Archive for perennials

The Last of May

May, May, May, my favourite month, so much so, I choose to get married in it, and could never miss it in the garden.

The primula were gorgeous this year,

the cowslips, primula veris, yellow,


and the denticulatas.

Second year for the ‘Golden Spirit’ smokebush, the colour is a bit more intense this year now that it is in more sun (due to a diseased tree coming down).

Can you tell I love chartreuse?

‘Reingold’ thuja, euphorbia and variegated lily of the valley.

The ‘Purple Sensation’ alliums are doing well this year,

these are all self sown behind the house. I shall have to dig them up and move them to the Lime Walk.

Two very gorgeous hostas that I bought last summer, so this is my first year seeing them come up in the spring, and they are gorgeous,

“Fire Island”

and “London Fog”.

Spanish bluebells with euphorbia.

More colour combos I love,

brown and blue, my favourite viola,

Pulmonaria ‘Majeste’ and Ligularia ‘Britt Marie Crawford’


and chocolate and silver.

And the spirea hedge, planted along the street was just starting to flower. Can’t wait for those shrubs to meet!









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On to May…

Now after that short break to show you Kilbourne Grove from the air, we will continue on the ground.

I took lots and lots and lots of photos, don’t want to forget a thing,

From my redbud flowering again this year, yay, (shall have to limb it up a bit)…

to my favourite euphorbias flowering. These have seeded everywhere in the garden, but I love them so much, I can’t bear to pull them out.

The red Ohio buckeye, Aesculus Pavia, has twice as many flowers on it this year,

love how the stems match the flower colour.

My favourite camassia. leichtlinii, need to divide it and spread the love.

Another camassia, this one is quamash. I have read the native Americans used to dig the bulbs and use them for food.

Fothergilla just starting to flower,

My mothers tree peony also starting to flower,

love this shot, I am now using it as a screen saver.

The Serviceberry Allee,

with the serviceberry or Amelanchiers just starting to flower.

And a new hellebore, “Amber Gem”,

I think planting it beside some chartreuse and chocolate foliage will make the colour pop even more.

Just so I do not bore you too much, I will show you the last half of May next time.

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Falling for Fall

I am sure we have all heard of Murphy’s Law. I had just been patting myself on the back for not having a cold since we moved to Barbados. I was a bit worried that I would pick one up every time we flew back and forth, but nada! Till this time… darn it! Just before we left, it struck, so there was no turkey dinner for me this Thanksgiving, hope yours was a lot better.  Sorry for the lack of a post last week, I was still recovering.

My two favorite seasons have always been spring and autumn. And now that I am living in the land of permanent summer, they are even more important to me.

I am sure that everyone knows (after listening to it over and over again) how I feel about spring, but I do not know if I ever harped  told you how much I love fall. I love when the nights start cooling down, and you can have a fire. When you can layer a sweater over a t-shirt and you instantly look more stylish, at least I do. When the food changes to heartier dishes, instead of salads. And when the leaves start turning. Oh the glorious colours they go.  Eastern North America is renowned worldwide for the autumn colours and I certainly missed it when I loved in England. Not that they don’t have some lovely autumns, but there is nothing like a sugar maple in the fall. Not to mention sumac, wow could they be any brighter.  Unfortunately we leave Canada before the height of the fall season, but I am starting to get a little preview.

Looking forward to it getting a bit bigger.

Amazing leaves on the Coral Bark Maple

The coral bark maple is starting to be glorious

 and Hakonechloa ‘Beni Kaze’ is changing colour.

Japanese Maples are amazing, ‘Waterfall’ is green all year, but look at the fall colour,

and ‘Full Moon’ is starting to do its stuff as well.

And look at the mushrooms that have decided to make Kilbourne Grove their home, such a great harvest look. Luckily I don’t like mushrooms, so I look and definitely don’t touch!

Burning Bush at my SIL



I will miss the full neon effect, but I am glad I was able to get a bit of a taste for fall.

By the way, do you say fall or autumn? I read that autumn was English and fall, American, but I think it is a bit mixed up know. As a Canadian, heavily influenced by both England and America, I say both.

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Musical Chairs

I play this game in my garden.  Most gardeners know this game all to well.  It is moving plants around.

Lets take for example, my Geranium ‘Rozanne’. When I originally bought this geranium, I planted it in my Flora Glade at the base of a serviceberry.

I was really impressed with it the first year, it flowered all summer, and heavily, right into the autumn. What a bang for your buck.

So a couple of years later, when Loblaws was closing their garden centre for the season, they had some leftover Rozannes for a dollar each. So I bought all they had, eleven of them.

And I decided to plant them in my Lime Walk, (along with the one from the Flora Glade, so, I would have 6 per side), hoping they would cover the muscari foliage that looks horrible when it is dying back. 

And it looked wonderful weaving  its way through the hydrangea that line the grass path.  But weaving can be good and bad, and it wove its way right out onto the grass path, looking messy.

Not the look that I want for the Lime Walk, it is all straight linear lines, so it had to go.

So last fall I moved to the Allee, which seems to have become a self seeding haven. Foxglove, ladies mantle, honesty, all seed through out this space, while the hellebores and bulbs give early spring colour.

Now Rozanne is starting to weave her way throughout them and twine around the serviceberry. I think she will be staying here for a while.


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Chelsea Chop

For years I have been reading about the Chelsea chop. I am sure most of you already know about it, but for those who don’t, bear with me. Around the time of the Chelsea Flower Show, (the end of May), you give some of your plants the Chelsea chop, cut them back by a third to half.  This makes the stems shorter at flowering time, so you do not get the dreaded sprawl. I have a sedum that does this, every year it gets top-heavy and just falls over with a big ugly centre.  So I gave it the Chelsea chop. Not the whole thing, I wanted to compare, so I just chopped one half.  And it was so much fun I decided to try it with my  Phlox ‘David’ as well.

It might have been a bad year to try this for the first time. If we hadn’t had the drought this summer, perhaps the chopped back plants would have got taller.

The phlox was great, I had twice as many flower heads on the chopped back stems, but they were a bit short.

I think I shall try this again next year and see if they get any taller, fingers crossed there is no drought.

However the sedum was not a success in my eyes.

The chopped back side did not get the lovely dark colour it was purchased for, and the flower heads are much smaller. It will not be chopped back again.

How about you, has any one else tried the Chelsea chop?

(Still experimenting with photography, first sedum photo taken early in the morning, the second mid morning, which do you prefer?)

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