Tag Archives: viburnum

Tour of the Garden – 9/6/17

Front walkway

It takes this deep into the season for the front bed to truly shine as the grasses emerge, fall foliage color subtly appears and late summer blooms arrive.

 

A step back from the same scene …

 

… and another step back.

 

 

Physostegia (Obedient Plant) ‘Vivid’

This mass started as only 7 small plants over a year ago. It has filled in at an insane level. I like.

 

 

 

Green

I love me all different shades of green. I find this section of the garden soothing. Who’s with me?

 

 

Paralysis by analysis

I have stared at this scene for weeks now. I like it but I don’t. While it’s full and a good mix of flowers, foliage, texture, etc, something is amiss. I’m close to figuring it out but would appreciate your input.

 

 

Secret weapon

This section of the garden is going to be the best in a few years. You can’t see it now but trust me, there is a lot going on here and it’s all awesome. I can’t wait to share it when it explodes in awesomeness.

 

 

Seed heads

The seed heads on the Baptisia transformed to dark black this week. I like.

 

 

 

Leave it alone

This combo hasn’t been touched for three years now. That must be a record for me.

 

 

Delicious foliage color

Panicum and Amsonia. But you knew that already because I talk about it every week.

 

 

 

Turkey foot

Here is why Andropogon (Big Bluestem) is also known as turkeyfoot. You’re welcome.

 

 

Viburnum berries

The berries on the Viburnum ‘Emerald Lustre’ continue to explode. More than I’ve had in ten years of its existence. I like.

 

 

 

Uncle

Fine, I’ll admit it. I don’t know what this white blooming plant is. I just know that I never planted it. It has fleshy stems that multiple like mad from year to year. Help a gardener out won’t you?

 

 

 

What the hell is that?

There are a bunch of Northern Sea Oats growing underneath this Itea ‘Henry’s Garnet’. It has created this bizarre mash-up that looks even stranger as the Itea develops its fall color.

 

 

Finally

The Chelone lyonii (Turtlehead) ‘Hot Lips’ typically look like crap by now. All of the flowers turn black and become an eye sore. Not this year so far. I like.

 

 

 

Do as I say …

For those of you who bought my book, I specifically pointed out that Lady’s Mantle requires some extra attention once the blooms stop and the weather turns hot and dry in summer. I should probably follow my own advice next year.

 

 

Tour of the Garden – 8/24/17

The Grasses

What else would I lead with at this time of year? Duh. I’m well aware that my last post featured Flame Grass, but I couldn’t resist featuring it yet again. Those silvery blooms blowing in the wind bring the garden to life. Once that green foliage color turns every imaginable shade of orange, it will be sensory overload.

 

Can you say focal point? Indian grass (Sorghastrum nutans) is killer right now. While I love it massed for maximum effect, it can hold its own on its own. While the flowers or inflorescence are a show-stopper, give me the sturdy blue stems any day of the week. Even on a Monday.

 

Ho-hum, another Panicum ‘Northwind’ pic.

 

The red is really shining through on Panicum ‘Rotstrahlbusch’. These grasses are incredibly fool-proof and have been for over a decade now.

 

Multiple grasses are anchoring this garden scene. I’ll say it again, as ubiquitous as it may be, the upright and tan blooms of Karl Foerster grass add so much to the late summer garden. Massed or dotted throughout the garden, it doesn’t matter. It works and I won’t stop using it any time soon.

 

Just a different Instagram filter for a different vibe.

 

Fine, you win

I cut it down to the ground in early spring. I cut it back again in June. I chopped off a ton of the branches after they were infested with Japanese beetles.

It doesn’t matter. This Salix ‘Hakuro Nishiki’ (Dappled Willow) just keeps growing and growing. If I’m being honest, I’m bored with it but I can’t imagine trying to remove it.

Oh well.

 

Not looking good

All of my Achillea (Yarrow) ‘Moonwalker’ look like this or worse. The funny thing is they thrived earlier in the summer like never before.

 

I told myself I wouldn’t dabble in red-blooming Lobelias any longer. They have never escaped the jaws of the deer or the rabbits. Just when all 5 were starting to look great while blooming together, this happened. I even sprayed the bastards with Deer Off the night before.

I’m done.

 

You know I love me some Sneezeweed ‘Mariachi Series’. But for the first time since I’ve planted them, they are toppling over. It may have been due to a recent deluge of rain so I’ll do my best to remain patient.

 

Still chasing

Yes, still awkwardly running after each and every Monarch butterfly.

 

Autumn has arrived

This is the Viburnum that I ceremoniously moved to a new location in the garden a few weeks back. I’m sure the red leaves are due to the stress I put on it and not the fact that fall has come a few weeks to early. Either way, that color is solid and I have big hopes for the future as it matures.

But even better is the sign of all of those berries. This is a Viburnum dentatum ‘All That Glitters’ which requires ‘All That Glows’ as a pollinator. I have both planted close to each other and I’m assuming this is the result of that pollination. They should turn purple in color in the coming weeks.

 

All of my Itea (Virginia Sweetspire) turn red prematurely in August. This is the dwarf cultivar ‘Little Henry’ which I’m allowing to sucker like mad in a very wet part of the garden.

 

While it may be slight, you can start to see the color transformation in the foliage of the Amsonia.

Amsonia tabernaemontana

Amsonia hubrichtii

 

The Red Twig Dogwood just displayed its red stems for the first time this week. And for those curious, the leaf damage was from Japanese beetles a few weeks back.

 

Ready to shine

The Eupatorium ‘Wayside’ (Hardy Ageratum) are starting to bloom.

But have they ever taken over.

So many of you warned me of this and it is coming to fruition. It may be OK this year, but I see a problem with the years to come. I’ll need to jump on this soon to prevent a total takeover.

 

Sedum ‘Autumn Fire’ is rounding into form and they are all inundated with bees.

 

Helenium (Sneezweed) has popped up all over my garden where I least expected it and I’m good with that. That is until it falls over when the many flowers emerge at once.

 

They may not “shine” but Chelone lyonii (Turtlehead) ‘Hot Lips’ adds a nice dash of color in late summer.

 

My continuing use of annuals

I’ve added Heliotrope …

… and Persian Shield

… and I must admit I might be coming around even more on using annuals. As many of you know, I’ve rarely used annuals in the garden outside of containers but finally embraced them this year. I’m getting the “fill-in” functionality and long bursts of color. While I prefer to grow over time with my plants, I may be finally crossing the dark side.

 

I love you, but don’t know where to go with you

I am like totally in love with Aralia ‘Sun King’.

Look at that foliage.

Problem is I have no room for it in my garden. All of my shaded areas are accounted for and even if I made room, I worry about the deer destroying it.

So for now, I’m digging it in a container, shaded on my front porch, and will do my best to overwinter it in the container.

 

 

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’:

viburnum

Geranium maculatum ‘Espresso’:   

geranium fall

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Lady in Red’:

hydrangea lady in red fall

Have a fantastic weekend all y’all.

John

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.

John

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

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.

Bye