Sunday, December 23, 2012

Clematic chiisanensis 'Korean Beauty'

I started this little clematis from seed three years ago. The following photos follow it throughout the season.

I do love a plant that has beautiful seed heads and buds at the same time.
Here it blooms with Hydrangea panniculata 'Tardiva.'

A few weeks later the seed heads start to bronze up...

And a few months later, the seed heads have bleached out completely. They still hang on looking lovely in December.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Summer in My Garden

Taken in June, this picture highlights a beautiful, though short lived little annual, Didiscus caerulea. Interplanted with a wonderful perennial Agastache 'Apache Sunset-' this Agastache has a look like tarragon with tiny bluish leaves and a strong smell of anise. Next to it, Astible chinensis 'Pumila,' and behind it is a striking deep pink flower of Papaver 'Lauren's Grape' (seeds brought home from Great Dixter) and a blue Delphinium I started from seed.

This is Cleamtis chiisanensis 'Korean Beauty,' a lovely plant I started from seed three years ago. It bloomed for the first time this year, and it has delicate little flowers and funny seed heads, like a diminutive form of 'Bill MacKenzie.' I planted it at the base of Hydrangea paniculata 'Tardiva,' a sturdy specimen with a strong woody base, acting as a great support for this wee clematis.

Slightly out of focus, you can see the those sweet drooping bell flowers. Now as the leaves are down, these seed heads look incredible, bleached out by the cold and strung through the study frame of the Hydrangea. Rising in the background is a cloud of yellow Rudbeckia triloba and Coreopsis tripteris.

This is a newly planted area of the garden and one of my favorite planting slices. Bronze fennel intermingles with the honey colored grass, Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Overdamn' (like 'Karl Foerster,' but with a white-striped variegated leaf). The bright pink flowers are Gomphrena 'Fireworks,' which offer a similar look as the classic Verbena bonariensis. A happy surprise is that each pink pom pom is tipped in bright yellow. Dark structural seed heads of Cephalaria gigantea and not easily seen, but certainly present, are the rusty orange flowers of Tagetes 'Cinanbar,' a plant whose blossoms increase as the summer fades.

Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Eldorado' (a variation on the others, this time green and yellow stripped foliage) as a backdrop for one of the very best Salvias I have grown, S. uglinosa. This plant went on and on until frost, and even after the frost the plant looked healthy and hearty. The plant sends out underground runners and one small plant took up the space of a small shrub by the end of the season. I dug a few roots up and potted them up for the winter and it is now thriving in a northern window. What a plant!

Looking in the other direction, the salvia blooms look like they are levitating out over the garden.  This sea of white is from the the annual Euphorbia marginata. This is a really easy plant to grow from seed and a quick grower.

This was one of my favorite annuals of the season, Ammi visnaga 'Green Mist.' Here it is planted with Salvia farinacea 'Victoria Blue' in amongst Crocosmia leaves at the feet of Cotinus 'Grace.'

Fuschia magellanica 'Aurea,' dark purple Oxalis, Begonia 'Little Brother Montgomery', and fat green ruffled leaves of Modiolastrum lateritium in a pot placed into a shady spot in the garden.