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

Friday, June 19, 2015

Green Shapes

We tend to give more importance to colours than to shape and texture. However, if you reduce colours to a single one - green - shapes and textures become a lot more noticeable as well as more significant and easy to appreciate.
The contrast of shape and texture is more obvious in the early part of the gardening season, before the "actual" colours take center stage, and we start ignoring the backdrop for the garden. In these pictures taken in late spring, the various greens are more distinct and fresh. I try to illustrate the play of shape and texture, without the diversion created by various colours.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Between a cold frame and a green house

For the last few years, my friend Tony Barton has tried to come up with a design for something like a greenhouse or cold frame, in order to extend the gardening season. He wanted it to be inexpensive and simple to build as well as portable. After experimenting for a while, he eventually came up with this hoop house which answers all his requirements.

Hoop house

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Chokecherry blooms as cut flowers

Beth of Plant Posting began her last post with a beautiful photo of chokecherry (Prunus virginiana), one of our very common native shrubs in North America. As Wikipedia says, the natural range of  chokecherry is "most of the continent, except for the far north and far south" so it is not difficult to find chokecherry outside urban areas. The "cherries" it produces are edible but, unless quite ripe, are very astringent. They make your mouth pucker the moment you bite into one. They do make a nice wine though. I have known this shrub for most of my life, but only this year I have realized how nice the bloom is in flower arrangements.