Monday, May 30, 2011

Geranium macrorrhizum 'Bevan's Variety'

  This lovely perennial geranium, Geranium macrorrhizum 'Bevan's Variety' (that is Geranium, not the tropical Pelargonium that are sold as bedding this time of year) grows all over Gilmore Gardens with its pungently scented foliage and pretty pop-pink flowers that bloom May into June.
Geranium macrorrhizum 'Bevan's Variety'
Geranium macrorrhizum 'Bevan's Variety' in our backyard.
   It has a nicely mounded form that bulks up quickly in the right conditions. It prefers shade and loose, rich soil.  I first divided my three potted plants each into three parts, and I divide and spread it most springs and falls. It now lines both sides of our backyard fence. 

   To make more divisions, choose a shoot and slide your hand along the rhizome back to where it meets the earth. Pull/tear it off from the parent plant, making sure to get at least 4 inches of brown root. Bury this root segment, leaving the green part above ground. The leaves will look wilted, but if you keep the new transplant watered it will soon rebound and make fresh leaves that stand straight up.

Geranium macrorrhizum 'Bevan's Variety'

Close up of Geranium macrorrhizum 'Bevan's Variety' with raindrops

Close up of Geranium macrorrhizum 'Bevan's Variety' with raindrops

Close up of Geranium macrorrhizum 'Bevan's Variety' with raindrops

Close up of Geranium macrorrhizum 'Bevan's Variety' with raindrops

I dedicate this post to our good friends... team Bevan (that is Bev + Evan). :)

For more photos of how G. 'Bevan's Variety' fits into the plantings at Gilmore Gardens, see The Shade Path in 2011 and Favorite Garden Combinations of 2010.
Close up of Geranium macrorrhizum 'Bevan's Variety' with sunshine in petals

Friday, May 27, 2011

Color for the weekend...

 Orchid Wreath at Longwood Gardens

    Part of my family lives in Kennett Square, PA, which has made it easy for us to visit the world-famous Longwood Gardens, which is in the same town.  This wreath was hung in the orchid room of their large conservatory during the Christmas season a few years ago. I am a sucker for live wreaths, whether covered in sedums, flowers, etc. This is definitely one of my favorite treatments. 

  ~ Photo taken January 2009 ~

   With "Color for the weekend," I will be delving into the tremendous store of old photo I have from before my writing days to share with you all.  Hopefully they will be an inspiring end to your week!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wildflower Wednesday

Our Back Woodland Garden is located by the fence at the rear of our yard.  A couple of years ago I began this area by painstakingly removing all of the grass by hand, so as not to disturb our large naturalized section of Crocus tommasinianus.  I then started to build a small woodland collection of gems that stand up well considering they are frequently the landing spot for a purple rubber ball or two.
   Here in the leftovers of the crocus are some pretties... Narcissus 'Thalia', white Trillium grandiflorum, white-edged hostas and forget-me-nots.  This section carries white highlights.

Trillium grandiflorum seen over the foliage of floaty woodland Thalictrum (on the right), and one tiny leaf of Dutchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria).

Hepatica nobilis var. acuta blooms in this garden in the middle of May.

The christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides) unfurls...

Another section of this garden is devoted to red highlights.
   It started with this already mature sweet shrub (Calycanthus floridus), which has pretty long-lasting magnolia-like blossoms in May.  It also has a spicy scent. 
I added this red trillium (Trillium erectum) under the shrub and along side some purple leaved Heuchra 'Palace Purple'. I worry more about this one getting run over, but life is not safe... especially of stray balls and feet.
At the moment, I have a potted red Japanese maple sitting under this shrub by the back fence. The tree will ultimately more sun, but for the month it brings out the red flowers of the sweet shrub.

Thanks to Clay and Limestone for hosting Wildflower Wednesday on the last Wednesday of the month. Visit there to see more gems.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Shade Path throughout May 2011

It still has its cloud of forget-me-nots, 
      but is wearing more pink these days.
Here is some of what cam be seen in this side garden at Gilmore Gardens in mid to late May...

These photos were taken May 10th. Narcissus 'Thalia' is still looking elegant and scenting the path (more so as they age, I noticed). Everything is still looking pretty prim and proper, not too much sprawling going on. 

N. 'Thalia' nods along over the forget-me-nots (Mysotis) with white bleeding hearts (Dicentra spectabilis alba) on the left side...

and the right (which is street-side)...

 Lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis) running by the foundation wall.

 Just days later, on May 19th, and everything has jumped ahead. The daffodils are long gone, the forget-me-nots billowing, and everywhere foxgloves are shooting up getting ready for their June show. The scented Geranium macrorrhizum 'Bevan's Variety' is spread through out the Shade Path.  I love its show of rich pink flowers at this time of year. They used to bloom with my red/pink rhododendrons, which were miserable with the extreme dryness of this area, at least that is my assumption. They were removed this spring and replaced by a shrub, for which I have long wanted to find a spot. Keep reading :)...
Purple foxgloves (Digitalis purpurea) are shooting up by the maple tree, not minding the dry shade.  The yellow foxglove (Digitalis grandiflora) are also scattered everywhere in this area. This photo shows the climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala petiolaris) that has a good start up the right of the maple tree... with Clematis 'Perle de Azur' climbing along with it.  It will be a few years till these are looking pretty together. More to look forward to! The classic Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa 'Aureola') is still my favorite, though many new colored varieties are on the market.  It is seen here in the lower right corner. Sometimes restraint in color is better I think than having every this wildly variegated.

