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Archive for the ‘Garden’ Category

The Ghost

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On a cloudy day, the pale white-splashed foliage of this statuesque plant gives it a ghostly appearance, and I have come to think of it as The Ghost Plant. It is actually Fallopia japonica ‘Variegata’, a variegated form of Japanese Knotweed. Knotweed is a notorious invasive species with a wide-spread reputation for its aggressive growth habit. However, the variegated form is well-behaved, and makes an interesting addition to a perennial garden.

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It is attention-grabbing across the seasons. In spring, the early sprouts poke through the soil in peach spears. The long stems have the segmented appearance of bamboo, though in fact it is not related to bamboo at all. I keep a watch for renegade runners, but in the 4 or 5 years it has been in the garden, it has made no move to expand its territory and requires little attention. It has taken on the appearance of an airy shrub, with the tallest stems reaching about 7 feet.

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Gay Paree

Gay Paree

Peonies, undisputed monarchs of the early summer garden, seem to attract jeolous rain, bent on bowing their noble heads. Nevertheless, we enjoyed some beautiful blooms this year, before the rain was able to subdue the heavy royal heads. Most of my peonies are just a few years old, except for that which I have labeled ‘Acton’. I brought a division of this peony from our previous home, where the old peony clumps were probably 50 years old or more.

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Honey Gold

Bowl of Beauty

Bowl of Beauty

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Whopper

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Acton

Cora Louise

Cora Louise

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Sword Dance

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From March to June

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Here’s a photo of the garden taken on March 25th. The following photos were taken today, June 26th, three months later. The transformation is amazing. No matter how many times I experience the flow of seasons from winter to summer, I remain astounded by this annual miracle.

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Hellebores

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Tulips are among my favorite flowers. Their rich, vibrant colours light up the garden at a time when many other plants are just beginning their summer growth spurt. Here is a photo essay that captures some of the brilliance of this year’s tulip display in my garden.

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Although many plants are just getting started, there is something new to see in the garden every day, now that spring is finally, in its two steps forward, one step back manner, here. Shared here are some highlights of the early spring garden that I have been delighting in daily.

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Tulips: Love those lush, rich colours

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Cushion Spurge (Euphorbia polychroma)

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Our native Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphylium ) with a self-seeded Wood Poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum ) looking for growing room.

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A little forest of native Mayapple umbrellas (Podophyllum peltatum )

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Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum spp.), early flowers for hummingbirds.

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This euonymus standard retains some colour all winter, but brightens with new leaf growth in the spring.

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This comfrey (Symphytum uplandicum ‘Axminster Gold’ ), looks harmless in the spring, giving little indication of the giant it will become. The dark leaves belong to Geranium pratense ‘Dark Reiter’.

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Henry the Samurai (Saruma henryi) has dainty yellow flowers.

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Darmera peltata produces longstemmed pink flowers first and then follows up with large leaves.

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This golden bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis ‘Gold Heart’) shines even on rainy days.

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So does Hosta ‘Nancy’, with her brilliant gold leaves.

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The impressive flower of a Crown Imperial Lily (Fritillaria imperialis).

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Epimedium rubrum has put on a dazzling show of tiny dancers.

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Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) and, below, the brilliant red bloom of the early peony Paeonia tenuifolia.

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