Thursday, June 21, 2012

The heat, new bugs & new plants (and a little rant)

Just when you think the medical system can't get any worse, they surprise you once again.  Yesterday, my mother-in-law had a spill, breaking her elbow.  Fortunately her girlfriend was still close by - saw it happen and got her to the Emergency Care Centre at Trillium.  This all happened at 3:00 or so.  Kevin and I found out and got to the hospital several hours later, to find her sitting there with a bandage on her arm ready to go home.  Apparently they wanted her back to the Fracture Clinic at their associated hospital at 6:45 a.m. the next day.  Oh, and they gave her a couple of T3s, so I guess it's alright.  She supplemented the one dose with something in her pharmacopoeia, "We all share our drugs.  This is from so&so who died a while ago."  Who knew it isn't the silverware that folks look for when someone dies?  I'll keep that in mind when I'm 85.  Oh well, at 6:45 this morning she was seen quickly and she was back home before 9:30, so I guess as long as you've got your stash of pain-killers waiting for another day to have your bone set and cast is just fine.  Once again - $$$ saved by the medical system by having everyone else spend their time and $$$ to make it all possible.  Rant over.

It is 39C (over 100F) with the humidex today.  Feel so sorry for anyone who has to work outside.

Here's more allium on the way out after I turned the sprinkler on them.

While I was moving the sprinkler, this little robin was poking about looking for food for the family.

This Fargesia 'Red Panda' has grown to my shoulder, after being just hip height for 5 years.  I'd looked for it for a client who wanted a Zen garden - no luck - seems to be out of production which is a shame.  It's evergreen and clumping.  Will be interesting to see what happens if we get a colder winter again to see if its height is slashed back a bit.

Sedum 'Oddity' looking wonderfully odd.

And new to the garden, are these Milkweed Beetles.  Tried to find out what they were first, and then once I had an id whether they were friend or foe.  They are members of the long-horned beetle family - an association most law abiding bugs would want to forget.  One site said that they killed them because they felt they were bad.  Another site said that if my dog ate them, he would die.  They have four eyes - like me - but theirs are bisected by their antennae - just think how that would mess you up?  They lay eggs on the milkweed and they eat it.  I think I have altogether too much milkweed and so am going to allow their association providing they don't keep me up at night with their music.

I've also got a bit too much Chasmanthium.  I'm going to add the pulling out to my to-do list.

And, guess what arrived yesterday in a nice brown box?  From Proven Winners c/o Garden Import, who always do such a lovely job on the packing, 8 new plants.  

They are, in random order, Hydrangea paniculata 'Bobo'(TM) "the best dwarf panicle hydrangea to hit the market in years.  White flowers in summer cover the plant, obscuring the foliage.  Flowers take on pink tones as days shorten.  Excellent stem strength.  Hardy to USDA3 heat tolerant to zone 8.  74-91cm tall, 91-123 cm wide.  (20-28" x 30-40").  Sun or part shade - part shade preferred in hot climates."

I'm liking the short, lots of flowers and strong stems - so will let you know.

Summer Shandy (TM) golden hops
"The East Malling Research Station in England evaluates hops for the brewing industry.  While this one didn't make the cut for hops production, it was ornamental enough for them to graciously pass on to us.  Less rowdy in its growth than 'Aureus' and more refined looking too, it's a better choice for small gardens and for incorporating into perennial plantings.  Hardy to USDA 5 heat USDA 8 Vining 1.5-3M, full sun to partial shade"

I want to trust you.  I want to include this vine in my garden, but do I dare.  Ok, we're USDA 5B (Cdn 6B).  I'm going to put you in a few nasty spots and we'll see.

Red Wall(TM) parthenocissus
"Sometimes it takes an outsider to show us how great our own native plants can be.  This Poland-bred variety of Virginia creeper was selected for high quality glossy foliage and consistently outstanding fall colour.  Growing 8' in a single season, Red Wall is the easiest fastest way to create a "green wall."  We especially love it on a fence, back-lit by the sun for a spectacular stained glass effect.  Hardy to USDA 3 Heat to Zone 9.  Climbing to 6M Full sun to partial shade.

If you can grow it in Poland, you can definitely grow it here.  Almost willing to put up a new fence to see the spectacular stained glass effect.  But 6 meters, yikes.

