Saturday, June 21, 2008

Peony & Clematis

I forgot what these two peony are (the one pictured above and the one below are two different varieties), but I thought one was supposed to be Sarah Bernhardt -- neither look very pink to me, they are more wine color.

But still very beautiful. I have decided that I need more peony because there's not much else blooming in my garden this time of year, and they just pack such a punch, much like tulips.

The gazebo is starting to come together. Remember last year I planted clematis to climb the legs of the gazebo? It was worth it. All the clematis made it and have almost climbed to the top of their legs.

Comtesse de Bouchard was a spur of the moment choice that is really proving to be wonderful fate. I am in love!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

A Few More Tulips

My tulips have pretty much reached the end for this year, but I realized that there were a few tulips that I hadn't shown off yet.

These are Angelique (mid-height, late). I highly recommend them. I first saw them at the Minnesota Arboretum. They look like a rose and peony had babies. I planted them near the chives so that the chives might lend a baby's breath look. I think it worked out.

They come with a bonus, they are muti-flowering. Each bulb produces about 5 flowers, so it doesn't take many to really fill in an area!

Maureen turned out to be one of my tallest tulip ever. It is very graceful looking and pure white. I think that they resemble boiled eggs.
I may have to move them -- I planted them at the front of the bed thinking that they would be stout!

Exotic Emperor (mid-height, mid-season) was a substitute for the Spring Green that I couldn't get my hands on. I planted them in the Asian garden due to the "emperor" part of its name. SSB (my husband) didn't like them at first, he thought they weren't very exciting; but when he saw that the green stripes stuck around for the entire show, he was digging them.

Claudia (mid-height, mid-season) were supposed to be a lily flowering tulip. I thought that they could have been a little more edgy, like the Maytime (a 9 year old tulip which has multiplied over the years and is one of my husband's favorites) -- but I enjoyed Claudia all the same. They have a nice glow about them.

The Shirleys (tall, mid-season) seem to be over whatever was bothering them last year. They are in perfect form. I thought by now they would have multiplied from the original three that I purchased (another 9 year old tulip!), but I guess I should just be happy that they come back so great year after year.

Are these hostas?
No! They are Chinatown tulips! My husband LOVES Greenland tulips, so I thought he might like these too. He does. They are the only tulip that I have seen with this kind of pattern on the leaves. They are great looking before they even bloom.

The flower doesn't look that spectacular when it first opens, but as it ages, the dirty pink brightens and looks fantastic -- plus the leaves keep the white edge throughout.

They are short, but you'd want these to the front anyway to show off the leaves.

Blue Heron (mid-height, late-season) was another tulip that looked less than appealing when it first bloomed. It looked muddy. But as it matured, the lavender filled the flower and these dark stripes appeared. It is a good thing that I gave it some time to redeem itself. I was ready to toss it when I first saw it; but now I want more!

There was something about Sweetheart (mid-height, mid-season) that caught my attention as I ended up buying several boxes of them from Menards. They were just what that spot needed! They looked like butter when they first began to bloom, but as they matured, the edges turned white making them even more beautiful. They went perfectly with the Sunrise tulips and the White Emperor tulips in the background.

Paradise Island (late-season) were touted to be "the rose tulip". They do look like roses, but they were also supposed to multi-flowering -- that didn't happen. I still like them though, but I wouldn't pay as much as I did for them.

These Abbas (mid-season) I got from Menards for about $3-$4 a box. They are a deeper red and look similar to the Paradise Island tulips. Although they aren't as full a peony tulip, I would get more because I have a plan for a grouping. Plus they were cheap enough.

Both the Albas and Paradise Islands are shorties. Plant to the front.

I had bought some of these Bright Parrot (mid-height, mid-late season) tulips two years ago from Brecks for my son. He loves fire colors and these fit that. These were the ones that the tulip picker came right into my yard after! She had pulled them up even in her zest to obtain these humungous beauties.

I liked them too, so when I saw them at Menards, I grabbed an armful of them. The ones I got from Menards bloomed just as big as the ones that I had gotten from Brecks. This has convinced me that Menards will be my first stop for tulips. They rock!

Another tulip I got from Menards, Queen of the Night (late season). I really wasn't expecting much from them, in fact, I almost didn't buy them. I'm glad that I did though. They really do look black! The flowers weren't as large as I thought they might be, but their color makes up for that.

They are another tall one, so put them to the middle to back of the bed.

And of course, my favorite tulip -- Princess Irene (short, mid-season). These tulips are 7 years old and still going strong and slowly multiplying. I don't even feed them bone meal because I forget that they are there when it comes time for a round of feeding. They don't seem to mind the neglect.
Strangely, as much as I love them, I have yet to purchase more.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Mega Morel

It seems to be a good year for morels. Shortly after finding the two morels in my garden, I found one while on a walk. My son had never had one and is a mushroom lover like myself, so I picked it and cooked it up for us.

The last time I had eaten morels was when I was in elementary school -- that was a long time ago! I found that they are still as fantastic as I remember, and my son loves them too!

Too bad they are so hard to find. Although I looked hard on the rest of the walk, I only came back with the one. Oh, well.

But there is hope!!
Yesterday, I took a quick peak around the garden to see what was blooming before heading to work, and stumbled upon this monster!!

It was growing in my creeping phlox. I have never seen a morel this large in my life. Our neighbor's son collects them and joked that he would love to find one as big as our concrete statues. This one isn't that much smaller!

Too bad it was past it's prime by the time I found it. It would have made a whole meal. But, hopefully, it will do what it was designed to do and make more.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Passion Pays Off

Although I had promised my husband that we would not be buying plant material for the garden this year in order to make sure that we saved enough money for our trip and didn't have to worry about new plants biting it while we were overseas, did he or I, or you for that matter, really believe that that would happen? Even before this weekend, we bought three trees and a flat of perennials.

This weekend I decided that it would be a good time to get some more plants for the expanding rain garden. Along our property line we are trying to create a prairie-ish garden. When we were at Willow River State Park we saw a large patch of rattlesnake master and wild quinine. It was breath taking; a field of silver and white. I wanted to replicate that effect in my yard, so off to the native plant place to get the plants that I needed.

So I went there to buy these plants:
While he was ringing me up we got to talking about the rain garden we had put in. He had actually been by to see what we did with all the plants we bought last year. He loved the design and was very interested in the project that we took part in. He's very passionate about prairies and native plants, so when I began expounding the virtues of native plants, I must have touched a spot in his heart; because he offered me these as a gift:

They are black-eyed Susans, one of my favorite prairie plant - and there are ten of them! They aren't the same as Goldsturm. They are much taller and the leaves are fuzzy. Some even have multi-colored flowers that remind me of sunsets or leaves turning in autumn.

Although this isn't the first time I have gotten free plants after talking to a nursery owner, it has got to be the largest amount that I have ever gotten. So remember, gardeners are generous people, and they love to talk gardens and plants with people who share their passion.