plant monday – coleus ‘dipt in wine’

Plant of the Week –
Common Name: coleus
Botanical Name:  solenostemon scutellarioides

This coleus hybrid [from the ColorBlaze series] has large leaves of burgundy red with lighter veins running nearly the entire length. The bright gold at the base of each leaf extends to the petiole. These new, bigger, sun loving varieties have revolutionized contanier gardening and the brilliant colours explode in sunny locations. Flower buds should be pinched off as soon as they develop. If a coleus plant is allowed to seed, it has completed its life cycle and will die.
Coleus are tender to frost and will need to be overwintered indoors in cold climates. It’s a neat idea to bring them indoors for a house plant over the winter to add a bit of colour and cheeriness to the long, dull winters.

Description – tender perennial/annual
Hardiness Zone – 10 and up
Exposure – full sun to full shade
Mature Height – 12″
Bloom Time – until first frost
Bloom Colour – foliage is burgundy and lime-green
Scent – none

image from Sunny Side Growers


shoo, bunny

This sweet-looking bunny lives in the wooded swamp area right beside our house and is always on the front lawn. I never thought much of it and enjoyed the cute little animal nibbling on the grass until I noticed him getting closer and closer to the house.

I had planted the dianthus seedlings I grew indoors over winter in one of the front garden beds and noticed some buds were about to open, so a few days later I checked again to see if the flowers were open and saw this –

It seems as though this bunny likes snacking on my flowers.

And my strawberries.

I have had to chase him out of the garden several times this week, so I did some reading on different things to try and deter bunnies and other animals from the garden. Some of which seem so silly to me, like human hair and moth balls! No thanks.
I did try sprinkling garlic powder around the beds and thought it was working since he wasn’t coming near the garden, but I saw him in there early this morning. If anyone has any suggestions of a good organic rabbit or small critter repellent… suggest away.  I need him to stay away.

the annual

Annual flowers complete their life cycle – vegetative plant, bloom, setting seed, death of the plant – in one growing season. Most annuals need to be replanted each year, though there are some that easily re-sow themselves. Their seed which could be scattered by wind, weather and wildlife, will pop up the next season when conditions are favourable. These unexpected visitors are usually called “volunteers” and can be a delight to see again or a source of frustration, depending on your outlook and how rigidly you follow the garden’s original design! Larkspur, cornflower, poppies, desert marigold, calendula, scarlet flax, gaillardia and Johnnyjump-ups are a few flowers that are easy to grow and readily reseed.

I love my celosia plumosa blooms this year. They are performing wonderfully.

Annuals are loved for their riotous colours, they are very quick to perform [especially if transplants are used], and provide relatively long periods of bloom – usually all season until the first frost. Annuals are particularly useful to conceal bare spots while landscape plants become established; create masses of color as a focal point; or fill containers to establish a cheerful presence at entryways and entertainment areas of the yard. At the end of the annual’s growing season, the entire plant tossed away and the spot is ready for another annual to take its place following the season.

Many of us gardeners find it fun to experiment with different annuals. Simply, if you don’t like the colour combinations you chose, plant something else next season. You have all winter to plan what’s next.

My ruffled pansies have been ever so reliable this year… and so cute, too.

I am a little surprised at myself for letting these pansies stay in the garden past spring. These flowers have never been a real favourite, but I’m liking them more and more each time I look at them and how well they are complimenting my garden this year.

plant monday – pulmonaria ‘raspberry splash’

Plant of the Week –
Common Name: lungwort, bethlehem sage
Botanical Name: pulmonaria rubra ‘raspberry splash’

Raspberry Splash is a dazzling combination of pink and purple flowers rising in giant hanging clusters with silver-spotted, dark green leaves. Even when the blooms have passed, Raspberry Splash remains attractive throughout the season. This variety is characterized by its fairly upright growing habit, profuse flowering abilities and resistance to powdery mildew. It is one of the best cultivars available.

Pulmonaria is an underused perennial that grows well in shady gardens. It is especially attractive when planted among hostas, ferns and brunneras. Its flowers are among the most brilliantly coloured blossoms of all perennials.

Description – perennial
Hardiness Zone – 3-9
Exposure – partial shade
Mature Height – 12 “
Bloom Time – late spring
Bloom Colour – pink/purple
Scent – none

photo from Google images

oh, the fragrance

There is nothing more spectacular than fragrance in the garden ! And accompanying the lovely scent there is wonderful flowers –

Mock Orange ‘Snowbelle’. I have never smelled anything quite as amazing as these gorgeous double flowers.



Double Freesia

And a few other things in bloom at the moment –

Weigela ‘Wine & Roses’

Variegated Weigela


waiting on the roses

A few of you may remember a post on the bare root roses I planted just over a month ago. All three are doing very well and leafed out in no time at all, so I thought I would share some photos.

One rose bush is covered in with these tiny buds ! After doing some reading when I planted the roses I came to the conclusion that I would not see any of them in bloom this year, but possibly the next season. I guess bare root roses are somewhat behind in growth than the potted roses, and since I saw rows and rows of them in bloom at a garden centre a few weeks ago and in other gardens I figured there would be no rose blooms this year. But, earlier this week I noticed at least 10 buds on one plant. I haven’t noticed any on the other two just yet though. If only one plant blooms this summer I’ll be very happy with that.

plant monday – tiarella ‘spring symphony’

Plant of the Week –
Common Name: foam flower
Botanical Name: tiarella ‘spring symphony’

Spring Symphony is a reblooming, clump-forming variety that produces a mass of dainty flower spikes containing white stars that open below a tight, apple-blossom-pink poker of buds. These are underpinned by vivid green, fingered leaves etched in black along the midribs. The combination of dark veining and sprays of bridal-white flowers is especially beguiling and fresh in spring.

Tiarellas are commonly known as foam flowers due to their frothy blooms. They take their generic name, tiarella, from the crown-shaped fruit; it literally means little tiara. They are closely allied to heucheras and both are members of the saxifrage family. Generally, however, tiarellas prefer moister soil and more shade than heucheras. Most tiarellas are plants for humus-rich soil in shade or semi-shade. Some are tight clump-formers, others spread a little and some are rampant. Spring Symphony would mingle well with other dainty woodlanders and a must for every garden !

Description – perennial
Hardiness Zone – 4-9
Exposure – partial shade
Mature Height – 10″
Bloom Time – spring
Bloom Colour – pink
Scent – none

photo from Google images