Today I thought I’d give you a sample of some of my favourite plants/combinations from last year. These pictures come from all parts of my gardens. Some (hopefully) will reappear this season, while others were a one-time try that may or may not be repeated.
Some of the plants have since died for various reasons – bugs, dogs, insects, me – I kill lots of plants through inattention, ignorance of their needs in this climate, incorrect pruning – you name it! Even though I consider myself to be an experienced gardener, gardening in a new climate and on different soil always has its learning curve. No two garden plots have the same microclimates, frost pockets, wet and dry spots, etc. While observation over time usually reveals many of these idiosyncracies, that takes time.
I am now seventy years of age and have had one heart operation and several strokes, so I don’t feel as if I have time to waste. I’d rather kill a few plants than wait for a garden to be formed and to get growing!
So, here we go on the tour of memories from last year!
These lovely pink Corydalis “George Baker” (I think) were new last spring. They bloomed early then went dormant when the heat hit. Hopefully, they’ll return this spring!
These two – Mukdenia and Fritillilaria – both came with me from my former garden and seem to like where I replanted them. In fact, the Mukdenia has never done so well for me before! However, the real reason I bought it was for the lovely red that its leaves are supposed to develop in summer. They have never done this and just stay green until Autumn frosts kill them off! However, it does have a wonderfully long bloom time here in my zone 5 garden.
The Fritillarias, a combination of purple and white ones, grow from bulbs and are conversation pieces with the cross-hatched, snakeshead patterns on their flowers. Neither of these species has any discernable fragrance.
This is the clump of semi-double Trilliums that I brought with me from Vancouver Island, where I used to live. I rescued them from the edges of logging roads and from construction sites. They are here in their ageing, purple stage, but when first in bloom, they are all a glorious white. They made it through their first winter here and the hot summer, so I’m hoping they’ll return this Spring. This pic was taken on April 28.
Now we’ll move to August when these Verbenas were in full bloom. I planted them to fill the little bed where the Red Emperor Tulips were last spring beside the steps at the front of the house. They completely filled the bed and did extremely well in the sweltering heat and full sun there. This year, as I’ve said before, I hope to find some red Verbenas for this spot since they like it here.
This is one of the many flower heads on my new Hydrangea, “Vanilla Strawberry” which I planted last Spring beside the garden shed. While not as large or as brightly coloured as shown on the tag, it did have lots of smaller flower heads which I thought was pretty good for a first year! Hopefully, they will be larger and brighter pink this year!
This is my other hydrangea, which is a complete mystery to me! It must have been here all along and missed being dug up when I planted my Japanese Aralia tree in this spot. Anyway, here it is, blooming on almost creeping branches that lay on the ground! The flowers on it are an old-fashioned creamy-white colour, quite unlike the newer varieties, so I’m assuming it’s a pretty old plant. I babied it last summer and I plan to do the same this year to see it I can get it to grow in a more upright fashion. Time will tell!