Sunday, June 17, 2012

Stilted Ninebark

I planted a pair of Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius) a number of years ago and they've grown into a lovely shrub.  They've proven really forgiving of the secateurs - at first I pruned them for height, and then I thought I'd give them a weird sharp - start low to high like a wave, and now I've stilted them, pruning them up so you see their bare legs, and the lovely exfoliating bark.  This is a really hardy native species, growing in a really dry part of the field, shaded somewhat by some tall pines directly south.  I'll get a photo at some point of the bark, but here they are today, in full bloom:

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Mound

Eight or nine years ago a contractor friend dumped several loads of "clean" fill onto a front corner of the property.  Of course the definition of "clean" is subjective, and I've since dug out from it many chunks of concrete, sewage pipe and big limestone chunks -- it seems he was digging out the foundation of an old house to make way for a new one.  Some good things have come of it, though:  Peony, Iris and Hosta somehow survived the trauma and I've transplanted some beautiful heritage varieties to other gardens.  The Mount itself I left alone and it soon transformed into a home for enormously tall wildflowers - most of them not really welcome.  Last year I started to reclaim the Mound - here are some shots:
Last June after I cleared away about a quarter of it:  
I transplanted daylilies, Peony, Iris, Rudbeckia, Echinacea last year plus dug in some Tulip bulbs; I also scattered seeds from Lupin, Liatris and Hollyhock and there are many Lupin sprouts this year.  I mulched a bit this spring and tadded stone steps to the top.

The next stages will include  clearing away the rest of the Mound, adding more steps to the centre and continuing to transplant things from elsewhere on the property - there's always an over-abundance of Echinacea sprouting up!

Thursday, June 7, 2012


I started a few Magnolias from seed seven or eight years ago - one is a Cucumber Magnolia and the other is an Umbrella Magnolia.  They went from pots in my backyard to the allotment garden to the County.  This year the Cucumber Magnolia bloomed!  Lovely smallish (compared to Saucer Magnolia) yellow flowers with a slight lemony fragrance - I've renamed it my Lemon Magnolia!

Not to be outdone, the Umbrella Magnolia is once again sending out its enormous leaves.  I love how each one starts out protected in its own tissue thin membrane that peels away as the leaf grows.