Posts Tagged ‘masterwort’


Daylilies work well for me because I start to lose interest in the garden later in the season. I love that glorious burst of growth in the spring, the dazzling flowers of summer. By the end of August, I’m ready to move on to other activities.


I’m content to stroll about the garden and not lift a finger on its behalf. I never trim back my plants until spring. Many of them provide winter interest, with interesting seed pods or twisty stems.


I can further justify my autumnal laziness with the fact that the seeds and leaf litter the garden offers will feed and protect a host of insects and birds over the freezing months ahead.


There are still a few flowers to be seen, such as a late-blooming head of masterwort (Astrantia major ‘Sunningdale Variegated‘), above.


And here is a bouquet of Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea) tucked in amongst the lowest branches of the corkscrew hazel.


The chocolate Joe Pye (Eupatorium rugosum ‘Chocolate’) is just wrapping up its blooming season for the year.


A few heads of phlox are contributing a bit of colour. This is Phlox paniculata ‘Sherbet Cocktail’.


The last, the very last flower to bloom in my garden every year is this monkshood (Aconitum carmichaelii ‘Barker’s Variety’). The flowers are set off nicely by the new green coat that the house received this summer.


The bright berries of the aptly named American Winterberry (Ilex verticillata ) brighten a shady corner and make a contribution to the garden’s offerings for wildlife.


The grasses are the mainstay of the fall garden. This little cutie is Piglet Fountain Grass (Pennisetum Alopecuroides ‘Piglet’).


The plumes of this unnamed miscanthus species look fabulous when backlit by the sun. This is one of the tallest grasses in the garden, but two others surpass it. Both are new this year, and are only just opening their plumed heads now. Hopefully, next year they will fill out more and reach maturity a bit earlier in the season. You can make out Giant Maidengrass (Miscanthus gigantus) in the photo below, standing to the left of the sunlit plumes. Behind it is the tallest of the three, the native Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii).


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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

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