Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day–the Ides of July

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day–the Ides of July

May Dreams Gardens hosts a monthly blogger’s party called–you may have guessed it–Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day

(Oh and btw my keyboard has had a little too much spilled tea so the period and comma aren’t working)

I don’t know if one has to be invited to join the party but if so i’ll probably find out when I tag this post

In the meantime here’s a picture-rich text-poor (because of no periods and no commas) tour of my garden today

Starting with the dragonfly (four-spot skimmer–Libellula quadrimaculata) who just loves this one spent flower stalk among the Iris:

Moving right along: (CLICK ON ANY PICTURE TO ENLARGE)

Among my favourite flower combinations: Crocosmia 'Lucifer' with Leucanthrmum x superbum --Shasta Daisy and Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purople'--smoke Bush

Among my favourite flower combinations: Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ with Leucanthrmum x superbum –Shasta Daisy and Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’–Smoke Bush

thumb_IMG_1835_1024 2

David Austin Rose ‘William Shakespeare 2000’

This is one of the most difficult colours to accurately capture–it’s a little more magenta–

Crocosmia x crocosmiflora

Crocosmia x crocosmiflora probably ‘Star of East’

This small crocosmia is a lovely fountain of orange and green

This amazing carpet of Sagina subulata has been blooming for well over a month

This amazing carpet of Sagina subulata has been blooming for well over a month and clearly isn’t finished yet

This Scotch moss–Sagina subulata–is about 1” high the flowers about 1mm

thumb_IMG_1851_1024

Pretty sure this is Echinacea ‘Cheyanne Spirit’

Two no-name hostas

Two no-name hostas

I seldom like the look of hosta flowers and occasionally cut them off–these are pretty however

On the other hand this ‘Elegans’ is less than optimal in every way: doesn’t keep its blue; leaves burn with the least sun despite a lot of moisture and truly ugly flower stalks

Hosta sieboldii 'Elegans'

Hosta sieboldiana ‘Elegans’

But I love the idea of collecting the seeds so I’ll leave it

And now for this year’s selection of my own hybridized daylily keepers (as opposed to the dozens I’ve shovel-pruned):

thumb_IMG_1854_1024

No-Name daylilies–Hemerocallis–#1and 2

Hemerocallis #3

Hemerocallis #3

Hemerocallis #4--I love this one--the flower is only about 3'' across but the scape is tall enough to see above all the local foliage

Hemerocallis #4–I love this one–the flower is only about 3” across but the scape is tall enough to see above all the local foliage

Hemerocallis #5--another butter yellow and little larger and taller almost hidden in the raspberry bushes

Hemerocallis #5–another butter yellow and little larger and taller almost hidden in the raspberry bushes

Hemerocallis #6--slightly boring colour but I love the shape and it's been blooming for weeks!

Hemerocallis #6–slightly boring colour but I love the shape and it’s been blooming for weeks!

Hemerocallis #7 is my favourite especially when its neighbour the Jude the Obscure Rose is in bloom; which it currently isn't alas

Hemerocallis #7 is my favourite especially when its neighbour the Jude the Obscure Rose is in bloom; which it currently isn’t alas

Another view of #7; can't get enough of it :-)

Another view of #7; can’t get enough of it 🙂

Enough of daylilies now on to the rest of the garden

Can't get enough snapdragons

Can’t get enough snapdragons

Rose 'Magenta'--pretty colour but terrible shrub; black spot magnet and weak branches I'll give it one more year to perform better

Rose ‘Magenta’–pretty colour but terrible shrub; black spot magnet and weak branches I’ll give it one more year to perform better

Hypericum 'Albury Purple'--one of my favourite garden plants

Hypericum ‘Albury Purple’–one of my favourite garden plants

Not blooms but oh so colourful Imperata cylindrica--Japanese Blood Grass

Not blooms but oh so colourful Imperata cylindrica–Japanese Blood Grass

Rose 'Rosemary Harkness' with Clematis jackmanii

Rose ‘Rosemary Harkness’ with Clematis jackmanii Neither doing well but since I’ve tried to kill Rosemary several times can’t complain

