Sunday, July 31, 2011

Echinacea, Cone flowers

There are endless varieties of Echinacea and they are such easy perennials for the garden.  They don't fall over and they bloom for a very long time if you deadhead them. They are very hardy zones 4-8. They range from 18"-24".  They love the sun and are drought tolerant. One of the most asked for perennial is Echinacea. This one is Echinacea "bravado", a more flat toped flower. There are so many new colors, here are just a few: Echinacea Sunrise, Sundown, Harvest Moon, Twilight, Pineapple sundae, Razzmatazz, Hot papaya, Pink double delight, Flamethrower, Pineapple mint, daydream, Meringue, Strawberrry Shortcake, Pineapple Splash, paradoxa, Irresistible, just to name a few.

This one is Sundown.

This one is Sunrise.   I'm always on the search for more of the Echinaceas, they are all gorgeous!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Astilbes or False Spirea

OMG,I love Astilbes, very hard to resist, they look like puffs of cotton candy and smell just as sweet. At the nursery they were flying out the door, everyone had at least one. Every one of them were gorgeous, every day I found another I just had to have. Now I have started a collection and have 16 varieties.  It's not easy to find such colorful plants for the shade as Astilbes. They need lots of water and that is not a problem for us in the Pacific Northwest for sure. They prefer morning sun with afternoon shade, no hot sun.  The sizes range from short 8" to the very tall 4' and colors from white to deep red, purple and every shade of pink in between. My favorites are America, Amethyst, Fanal, Granat, Bridal Veil, Showstar, Ostrich Plume, Hennie Graafland, Sprite, Erica, Flamingo, Superba, Chinenis pumila, Peach Blossom.  They multiply fast so my new Astilbe garden is going to be stuffed soon, can't wait to see a whole drift of them. There are many more varieties too. They are also great to cut for flower bouquets!  Very hardy and good for zones 4-8. This one is Astilbe arendsii 'Showstar'.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Fragrant Flowers/Plants for the Perennial Garden

I got a question the other day and one of which I have been asked before and to my surprise the Sunset book didn't have a list for fragrant perennials so I walked around the nursery looking for some of my favorites to show the customer and here is what I came up with, I'm sure there is more and of course there are many shrubs too so I will add more later:

Phlox paniculata- 30" tall zone 4-8;Astilbes- various heights zone 4-8,
Cimicifuga simplex- 3' tall zones 4-9;Erysium Bowles Mauve wallflower -30" tall zone 6-9,
Agastache cana Heather Queen or Apricot Sunrise -30" tall zone 6-10,
Monarda Bee Balm -24-36" zone 4-9;Lavender angustifolia (most fragrant is "Grosso") -2-3' zone 5-9, Rosemary Tuscan Blue - 3-4' zone 7-9;Primula florindae, Giant Cowslip- 24-30" zone 3-8,
Corsican mint -ground cover (as you walk over it you can smell the mint) 1/2" zone 7-9,
Dianthus (cottage pinks)-an old fashion favorite with many varieties zone 3-8 ,
Hemerocalis Daylilys- 1-3' zone 3-9 ;Hyssopus offininalis- 18-24" zone 3-9,
Hosta (blooms) -12"-3' zone 3-9;Asiatic Lilys- 4-5' zone 5-8 ,
Convallaria majalis Lily of the Valley- 6-12" zone 3-9;Viola odorata- 6-8" zone 4-8

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Easy flowers to press

Here are some easy flowers to press from left to right: woodland anemone, anthemis, mexican sage, marsh marigold, little gem marigold, creeping phlox, coreopsis "zagreb", annual larkspur, perennial geranium, annual verbenas, woodland wild flower, fireweed, orange species tulip, creeping jenny, blue flax, yellow species tulip.  This is just a few.  I will be posting a separate page with more details, botanical names, a list of more flowers and leaves to press and how to press them soon. Visit my Pressed Flower website if you would like to see some more pressed flower art and products I make from the art.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Rockin' Robin Striped Rose

Cool red and white striped shrub rose that is 3'x3', desease resistant to black spot, mildew and rust. It's a repeat bloomer and hardy to zones 4-8. A nice cutting rose with several blooms on one stem.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ligularia dentata "Desdemona"

