Tag Archives: geranium ‘espresso’

Tour of my garden – 5/11/17

BLOOMING

Long ago, I made the assumption that I could never successfully grow a Clematis in my garden. It must have been me thinking this climber couldn’t withstand my poorly draining soil. Or I was lazy. Probably a mix of both.

In 2014, while attending a gardening conference, I scored a bunch of free plants including a Clematis ‘Scented Clem’. It was free so it was a no-brainer to attempt to add it to my garden. I had zero expectations and just put it in the ground with nary a thought.

Fast forward to 2017 and we are in year three of “proving John’s dumb assumption was incredibly wrong”. This Clematis is a profuse bloomer and allegedly has a similar scent to that of a Gardenia. As many of you already know, I can’t smell a thing. I may need to pull the family in to confirm.

 

It’s official. Geranium ‘Espresso’ is my favorite Geranium of all time and it isn’t even close. That foliage alone is borderline orgasmic and when you throw in the lavender blooms, well, I need a cigarette.

 

I wrote about Golden Ragwort last week. Just here to report that it’s still blooming and looking great.

 

There was a time not so long ago when I had 5 or 6 Campanula ‘Joan Elliot’ plants thriving and flowering each spring. I am now down to one. But that’s OK. Through the wonders of division and some TLC, I will multiply this happy bloomer in no time.

 

And on the 7th day, God created … Allium. While they are still in the early stages of blooming and still forming into their happy ball of awesomeness, NOTHING screams “Happy spring time” like Allium. All of the Allium in the following three pics are ‘Purple Sensation’ and are all making a repeat visit.

 

 

 

The ‘Globemaster’ Allium is slowly unfurling, kind of like “I’ll take my sweet ass time because I know I’m all that.”

 

ABOUT TO BLOOM

I know every gardener likes to take photos of their peony buds and the pics are everywhere on Facebook and Instagram. I don’t care because they’re awesome. I am holding out hope that this white peony blooms while there’s still a semblance of the Lilac blooms next door.

 

A comparison of Amsonias:

First we have ‘tabernaemontana’.

 

And then ‘Hubrichtii’

Both will be loaded with star-shaped flowers soon and that will rock my world.

As the Lilac slowly ascends to flowerdom, the nearby Baptisia tries to keep pace. If you look to the left, you’ll see I left the old flowers of the Hydrangea on the shrub for shits and giggles. I kind of like taking advantage of the ornamental quality until this year’s flowers emerge. You feel me or “no John, dumb”?

 

FOLIAGE

Spring flowers are great. But the emergence of foliage and it’s dynamic quality are up there in terms of impact.

My ever-growing collection of the smaller-sized Itea ‘Little Henry’ looks fantastic right now. The red hues making it all the more interesting.

The reason I write “ever-growing” is that they are all perfectly suckering (the runner roots are expanding beyond the original shrub) and creating my desired “colony” that is filling the previously empty garden space beautifully.

 

How great is the foliage of the Sorbaria sorbifolia ‘Sem’ (False Spirea)? I’ve yet to witness the full seasonal cycle (white flowers and pure green foliage later in summer) but the spring foliage is a winner on its own.

 

A request. Please ignore the weedy growth underneath the shrub below. I’m working on it. As much as it pained me, I had to expose my warts so that you all could appreciate the leaf color of this Ninebark ‘Amber Jubilee’. It’s even better in person; but you can’t come see it, I have too much work to do still.

 

The shrub in the two photos below is Spirea ‘Blue Kazoo’. While it displays reddish hues now in spring, it will eventually transition to a blue/green foliage color with white flowers. I love a plant that provides such distinct and different attributes spring, summer and fall. The challenge is attempting to pull it all together without it looking like a hot mess.

 

Oh Ligularia ‘Britt-Marie Crawford’, you look so clean now but we all know you have plans to fall apart in summer.

And why oh why can’t you develop the dark foliage as demonstrated in this photo?

I like this Heuchera but have no idea as to the cultivar name. Any ideas?

 

Once the Nepeta (Catmint) ‘Walkers Low’ fills in, this part of the garden starts to take shape. Flowers will be here within the week; as will those kick-butt bees.

 

Alchemilla mollis (Lady’s Mantle) also filling in and contrasting nicely with the Penstemon ‘Husker Red’ in the background.

 

Speaking of Penstemon, I have a ton of these popping up all over the garden (assuming through re-seeding) and I’m trying to determine if they are true to ‘Husker Red’. Either way, I’ve been relocating them all to fill in available spots, to create foliage color contrasts and to attain that coveted garden design feature of repetition.

 

As much as I am proud of my ability to manage my garden and all of it’s inhabitants, I have no clue what this is. I love it by the way. Any clue as to what it is? First to answer wins … something.

 

OH SHIT

This Itea ‘Henry’s Garnet’ is almost unrecognizable. It has been taken over, actually I should say “taken under” by Northern Sea Oats and other bully weeds. It is virtually impossible to make headway on removing them. It may be time to dig it up and perform surgery as a last gasp to make it presentable.

Another reminder: Northern Sea Oats = bad

Phlox subulata and Geranium ‘Espresso’

There is one plant combination in my garden that is shining brighter than any other right now and that is Emerald Blue Creeping Phlox (Phlox subulata) and Geranium ‘Espresso’.

phlox and espresso 2

While the phlox is in full bloom with carpets of lavender flowers, the foliage of the geranium has emerged enough to form neat mounds of dark chocolate leaves.

phlox and espresso

The color contrast between the two is eye popping and at the same time, the shape of the phlox blooms mirror the shape of the geranium leaves. And while the blooms of the phlox are due to fade in the very near future, there will soon be another wave of color contrast once these geraniums bloom themselves and reveal their soft pink flowers.

phlox and espresso 3

Once the Geranium ‘Espresso’ blooms bid farewell, both plants (after a light shearing from yours truly) will maintain solid foliage color all the way into the fall.

For those who have followed this blog in the past, you know that I suffer from poor draining clay soil. Typically, creeping phlox/moss phlox doesn’t survive well under these conditions. And I’ve tinkered with this groundcover for years and witnessed first hand how it despises the waterlogged soil. However, there is a spot along the sidewalk in front of my home that is extremely sandy/gritty due to the original construction of the sidewalk and the phlox just love it there. The deer and rabbits have never touched them so I won’t be moving these at any point in the future as they also look great spilling on to the sidewalk.

All indications are that Geranium ‘Espresso’ requires full sun in order to thrive, but I can attest to the fact that mine have performed well with only 4 hours or so of direct sun each day. I’m considering dividing these after they bloom this spring to see if they in fact thrive even more in a true “full sun” site. Once this geranium stops putting out new blooms, I shear them down quite a bit so they maintain a fuller look throughout the summer and fall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A garden update

Here’s what’s new out in the garden:

My young Malus (Crabapple) ‘Prairie Fire’, recently saved from an invasion of tent caterpillars, is in full bloom and I am loving it:

Not so long ago I complained about the lack of variegation on the Salix (Dappled Willow) ‘Hakuro Nishiki’. Not so much any more:

  

Newly in bloom is Geranium ‘Espresso’, but the foliage is the true winner here:

I have promised my daughter she will faint at the sight of the bloom of Allium ‘Globemaster’. Why I planted only one is still a mystery to me:

Here come the peonies and a potential showdown with the neighborhood deer:

I continue to love Juniper ‘Gold Cone’ more and more:

The heliotrope are planted and me likey:

And the pansies continue to thrive:

My precious lemon has turned into … well … a lemon … and soon we will all enjoy said lemon in some sort of celebratory ceremony, still to be determined: