Sunday, November 10, 2019

Bulbous finale

Sternbergia lutea
Snow predicted (again!) tonight, but the last week Indian Summer returned and yesterday was almost hot--November 9! How astonishing that bulbs can make it through such weather--providing a colorful finale to the season (just as they usher it in again in not too many weeks from now!). My sternbergias are not the massive clumps I see photographed in Greece this time of year--but they come back reliably nonetheless...

Crocus speciosus

 This time of year, every blossom is precious. And we have time to linger over each one!

Crocus speciosus
 It's so inexpensive and easy to grow, one sometimes almost forgets that it's the biggest and most lumious and most indispensable crocus!

Crocus speciosus
 Same clump later in the day, from above...we do have time to linger over the few plants in bloom!

Oxalis melanosticta  'Ken Aslet'
 This gets bigger each year: inspired me to buy 50 more South African bulbs (Moraea, Ferraria and Romulea) to test for hardiness...

My dinky plants of Cyclamen cilicium are pitiful compared to Bob Nolds' or Mary Hegedus: they'd do better if I didn't keep digging them up by accident when they're dormant!

Crocus thomasii
A new species this fall
Crocus medius
Commercial stocks are said to be infected with virus--which may explain why my dozen bulbs are now one clump.

Colchicum procurrens
 A tiny colchicum I obtained from Jane McGary years ago gets better and better each year...

Colchicum cilicium?
The late season biggies are confusing to me: I need to map and label things better!

And so it goes, another year of flowers is slowly petering out. Back to bark, berries, branches and brandy!

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Picture this!

If you happen to follow my blog you know I take lots of pictures. Up to now I've resisted including video clips, but then I realized, why not? Some things will show up much better in let's do a little catch up! Here are some motional (as opposed to Emotional) clips from my life the last few years...

Planting a flower wall in Chengdu, July 2019

Fernleaf peony in easternmost Georgia, May 2018

Turns out these are kind of easy to do: let me know if you'd like to see more!

Monday, November 4, 2019

A man for all seasons

The Greek language has a word for many phenomena that English should have, but doesn't. Μερακλής in modern Greek signifies a man who is characterized by extraordinary taste and polish, who demonstrates this through all manner of handiwork in his home, the way he dresses and just generally with a flair for living. A "Meraklis" is likely to have a gate leading into his garden of wrought iron with oak leaves.

Andrew Bunting
I've known Andrew Bunting many years, but only in the last few have I come to realize just how much of a "Μερακλής" the fellow really is. I have watched his career as he was Curator of the Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College, then moving on to Chicago Botanic Garden, Atlanta Botanic Garden and now a Vice President of the Pennsyvania Horticultural Society.

During our recent visit to Philadelphia we were able to visit with Andrew several times, and even dropped by his garden (he was apologetic "I've only moved back in recently and it's not where it should be") HA! It was stunning!

These are just a few hurried views (we dropped by as he was taking us to the airport our last morning on October 21). The bright light was not ideal for photography, but the garden holds up well even in glaring light. It's a gem!

Every vista looks onto rare trees, unusual shrubs and herbacous plants combined artistically and all in superb condition.

As a devotee of Salvias I was pleased to see these well represented--I believe this could be 'Amistad'

And abundant foliage plants like this bright Coleus.

And even a pond...

A peephold into his neighbor's garden, which they have allowed Andrew to landscape and share--with a whole new suite of delights...

Such as chickens..

An outrageous picnic table that may be a Dan Benarcik contribution (I know lots of is furniture was visible here and there..)

Seeing Aucuba so happy reminded me that Swarthmore is several climate zones mlder than Denver...

And this robust Edgeworthia confirmed my suspicions and fanned the flames of my jealousy!

Just about anywhere you looked the combinations were graceful and charming...

This Senna (or Cassia?) was striking so late in the season.

Hows this for a fabulous farrago of foliage?

Another luminous Coleus

A Hosta I would be tempted to grow (and that's saying a lot--I usually just grow tiny ones)

I was astonished by the size of his paperbark maple--he's older than he looks! (And the climate of Swarthmore is much more amenable to woodies than what I'm used to)...

I've grown this plectranthus, but it didn't look like THIS!..

A wonderful still life of old irrigation implements...

Annuals still hanging in so late in the season...

A very cool plant stand..

And yet more flamboyant foliage on Coleus...

The view into the back yard from the house was wonderful. He told me how many small panels of glass were on the property--in the four figures...and they were all glistening clean....this fellow is meticulous!

The decoration indoors was as elegant as the gardens outdoors, and irresistible to the camera...

I could fill dozens of blogs with all the treasures

But I end with two original Burle Marx lithographs...

I have had many colleagues across America, but in the last few years, Andrew has made great contributions to me and Denver Botanic Gardens by encouraging and inviting us to participate in the Plant Collections Consortium. I've come to spend more time with him, and catching a glimpse of the private Andrew Bunting and knowing his professional achievement, I am more than a little impressed by his style, integrity and vision. We are lucky to have him as a leader in the world of American Horticulture.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Vistas and vignettes of the past year...

Spigelia marilandica
As winter sets in with a bit of a vengeance (four significant snowfalls have fallen fallen this October--and temperatures plunged near zero by Halloween), I can't resist looking back at the wonderful year that's quickly coming to close. I've gathered--rather helter-skelter--a bevy of images of my garden and some of its denizens. These give me such delight, I can't resist sharing the fun of gardening on a sandy slope in the heart of the Denver metro area.

I'm afraid the images are not very well organized: there are so many pocket gardens here and there from woodland gardens to a hot dry berm covered with cacti and xerophytes.  I am delighted to have so many microclimates to grow everything from bog to desert plants.

Lomatium grayi

Clematis scottii

Iris henryi

A different cone of the same species as the last: I think I like it a tad more!

Dianthus myrtinervius (true!)
I'm enjoying watching the pageant of views and details go by: I've written enough commentary elsewhere--I'm going to just enjoy the garden. I hope you do too!
More alpine medleys

Androsace taurica
Penstemon uintahensis

Petunia patagonica

Aethionema grandiflorum
Aethionema grandiflorum
Sisyrinchium macrocarpum

Kniphofia ritualis

My signature weeds: Glaucium hybrids and Verbascum bombyciferum
Erythronium tuolumnense

Erythronium umbilicatum

Paeonia mlokosewitchii

Euphorbia hybrid
Glaucium hybrid

Arum conophalloides
Polygonatum prattii

Erigeron ursinus

Pathway between "the Ridges"
Mount Evans at dusk
The ultimate vistas are the Rockies: Mount Evans never ceases to peer down...

Tulipa sprengeri

Anemone coronaria hybs.

Echinocereus viridiflorus

Echinocereus reichenbachii

Escobaria  missouriensis

Allium schoenoprasum

Scjutellaria przewalskyi

Salvia caespitosa and friends

Paeonia officinalis 'Anemoniflora' and Chionanthus retusus

Paeonia peregrina

Tradescantia longipes

Orlaya grandiflora

Arum nigrum
Salvia phlomoides

Salvia phlomoides (rear), Moltkia petraea (middle), Delosperma dyeri (front)

Iris graeberiana and Daphne x susanae 'Anton Fahndrich' above

Mt Evans on a spring day

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