush of blooms, they regrow during the summer months and stand during the winter.  I then trim them lightly in the spring only cutting off any dead wood.  I will remember to spread my granular critter repellent this fall.

 Geranium Max Frei
The is an early blooming mounding geranium that looks great along pathways but does not bloom all summer!  I was almost ready to do away with it when someone suggested that I do some interplanting of summer annuals .  I have chosen to do some New Guinea Impatiens since part of the border is in part shade.  We will see how this works out.  It is such a great looking geranium I would hate to take it out.
Geranium Lancastriense Striatum
I almost gave us on this one that I brought from my last home almost ten years ago.  This is the best it has every looked!  Also, this is not a geranium that blooms all summer so it does require some interplanting.
Brunnera Angel Wings
This is not a Brunnera I would have chosen but it has grown into a beautiful specimen with a multitude of light blue flower sprays.
Brunnera Jack Frost
This one is a favorite because of its leaf variegation which lasts all summer.
Heucherella Stoplight
Heucherella Sweet Tea
Heucherellas blooms much earlier than Heucheras and are more tolerant of the heat.
Heucherella Stoplight on the north side growing in much more shade
Weigela Wine and Roses
Surprising to see it blooming so early!
Zinnia Magellan Coral
I grew these from seed indoors and they are already very large and blooming!


Wednesday, May 22, 2013


This is the time of year that I begin to decide what has been worth growing for the following year and the plants that I will give another year to prove themselves!

Pagoda Dogwood
Definitely a winner of a small tree, I keep it pruned up so that I can grow plants under it.  It likes an acid fertilizer and tolerates moisture.
Azalea Karen
This is a wonderful addition to a garden, evergreen, tolerates the cold more than most azaleas
Amsonia Northwind Select
The jury is still out on this one as it is not on the market and grown by Northwind Perennial Farm in Wisconsin.  It is larger this year than ever and I will cut it to about six inches when done flowering.  We will see how it fills out and turns that wonderful yellow color in the fall.
 Hycinthnoides Hispanica Excelsior
Brunnera Angel Wings
I didn't like this one at first but have come to appreciate its very large size and multitude of flowers.
Brunnera Jack Frost
This is one that lasts the whole summer with large leaves and color, blue flowers in the spring.
Variegated Solomon's Seal
This is a real winner, lasts all season into the fall with yellow color at the end of the season.
Hosta Patriot
A wonderful medium sized hosta with thicker leaves that repel the slugs and will grow in part sun and add a vibrancy to a shady area.
Hosta Paul's Glory
I love the way this hosta changes colors as it goes through the seasons.
Heucherella Stoplight
Heat tolerant, striking in the garden and will take quite a bit of sun
Dicentra Spectablis with Jack Frost Brunnera
Heuchera Southern Comfort
One of my favorite Heucheras, a multitude of colors throughout the season

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Have A Heart

When spring is late like it is for us in the Midwest, the Bleeding Heart is such a welcome sight in the garden.  It just lingers until the weather becomes so hot it can't stand it anymore!

Dicentra Spectablis Golden Heart
This is a favorite, so striking in the garden!
Spectablis does not bloom for the entire season but they are required to die down naturally in order to bloom the following year.
Spectablis Red Valentine
I have this one growing along the north side coming up through the pachysandra.
Dicentra Spectablis
This is just the more common Bleeding Heart, beautiful but not forever.  They do die away at some point so if you divide it will prolong their life in other areas.
Dicentra  Spectablis Alba
This white form of the common Bleeding Heart is later blooming and not as floriforus.
Luxuriant Pacific Bleeding Heart
Blooms all spring and summer

Dicentra Eximia
Blooms all summer

Friday, May 03, 2013

Spring Debut

Spring is really trying and I must admit I am enjoying the extended blooms on many of the bulbs.  The past few years they have bloomed and fizzled in the heat.

Daffodil Thalia
I don't know why I do not plant more of this daffodil, consistently comes back and multiplies each year.  I must put more of these on my list for next year!
Thalia can be formal or casual as they are around the Chanticleer Pear.
Chanticleer Pear
I love when plants peek out from all directions as these Rhodies do from behind the stone wall.
Also visible as you walk along the north side path
The tulips are lovely but I always plant them as annuals because for me they never come back with the same vigor or size.  This is a layered area and underneath will surface Hyacinthnoides and Amsonia Blue Ice.

Daffodil Spellbinder
Daffodil Itzim
Interplanted With Hydrangea Starlight
As the daffodils die down the hydrangeas fill out to cover the stems and foliage.
 Layering along the south border with grasses, daylilies, perennials and groundcovers all ready to emerge.
Looking through Limelight Hydrangea which is just beginning to bud.
South Border Front
Lots coming up, Daylilies, Heucheras, Groundcover, etc.
The groundcover acts as a background for blooming plants and as a cover for when those plants decline.
More layering, Allium of different varieties coming up through the groundcover and daylilies.