Thursday, August 27, 2015

Gloriosa Daisy

I suppose the name Gloriosa Daisy might make a botanist cringe but, for the gardener, it is a handy designation. These are not daisies, but Rudbeckia that have been hybridized and have finally settled into a big yellow/orange daisy, about two feet tall (60 cm) and biennial. Its flowers, however, are quite unpredictable, and there is a great deal of diversity, both in the colour and the markings on the flowers.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Annual poppies - 2015

Every summer we grow various annual poppies. Some of the seeds are bought, but mostly they are collected in the garden the previous summer. As the plants hybridize on their own, the flowers we end up with can be quite different from year to year. Some can be absent one year and reappear the next. This was the case this year for Papaver somniferum var. paeoniiflorum which came up everywhere while we had few of them last year.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Pots on the move

It is self evident that an important advantage of growing plants in pots is that they can be moved around. In every garden, there are spots which, at  least part of the time, are drab, if not boring. Pots are very useful to deal with such spots. Moving them to various places allows you not only to brighten a dull corner, but also to see your own garden in a completely different light.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Eyes bigger than stomach

I was walking by the pond when I noticed that a goldfish had died and was floating among the water plants. I bent down to pick it up with the intentiion of putting it on the compost heap but, as I got closer, the dead fish quickly sank back down into the water!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Plant Portrait - Strawberry Spinach

I am growing this vegetable for the first time this year.  It is supposed to be an heirloom vegetable that has been grown for centuries . Although it is called spinach, it is, in fact, a chard (Chenopodium capitatum).

Strawberry Spinach

Friday, July 24, 2015

Echo of Miss Havisham

You, no doubt, remember Miss Havisham in Dickens' Great Expectations. The day she was to be married Miss Havisham learned she had been jilted by the man she loved, so she decided to spend the rest of her life in her wedding gown, never changing a thing in the house, including the wedding breakfast table holding the decaying wedding cake. There is a garden in our area that makes me think of Miss Havisham. That garden was built on a grand scale and is very attractive in its faded  grandeur.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Blue and Yellow

Continuing my review of plants by the colour of what is in bloom, I have decided to cover yellow and blue together, in the way I recently did for red and white. I begin with what I consider the best plant I became acquainted with last year,  the half-hardy annual: Calceolaria mexicana. You simply collect seeds in the fall and plant them the next spring, a few weeks before the last frost.

Calceolaria mexicana

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Red & White

I continue with my series on blooming by colors. In my last post I did the pinks. I decided this week to lump the reds and the whites together.  Here are some of the plants blooming red or white just now.

Rose Dortmund

Saturday, July 4, 2015


I thought I would do a few posts on what is in bloom just now, selecting plants by colour. I am starting with pink. Because so far we have had a relatively cool (as well as very wet) summer, many of the things that normally would have finished blooming some time ago (for instance, peonies) are still looking good. Here are a few examples of what is in bloom in pink at Roche Fleurie. Of course, roses make up the majority of the pink blooms.

John Davis rose

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The In & Out Game

This post is not about cats wanting in, then wanting out, then wanting in again, but about plants that leap the garden wall. Because we are in the middle of a wild area where numerous animals might be interested in the garden and especially its plants (deer, hares, skunks - their specialty is digging up looking for grubs - groundhogs, etc...) the garden is all fenced in. There is a strong contrast between the inside, where plants face little competition, and the outside where it is the jungle. Not only are there plants that sneak in from the outside - as is to be expected, weeds will  seed themselves in, but, more surprising, are garden plants that move outside the fence to settle, sometimes very successfully among the weeds. I suppose, like William Kent, they "leaped the fence, and saw that all nature was a garden".

A billion buttercups eager to leap the fence and get into the garden