Hibiscus syriacus 'Red Heart'--Hardy Hibiscus aka Rose of Sharon

Hibiscus syriacus ‘Red Heart’–Hardy Hibiscus aka Rose of Sharon

Echinacea purpurea--coneflower

Echinacea purpurea–coneflower with bee; I notice the bees like this echinacea and the white one but haven’t seen any activity on Cheyanne Spirit even tho’ it allegedly sets seeds

Hydrangea arborecens 'Invincibelle Spirit'

Hydrangea arborescens ‘Invincibelle Spirit’

None or my hydrangeas do really well; Invicibelle Spirit has beautiful blooms but the canes are very floppy

A Hydrangea expert from Heritage Hydrangeas spoke at my garden club this week and described how he stakes his Annabelle Hydrangea (same species and series as ‘Invincibelle Spiri’t and ‘Incredibelle’)

I guess it’s not just my plant care at issue here

thumb_IMG_1903_1024

Floppy Hydrangea arborescens ‘Invicibelle Spirit’

I may move it into more sun in the fall

Couldn't resist one more hemerocallis--#8

Couldn’t resist one more hemerocallis–#8

And finally

Acanthus mollis

Acanthus spinosus– Spiny Bear’s Breeches–and spiny it is indeed!

Acanthus spinosus

Acanthus spinosus — See those booomerang shaped poiny bits? Seriously sharp!

So that’s the garden tour for mid-July–now the 16th because it took me that long to compose it

As I’ve said many times this isn’t a “designed” garden–just one that meets my needs of having as many fun interesting wildlife attracting plants as possible

Having said that I try to incorporate design principles as I go along and as I change things around

Next post will be on plant combinations

Stay tuned

 

 

 

 

Photo Tutorial–Daylilies

Hybridizing Daylilies–Hemerocallis

If you want to increase your plant stock economically, you can’t do better than hybridizing daylilies. But that’s not why I did it. When I saw how easy it was, and that I actually got seeds, and that I could plant them, and that I could get brand new, never seen before daylily flowers, I was hooked.

Now not all your daylily plants will produce beautiful daylilies. What’s more, our local daylily expert, Pam Erikson, says it takes several years before a daylily produces its final (mature) “product”.

thumb_IMG_0829_1024

Daylily–love this one.

Here are a few of this year’s crop, some flowering for the first time:

thumb_IMG_0833_1024

Daylily: This is a pretty flower, but a suboptimal flower stem. It’s leaning way over under its own weight.

thumb_IMG_0840_1024

Daylily–This is a sweet diminutive flower–should be at the front of the border, whereas it’s currently hidden behind taller things.

thumb_IMG_0842_1024

Daylily–The camera made the colour much prettier than it really is…

thumb_IMG_0844_1024

Daylily–One of my favourites.

thumb_IMG_0836_1024

Daylily–Love the neon yellow throat.

thumb_IMG_0847_1024

Daylily–Another with a neon yellow throat.

thumb_IMG_0850_1024

Daylily–This is another that the camera misrepresents: it’s sort of a pink-ish red.

thumb_IMG_0853_1024

Daylily–One of the daylily styles is called “spider”. This one is almost a spider–should have slightly more folded/thinner petals. but I like this one. Would like it better if it had more flowers per scape.

thumb_IMG_0857_1024

Daylily–Now this and the next really are my favourites. And again, the camera did a mis-service: it’s actually even darker in colour.

thumb_IMG_0859_1024

So the above daylilies are all no-name varieties that I hybridized. And here’s the mini-tutorial:

First you’ll find a fresh daylily that has lots of pollen on the stamen:

Botany 101: Reproductive parts of the flower: male parts are the anther holding the pollen, and the filament, the stem holding up the anther. The female parts are the pistil with the at the top receiving the pollen, and the ovary at the base of the stem, or style.

