Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Plant Portrait - Biennial Clary

There is only one drawback to this plant (Salvia sclarea turkestanica):  it is biennial. It germinates and grows one year and, the second year, it reaches maturity, blooms and dies. I grew it for the first time last year and it turns out to be a stunning plant.
It is not attacked by any diseases or insects. In fact it attracts many pollinators. It is easy to grow and requires no special treatment. It is big, but it does not need staking. In spring its large leaves are attractive, and later on it gets completely covered with flowers for at least two months.

Biennial Clary (Salvia sclarea turkestanica)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Some berries will have to wait

Fortunately our black currants are still not ripe. The white currants and the gooseberries are almost ripe. However, ready or not, a few of them will have to wait as some birds, some kind of native sparrow, have decided to build their nest right in the middle of the berry patch. They are not interested in the berries, just in the extra protection afforded by a thorny gooseberry bush in the middle of an enclosed garden.

'Pink Champagne' white currants

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

An Outing

I belong to the local gardening club and last week we had a bus trip to visit two gardens, one of which includes a nursery. We left at 9AM, had lunch at the garden-nursery and were back around 5 PM. The day was beautiful, but this means the pictures are not as good as they would have been had the day been less bright and sunny.

Earthbound Gardens

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Pavement Gardening - edge of the path

Here is yet another series of rock garden plants I grow among the stones on the garden paths. However these are some of the ones I grow only on the edges of the paths, because they cannot be stepped on.

The first one is a variety of Iberis sempervirens. Normally the flowers are white. However, in this variety, they start white, but as they age, they slowly turn pink. It is a low variety whose name I do not know as I grew it from a cutting I was given at Larkwhistle Garden many years ago. It probably would prefer more sun than the 4-5 hours that it gets, but it seems to manage well.

Perennial candytuft

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

London Pride and other saxifrages

When I think of rockfoils, the genus Saxifraga, I think of the small plants, either the encrusted varieties or of the mossy saxifrages, but not of the relatively big London Pride. Yet, London Pride (Saxifraga × urbium) is the saxifrage that grows best for us. Ours is a variegated variety (Saxifraga×urbium 'Aureopunctata'). It has been growing beautifully here for many years.

Variegated London Pride at the base of a low retaining wall

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Rose in a cold climate

Whoever was the garden writer who quipped that for Canada and the northern US, hybrid tea roses are annual shrubs, was quite right. In our climate, when it comes to selecting roses, the first consideration has to be hardiness.  In many ways, this simplifies your choice as most roses are not very hardy. Here is a review of some of the roses that are grown at Roche Fleurie.

Explorer Rose
John Davis rose on a trellis