Tuesday, October 06, 2020

September in the garden


Pat found he could get a table that moved out of the path to the back from the front seats of the LTV motor home.  He contacted the factory and they sent him the mostly assembled table.  He installed it and it works very well.  We tried it out recently.  We should not have to pack it away under the bed, any more.  It can stay where it is and move around easily for when we are travelling and when we are eating.
I was able to get photos of the fish.  The is a sarasa and the only big shubunkin that I seem to have now.
This is a very unusual tiny fish.  It is older than 2 years as it has gone  to its gold colors.  It seems to be a miniature.  Especially when you see it next to the bigger gold fish..
Here are a number of the ones that are still black with the little shubunkin that has already changed colors.
Here is the bigger shubunkin with the smaller one and some of the smaller black ones.  
The bigger sarasa with the small shubunkin and the small black one.
Now this is another unusual size of a fish.  The big black one is bigger than the older light gold fish.  The black one is not yet 2 years old and I bought the light gold one a couple of years ago,  The big black is beginning to turn gold.  

 The big black one compared to the size of the smaller black ones.  Apparently the fish do not turn colors until they are at least 2 years old.

The two sarasas that I have left from the original purchase of two or three years ago.
This is a Kaffir lily or Schizostylis.  It is a good plant for some color in Autumn.  I am going to try to spread it around the garden a bit more.  It is in the iris family of plants and grows from rhizomes.
The Autumn crocuses are another good plant for Autumn color.  I am slowly getting quite a number of them around the garden.  The leaves show up in Spring and die down, and then the flowers come up and open.

Verbena bonariensis is a tall and slender-stemmed perennial. It can grow to 6 ft (180 cm) tall and can spread to 3 ft (90 cm) wide. At maturity, it will develop a woody base. Fragrant lavender to rose-purple flowers are in tight clusters located on terminal and axillary stems, blooming from mid-summer until fall frost.   It is self seeding around my garden.  The bees and butterflies love it.  This one arrived in one of the pots on the deck.  
July was very dry and I was watering quite a lot.  We were away for about 3 weeks in August and the garden did not get any rain.  It was very dry and most of the plants dried up.  We had some rain a couple of weeks ago and I did manage to get some time to water a bit.  I see that one of the gentians I thought was dead seems to be getting new little leaves.  It was a transplant from the back little rockery to the little rockery at the front.  The established rock/alpine garden plants all seem to be doing ok.  I won't be doing any more transplants to the little rockery at the front until after the leaves fall.  And then they can have the winter to put down some roots, and not be raked up when I collect the leaves.  The trees are just now starting to turn colors.    The garden needs weeding, as it got away on me in August and has not had any attention since then.  The apples are not quite ready, yet.  We did get a few grapes earlier.  There were only a couple of plums and no figs.  Hopefully, next year will be a better year.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Some of the plants in the boulevard, the driveway and the inner front garden rooms, in June

The crocosmia buds on June 19th.  These are some rather aggressive bulbs.  They are attractive to humming birds and easy maintenance so I have clumps of them everywhere in my garden
This little geranium or it might be called an erodium grows next to the stone path with the golden oregano on the other side.  In fact it is being overgrown by the oregano.
I have campanulas of various kinds around the garden.  This one grows in a fairly shaded area in the magnolia tree bed, next to the cedar hedge.
I have a few of these Sedum, autumn joy, around the garden, also.  This one grows in the same area as the above campanula.  They both like more sun than they are getting, but they survive.  They bloom at different times and so provide some color in this garden room for a longer period of time.
This is the cleaned up clump of black bamboo.  When I took out the dried canes it makes the black canes more visible.  I like the look of the clump thinned out.  I will be doing more of this when I get the time.  The black canes look good with the build up of the leaves that turn white.
This is the rectangle bed on the west side of the boulevard garden room.  The lovely big white veronica grows too close to the cedar hedge, with the little erodium beneath its feet.  It is being crowed by the crosmias on the other side of it.  So, I need to get in there and dig out some of the crocosmias.
This is the, approximately 6 feet by 25 foot strip that runs across the front of the boulevard garden.  The French lavender is the star of the show for 2 or 3 months.  I have cut it back now and hope it produces more bloom in the next little while.  There are various other perennials in this area: lupines, foxgloves, achillea, irises, the blue grasses, pinks, all underplanted with thyme.The daisies keep coming back and so I have daisy boquets in May or June, until I get them all pulled out.  There is another strip in front of this one that is about 10 feet deep by the length of the boulevard from our driveway across to the neighbors driveway.  It is about 35 feet long, making the bottom 'green frame' around my front garden.
The blue grass, the pinks and the tall bearded irises.  To the right side of the photo there is a tall bridal veil spirea shrub that I keep pruned to a globe shape.
To the right of the Spirea shrub is another rectangular bed.  The front strip is quite nice with the lychnis, some more pinks, the self seeding verbena bodinaires, and the plum tree to the right (out of the picture).  Behind these plants the little rectangle became over grown with blue bells.  I put leaves on them in the autumn to try and control them.  I have transplanted some orange daylillies  in there.  They are in quite a lot of shade.  The orange colors brighten up the corner.  I need to clean cut back a tree that has been there since the beginning of the time the house was built.  It has got away from me over the last couple of years and needs to be taken down to ground level again.  
The virginia creeper goes up the telephone pole in the 5 foot deep strip between the neighbors driveway and our driveway.  It turns marvelous colors in the autumn.  It has st. john's worte planted beneath it.  I have some fairly aggresive plants growing in the driveway strip. 
The torch lily:  Gardeners should be diligent with watering during hot and dry spells. Provide a 2- to 3-inch (5-7.6 cm.) layer of mulch to help with water retention and for protection during cold winters. Cut foliage off at the base of the plant in late fall and remove spent flower spike to encourage more blooms

