Posts tagged allium christophii

Oh, It’s a very good year

After my huge disappointment last year with my hydrangea, I was fully prepared to return to Kilbourne Grove and find horrible and wilty hydrangea. I had been reading people’s blogs, and they were all talking about how hot and dry the summer had been. No one is watering my garden while I am away (no one had been watering it when I lived in Toronto either), I am a firm believer in the sink or swim method. As a weekend gardener (and now long, long distance gardener),  I cannot afford to coddle plants. So I was very prepared.

And very pleasantly surprised.

My ‘free’ hydrangeas are really settling into their space and starting to fill out.

Hard to believe that these were all ‘blue’ hydrangea at one time. I was a bit of a hydrangea snob, would not take the bright pink ones. Now they are all various shades of pink, and purple, not a blue to be seen. I now that you need acidic soil to keep them blue, which we do not have in Ontario, and I am actually starting to prefer these colours.

I love how the Allium christophii seed heads look with the hydrangea. I wish I had been there when they flowered, very curious how it looked.

You can also see some seed heads of Allium ‘Purple Sensation’, these have been planted a number of years, but I wanted to extend the Allium season by planting the christophii.

The Hakonechloa ‘Aureola’ is just one of the variety of plants that I am testing at the base of the hydrangea. As you know, I have muscari planted there and when it finishes flowering I find it a bit tatty. Along with the Hakonechloa  I am testing Nepeta, Hosta and Geranium ‘Rozanne’. The geranium was the first to go, I dug it up and moved the plants to the Allee in September. I love the plant, and it certainly flowers heavily, weaving its way through the hydrangea. Unfortunately it also weaves its way onto the path, and I prefer something a bit more tailored looking in this section of the garden. You can also see at the top of the photo the nepeta. Looking at at here, I am not feeling it, but I think I should give it another couple of years before I make a decision. See how messy the muscari seedheads get, must hide them.  We shall see how the other plants make out over the next few years.


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Digging, Digging, Digging

Keep this woman digging!

I know it was my idea, although Gail had a lot to do with it. But who would guess that 1,000 crocus bulbs would take soooo long to plant.

I did think that I would get a bit more help from Ian, but (unfortunately) he found his own project to work on, and I was on my own.  (OK, not quite on my own, he did dig a couple of holes for me, maybe 80, before he bailed).

Lets see, 1,000 crocus tommasinianus bulbs divided by 80 holes = 12.5 per hole, I can handle that.

But I have 150 fritillaria meleagris bulbs to plant.  At 10 per hole, that was only another 15 holes, I can handle that.

Wait, I forgot the 50 allium christophii bulbs, I can handle that!

Hmmm, it looks a lot more close-up!

OK, due to circumstances beyond my control (Ian), I would not be back to Kilbourne Grove till Hallowe’en, so I wanted to get the bulbs in. I had already planted all the other ones, I was a woman on a mission!

The fritillaria are going in the front, on each side of the front sidewalk in the grass. (I saw that at Kensington Gardens in London and loved the way it looked).  That is only 7 holes per side, oh no, I did not order enough fritillaria!

It is going to look sparse, oh well, hopefully they will self seed, and there is always next year, lol.

Fritillaria bulbs are a nice size to pick up, drop them in the hole, put the chunk of sod back and firm down, there that didn’t take too long.

Now onto the back.

This looks a lot better. The holes are much closer together, hopefully I will get a nice show.

Ooooh, fiddly bulbs, why are they so tiny….slooow going!  Done!!!!!

The allium were a piece of cake in comparision, 10 holes in the Lime Walk, 5 per side, 5 bulbs in, and finished.

Come visit me next spring for the grand unveil, see you then!

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Do I Repeat Myself?

Yes, I do! And it is NOT boring!

Repetition, is an important design feature, I repeat, repetition!

I had that lesson hammered home on Tuesday, when I visited a friend of a friends garden. I wrote about Lois’ garden last year, and also about her amazing(and very tidy)  potting shed.

Last year, I visited in August, so it was a pleasure to see her garden in early summer, and it was just as amazing now as it was then. Definitely not a one season garden.

But what made a huge impact on me this time was the repetition of certain plants in her border. A strong edge really defines a garden, especially if there is “chaos” (her words, not mine) behind the edge.  Lois had used a perennial geranium, (sorry I didn’t get the variety, but maybe someone can recognize it) along with a dark heuchera, and repeated it along the border.  And I apologize in advance for these pictures. Why does it always seem to be sunny when you visit peoples gardens, and mid day? Not the best time for taking pictures, especially for a point and shooter like me.

Lois will probably be horrified that I posted this picture, (sorry about the hose, although all gardeners will have the same thing in their garden), but it is the best picture I have of the heuchera/geranium edge. Look how stong it looks, and really sets the stage.

Allium christophii is another plant that she uses at this time of year to lead your eye through the background plants, as well as giving it a place to rest.

Ahhh, a bit of shade, bet you are glad, lol.

Another border uses dianthus or pinks as the edging plant.

Although only these three plants were distinctly repeated, it made these borders feel very designed, instead of just finding a hole to plant your newest acquisition in, like sometimes happens to me.

The long view:

You can see that she uses hay as a mulch to keep the weeds down, in another month, the plants will have grown some more and most of the hay will not be seen.

And just a couple more vignettes that I really liked,

Crambe cordifolia,

Blue Oat Grass and Sanguisorba,

And an (unknown to me) clematis, the very first plant to catch my eye on this wonderful garden visit.



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