Posts Tagged ‘catmint’


Here’s the phlox ‘Norah Leigh’ shining like a beacon in the morning sun. It’s still going strong, and with many other plants starting to die back around it, it is quite an eye-catcher. It’s variegated leaves really catch the light and the flowers are very cheerful.

There really was a Norah Leigh. She lived from 1884 to 1970 and was a keen gardener from the Cotswold region of England. Her daughter married nurseryman Joe Elliott, son of Clarence Elliott of Six Hills Nursery. It was her son-in-law Joe who propagated this variegated phlox and named it after Norah.


Six Hills Nursery was founded in Hertfordshire, England, in 1907. Clarence Elliott was an alpine specialist, who travelled widely in search of new alpines. His nursery carried a full range of plants, however. One of the most widely known is a catmint, Nepeta ‘Six Hills Giant’, which I have in my garden. Here it is, blooming in July.


Read Full Post »


As we pass summer solstice and enter high summer, the garden is filling in. Every year it amazes me how we can go from the barrens of January and February to the verdant, lush green of July in such a short time. That’s not to say the garden is at its peak, but that time is just down the road.


Since my last garden post, I have added this chair. I purchased it at a little shop that sells odds and ends of wooden chairs under a sign marked ‘Garden Chairs’. I like its natural self, just as it has ended up from years of use, but it would also look nice painted. Maybe next year. There are so many beautiful baskets available at a very reasonable price, I rarely put together my own, and am content to enjoy someone else’s creation.


I am fond of clematis, but just have this single plant right now. It is climbing over a stump, the last remains of an old tree, and its blooms brighten a shady nook. This clematis is ‘Piilu’ — Little Duckling. Yes, I chose it for its name.


Just down the way from the clematis is Astrantia major ‘Sunningdale Variegated’, AKA masterwort. It’s variegated leaves made a nice splash in the spring garden, and now it is just coming into bloom with its rather interesting little flowers.


A bit farther down the walk is this pretty red lily. It predates me in the Willow House Garden. I haven’t planted lilies because I’m not prepared to do battle with the lily-leaf beetles (Lilioceris lilii). The beetle is native to parts of Europe and Asia. It is thought to have been introduced to North America through the import of plant bulbs around 1945, and I first spotted them in my garden about a decade ago. Their arrival in North America was a sad day for gardeners. Adult lily-leaf beetles are about 3/8 inch or 9 mm in length, with shiny red backs and a black head and underside. Both adults and larvae kill lilies by feeding on the leaves, and then the flowers. You can see the damage that has been inflicted on the foremost lily, although the rear flower is in pretty good shape.


Here’s the little rose called ‘Bubbles’. At first I was disappointed with how pale its flowers are, but on a dull day, they really light up, and I have gotten to like it.


I planted a few new Phlox paniculata this spring, and this one, ‘Swirly Burly’, is the first to bloom. It is only a small plant still, but has put out a lovely head of blooms.


Here is catmint (Nepeta x faassenii ‘Six Hills Giant’) blooming with yellow loosestrife (Lysimachia punctata ‘Golden Alexander’). They make a pleasing combination of colours, and just for good measure, a small pink yarrow has volunteered itself.

Stella d'Oro

The daylily season is just around the corner. There are plenty of flower scapes starting to show around the garden. One of the first to bloom is Stella de Oro, a sturdy and reliable early bloomer that is often used in landscaping.

Below is one of the first of the newer daylilies to bloom this year. It’s Coyote Moon, a soft yellow touched with cinammon that was hybridized by David Kirchhoff and introduced in 1994. The flowers are about 3 1/2 inches across and are held on scapes about 28 inches long. It won’t be long before many more daylilies brighten each day.

Coyote Moon

Read Full Post »