Botany 101: Reproductive parts of the flower: male parts are the anther holding the pollen, and the filament– the stem holding up the anther; collectively called the stamen. The female parts: the pistil with the stigma at the top (blurry white dot in the pic) which receives the pollen, and the ovary at the base of the stem, or style.

CArefully break of a

Carefully break off a stamen with lots of pollen.

Choose a different dayliliy that is also fresh--they only last one day, so it's pretty impossible to get a non-fresh bloom.

Choose a different dayliliy that is also fresh–they only last one day, so it’s pretty impossible to get a non-fresh bloom.

Dab the pollen onto the stigma

Dab the pollen onto the stigma

Using the pollen from the same yellow daylily to pollinate the red daylily.

Using the pollen from the same yellow daylily to pollinate the red daylily.

Then DON’T DEADHEAD THE FLOWERS. And pretty soon you’ll see this

The ovary is swelling with developing seeds.

The ovary is swelling with developing seeds. The visible stumps are where other flowers fell off, but this one actually pollinated, probably by birds bees or bugs. 

Many seeds, many different genetic varieties:

Like people, pollinating uses the genetic material of one plant and adds it to the genetic material of another plant, yielding an infinity of variations. You may get anywhere from one to 21 (or so) seeds per pod, and every one will produce a different looking plant.

The flowers above are all ones that I’m willing to give another year or so to prove that they’re worthy to keep. They need to have sturdy enough stems to stay upright, and enough flowers per scape (flower stalk) to justify taking up space. Like this:

These are over 4' tall and perfectly upright. With lots of flowers on them. This is definitely a keeper.

These are over 4′ tall and perfectly upright. With lots of flowers on them. This is definitely a keeper.

And not like this:

This on the other hand, altho a cute little flower, can hardly stay upright with only one flower in bloom. And hardly any other flowers. I'll give it one more year to see if it changes, then if not, "shovel prune" it.

This on the other hand, altho a cute little flower, can hardly stay upright with only one flower in bloom. And hardly any other flowers. I’ll give it one more year to see if it changes, then if not, “shovel prune” it.

This one is just too boring for words, so like many others, I'll dig it up and put it on the street for someone else to give it a home. Or I'll bring it to Garden Club next week.

This one is just too boring for words, so like I’ve done with many others, I’ll dig it up and put it on the street for someone else to give it a home. Or I’ll bring it to Garden Club next week.

I’m getting pretty ruthless with my “babies”. Pam Erikson said she gets as few as one marketable plant out of 5000 or so hybridized. She has pretty strict criteria.

If you have any questions about how to do this, leave a comment.

September Colour

September Colour

I must confess to having a somewhat boring fall garden. The asters aren’t out yet, the rudbeckia have thinned out too much, and the echinacea is mostly in the back yard (altho’ if I ever get a moment to do some planting, there are three different echinacea varieties to go out into the front yard).

So here’s what’s currently in bloom at my house:

Julia Child rose

Rosa ‘Julia Child’

Echinacea 'Pow wow'

Echinacea ‘Pow wow’–this is what still needs to be planted…

Crocosmia

Crocosmia ‘George Davidson’

Rose 'Cinco de Mayo'

Rosa ‘Cinco de Mayo’

Rose 'Cinco de Mayo'

Rosa ‘Cinco de Mayo’

Skimmia japonica berries just beginning to turn red

Skimmia japonica berries just beginning to turn red

Three different (un-named) varieties of Calluna vulgaris (heather).

Three different (un-named) varieties of Calluna vulgaris (heather). They’ll be potted up in a nice big planter with some grasses and pansies and mums for a Fall container.

The  pansies (violas) to go in the planter.

The pansies (violas) to go in the planter.

Eupatorium (Joe Pye Weed)--so excited to get this the other day--I've been wanting to add it to the garden for years!

Eupatorium (Joe Pye Weed)–so excited to get this the other day–I’ve been wanting to add it to the garden for years! Oh dear, now renamed Eutrochium.