Kniphofia, also called tritoma, red hot poker, torch lily, knofflers or poker plant. 

The striking red hot poker plant (Kniphofia uvaria) is in the Liliaceae family and is also known as poker plant and torch lily. This plant thrives in USDA zones 5 through 9 and is an upright evergreen perennial with a clumping habit. Over 70 known species exist of this South African native plant.

As you can see I am not taking very good care of this plant.  I did not realize that it should be cut back to ground level in the Fall.  Nevertheless, this torch lily is a fairly tough plant.  It grows in front of the mountain ash tree, with a tall rose, volunteer oregon grape, nasty black berries and bind weed for competition.  

a close up of the torch lily blossoms.
 This is the Yucca, next to the Virginia creeper, with the st. John's warte and an Autumn Joy sedum.  The sedum and the Yucca are forming buds.

Yucca is a genus of perennial shrubs and trees in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Agavoideae. Its 40–50 species are notable for their rosettes of evergreen, tough, sword-shaped leaves and large terminal panicles of white or whitish flowers. 

Yucca glauca is native to central North America: occurring from the Canadian Prairies of Alberta and Saskatchewan in Canada; south through the Great Plains to Texas and New Mexico in the United States.

This finishes the posting for my garden in June.  I have been away for 3 weeks, so I do not know if there will be a July in the garden posted, as I have a lot of catching up to do in the garden.

Blogger has been making some changes.  I guess any further photos will need to be much smaller to fit in the space provided.  It always annoys me why they have to fix things that aren't broken.  😞

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Some of the Plants growing in the Inner Garden Room in June