That said, here is my new favorite variegated plant (sigh smile).  Jacob's ladder (Polemonium 'Touch of Class'), is just a pretty little plant, and that is before it has even flowered! I love it here with the blue and white.
Here is the classic woodland version of Jacob's ladder (just plain Polemonium), which I love for its delicate beauty also. I usually end up ripping off extra hosta leaves at this time of year to make sure that it is not overwhelmed. Later it goes dormant, so the hosta makes other leaves to cover its neighbor's weaknesses. 

Geranium macrorrhizum 'Bevan's Variety' dancing with the forget-me-nots (Mysotis). A single flower below.

And my new shrub is...
The Oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia). I am excited to have room for it here by the foundation.  It already fits the spot so well and I look forward to it maturing the next few years.

An foliage tapestry... white streaked hostas, geraniums, a small rhododendron in the center and some Japanese anemone foliage in the top left.

Columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris 'Nora Barlow') gracing the path. Several other varieties are along the Shade Path, some still waiting to make their appearance. 

A dark purple variety...

And lastly, the euphorbia adds a hit of charteruse (one of my favorites!) to the right of the path. I like it next to the blue hosta.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Color for the weekend... Narcissus 'Hawera'

Narcissus 'Hawera'

   These are an unusual daffodil variety that bloom very late in the season compared to other daffs. They are just finishing again this year now, in late May (Zone 5). Their bulbs have behaved unpredictably as far as perennializing. Some returned and some have not. They look best in clumps of at least 10 bulbs together. 

   I planted them the first fall that we began Gilmore Gardens (2007) because the triandrus family were recommended by the Lloyd-man himself (in his book Succession Planting for Year-Round Pleasure). Christopher preferred their very slender foliage, which make less of a mess in the garden post-bloom, unlike the large trumpet varieties.  Their miniature,
sunny, dancing blooms never fail to bring inquiry. 

   A bit of daff advice: you will
not hurt them by cutting down their old decaying foliage six weeks after their peak bloom. Hooray for neater gardens!
  ~ Photo taken May 2008 ~

   With "Color for the weekend," I will be delving into the tremendous store of old photo I have from before my writing days to share with you all.  Hopefully they will be an inspiring end to your week!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Little Garden Girl

So cute! I had to share... Mommy that I am. :)

My little girl Grace received a kiddie camera for her birthday (after the cake!).  She carefully took a few pictures and then said, "Now I need a little computer so that I can make a little blog like Mommy."

So, Mommy helped her out.

 *Photo credits for this post to Grace at Gilmore Gardens

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Don't hold your life... all is grace

A song of redemption by Eric Peters that has been soaking in this week during my times of weakness...
We had the opportunity to hear Eric live this past week, since he made the long trip to PA.  We really enjoyed hearing all of his music... a real poet struggling and seeing grace in the everyday moments of life.

You may also view it on Vimeo: Don't Hold Your Breath.
Or buy Eric Peters music at the Rabbit Room, a creative community dedicated to telling the story of resurrection & redemption in the world through art.

Don't hold your breath
don't hold your life
even though I let you down
even though you know me now

Don't blink an eye
you'll be surprised
I got caught up in the storm
I got so caught up in me

Everything you've ever wanted, I could not be

It's been a long time since I've kept my word
a long time since the flooded earth
draw near when the waters rise
We're learning how to be alive

I've been knocked down
I've been made a wreck
And everthing that my fingers touch,
turns into an awful mess

And everything you have provided
is an endless sea
Everything the world demands of me
is fear and loathing

It's been a long time since I've kept my word
a long time since the flooded earth
draw near when the waters rise
We're learning how to be alive

It's been a long time

(This is my best try at getting the lyrics down for you all to follow.  Apologies to Eric if I fumbled something.)

A Holy Experience: May 18th

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The changing moods of Tulipa 'Angelique'

I promised a post about Tulipa 'Angelique'
in my GBBD May post.  She is a breathtaking, peony-flowered selection.
I suspected I would love her because she is often mentioned as a favorite in The English Garden magazine. I had to try her.

Side note: I order all of my bulbs from the sister companies John Scheepers and Van Engelen. The latter deals in larger quantities (and I confess that just the thought of ordering 500 or 1000 of something makes me weak in the knees, though I have never done it... yet!).

Without further ado, the lady herself, Angelique.

   When she was just starting to warm up to the idea of gracing our garden, she was rather pale and quiet... huddling by the lavender.

Slowly, she began to blush and fluff her gown a bit...

She seemed to warm-up to the other members of her cast... purple Phlox subulata, blue Muscari armenicum, and pink Lamium in the distance.

She reveled in the sun (as did we all!)...

And glistened in the rain...

 She became ever more graceful with age, as we all hope to do...

A great leading-lady...

So glad we invited her to the party this year! 
Hope this inspires you to give her a try as well!
(Link to order her at John Scheepers, if you like.)
Only 20 did the trick in our Driveway Garden.
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