Archive for trees

Hello Yellow Bird

I found a new friend while I was back in Canada in May. A gorgeous yellow friend. Funnily enough, I have never been a fan of yellow flowers, except in the spring. Yellow foliage I love, but yellow flowers, not so much. Most of them are in the daisy family, not for me.  But my new friend, yummy.

Of course, flowers in May (for me at least), strong, thick petaled flowers, who wouldn’t like him. 

So he came home with me, Magnolia ‘Yellow Bird’.

And I decided a place on the front lawn, where I could admire him every day would be suitable.

He will be silhouetted against the dark green background of the cedar hedge,

so he will stand out even more. And he has a pyramidal shape, even better, because I can fit even more plants on my front lawn in the future. 

My front yard seems to be shaping up into another, more natural area. It already had a rounded sidewalk, rather then straight, which is more formal. And I can’t cut the grass until after the fritillaria meleagris has gone to seed (as I want a whole meadow of them), so that makes it a bit more messy informal. So a flowery mead on the front lawn, sound good?

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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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It’s the most wonderful time of the year

Although the song is talking about christmas, for me, it is spring.  Although anytime I get to visit my garden now becomes the most wonderful time of year.  But here was spring in my garden (a bit late), I was soooo very excited. Just a quick look at what was happening all around me.

All three of my witch hazels were still in flower,

Hamamelis ‘Arnold’s Promise’

This one I took the moment I arrived, just starting to get dark.

Jelena

Magic Fire

Another problem with trying to post two months later, I can’t remember if this is Jelena or Magic Fire, I am inclined to think the latter.

Crocus Roseus, although looking a bit more lilac here.

And perhaps, if I lie to myself, a few more tommies then last year.

A friend gave me a number of helleborus seedlings three years ago. This spring a couple of them started flowering for the first time,

this was the first one to open,

and in bud another.

Scilla tubergeniana is bulking up nicely,

love the ice blue flowers.

This is the first year that I got to see Bulbocodium vernum flower,

often referred to as a spring Colchicum.

There was lots more in bloom, but I have to leave you wanting more, lol….

lyrics by Andy Williams

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Frangipani

Do you say Frangipani or Plumeria?

Plumeria is the Latin or Botanical name, but I just love saying frangipani over and over again, especially if I stub my toe while hiking. My other word, as some of you may remember, is Fubuki.

Love them, tee hee.

When I walk to the pool, I walk past a whole row of frangipani trees, and the spent blossoms laying on the path scent the air as I pass. We are just at the end of the bloom cycle, they flower from  April to November, so they give me something special to enjoy during the long hot summer. Each flower is fairly short lived, but there is a lot in a cluster so it goes on and on.

Plumeria trees are also known as Temple Trees because they are usually planted in front of temples in Asia due to their fragrant flowers. The flowers are also popular in Hawaii which are used to make flower necklaces (leis).

I always think of them as a Hallowe’en tree as they look quite eerie when the leaves have dropped. 

Pink plumeria is decidious while the white is evergreen.

Their thick, succulent leaves can grow to 10-inches long or more, but their beauty is in their flowers. Now, you must excuse me, I am off to get my fragrance fix before they are finished for another year.

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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

Ginkgo

Blueberry

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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A Rosedale Garden

I know the Toronto Botanical Society’s Rosedale garden tour was a couple of months ago. I soooo wish I could have gone on it, but was flying back to Barbados that weekend.  But I wanted to share a garden with you that is gorgeous enough to be on it. It is also in Rosedale, and belongs to a friend of mine.  We met in Barbados through my neighbour, and immediately bonded over gardening. When I returned to Canada in May, I was invited for lunch and a garden tour. This garden was a true labour of love for my friend, thought about in great detail and it shows. We are both huge fans of structure in the garden, both hard and green, flowers while gorgeous are an accent to the space.

You enter through two massive beech hedges, kept softly in shape rather than firmly clipped.

This allows you to enjoy the movement of the hedge as the wind blows and allows dark then light to shine out from them.  These are accented with a clipped box hedge which in turn leads to a square box of roses sitting directly in front of the main entrance.  The paving laid in a diamond pattern directs you towards the door where two more beech hedges on either side of the door echo the ones at the sidewalk,

repetition at its finest.  A yew hedge separates the house from the sidewalk and encloses two more planting areas. 

 Another enclosure of clipped box is a frame for peonies and sedum, both plants that look good all year. A serviceberry accents one corner, allowing for early season blooms.

On the other side, directly under the window is a box parterre. This is accented seasonally with a colourful annual, this year a dark coleus was planted. I love the structure and shapes in the front garden. Even if you did not have any flowering plants in it, the different colours of green and textures make it interesting.

I took this photo from the third floor so you could get a good look at the overall design of the back yard. The back yard is divided into three main areas.  A lovely brick garage has been accented with trellis-work, breaking up the expanse and allowing roses and clematis to climb. Beside it is the dining area, bordered by box, heuchera and carex.

Two steps down and you arrive at a small sitting area where you can admire the pool with its infinity edge. Water pours out of four opening into the pool allowing the sound to mask any city noise. The copper beech hedge looks dark and mysterious against the light stonework of the pool.

This provides a lovely backdrop in the third area, which is the main sitting area.

Two identical small buildings are joined by columns, roof and backed by a large mirror. This not only hides the neighbours beside them, but the mirror doubles the size of the garden, you can see the pool (and me) reflected in it.The overturned pot on the pedestal is planted up by now, usually with grass, which is also reflected.

Changing the flooring material sets off the sitting area beside the pool, the brick looking like a carpet.

 Four laburnum trees are also enclosed in diamond shaped box, that is also underplanted with coleus for colour later in the season. Box hedges edge the garden here as well and act as a frame for the hydrangea, fern and hostas that are planted behind them. The japanese maple beside the pool is the only remaining plant from the original garden. It was dug up and saved off site while the hard landscaping was going on. Then it was returned and replanted, and it certainly adds to the overall scheme with its size and colour.

Love it against the blue of the pool.

Although there are not a lot of perennials in this garden, there is colour all year.  This garden was designed to be low maintenance (although I am sure you do not believe it). The hedges are cut a couple of times each year, and the rest is really just a few varieties of easy care perennials. And if you did not want any colour, you could remove all the perennials and between the trees, hedges and ground covers, you still have an exciting and dynamic garden.  I LOVE it!

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Likin’ the Lichen*

I realize that this is not lichen, but some kind of bracket, fungus, but I am likin’ it.

When I returned to Kilbourne Grove from Barbados this spring, one of the tree stumps in the Flora Glade had become covered with brackets. I happen to think that they are very beautiful, lucky it is not my wine glass rest. We purposely had the other tree cut level(ish) when the tree blew down in a storm, just for that purpose.

See the big slice of tree trunk next to it, another casualty from a storm, but the perfect seat from which I can survey all the weeds.

 And that tree next to it, the next to go. There will certainly be no shortage of firewood whenever I want it.

(*This is a phrase we always used to use when I worked at East of Eliza, it described anything ‘woodsy’.)

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