Tag Archives: viburnum

Let’s slow Fall down a bit

Autumn has progressed quite nicely since I returned from Atlanta and I would be cool with freezing time for a stretch so we could chill out and enjoy the more subtle changes in foliage color. As seen with …

Viburnum carlesii ‘Aurora’:

viburnum fall

Viburnum plicatum ‘Shoshoni’:


Geranium maculatum ‘Espresso’:   

geranium fall

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Lady in Red’:

hydrangea lady in red fall

Have a fantastic weekend all y’all.


Will he ever stop posting plant photos?

Of course he won’t. C’mawn now.  
They are like my children and I need to capture them in all stages of their development so one day we can all look back and smile and laugh and cry. Probably a lot of crying … just a hunch.  
But I digress, here is the latest and greatest out in “le jardin” today: 

Astilbe ‘Amethyst’

Astilbe ‘Athemyst’

Astilbe ‘Amethyst’

Astilbe ‘Deutschland’ 

Viburnum ‘Emerald Lustre’
Viburnum ‘Emerald Lustre’
Itea ‘Henry’s Garnet’
Itea ‘Henry’s Garnet’
Penstemon ‘Husker’s Red’
Penstemon ‘Husker’s Red’

Viburnum berries

I love me some Viburnums
That is what consumed me on my ride into work this morning. And here’s why:  
They give you:
  • Stupendous flowers 
  • Phenomenal scents 
  • Gloriously lustrous foliage
  • Pleasant fall color
  • Mutha f’n eye popping berries (if you are so lucky)

For today, I would like to wax poetic on bullet #5 above. Berries. Can I get a “hell yeah”?

If you gave me the choice of berries or flowers on a particular plant, berries win about 78.9% of the time. Of course, getting said berries to even exist isn’t as easy as it seems. I am by no means smart enough to fully understand the science behind how they are produced (the male/female thing is a bit familiar though). 
To date, I’ve only once attempted to grow two different cultivars of a plant in order to produce berries and that failed miserably when both of the hollies I planted died in year one. 
With my Viburnums, I decided they kicked enough buttocks without berries so I didn’t even bother worrying about how to produce them. In the ground they went and that was it. 
Those beautifully colored orbs were nowhere to be found the first few years so I never gave them a second thought … until last year … when two of the cultivars produced berries like mad. Hot damn!!                  
From what I could gather from my research, Viburnums typically need overlapping bloom periods between two different cultivars of the same species and they need to be in relative proximity to each other in order to produce berries. 
*Disclaimer – I have no idea if that previous sentence made any sense. Please don’t judge. Also, I like run-on sentences. Deal with it.
And we’re back. 
Coming into this year, I didn’t want to screw up my fruit production on the Viburnums so I changed nothing. That strategy paid off, as I’ll show you below.
Here is Viburnum plicatum ‘Shoshoni’ at the end of April:    
And then in the middle of June: 

I can confirm there were no other Viburnums blooming at this time, and as far as I know, not another plicatum in the same zip code. So, not sure how this happened. But I will take it.  

Next, is Viburnum bracteatum ‘Emerald Lustre’ in early June:

And then in the middle of August:

Again, there doesn’t appear to be any sort of cross pollination going on here so not sure what suddenly  changed after years of no berries. I did read one comment somewhere that this cultivar may actually self pollinate (is that even possible, self-pollination?). Hmmmmm … little help here please?  

Finally, we have Viburnum carlesii ‘Aurora’ which typically blooms for me in the middle of April:

To date, this shrub has not produced a single berry. Maybe the waiting game will work for this one too.

So faithful readers, what have you experienced with Viburnum berries? Any words of wisdom? Just keep it simple so this dolt can understand it.

Thank you in advance.


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.


Photos only a plant geek could love

I got outside early this morning before it was too hot and too sunny and snapped some photos. It seems like we advanced two months in the last two days and dag nabbit (actually looked up the spelling) I am loving it. We reached the upper 80’s today with a nice breeze so it was the perfect day to be working from home with all of the windows open.

On to the photos: 

The Weeping Cherry is in full bloom and it rocks my world.

We got tulips and what a welcome sight out on the deck this early in the year. Seriously, there may be upwards of 50 tulip pots next year now that I know I can overwinter them easily in the garage.

An actual bloom from a bulb planted in the ground in Fall. Dreams do come true! This is a Snowbell and survived the wet winter clay as advertised. Consider me a fan!  

Here come the Crabapple ‘Prairie Fire’ blooms and we would like to offer them a warm welcome. You may stay as long as you like.  

There may only be one bloom on the Viburnum ‘Aurora’ but I couldn’t be more excited. Big expectations have been put on this one … she has two years to deliver the goods.    

Literally overnight, this Astilbe ‘Deutschland’ emerged. It is in one of the few areas that gets afternoon shade so will hopefully continue to thrive. I love the foliage on these and would keep them even if they didn’t bloom. The only issue is that they can crisp up quickly if let to go dry so you have to stay on top of watering these.    

Emerging Hypericum ‘Albury Purple’ (St John’s Wort). Wonder if I could just eat these leaves and get the effect promised by the over the counter stuff? Anyways, great green/purple foliage, yellow flowers and berries later in the season that for me, persisted into the Fall. Need to get me some more of these.  

More Viburnum buds (Shoshoni) that will soon explode. I’ve raved about these previously so won’t bore you again. But remember … these rock the party. 

Narcissus … enjoy them while they last … and remember to always let the foliage die down naturally as long as possible to rejuvenate for next year.

I kicked it old school and did the “Worm” when I saw this today. It is Eupatorium ‘Chocolate’ and planted it late last year and I am thrilled to see the return visit. Great/awesome/fantastic/killer foliage color that is a great contrast to all the green in the garden. I just need to remember to keep the Liquid Fence nearby these … they are prone to Bambi damage.     

Spirea ‘Goldmound’. I jumped on the chartreuse foliage bandwagon two years ago and have yet to drop off. The color just pops and works so well with almost any other color. Again, I don’t even care about the pink blooms on these babies, foliage is all I need.

Admit it … this stone RULES! Look at that texture and color and just all around awesomeness. I found a bunch of these when I was digging out our front bed and what a gem (other than the physical torture of getting these out – this is one of the smallest ones).  Just adds so much to a garden bed when interspersed with plants.   

That is all for now. I plan on getting outside later today to start digging out the sod where I am extending the back bed around the deck. I am so ready for some serious manual labor even if it is only for a short period of time. Photos of the experience will be included in tomorrow’s post.