Saturday, October 18, 2014

Stragglers

Several plants only bloom in October such as the unidentified variety of chrysanthemum below, but just now, most of the flowers left in the garden are stragglers that have not yet been killed by frost. Here are some of the ones that were still hanging on a few days ago.

 Chrysanthemum (unidentified variety)


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Plant portait - Perennial sunflowers


The willowleaf sunflower  (Helianthus salicifolius ) is perennial. It is not very demanding as far as soil is concerned, but it requires full sun. It can vary in size a great deal and spreads by creeping rhizomes, covering quite a bit of ground over time.

Willowleaf Sunflower



Friday, October 3, 2014

Apples

As some of you will know from previous posts, Roche Fleurie is in a former meadow reverting to forest.  Most of the trees that have volunteered in that meadow are apple trees. These trees all come from seeds scattered by wild animals eating apples. They hybridize on their own, and all are edible. But most are too tart to be eaten raw, although the majority are good cooking apples. In fact, out of the lot some turn out to be quite tasty even raw. Here are a few pictures of some of these apples and what we use them for.

Unnamed apple variety


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Mother and Children

This post is about a memorial garden. It is rather small - just a few columnar trees in a grassy enclosure with a monument in the center. It is on private land but sits right next to the road in a forested area. The public is welcome to stop and visit.






Monday, September 22, 2014

Tomatoes - 2014

As usual we are growing different  tomato varieties this year, both some old favorites and a few new ones. Many are heirlooms and all are open pollinated (meaning that you can save the seeds, and that you will get the same variety from these seeds). I thought I would do a review of these varieties.

First I must say that for us 2014 was not an ideal tomato year. I was reading in the local paper that the summer of 2014 is probably going to be the coldest and wettest in 20 years. Tomatoes like it hot and sunny.



Monday, September 15, 2014

Plant Portrait - Calceolaria mexicana



Calceolaria mexicana is annual. I got it from my friend Glen who grew it from seed. Last year, I put the few plants I had in a container, and it was not particularly successful. This year, I was once again given a few small plants which I decided to put directly in the ground, and they did much better. Glen tells me that it comes back from seed year after year. He has some nice drifts in his own garden.



Monday, September 8, 2014

Best New Plants for 2014



Every year, each of us tries new plants. Some are very successful, others do not do as well. Thinking about the plants we grew for the first time this year, I decided to write a post about the best ones among our own first timers. I restricted the choice to the best three, each of which is a plant I would most certainly keep or even grow more of.

The "first prize" goes to Oenothera (Gaura) lindheimeri 'Rosy Jane'.

Gaura lindheimeri 'Rosy Jane'


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Containers 2014

I like growing things in pots, both annuals and perennials. Most of the time I put only one variety in each pot. As with every year, this last summer, some pots were more successful than others.

Here is a review of what I grew in pots in 2014 and how well they did. The most successful was an alstroemeria. The variety, Fabiana, has variegated foliage which adds interest even when the plant is not in bloom.

Alstromeria 'Fabiana'



Monday, September 1, 2014

Three More Unusual Vegetables

A few weeks ago I had a post about Achocha, a vegetable the Inca are supposed to have eaten. I grew several other uncommon vegetables this year. Some of them are not very well known simply because they don't deserve to be, but others I am pleased to have discovered. Here are descriptions of three vegetables new to me.

Little melon
Little watermelon


Monday, August 25, 2014

Botanising at the Beach

This afternoon we stopped for a few minutes at a beach on Lake Huron. There were families with dogs, kites and beach chairs, swimmers - everything that you would expect on a hot day by the water in August. However, in the sand dunes leading to the water there were also interesting plants that are not very obvious, although they are very attractive.

Singing Sands, Dorcas Bay on Lake Huron, Ontario