Saturday, June 23, 2012

Campsis x tagliabuana 'Madame Galen',,,,I know it's frightening, but I like it

I don't mind pruning it hard twice a year. It draws hummingbirds that then put on a show at the feeders in the large window. It provides shade to the west side of the back deck as soon as the sun passes its zenith. I need that on the weekends for reading and drinking. And hey, it's covered with gaudy bright orange flowers and it's half native. It's a perfect plant for me!

Friday, June 22, 2012

The lavender collection smells great this week

The heat and humidity amplify the fragrances from this magnificent  ~150 foot serpentine border.

If I hadn't seen it created and watched it live through multiple winters, I wouldn't believe that a planting like this could exist in Washington, DC.It's hard enough to keep one lavender alive here more than a couple of years. Much less over 100; they hate this climate and predictably succumb to cold wet clay in the winter. I've found over the hears that the variety 'Provence' which is, from what I can tell, the "production" lavender grown in France. It's fragrant, and has plenty of oils, but wasn't selected for aesthetic traits. I've had one for years in Adelphi, but then our soil is pure sand and gravel.

For this planting at the Herb Garden, they conditioned the soil, inorganically mostly, to a degree that was hard to comprehend, actually resulting in a slight berm. That plus the siting, on that gentle eastern slope seem to have done the trick!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Ceratostigma willmotianum and Gardenia jasmenoides 'Michael' flowering below the pagoda

Both of these plants are right on the northern edge of their hardiness....or a little beyond it. This past winter was so mild... More people ought to try the Ceratostigma willmotianum in Zone 7. It's a truly blue flower. I'm thinking we're too far north for Gardenia 'Michael' to have a long term future but he's been hanging in there for the past few years and the flowers are "full sized", much larger than those on the other "hardy" gardenias.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Lilies and daylilies perk up the entrance to China Valley

Lilium lancifolium (middle) and Hemerocallis fulva var. disticha (which differs from the species in that the perianth tubes, that portion of the corolla where the petals are joined, is longer than what is typical for the species). Wow. 

It was hot today; 97F for hours this afternoon. These guys don't care though; they laugh at heat.

Recently new plantings above the GCA Circle

This little ground-cover rubus (Rubus calycinoides or R. pentalobus) is a large and important element in the space. It's established itself nicely in 2+ years. The golden hostas, on the other hand have a ways to go; they'll be 5 feet across at maturity! Other things you can see are the edges of the "loropetalum island" (on the right), Pennisetum orientalis 'Karley Rose' center, and the "contained planting of variegated bamboo mid picture. There's a potted bamboo sitting on the circle silhouetted by the shady background. The two trees in back are Stewartia sinensis, and Acer palmatum.

The Great Arboretum Cookout.....North Carolina style

Good times and conversations were had by all.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Father's Day was another perfect day in a long string....

....for people that is. The humidity has been non-existent, temperatures have been toppingout  in the high 70's or low 80's, and the air has been moving. Good weather for gardeners, drying weather for plants. Still, I'll take it anytime. I see the forecast for the next two weeks has us experiencing highs near 100F repeatedly.

The rose Karen is holding and standing next to/under is 'Little Pink Pet'. It's sturdy, clean, and dependable but has no fragrance. Oh well.

Sunday, June 17, 2012