Tag Archives: ninebark

Allium love, a new holiday and introducing “Question of the Day”

Here is the latest and greatest in my garden on this, dare I say, warm and beautiful May afternoon.

It’s all about the Allium right now, as the fruits of my fall labor are being realized this spring. I’ve got at least 25 Allium bulbs in bloom right now and they are kicking ass and taking names.

They look good up close.

allium 2

And as we pan back …

allium

… and back even further.

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Baptisia blooms have arrived this week and I’m thinking this day should be declared a holiday each year. That is how festive it makes me feel. At a minimum, I’m going to push for #NationalBaptisiaDay on Twitter leading up to this day in 2017.

baptisia

baptisia yellow

Baptisia ‘Carolina Moon’

 

Siberian iris ‘Snow Queen’ is blooming but I’m only giving you a macros shot because they actually look kind of lousy because this lazy gardener has refused to divide them for four years running now.

iris

 

Amsonia tabernaemontana is blooming and that’s all I will say here because I’ve raved about this plant enough already.

amsonia

 

All of my peonies will be blooming within the next week or so and until then, I’ll enjoy the ridiculously delicious scent of the lilac in the background.

peony lilac

 

Another day, another sigh from me regarding the awesomeness of Ninebark ‘Amber Jubilee’.

ninebark

 

And finally, it’s time to sit back and enjoy watching the garden fill in while all empty spaces disappear.

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Thank you again for stopping by.

I am going to try something new today. A “Question of The Day”. Here it is:

What perennial do you find to be the most underrated?

Leave your answer in the comments so we can all discuss and get educated.

Grats

Plants I’m bullish on this year

Here are 9 plants I’m hoping show big improvement this spring/summer over how they performed in my garden last year. 8 are relative newcomers, 1-3 years in the ground, so time alone should aid their jump in prominence. And 1 has been around my parts forever but only last year managed to avoid the wrath of the deer herd. Here’s hoping this is a new trend.

Coneflower ‘Sunrise’: Full disclosure – I’ve moved this three times in three years. And to the shock of no one, it finally bloomed last summer after a full year in its current spot. The flowers arrived later than all of the other coneflowers (late July) but that is OK. I expect taller and fuller plants this year, assuming the itch to move them is fought off successfully.

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sunshine-cone-flower

 

Abelia ‘Bronze Anniversary’ – Another oft moved shrub but one where I’m happy with its current destination. I love the golden leaf color, especially in partial shade and especially in spring as the foliage emerges, but I┬ácan do without the clashing white blooms. In fact, the plan is to immediately remove the flowers for fear of ridicule from the neighbors.

d5

abelia

 

Daylily ‘Little Grapette’ – This is the oldie I referenced above that always suffered at the hands of the deer in summer. For whatever reason (my intimidation factor?), they were ignored last year. While I’m not a big daylily guy, I do like how these combine with other dark leaved plants (As seen with Penstemon ‘Husker’s Red’) below.

d17

c9

c10

 

Ninebark ‘Amber Jubilee’ – No, not an exotic dancer or My Little Pony character, but the best foliage color of any plant I own. But as you can see in the second photo below, the deer get it each winter and in effect, prune it back hard for me which ultimately compromises the size of this shrub. If I can remember to defend her better this year, the sky is the limit. Remember though, “remembering” is not a strong suit of mine.

ninebark amber jubilee 2

ninebark amber jubilee

 

Allium azureum – I blew it with this one. I mistook these for wild onions and yanked them out without much thought last spring. This is the only one that actually bloomed. Luckily for me I was lazy when pulling them so the bulbs remained in tact. No such error will be made this spring.

allium blue

 

Peony ‘unknown other than it is white’ – This is as good of a lock as any. First flowers appeared last spring after two years in the ground and we all know that the peony is indestructible once established.

white peony

peony white

 

Baptisia ‘ Carolina Moon’ – Based on the success I’ve had with my other Baptisia plants, I’m counting on this one to fall right in line. Big, big things this year from this one. I cannot wait to photograph it and share it with you all.

baptisia carolina moon

baptisia lilac

baptisia carolina moon

 

Clematis – This appeared out of nowhere last year after I stuck it in the ground and completely forgot about it. There appears to be new growth this spring so I remain optimistic for a repeat showing. And this time, I’ll even use a real trellis to maximize the show.

clematis

clematis 2

 

And last but not least, the fickle …

Cimicifuga ‘Brunette’ – For three consecutive years, this perennial has looked great in spring only to fall apart when the weather really heats up and when it attempts to bloom. I’ve stayed on top of the watering and it, along with its 7 other siblings (I’m way invested at this point) get plenty of afternoon shade. The pessimist in me says, “wrong plant for you John” while the optimist says, “give it time to get established”.

Cheers to optimism.

bugbane

 

 

 

Observations out in the garden this fine evening

It was a clear and cool evening here in Jersey for the first time in a long time and I ventured out with camera in hand.
Here is what I observed:
This one almost slipped by without me noticing, but luckily she contrasted well with the purple leaves of the Ninebark. Good looking katydid, eh?:
Um, is autumn really that close? Apparently that is the message the Itea ‘Henry’s Garnet’ is sending:

Not many have managed to slip by the deer, but the dark purple berries on the Viburnum ‘Emerald Lustre’ are incredibly vivid this time of year:

One of my favorite Coleus but unfortunately, I do not know the cultivar name. Just one of these in a container on the deck makes such a bold statement:

The Zinnia ‘Queen Red Lime’ keep pumping out new flowers and I am forever indebted:

Even after the blooms are spent and the petals have fallen to the ground, these Clethra ‘Ruby Spice’ still look damn good:

Enjoy the upcoming week my friends.

