Sunday, June 1, 2008

Gardening update.

Well, with the month of June starting today I thought I'd update y'all on what's been going on in the garden. The days are getting longer, with sunrise at approximately 5:30am and sunsets happening around 9pm and some light remaining in the sky up to almost 10pm, and this has had a profound impact on the gardens coming into growing season.

These three poppy plants are in the front garden, as you come through the main gate at the driveway, and are WAY bigger than any that I was able to grow back in the US midwest. One of them is ice white, another a pale pink and the third is more of an orangey salmon color. They are huge and spectacular and my only complaint is that they don't last long and blow apart at the slightest breeze. I'll be gathering and sorting seeds to see if I can start some new plants in the greenhouse over the winter.

The next photo is of a corner shade garden that is at the front of the house. The Hostas are large leaf varieties but upon filling in this spring I am seeing that there is way too much crammed into this area and some things will have to be moved. One thought I have had is to create a shady sitting area by the front door. The 'porch' is about 8 X 8 feet and under a roof so I am toying with the idea of dividing some Hostas and potting them up to arrange around some chairs to create an intimate area to greet visitors. This shade garden also contains a beautiful red Rhododendron, a Fatsia Japonica (one of my favorites), two Lenten Roses, two Hydrangeas, a large and gorgeous Columbine and two rare Chinese woodland plants by the name of Blue Wonder Deinanthe, which have yet to bloom.

This photo is a pot that I 'rescued' from a BAD location - full sun up a dry rock outcropping in the front garden. Now, I know some Hostas can take some sun, I believe the rule of thumb is the more 'yellow' or variegated the leaves the more sun tolerance they have, but this pot also has a Lenten Rose and another Columbine, both of which do best in partial shade, so I brought it down from the hill and is temporarily recuperating next to the shade garden. I can see already that it is dong better in the week that it has been in its' new location. This is the same kind of Columbine that is in the shade garden so I am going to be gathering seeds after it is done blooming and attempting to grow additional stock. Columbines are great at spreading naturally and if you have more than one color/size they can cross pollinate and you can end up with all kinds of colors and sizes, which is what happened at my first house years ago. I had dwarf white ones, medium size royal blue ones and tall bright yellow ones.

These are some of our tomato plants in the greenhouse and a closeup of one of the tomatoes. We have two varieties growing and so far this one is way ahead of the other as far as plant size and fruit. I counted at least 12 little tomatoes on the plants the other day and there are loads of flowers, which means LOADS of tomatoes. The greenhouse ventilates automatically and the plants seem to be thriving in the warm sunshine, and they are out of the wind which can at times be a bit intense and it blows off the ocean. The variety pictured is supposed to not need any staking and the other will need staking, which I have done, but I figure with no wind they may not be too prone to toppling over. I also have 5 of the staking variety in the yard, along a fence between some rose bushes with rings around them, as an experiment to see how they actually do out in the elements. I was told to just grow them in the greenhouse and that appears to be good advice, at least for the area we are in, but I wanted to see what happens to them outside.

This plant is one of three that are in full bloom in the front garden. I am sorry to say that I have not yet figured out what it is but they are loaded with little white flowers that fill the front yard with a heady perfume reminiscent of jasmine! Once a day I just walk over to one of them, stoop over and breathe in deeply, clearing my senses and putting me in a great frame of mind. THIS is what is so rewarding about gardening!

This final photo for today is one of my favorites in the front garden - a variegated New Zealand Flax (I think) and it has FIVE spear-like bloom stalks that have appeared. You can see them sticking out from the nice round shape of the plant and I can't wait to see what the flower look like. There are three solid green varieties behind this one but they were done blooming by the time we moved in last fall so I have no idea what they looked like.

So that is kind of a quick review of some of the things that are happening in the garden. We have 20+ Rose bushes and they are full of buds, so that in itself will be a future update.

Thaks for tuning in....


Gardenista said...

Hello over there in the land of nice weather. I really don't know what that fragrant shrub is and I'll bet that it doesn't have a chance at growing in our climate. I smelled some Daphne shrubs blooming at Butchart gardens though, and that was a fabulous scent. My guesses for your shrub might include a mockorange. You have a very nice greenhouse!

Canada Calling said...

WOW everything looks great!! Now, you can set up a booth at the Luxton Market and sell your tomatoes :)

Gardenista said...

I have one Oriental poppy plant like yours there. I wanted to get rid of it after I noticed the flower color clashed with the rest of the garden. I didn't have to worry about it for too long though, since the blooms lasted less than 48 hours! I find breadseed/opium poppies better in this regard, and iceland poppies are smaller plants but very floriferous and a nice early season bloomer.