Monday, March 16, 2009

More Garden Favourites for 2008

Merry Monday a.m.! Saturday night while we were out having a wonderful dinner at Carrie's house, my fancy Preference Dacor ovens were taken over by banshees - turned themselves on, appeared to have run a self clean cycle - with all the metal stuff in the oven. We got home the bottom door was locked - the fan running on high. The lights in the oven don't work and the control panel is completely dead. You know there are two things that really annoy me about this situation, first how can something that you buy to last you a lifetime poop out after only 14 months, and second of all, if the stupid banshees were in the mood to clean, why didn't they just take out the vacuum and knock themselves out. Am waiting to place my 8:30 a.m. phone call to the service folks. Mercy.

Got some more stuff seeded on the light table. Had to laugh - was working on an Angelica ursina - package instructions said "SEED ABSOLUTELY REQUIRES LIGHT FOR GERMINATION, SO DO NOT COVER WITH SOIL". OK, I can follow instructions as well as the next blogger, so pressed the little flakes gently against the soilless mix - added a little water - which was just enough to turn them into little fighter pilots - watched in horror as they dipped their wings and plowed sideways into the crevices of the mix. NoNoNo. Well, so sad - who knows if any of them will ever see the light of day - hope none of you were counting on me having extras.

Of course because I returned my caladium package to Costco I had a credit in my flower budget account that had to be used. Went to Sheridan Nurseries. I discovered and brought home (new to me) a Alternanthera 'Party Time' that I'm going to take some cuttings from for my summer pots and some sprouted begonia blobs - Bouton de Rose and Schweizerland. Returned caladium money now all spent. Here's Party Time - the bright pink is even more vivid than it appears. These digitals and reds....

Main focus of my post today is to continue along to list my favourite plants for 2008. Here are my favs for May based on my photo record:

May 2008 - My Favourite Plant(s) - Geranium phaeum 'Samobor'

A really reliable perennial geranium for dry shade. I like it best before it blooms - find that the leaf patterning is at its best before it does bloom. Flowers are maroony-purple - not bad - but there's so much else going on in the garden at that point, that it's certainly not a focal point. Not bothered by insects, and comes back a little stronger every year.

Heucherella 'Stoplight'

A new genus - Heuchera and Tiarella combined for this little winner. Again, good in the dry shade, keeps its bright leaf coloration throughout the summer and really does perk up a dark shady corner. A good little plant.

Hosta montana macrophylla

This is the tallest and biggest hosta (bigger than Sum and Substance), in my garden. It isn't the easiest to find in the trade, and for some strange reason if you do find it, it might not make it into its second year. Not bothered by slugs - is a real show stopper of a hosta. I've had perfect strangers motor across the lawn with their children in strollers to stand and stare at it. It is so big, the pale lavender flowers just barely appear above the leaves. And as you can see, at this time year, when the leaves are so brand new, it really is a lovely plant.

Mahonia repens

Mahonias are not especially easy plants for us to grow. I've seen presentations from people on the west coast that show that my meager offering isn't really that special. The reason why this is one of my favs is that it is another smallish plant (shrub) 30cm x 30cm (ftxft) and that given proper snow cover and even when we don't have proper snow cover, it is not decimated by the winter wind. And the fact that it puts out nice yellow flowers so early in the year is a reason it made it on to my fav list.

Mount Tacoma Tulips

From the top to the bottom - these tulips were absolutely dreamy. They lasted about 2-1/2 weeks, which was excellent.

The Old Coral Quince Bush

Sadly the buds have been eaten by squirrels this year. I guess they were hungry with all the snow we had. Long bloomer - almost 3-1/2 weeks - lovely coral colour. It came with our house - so it is probably about 50+ years old. It is tucked behind a old ash tree and I enjoy the ash tree bark as a background to these pretty blossoms.

Euphorbia 'Fens Ruby'

A saucy little plant with fine foliage and eye blinding chartreuse blossoms. Yes, it does spread. Yes it does self seed, but who cares. Takes dry shade and is a Euphorbia that comes back year after year - something that can't be counted on for many of the other varieties I've tried.

Dicentra 'King of Hearts'

Beautiful glaucus leaves and good true pink flowers that last almost all summer long. It could be a favourite for almost every month of the summer. Likes shade - handles it dry very well and with those leaves, a really easy one to combine with other little shade lovers. All in all, a great little plant.


Cathy said...

What a beautiful Collection of flowers. I love those Euphorbias.

Teza said...

My Mahonia aquiligifolium was so incredibly 'pathetique' that he was removed last year.... wasn't a foot tall and only had four leaves - after two years. I saw wonderful specimens at the nursery where I am working this year, so its on the Most Wanted List yet again!
I love 'Fen's Ruby' - and am thrilled to see another gardener who isn't afraind of a little rambunctious spreading here and there.
I am going to do a post like this later in the year, as I lost one of the memory cards so have to wait to recapture them this summer!

Peggy said...

I love all of your flowers, I would have loved to be a fly on the wall for that 8.300 am phone call!

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

All of your blooms, from the post before this, as well, are have some great photos to remember them by. I like the idea of monthly photos; I am not sure I've done a good job of doing that.

Barbarapc said...

Cathy, Euphorbias are great - just which they were a little more hardy for us here.
Teza, I grew my Mahonia aquilegifolium from seed - got a package in a themed birthday card - apparently from seed collected near Georgian Bay - still has pathetic leaves after winter, but seems to stand up better than others around here. I've lost a memory stick too - and now have an external hard drive - I should have another drive that resides in another building. Looking forward to seeing this years photos!
Peggy, the saga continues, Happy St. Paddy's day! The service man will call again on arrange an appointment.
Jan - thanks for that - I always enjoy your photos. Just so tired of my blah March pictures, I just had to do something to brighten up the blog.

Gail said...

I can see why they are favorites Barbara...especially the geranium...It is going on my list...I could uses a plant for dry shade with interesting markings! I am going to look at the euphorbia...Maybe it can crowd out the vinca!

I am so sorry your kitchen gremlins were acting up! I think the more techie a product is the more likely it is to be inhabited by gremlins! Hoping the company fixes the problem for you..


Gardenista said...

You have a flower budget account? Hmm. Dear husband needs to set me up some (unlimited) thing like that. Nice plant choices will be so nice to see them growing soon!

Barbarapc said...

Gardenista - may spring and the unlimited flower budget be arriving on your horizon soon!