John

Chillin in the garden on a Sunday evening

First Iris versicolor (blueflag) bloom

Obnoxiously blooming Physocarpus (Ninebark) ‘Summer Wine’

Geranium ‘Karmina’

Astilbe ‘Deutschland’ backed by Physocarpus

Weigela ‘Wine and Roses’

Peony bud – enjoying them while they last

My new hiding spot to ensure the deer inflict no more damage on the peonies 

Hypericum ‘Albury Purple’ backed by Nepeta (Catmint)

Ninebark Summer Wine

One of my absolute favorite shrubs is Ninebark Summer Wine and I think it likes me too because in only three years, it has grown like mad:
While it is documented to be in the range of 4′ to 6′ tall and 4′ to 6′ wide, mine is easily 7′ by 7′. It has quickly become a monster sized shrub and that’s OK; I have the room for it and it makes quite a statement as a result. Some other Ninebark Summer Wine tidbits:
  • Prefers full sun or partial shade – mine is situated in partial shade and the “wine” color is still phenomenal
  • Blooms here in zone 6 New Jersey from about mid May to early June
  • Works in almost all soil types including my compacted clay soil
  • Can be pruned immediately after blooming to ensure next year’s blooms aren’t cut off
  • The common name Ninebark refers to the exfoliated branches that peel in winter (more on that in a minute)
  • I’ve rarely ever had to water this shrub beyond when it was first planted
  • Works well as a specimen shrub but would look damn cool planted in mass as a hedge (but who has that kind of room?)
Some photos of my Ninebark Summer Wine through the seasons:

Leafing out in early to mid April:

The foliage soon gets that delicious wine color with the blooms not too far behind:
A sea of blooms at the end of May:
An up close and personal shot of a stunningly hot, individual bloom:

The foliage color stays dark all the way into Autumn and contrasts beautifully with yellow, chartreuse or bright green foliage (Spirea ‘Goldmound’ below):

Even in Winter, SW is a dazzling silhouette against the snow:

And if you get close enough, you can see the peeling bark (hence the name) of the Ninebark Summer Wine which gets better with age:

I’ve also planted Ninebark ‘Diablo’ but the jury is still out there. I am anticipating it to get a lot bigger than Ninebark Summer Wine. With both cultivars, I should add, you can prune them hard in the Spring to control size. You may lose the blooms, but truthfully, this shrub is all about the foliage isn’t it?

Until next time …

John

The Natives are restless

It has become a Mother’s day tradition (OK only for the past three years) at the ONG household. We make Mom breakfast in bed (and the term “make” is a bit of a stretch) and then the kids and I go out for the morning/afternoon to give Mom a truly deserved day off from being all mom-ish. We will go out to lunch and then we head for the Bowman Hill native plant sale in New Hope, PA (click here to read more). I spend the prior week studying their catalog in great detail and I identify which native plants will work for me and I bring that list with me. Then the spending spree begins and I purchase a ton of plants I had never heard of before. Below is a photo of everything I bought earlier today;        

What are native plants and why should you buy them? Glad you asked … school is in session (and my apologies to all those who know this already).

Native plants are those plants that grow naturally in your particular region and have grown there for a long period of time. They thrive under your region’s conditions and require very little maintenance. Here are some reasons why you should go native already:
  • As previously mentioned, these plants are way low maintenance since they have existed in the wild for a long period of time without any special TLC.
  • Very little water is required in allowing these guys to thrive. Umm … hello … good thing! 
  • Natives have developed natural resistance to diseases and insects which make them even more appealing.
  • By planting native, you are keeping with the natural and unique look of your area and that will keep your garden from looking  so cookie-cutter.
  • In my simple words – you keep shit the way it is supposed to be. The whole balance of nature is not disrupted and you my friend will have good karma. The wildlife will get what they need and keep that whole circle of life thing going.

Now to keep it real, I don’t only plant native. There are just too many non-natives that rock. But by educating yourself on what the native plants are in your region, you may find that there is a native plant that will serve the same purpose, or give you the look and feel you are going for with a non-native. 

Here are some native plants I have purchased in the past that are absolutely kicking butt today:
Lobelia Siphilitica
Amsonia Tabernaemontana
Chelone Glabra
Phlox Paniculata 
Aster (Purple Dome)
Boltonia
Chasmanthium Latifolium (Northern Sea Oats)
Echinacea (Purple Coneflower)
Eupatorium 
OK … enough of the preaching … for your viewing pleasure here are some updated photos from the garden this afternoon:  
                     

Peonies, Campanulas, and Weigela ‘Wine and Roses’.

Super blooms on the Ninebark ‘Summer Wine’.

Cascading branches on the same Ninebark.

Another view of a Weigela ‘Wine and Roses’.

Bloom on the Astilbe ‘Deutschland’.

Nepeta (Catmint) in near full bloom.

Close up shot of the Catmint blooms.

Nice big bud forming on the Iris ‘Snow Queen’. 

The buds are forming on the Camassia Esculenta. It worked … it friggin worked … successful bulbs!  

Amsonia is blooming for the first time. Loooove this native (wait until you see photos of the yellow fall color).

The ornamental grasses (Panicum) I butchered/divided into three a few weeks ago are all thriving. Tough little bastards.
 

I don’t do it enough … here are some Peony blooms brought indoors.

That’s all folks. If you’re reading this far down – thank you.