Campsis radicans

Campsis radicans

Echinacea purpurea

Echinacea purpurea

Nasturtiums--try adding the flowers to salads and the leaves to sandwiches.

Nasturtiums–try adding the flowers to salads and the leaves to sandwiches.

Colourful swiss chard.

Colourful swiss chard.

Even more colourful swiss chard.

Even more colourful swiss chard.

Garlic chives with predatory wasp.

Garlic chives with parasitic (I think) wasp.

Amazing Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus). It took me ages to edit the colour of this to even appriach the actual colour--the real colour is actually still a little bluer than this.

Amazing Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus). It took me ages to edit the colour of this to even approach the actual colour–which is still a little bluer than this.

Gravenstein

Gravenstein

Hydrangea paniculata grandiflora 'Limelight'--my current favourite hydrangea.

Hydrangea paniculata grandiflora ‘Limelight’–my current favourite hydrangea. It’s lost all its lime colouring and beginning to get tinged with pink.

Hibiscus syriacus 'Red Heart'

Hibiscus syriacus ‘Red Heart’

The Mid-Spring Garden

Garden Pictures May 15. There’s nothing like early morning light to appreciate the Spring garden!

Alchemilla mollis

Alchemilla mollis

Cotinus

Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’

Allium 'Purple Sensation'

Allium ‘Purple Sensation’

Aquilega (Columbine ) with Rhodo 'Will Brit' in the background

Aquilega (Columbine ) with Rhodo ‘Will Brit’ in the background

Tiniest columbine ever.

Tiniest Columbine ever. That’s Lily-of-the-Valley beside it so you can gauge the size.

Favourite  bearded iris.

Favourite bearded iris. They’re only about 12″ tall.

DSCN2705

LEss favourite bearded iris. All of my irises were given by friends, none have cultivar names.

Less favourite bearded iris. All of my irises were gifted by friends, none have cultivar names.

Red twig dogwood (Cornus sericea) has pretty insignificant flowers. But when you look at them this close-up, they're lovely.

Red twig dogwood (Cornus sericea) has pretty insignificant flowers. But when you look at them this close-up, they’re lovely.

Solomon's seal (Polygonatum).

Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum).

Polygonatum

Polygonatum

Clematis montana

Clematis montana

Hosta, cultivar name lost in the sands of time.

Hosta, cultivar name lost in the sands of time.

Persimmon tree

Persimmon tree in early morning light.

Observing the Smallest Details

One of the things I love most about gardening is observing the smallest details, especially early in the growing season. So here’s what I’ve been observing in the last few days:

Asparagus that I grew from seed in

Asparagus that I grew from seed in 2013–the only one that survived my tender ministrations. I’m trying again this year–only 7 (of 18) seeds germinated.

Perennial iberis just openi

Perennial iberis (candytuft) just opening.

Peony

Peony

Anemone

Anemone coronaria

Heuchera 'Purple Palace'

Heuchera ‘Purple Palace’

New growth on spirea. It rea

New growth on spirea. It really is that colour!

 

Euphorbia

Euphorbia martinii

I don't remember what kind of daff this is

I don’t remember what kind of daffodil this is, but the “cup” is only about 1 cm. You can see by comparison with the aubretia flowers (also about 1 cm across and about 10 cm high).

 

Unfurling ferns

Unfurling ferns. This might be a native sword fern.

DSCN2665

Dryopteris filix-mas ‘Cristata’. You can just see at the top of the picture the “crested” habit of the fronds.

No-name herbaceous fern. Pops up everywhere, but easy to pull out if they're a bit over-enthusiastic.

No-name herbaceous fern. Pops up everywhere, but easy to pull out if they’re a bit over-enthusiastic.

Very excited about th

Very excited about this lilac. It was a sucker in a friend’s garden several years ago–maybe 5? I planted it with its one root, and now, 5 years later, it’s finally blooming for the first time. Gardening develops patience!