 one of the rocks with some character between the Cotula and a Saxifragia.
Saxifragia -  Paniculata ‘aizoon’  white encrusted full sun  X irvingii – 2” x $”  jenkinsae, 
well  drained  alkaline soil.
 Cotula hispida – blue green foliage, yellow ball blooms gravelly soil good drainage
Gentiana septemfida var. lagodechina  is a low-growing perennial to 10cm (4 in) tall, with trailing stems clad in paired ovate leaves and ending in 1 - 3 mid-blue, trumpet-shaped flowers 4cm (1.5 in.) long in late summer.  Grow in moist but well-drained, humus-rich soil.  Suitable for the front of borders. Performs best in sunny conditions. 
This gentian may not survive its move from the back little rockery.  It looks ok here but since its move it has not been recovering from the transplant.  Its very floppy and did not bloom last year, so I am not too bent about losing it.  There are nicer gentians. 
This little red hens and chickens has had more chicken scratch added for drainage. (whitish color -  a no no in proper rock gardens, but it looks good with the red).
 Another good lava rock from the Clear Water area of B.C.   Not sure where I will place this rock just yet.  
The plants in the above photos are part of the Rockery/Alpines Room in the front garden.
The following photos are plants from the Inner Garden Room.
California lilacs
Ceanothus is a genus of about 50–60 species of nitrogen-fixing shrubs and small trees in the buckthorn family. Common names for members of this genus are buckbrush, California lilac, soap bush, or just ceanothus. 
with some of the Kinnikinnick, Sedum, tall bearded Iris and the leaves of the smoke bush
 A close up of the Ceanothus flowers.  The bees love this plant when its in bloom.  The Davey Tree guys did a hard prune on this shrub in the late winter this year.  It is looking very healthy with far more blossoms now.
 Leaves of the smoke bush that is under planted with the silver/red sedum.  
 the stone path that leads to the sun dial circle.  We see the Kinnikinnick,  Ceanothus and tall bearded iris on one side and the Sedum and some of the smoke bush leaves on the other side.
COTINUS Coggygria
Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’
is a large, upright shrub becoming spreading with age. In spring, the foliage emerges a rich maroon-red, darkening to a velvety purple as the summer progresses. Insignificant flowers mature into dusty wine-red feathery plumes, earning it the name Smokebush. The rich reddish-purple fall color completes the appeal of this fascinating colored shrub. An excellent choice for sunny locations needing year-round interest!
Mature Height: 10-15 feetMature Spread: 10-15 feet Form: Shrub, upright, spreading with age
Light Requirements: Full Sun Site Requirements: Tolerant of many sites except those with poor drainage Flower: Insignificant, yellow Bloom Period: June Foliage: Maroon to Purple Fall Color: Reddish Purple Fruit Notes: Reticulate drupe, wine-red, billowy
The sun dial circle has polygala and some short daisies (have to look up the name of the daisies) They have quite large flowers and seem to be tolerant of the clay soil.  The other plant is  excellent. 
POLYGALA chamaebuxus ‘purpurea’ (grandiflora) evergreen, pink, tiny, flowers -  Purple with yellow tips  (lovely)  Mine has purple and yellow flowers, evergreen foliage.
One edge of this little 3 foot diameter circle needs another plant to fill in the bare area. I am thinking of getting an ice plant (delespernum)   to grow here.
 This is a much neglected corner of the garden.  It is doing very well.  Maybe neglect is the practice needed in my garden.  The shrub in the "hedge" next to the Ceanothus is a star magnolia.  I removed some weedy little shrub from beneath it this spring and  gave it a bit of leaf mold.  It is doing wonderfully well, now.  It bloomed earlier in the year.  It grows next to the cedars along the property line, in front of the Boulevard Garden Rooms.  Also in this corner there is Campanula. - the blue one we see and now further along in front of the cedars there is a another white one in bloom.  The (red) valerine is spreading out a bit.  And the strange white bloom is the Gas plant.  
 Close up of the Gas Plant blossom
 The leaves of the Gas Plant.
Growing gas plants (Dictamnus albus) reach a height of about 4 feet tall with quite woody stems at the base. In the early summer, June and July, Dictamnus gas plant blooms with long, spikes of white flowers set off by glossy green leaves. Once the flowers have  faded, spectacular seedpods remain that are commonly used in dried floral arrangements.
Read more at Gardening Know How: Dictamnus Gas Plant Information – Tips For Growing Gas Plants https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/flowers/gas-plants/growing-gas-plants.htm
 Once gas plant has been established, it should not be moved or any attempt made to divide it.  At maturation after several years, the growing gas plant will appear as a clump with stunning stands of flowers poking from amongst its foliage. When it comes to gas plant garden care, the growing gas plants prefer consistent irrigation, but can withstand periods of drought  once they are established. Slightly alkaline soil is preferable for more vibrant and vigorous  plants as well as areas of cool evening temperatures.
This herbaceous perennial may also be listed as dittany or fraxinella, members of the Rutaceae family. Some patience is necessary when growing gas plants as they take several years to mature. The strongly citrus-scented flowers and foliage may cause an allergic skin reaction in some people and seems to be repellent to deer. Gas plant is a non-aggressive and non-invasive specimen. Gas  plants can be found in several different varieties such as: ‘Purpureus’ with its mauve-purple blooms and deep purple veins ‘Caucasicus,’ which is a taller varietal at up to 4 feet tall ‘Rubra,’ which blooms with lovely rose pink flowers
 Mine is white and grows in front of the cedar hedge by the sun dial circle.  There is a hebe, some valerine, and campanula all in this same area by the star magnolia shrub.  Its amazing that it survives at all.  It hardly ever gets watered in our dry summers.  
I am hoping to find a purple one to plant in the little rockery renovation where I might have room for it next to the cedars and the Kinnikinnick, in the autumn.
The sun dial circle borders on the 7 foot thyme circle.  The bench sits in its nook in the cedar hedge and has become a nice private spot to enjoy the garden.  The bamboo is next to the thyme circle.  It is a constant chore to pick the dried bamboo leaves off the thyme.  I will need to get a couple more thyme plants for the bare side of the circle, and give them more compost and sand, in the Autumn when the rains start.