Sunday, February 5, 2023

Nova Scotia here we come!

If I didn't know better, I'd swear that tortoise was doing a Yoga asana, perhaps the Ardha Chandrasana? Such is the magic of Maritime Canada that anything is possible.

Cypripedium acaule

I was very fortunate to visit Nova Scotia in May, 2014--and I published a half dozen posts back then about that wonderful trip (click on that for one of them) and now I'm looking to go back this June I see in amazement that I never posted some of the best pictures: so here they are--beginning with this lady slipper--of which we saw dozens or maybe hundreds in the woods near Halifax.

 Aralia nudicaule
These pictures were all taken in some natural areas we visited back then: the gardens were better documented in previous blog posts: but I see I have a lot of images I never posted that give a good taste, perhaps, of what's in store in a few months for those of us who attend the meeting in Truro!

Cypripedium acaule

I must have taken a dozen pictures of these ladyslippers. Maybe two dozen! They were everywhere!

Ferns everywhere: not sure the species here...

Trientalis borealis

I cut my horticultural teeth ordering Eastern wildflowers to grow in a shady garden in Boulder, Colorado were I grew up. I grew this for many years.

Gymnocarpium dryopteris

High on my list of favorite plants: I grew its cousin (Gymnocarpium robertianum) well for years at the Gardens. And I'm determined to grow this one too!

Rhododendron rhodora

I dedicated a whole blog post to this plant after my first Nova Scotia visit: a shimmering memory I will never forget!
Populus grandidentatum

So very different from our Rocky Mountain aspen: I must grow this one day!

Trillium undulatum
Alas, nowhere in my garden is it 1) acid enough 2) moist enough to make this gem happy. Fortunately there are a lot of trilliums that settle for me though. This (after T. nivale, which I can grow) is my very favorite.

Coptis trifolia

Another plant not destined for my garden. Wish the Coptis I can grow were this pretty!

Dryopteris spinulosa

Populus grandidentatum

LOVE the unfurling leaves on this poplar.  Yes...I must grow it! This year's Annual General Meeting in Nova Scotia is sure to be a gem--as they all are. I am so excited to see Bernard Jackson's masterpiece rock garden at the University in Truro once again, and the extraordinary limestone crevice garden extension they've put in since my last visit.

I was amazed by the incredible diversity of private gardens--many of which will be on tour. Early June will be peak bloom for Rhododendrons, rock and perennial gardens--all kissed by the cool, Maritime breath of the sea! Wouldn't miss this for the world--and hope to see you there...the QR code will take you to the registration page, or click right here! Be sure to watch Jamie Ellison's stunning video promoting the meeting--what a remarkably evocative landscape!


Monday, January 30, 2023

Growing Patagonian plants: a LINK

 No, you have not arrived at the Internatonal Rock Garden Magazine--this is a copy of the latest bulletin, however! Click HERE: "Article on growing Patagonian plants"  and you can download (or just read) a pdf. that contains an article I wrote about that very subject occupying the second half of the issue!

If you're under a certain age you may prefer to scan the following QR code and do the same thing:


Saturday, January 21, 2023

The deceased C's finally Cease!

Clausia aprica

Not everyone is as smitten with crucifers as I am: I suppose my love is partly a response to THEIR love for my garden--and this was a good example. I grew it from seed I got from Alexandra Bertukenko: it did not disappoint! Nice foliage, lovely blossom....

Then the next year it had run amok! It LOVED my rock garden...but unfortunately overran too many little gems, so I dug it up and put it in a border thinking it would make a nice edging. It turned out NOT to like borders at all, and I lost it. Surely I could have left a bit of it in a corner to run wild at will? So now I look back at these pictures with a pang of regret!

Claytonia megarhiza
I must confess--this picture was taken in the wild. I DID have a husky specimen in my old garden thriving...when an artist at the Museum of Nature and Science asked if I could provide her with a specimen so she could make a plaster cast. I did--but the bruised plant that came back to me "failed to thrive". Her avatar is still lurking somewhere at DMNS however...

Clematis tenuifolia

The less said about this the better: I have grown it many times--sometimes it ramps for feet in every direction--apparently trying desperately to escape my garden...

Clematis tenuifolia

A particularly nice blue form in nature. I yearn to tame this plant--but our only local grower is out of business...and where to find seed?

Cleome lutea

I have had dozens of husky pink spider flowers self sow around my garden, and even a white one--but I've only grown the yellow one once and it never came back...sniff!

Codonopsis clematidea
There was a time I thought this might become weedy in my garden...not to fear! It disappeared!

Corydalis turtschaninovii

I dedicated a whole blog post to this creature: it bloomed and looked good a year or two, then disappeared. Lesson: don't write blog posts about plants until you have them coming out your ears!

Coluteocarpa shanginii

I still have a few miserable plants of this: I divided my big clump and didn't put any back to where it LIKED to grow...

Corydalis ruksansii

I was thrilled to bloom this. It didn't reciprocate!

Corydalis bracteata 

I have grown this for decades--only to realize it's a woodlander and not a rock plant--and it gradually faded away...

Escobaria vivipara Convolvulus compactus 

My champion Turkish bindweed finally bit the dust. So did that cactus come to think of it!

Coluteocarpa vesicaria

I let neighboring plants smother this. My bad...

Coluteocarpa vesicaria

Here it is at DBG's children's garden...hope theirs fares better than mine. The seedpods are even showier than the flowers!

Cochicum kesselringii

I had one bulb of this growing for decades--it never produced more than a flower and last year it didn't bloom. That's a bad sign.

Cunila origanoides

Not very showy, but I love our American dittany....

Cunila origanoides

Also a victimj of crowding: Have to give it pride of place in my new Crevice garden!

