Posts tagged hydrangea

The Year in Review 2011

Another  year has come and gone, where does the time go!

January

Yet another idea for my garden, it would be a lovely reminder of my time in Barbados!

February

Bumped up my country count with a quick trip to Trinidad.

March

Oooh, maybe this would be a better reminder of my time in Barbados.

April

I arrive back in Canada, just in time for the snowdrops, yay!

May

I finally get to visit Brian Bixleys garden, after wanting to for many years.

June

The trees in the Lime Walk get their first prune.

July

Visited Hunte’s Gardens, an amazing place in Barbados.

August

Saw my first Kadooment Day parade, and vowed to start exercising when I saw the size of the costumes.

September

The hydrangea (free leftovers from Easter sales), finally started bulking up in the Lime Walk and looking like something.

October

Visited another amazing garden while I was home in the autumn. Keppel Croft is located close to Kilbourne Grove.

November

My SIL came for a visit and we tried zip lining, what an adrenalin rush.

December

Christmas on the island, what a glorious feeling.

Interested in what happened last year? You can read about it here.

Advertisements

Comments (23) »

Two Steps Forward…

One step back.

Ian got annoyed with me again.

So totally my fault. I love symmetry in my garden, and do not always think about how I am going to get it when designing a new space. Actually the problem arises when I add a new garden beside an established one.

The first arose when I decided the vista from the Flora Glade through the Lime Walk into the Croquet Lawn had to be in the middle of the Yew Garden, not at the bottom where it currently was. This would divide the Yew Garden in half, and when I am ready to design and plant it (one day), it is a pleasing (to my mind) shape. This was fairly easy as it was only a couple of years after planting, so move a few things and done.

You can see that it is not quite finished yet. Every spring I say I have to move those hydrangeas, and then get busy with other things, 2012 it is going to happen! I did get the cedars behind them moved this September, yay.

But of course, I had to turn my attention to the path leading from the Flora Glade to the Allee. When I designed the Allee, I hadn’t originally planned on extending it all the way to the Kitchen Garden, I had thoughts of another garden in between, but decided bigger was better. I extended it so it ran all the way to the Kitchen Garden with just a five foot wide strip allowing you to walk to either the north or south. If you walk to the south, you can walk up some stone steps Ian built, and through the hedge on top of the berm, but if you walked to the north, you just hit the cedar hedge enclosing the Flora Glade.

 The entrance to it through the hedge was 10 feet to the east.

Looking south to the Allee.

Well that was not going to be allowed, and I had better take care of it before Ian arrived from Barbados, I did not want to listen to ‘what are you doing nows’.

So I moved the cedars, filled in the old path from the huge pile of top soil that had been sitting on our drive from last fall, (I am sure the neighbours were happy to see the blue tarped pile go), and of course had to purchase a couple of new shrubs to go into that spot. I mean, it was the fall, sales were on all over, I did have to help the nurseries stay in business.

Of course, dummy that I am, I forgot to take a photo of the new entrance. In the spring, after the bulbs are moved, I’ll update you.

Just need to fix the curve in the path, ran out of soil. You can see the new opening in the cedars, just behind the red Japanese Maple.

Now, in the spring, after moving any bulbs that are lurking where the new path is to be, I can finish it, or leave it half done like the other one…

Comments (18) »

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.

Comments (16) »

Dashed Hopes

What went wrong? I knew when I planted leftover (and free) Easter hydrangeas at Kilbourne Grove, that there was a good chance they would not live. Although they get a fluffy, white duvet of snow every year, I am sure that I am not in the right zone for them. But ‘zonal denial’ and stinginess takes you a long way.

This is what they looked like at the end of July, 2009.

Even though I had planted all blue, they bloomed whatever colour they decided they wanted to be.

I had high hopes for them this year, after all they are an important part of my favourite spot in the garden.

This is what I got,

there are just one or two flowers on the whole thing.

Could the very early (and warm) April, and the cold weather in May have led to the demise of most of the flower buds? What went wrong?

Comments (27) »

Garden Visits: Toronto Botanical Gardens

Three weeks ago, , I took a garden course at the Toronto Botanical Gardens or TBG. I had to take a bus as I do not have a car, and I wasn’t sure how long it would take.  I got there a few minutes early and I walked around and took a few pictures before my course started. The sun was just starting to set, so some of the pictures may be a bit dark.  The plants were all marked with their name, but I didn’t have time to stop and write them down, if there is something you really want to know the name of, I might be able to get back.

The TBG was redesigned a few years ago. It is now 12 award-winning, themed gardens, encompassing almost 4 acres.  The main building is a glass pavilion and features a “green” roof.

TBG 001

Walking from the bus stop, you walk through the Entry Garden Walk, which is a “sophisticated Meadow” and inspired by Piet Oudolf. A mix of perennials and grasses, I think that it is at its best this time of year. See if you agree.

TBG 002

 

I wish I knew what the name of everything was.TBG 003

 Not that I have the space for it in my own garden.

TBG 004

 But they are very beautiful.

TBG 007

At keast, I know these, hakonechloa (my fav) grass and japanese anemones.

TBG 008

You then arrive in the Arrival Courtyard, (if you drive, you arrive directly here). Sculptural hedges made up of cornus mas and beech are being trained inside of a metal cage.

 

TBG 014

There you can find a map of the garden.

TBG 016

From here you can go into the different gardens a number of ways. Lets go into the Garden Hall Courtyard.

TBG 028

This area features a sunken courtyard with a diverse mix of trees, shrubs and perennials, and features a large selection of Japanese Maples.

TBG 029

I believe these were the full moon japanese maple. They are underplanted with hakonechloa  grass again and with euphorbia myrsinites.  Love that chartreuse and blue together.

TBG 030

From here I went into the President’s Choice show garden. This is made up of two sections, one featuring evergreens and small trees and shrubs suitable for a small urban garden and a trial garden area.

TBG 035

Tigers Eye sumac is a great contrast against the blue.

TBG 036

 Echinacea with  a paniculata hydrangea, heuchera, grass and a dwarf cleome.TBG 038 From the other end, this was a great combination, all that pink reminds me of Grace. Here at the end is a petunia and variegated pokeweed.

TBG 054

A closer look, not sure what the pale butter, yellow flower is, but I like the contrast to the pink.

There are many more garden areas at the TBG, including the Herb garden, Kitchen garden, Knot garden, Teaching garden, Spiral Mound, the Terrace garden and the Woodland walk.

 

 

Comments (44) »

Let There Be Light…

Usually, I would be happy to see some sunlight in the garden, but not this time. I designed the whole Lime Walk around the shade in the garden. There is two 75 foot long rows of hydrangeas  that were planted two years ago. They have been doing very well, especially this summer, but when the maple tree in the back lost 1/3 of its canopy, (you can read about why that happened here)  this happened…

gardenSept09 085

You probably cannot see it from this picture, but the hydrangeas are looking a little shocky, hopefully that is just temporary. Next years when they leaf out into a more sunlit world, they might just decide they like it.

If not, well, I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

Comments (16) »

Are they havin’ a laugh? Are you havin’ a laugh?

 

Look at all the free Hydrangea!

Look at all the free Hydrangea!

 

Please forgive me the title. I am a huge Ricky Gervais fan (this line is always stuck in my head) and thought that he was just brilliant in “Extras”.

 

 

We were up at Kilbourne Grove this weekend and the hydrangea that I told you about here, are just starting to flower.  As you could see from the picture, when I planted them they all were blue, leftovers from Easter. (OK, there was one pink and one white in there, but I planted them in a different spot).

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (2) »