Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Alonsoa 'The Rebel'


Recently, I found this picture of Alonsoa 'The Rebel,' an annual I grew from seed last year. I ordered this seed, not knowing the plant at all, lured in by the description of an old fashioned plant with coral colored flowers. It was smaller and more sprawly than I imagined it would be, looking a great deal like a Diascia, but with an intense orange pink bloom and shrubby ground covering foliage. The plant crawled about, but the stems curved upright, carrying their little flowers. As the days shortened and the temperatures dropped, the plant seemed to come into its own. I don't know if it was because of the changing season, or the plant just needed more time to develop, but it was wonderful to see a plant at its best in October. I guess I am a sucker for those late bloomers.

Here the Alonsoa gives a nice footing to the Northern Sea Oats grass, Chasmanthium latifolium.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A Project at Juniper Hill

Photo credit: Joe Valentine

Last summer Joe Valentine from Juniper Hill, and his wife Paula Hunter, asked me design a small border. They have a gorgeous garden and are already incredibly accomplished gardeners, so I wasn't sure what I could possibly offer. Joe said he wanted an exuberant border, packed with interesting plants and full of late season flowers.  I drew up a design and sent a plant list; it was a go. The above photo is of the garden space dug over and prepped by Joe and Paula.

On a hot and humid day in June I laid out the plants and planted.

Photo Credit: Joe Valentine

 After I planted, I didn't see the garden again until October.

I like the foreground/background pictured here. The view is framed in coppery-red, with the Acer and Syringa 'Tinkerbell' on the left and red crab apple dots on the right. In the middle is a lively green Miscanthus and a topiaried Syringa meyeri 'Palibin'. In the foreground is purple Verbena with Zinna Bearny's Giant Lime, Bronze fennel in full flower, and the white flowers of Boltonia asteroides 'Snowbank.' The beautiful design and structure of the larger garden offers contrast in scale, style and from to the intricacy and wildness of the perennial and annual planting.

One of my favorite Dalhia's, 'Karma Prosero'- a mellow light pink for this time of year, but on very dark, erect stems. Here the Tagetes 'Cinnabar' weaves through.

The Tagetes all leaned over the wall towards the sun, and luckily the rocks helped prop up and show off its wandering habit.

Photo credit: Joe Valentine
 And presently, the garden in winter.