Cryptotaenia japonica f. atropurpurea

Not the showiest plant...but look how happy it was (here growing at DBG: mine was happy too). Notice the tense of the verb.

Cryptantha paradoxa

I believe this was photographed at DBG: I had one in a trough as well. Past tense!

Cryptantha caespitosa

A scanned image from a transparency--that's bee how long since I grew this!

Crassula coralloides

I have seen and loved this in a wide swath of South Africa. But it eludes me...

There's the end of the C's: cease and desist I say!

Thursday, January 5, 2023

A floral retrospective of Quince garden 2022

Androsace taurica

Before the year slips irretrievably (and perhaps appropriately) into the misty past, I sifted through my picture files for some of the plants that I'd photographed I was most proud of...a quick retrospective (and a record for my blog). I am finding this blog to be a useful way to locate pictures that sometimes elude me when I look in my photo files! That androsace, btw, goes from strength to strength both in the trough and in my rock garden proper: talk about a keeper!

Aster coloradoensis

Botanists have ping ponged this poor plant back and forth between a half dozen micro-generic names: let's be merciful and stick to the shortest one! Planted just this spring, it seems to love growing in my new crevice garden...

Calceolaria herbeohybrida

I may well have posted this before...but what they hey! It's cute enough to post twice. It bloomed a long time, set lots of seed and then shrivelled up in the summer heat, but to my amazement came back this fall: now if it will only be hardy! Won't this be a kick to have around?

Delphinium tatsienense

This instantly became one of my favorite plants. What else is China hiding from us!

Gentiana scabra 'Royal Banner'

I admired this in 2021 at Chanticleer and must have found it somewhere last spring: this was a centerpiece for months this fall..

Helichrysum amorginum

Just one phase of this fantastic helichrysum: it eventually turns yellow and white--blooming all summer. It's been through two tough winters--amazing how tough a coastal Greek plant can be. I rate this very high.

Erythranthe (?) Mimulus (?) cupreus

I picked these up at a local garden center a few years ago--and they've shocked me by growing just fine along my stream. I don't know why this surprises me--this is just how I've seen this species grow in nature: only it's never this big flowered in the Andes as far as I can tell...

Monardella macrantha 'Marion Sampson'

I planted a whole flat of 4" pots of this here, there and everywhere in my garden. The only ones that bloomed heavily all summer were planted along the path in my new crevice garden. Most of the rest dwindled away: this is a plant that likes paths!

Search as I may, I haven't found the tag for this, nor can I tell which narcissus it is by my database. Oh well: it's pretty coming up along with red orach...

Origanum acutidens

I grew this from seed collected by Jim and Jenny Archibald in Turkey a Millennium ago: it's one of my all time favorites for more reasons than I can list: longevity, long bloom, subtlety, origin--you name it.

Penstemon petiolatus

I grew this decades ago and am thrilled to have it again, thanks to Sam Hitt in Santa Fe. That a chasmophyte from hot limestones in the Dixie Corridor proves amenable in a Colorado rock garden is nothing short of shocking to me. I love that blatant magenta coloration--which I thought this species always sported until I read about a true aquamarine blue form--something to dream about!

Unnamed Primula sieboldii cultivar

This almost puts snowflakes to shame...桜草 (Sakurah soh) in Japanese...which translates as "cherry blossom herb" one of the loveliest woodland plants.

Pterocephalus perennis
One of my pet genera: I hope I live long enough to see Pterocephalus spathulatus in full bloom in Cazorla National Park (I saw scads of it there in the fall of 2001--not one seed left). Better yet, I want every species in the genus in my garden!

Echinocereus coccineus in a trough

Late snows are a Colorado thing. Fortunately plants don't seem to mind (old timers call it white rain)

Campanula trogerae 
Another gem I first obtained from the Archibalds...

Angelica stricta 'Purprea'

Grown more for its ferny mound of dark purple foliage--but I like the flowers on this as well. I haven't yet found a spot where this will naturalize...I hope I shall keep tryig!

Zinnia 'Profusion Pink'

I won't swear this is the correct cultivar name: I get quite a few annuals we put in pots from all sorts of friends and source: I am a sucker for Zinnias, I confess.

Datura wrightii

This was growing on our property when we bought it: there were a few that got to be enormous with dozens of flowers that bloomed all summer long. I'm down to just a few small ones--but I hope they come back bigger.

Lilium speciosum is a favorite of mine that seems to have found its happy spot.

Thymus comosus

I don't know about you, but I'm always up for a good thyme! This one blooms in late August when some color is welcome. I had a much brighter form once that I lost...that's why we need to keep propagating and sharing those plants!

Delphinium pylzowii

China has no end of brilliant blue delphiniums. I want them all!

Pelargonium endlicherianum

Lewisia cotyledon 'Alba'

I finally found a spot where lewisias will persist in a wall! This is actually this plant's second flush of bloom.

Delosperma 'Garnet'

This is by far my favorite of Nishikawa's hybrids (one of the "Jewels of the Desert" series). I follow him on Facebook and was shocked to see that he'd filled a huge dumptruck with reject hybrids that didn't cut the mustard at his test site in Italy.

One of a half dozen mystery Erigeron I seem to be accumulating. They're all lovely, but only God and Cronquist know what they are for sure (and they're both in Heaven).

Pulsatilla sp.
This blooms much later than the P. vulgaris in my garden--and is truly lovely. Don't have a clue what it is precisely, dang it. Any guesses?

Caltha palustris 'Flore Pleno'
I know it's common, but it blooms forever.

Sinningia leucotricha

Blooming mid January: if that isn't reason enough to grow this waif!? 

Well...on to 2023!

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