This strong flower color really stands out in the shade garden, it stands 3 1/2' tall and the same wide with huge 8" roundish leaves that emerge beet red/burgundy and open to a deep green with burgundy undersides. Has tall sturdy stalks with rich gold flowers, a show stopper in the garden. Likes morning sun afternoon shade with rich moist soil. The slugs do like them but worth the battle to have this plant in the garden. This is a herbaceous perennial, meaning no leaves show in the winter months and is hardy USDA zones 4-8

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cut Flowers from my Garden

This is the best part of flower gardening, having bouquets to bring in my home and to give away to brighten someones day. Here are the roses Alchymist , the peachy one and William Baffin, the pink with double fever few, chartreuse ladies mantle and blue delphiniums.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Tiger Eyes Sumac

Rhus typhina "Tigereye Bailtiger". This one has the most beautiful fall color and is so soft and delicate. It has a velvety stem and new foliage is chartreuse then changes to yellow, then scarlet and finally orange neon. It gets 6' tall and about the same wide. It does sucker but I figure I will have new ones to transplant to other areas of the garden. For the best color put in full sun in moist well drained soil. Grows in zones 4-8. When it's color changes I will post this one again.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Favorite Hummingbird plants

Phygelius or commonly called "Cape Fuchsia" are unusual looking and attract butterflies. They really stand out in the garden. They look like a shrub and have sturdy stems and don't dump over in our rain. They are evergreen which means they have foliage throughout the winter unless we have an unusually cold winter. They love full sun but I have them in part shade and they bloom late spring/early summer. 36" h x 36"w and are hardy in zones 7-9

There is a long list of plants that attract hummingbirds and butterflies and I will post a page soon and pictures to go with them.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Lysimachia clethroides "Gooseneck Strife"

 I love this for cut flowers, easy to grow and it produces plenty for cutting in a short time. It is a bit invasive but I keep it in check by just pulling in early spring where I don't want it to go. It's elegant in cut flower arrangements.

It blooms July through September, 24-36" high with a 4' spread, requires sun to partial shade, average to moist, well drained soil, 4-6" flower head. Good in zones 3-8

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tradescantia x andersonia "Blushing Bride" Spiderwort

This plant just flies off the shelf when we have them at the nursery. I finally bought one last year. I have heard of people saying it reverts to solid green so I have it in part sun and we will see what happens. I have never seen it bloom at the nursery because they never stay on the table long enough. I hear the bloom is pink so I'm anxious to see it bloom in my garden.

Sun to partial shade, zone 5-9, 12-18" tall

Giant Sunflower

My son and his giant sunflower when he was five that he grew from seed and is obviously very proud, pretty cute. So fun to grow, makes me want to put some in today.

Aruncus dioicus "Goats Beard"

Great show-off for shade, 4-5' tall and really glows in the shade. Super easy and takes dry soil. I see it in the woods here on the west coast of Washington and along side the country roads. It does look better in the garden when it can have a little more water. Blooms spring to summer. zone 3-7

Monday, July 4, 2011

Plants for the North side of the house

Here is the sweetest addition to the garden. This was a square and one day my husband had shaped it into a heart, what a sweetheart, totally surprised me. Off to the right is the varigated "Jack Frost" Brunnera, gorgeous!

There are some really cool ferns Five Finger Maiden Hair Fern,

Japanese Painted Fern, and Autumn Fern from left to right.

These are Candle abra Primroses, very fun flowers. I overheard a customer telling her friend she was looking for some new primroses to add to her "Primrose Party". There are tons of really cool primroses to add to your primrose party. Primula capitata mooreana with a really sweet fragrance, Primula vialii "Poker Primrose", Primula polyantha "gold lace", "green lace", "victoria lace" and Primula florindae "Giant Cowslip" that has a wonderful fragrance that I cannot get enough of, it's about to bloom soon. Just to name a few, all are very different looking and fun!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Alchemilla Mollis "Lady's Mantle"

Lady's Mantle is so cool, a little dew in the morning and this is what you get, "jewels". A must have for your perennial shade garden and has chartreuse flower sprays in June to use as a long lasting filler for your flower bouquets, gorgeous. It's so easy to grow, can take fairly dry soil. Self seeds but not invasive , it attracts butterflies and is deer resistant. About 15" tall and 24" wide and hardy to zone 3. This photo shows just the buds of the flowers to come. When mature the stems resemble the same size as baby's breath like you would find in a florist.