Archive for the ‘Garden’ Category

Rudbeckia fulgida 'Goldstrum'

Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldstrum’

As the summer begins to wind down, shades of gold can be found in every corner of the garden. Here is a sampling of August gold.

Japanese Forest Grass (Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola')

Japanese Forest Grass (Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’)

The Goldilocks Effect

Daylily ‘The Goldilocks Effect’

Inula racemosa 'Sonnenspeer'

Inula racemosa ‘Sonnenspeer’


Annual Sunflower


Coleus species

Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum)

Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum)

Journey's End

Hosta ‘Journey’s End’

Solidago 'Golden Dwarf'

Goldenrod (Solidago ‘Golden Dwarf’)

Helianthus 'Lemon Queen'

Perennial Sunflower (Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’)

Ligularia dentata 'Britt-Marie Crawford'

Ligularia dentata ‘Britt-Marie Crawford’

Helenium 'Double Trouble'

Helenium ‘Double Trouble’

Rudbeckia nitida 'Herbstonne'

Rudbeckia nitida ‘Herbstonne’


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Tomato Beaverlodge Slicer

Here it is! The first tomato of the summer! The plants that I started indoors while snow was still on the ground are now loaded with fruit. The first variety to offer a ripe tomato is Beaverlodge Slicer.

Beaverlodge Slicer was bred at the Beaverlodge Research Farm in Alberta, Canada and is one of the earliest maturing tomato varieties available, listed at 54 days. The tomato is one of almost 80 varieties of fruit, vegetables, grains forage, trees, flowers and berries developed at the Farm. Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2017, the facility was originally established to meet the needs of early settlers in the short growing season of northern Alberta. It is located west of Grande Prairie, Alberta. Another tomato developed at the Beaverlodge Farm is Sub-Arctic Plenty, which was introduced in 1972. I have grown Plenty several times.

I picked the first sun-warmed tomato today and gave it my taste test. Slicer is a juicy tomato, and has a very mild flavor. I think I may prefer the flavor of Sub-Arctic, but in the end, the best tomato is the one on your plate!

Beaverlodge Slicer

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The Ghost


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.


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.

Honey Gold

Honey Gold

Bowl of Beauty

Bowl of Beauty





Cora Louise

Cora Louise


Sword Dance

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From March to June


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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