Oso Happy(TM) Smoothie rose
"Its Minnesota-bred pedigree says "I'm tough!" while its smooth, thornless stems and gorgeous blooms say, "But I don't bite!"  Flowers are edged in deep pink shading to white toward the centre and appear all season long in attractive clusters.  Unlike most landscape roses, this one is great for arranging in a vase especially in autumn when the flowers give way to jewel like red fruit.  Hardy to USDA One 4 heat tolerant to zone 9.  1M tall and wide"

Sounds like a biker who collects Barbies.  How could you not want this plant?

Sonic Bloom(TM) Red Weigela
"When our staff first saw this in bloom one August, they had to double-check the date - they could have sworn it was spring!  This new series of reblooming weigela blooms in May along with other weigela, but after a brief rest to put on new growth, blooms again in the summer and continues until frost.  Also available in Pink and Pearl(white aging to soft pink); they look especially fantastic when planted together.  Hardy to USDA zone 4, heat tolerant to Zone 8 1.2-1.5 tall and wide Full sun and attracts hummingbirds."

Oh how I adore the sound of reblooming anything.  Glad to have the opportunity to see if it does in my garden.  The problem I've had with Weigela is that they don't like heat and dry in the first year.  I really don't coddle them - figure the average home owner wouldn't - so poor plant, it has two tests to live up to - will it make it through a hot, dry summer and is my idea of rebloom the same as theirs?  How exciting to be able to find out.  Stay tuned....


Barry said...

I have been off the past two days, but strangely have spent both days in the garden, in the heat, deciding what has overstayed its welcome, so I guess its a case of feeling sympathy for my co-workers and braving the heat,albeit not by their sides! New bugs seem to be popping up everywhere this year, the reduction in pesticide usage I think, and while this is not a bad thing, I have a lot of chewed foliage in the garden this year, much sooner than last. As for those new additions from PW, they all seem like Winners to me - gawd, we both knew the pun was but a second away did we not! I blame it on the heat! Try and stay cool. I have been out watering at nine every other evening, as I cannot bear to see the kids droopily sulking!

Randy said...

Hmmmmmmmm someone standing at the door seems very interested in the new plants. LOL

Barbarapc said...

oooooo 2/3 of a pun....... it has to be the heat. Just got back inside after a quick once around, dare not take wine out with me, it might evaporate. Dumped a bit of water on the really sad bits and fingers crossed for rain, although at the moment doesn't look very promising does it?

Barbarapc said...

He does, although I suspect being the little lizard that he is, that he's hoping that we're going to be planting very soon and he can just sit on the stones and watch. You know it's so hot, I don't dare even put them outside for fear of being accused of planticide. B.

Jennifer said...

Hi Barbara,
It is a real shame that they made your poor mother-in-law wait overnight. My Dad needs knee surgery and must wait months.In the meantime, he walks with difficulty with the aid of a cane.
It has been so unbearably hot that I have spent very little time in the garden. When do Japanese Beetles usually first appear (you are more experienced with them than I)? I have been dreading them for the last few weeks. So far none have appeared.
It must be fun to get trial plants in the mail. I will be interested to here how they all do.
Have a great weekend. There is a big garden pond tour this weekend BTW.

Barbarapc said...

Your poor Dad, Mum had both hers done 18 months ago - 6 months apart. She was so very crippled by the time she had them done at the Wellesley Hospital - they specialize in knees, hips, shoulders - and are now an associated hospital of Sunnybrook. The post-surgery was the worst, so very painful - but today, she's absolutely fabulous. Just a shame it didn't happen sooner. The Japanese Beetles are here - I'm not quite at the bucket of death stage - probably by Sunday I suspect. Having plants arrive in the mail is very exciting - as a member of the Garden Writers Association, there are all sorts of excellent perks. And if the plants perform well, I enjoy telling folks about them.
Am going to check out the pond tour - love the name. B.

Gail said...

That's hot for it is here. Miserable. Your package of PW goodies sounds marvelous. Can't wait to hear about your results. Speaking of waiting~Boo-Hiss on the next day service for your mil's arm break. gail

Kim and Victoria said...

Nice pic of the allium. Sorry for your Mom.
You have the cutest dog!
"I'm going to put you in a few nasty spots and we'll see." This made me laugh. You do know your hops, don't you?

copperbeech said...

I know this is a year later but I am interested in "Oso Happy Smoothie".

How did it perform for you in 2012?

Do you know if it is readily available in Ontario?