Kevin's Theme Tall Bearded Iris blooming near the grapes.
As many of you in the northeaster part of the country know, we had the worst spring ever. It was the rainiest it has ever been, and I am not exaggerating. It was also cold. Well we went from that straight to summer. It was hot yesterday and today was about 90! So this really kick started the blooms.
Hansa, a rugosa rose
Hansa is reliably early. Most years it does begin to bloom by the end of May. Once in full bloom, it smells fantastic. The scent travels a long way.
Iris tectorum(Japanese Roof Iris)
I was thrilled to see these! I thought they were Iris cristata when I got them. These things happen sometimes. So Iris cristata needs to be acquired.
Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus syn. H. flava (Lemon Lily)
Ok so it is not a very good pic of this daylily, but I had to include it since it started blooming today. Most years it is even earlier. I see people complain about this flower, that it has too short of a bloom time. I say who cares! It is a daylily blooming super early, and it smells good too.
Viburnum trilobum (American Cranberry Viburnum)
So this one has been blooming for a little while now. I don't often see it advertised, but this shrub's blossoms smell good. Later in the year, it will make edible fruit which the birds love. If you don't grow viburnums, you should!! They are wonderful shrubs. Even when out of bloom, they look attractive. I have this one, V. Carlcephalum, which I've posted pics of before, and V. dentatum 'Chicago Luster' (Arrow Wood Viburnum.) Chicago Luster still is in bud at the moment. I was at first afraid of them not doing well since the open spots I had were in full sun. Viburnums are often though of a part shade shrubs. I've found that as long as the soil it good and well mulched, they are happy.
Tree Wisteris, that I trained
Lastly, I leave you with this pic. No it is not blooming now. It is done, but I didn't get around to posting anything when it was in its height of bloom this month. I wish you could see how wonderful this looks in person.
Species Tulip 'Little Beauty' with Veronica 'Georgia Blue'
Another cold day, so another post so close to the last one! I don't believe I posted about tulips before. Tulips are another spring favorite of mine. Though the daffodil still leads. Tulips aren't always as easy as daffodils. Some people think of them as annuals and replace them every year. Some people don't want to go to that trouble so they don't plant them at all. They do need a bit more careful selection of siting to be successful perennials in they garden, but it is possible.
Rem's (Rembrant's) Favorite in a sunny border full of tulips
There are a few things you must do to have the best possible chances of perennialization. First, you must have a sunny spot that is fairly well drained all year and is fairly dry in the summer. You do not want them in a border that you do supplemental watering to. A raised bed is always a good choice. Second, plant them deep. Shallow planted tulips will bloom very well the first spring, but they won't perennialize as well.
Rem's Favorite from above
Third, choose the right varieties. Species tulips are an excellent choice. They often cost less too. (Though there a few costly ones.) These are the best for down south. Many do not need the chill time of their large Dutch bred relatives. The Dutch ones are the long stemmed types that people often think of when you say tulip. Though there are many other kinds of tulips. Tulips species originated in southern Europe across the middle east and over to China. So there are quite a few from milder climates. They may not have the tall cutting stems of the Dutch bred ones, but in the garden, they can still hold their.
Species Tulip bakeri 'Lilac Wonder'
Some types like the Fosteriana(sometimes called Emperor) have quite large flowers.
Clump of Analita Fosteriana tulips
Some have really neat leaves. kaufmanniana types have variegated foliage.
For taller traditional dutch bred bedding tulips to be perennials, choose ones from the Darwin Group. Those seem to have more staying power. Also, choose older time tested cultivars. They have a better chance of having been bred for the garden as opposed to a cutting flower like many of the more modern varieties have been. Though, I have had success with various other dutch tulips. It is more of a gamble though. It is good to record the names. So when you find strong ones in your garden, you can purchase them a few years later to add more punch to your spring border.
Fringed Tulip 'Blue Heron', I still have a few returning even though I planted them over 10 years ago.
Fourthly, to optimize success, break off the tip of the stem where the flower was after it falls off. You do not want your tulips to develop seeds. This weakens the bulb. You want the energy to go back into the bulb.
Lastly, let the foliage get old and ratty. I know it doesn't look so hot, but there is no way around it. You need to let the bulb get all the nutrients it can from the foliage. Species tulip foliage though is less noticeable so for you neat freaks these are definitely a better choice.
It is cold and rainy. The rest of the week isn't looking so great either. I realize it could be worse. Many of my garden friends around the country this years have shown me tapes of their once was a yard but now is a river videos. Still this is depressing. Since I've got the time, I thought I should show pics of a trip I made last summer to Daredevil Daylilies out on Burt, NY when it was sunny and warm.
When approaching Daredevil Daylilies, from the road, all you see is a beautiful stone home. At first you think, "Am I at the right spot?" And then you see it!
the giant field of daylilies
The name Daredevil is in reference to Niagara Falls and the people who have gone over it in barrels. Linda Michaels, the owner, is a most gracious hostess and a bit of a daredevil when it comes to daylilies. She is known for spider and unusual form flowers. (She is also now working with teeth.) These are not the mainstream typical blooms you find when shopping at garden centers. These daylilies may not be for everyone, but I love them! I think when you actually see them in all their glory in person, you end up wanting them.
my large hand(7 1/2") looks small by this spider
On the day I went, I was lucky that she had time to roam the fields with me and her other guest Pam Hoffman, the owner of Mystic Meadows Daylily Farm (I have to still go visit!) Linda is a gracious hostess. I felt like we had been friends forever.
Liquid Memory, a Linda Michaels creation
Besides her artistic eye, she is an excellent namer of her creations. Some of her other cultivar names include 'Pretzel Logic', 'Sceaming Eels', 'Flamingo Lipstick', and 'Scrambled Legs'.
I must say if you go to visit, it is not like other daylily farms. She does not have a big field of cultivars for sale or anything inexpensive. Most of it is for admiring the flowers. Much of her fields are full of blooming seedlings from her crosses. They all looked beautiful to me. I would have the worst time deciding what to keep and what to cull. It was great fun to discuss all of this Linda. You don't often get to chat with the breeder of a plant you buy. Most often by the time we buy a plant it is many times removed from the breeder.
a gorgeous unusual form daylily
I went home with great memories and a new found appreciation for all that goes into making a daylily cultivar.
If you would like to see the rest of the photos from the trip, Click Here.
This is the worse spring I can remember! I do believe the News said it was the rainiest April ever. I've hardly had times to enjoy the daffodil blooms. This also of course means the garden is a mess! I can't handle cold rain. I do hope this is not a sign of how summer will be. I of course signed up this year to be in the local garden tour and nightmares of not being ready are already tossing around in my head! For those of you interested. The tour is part of the National Gardening Festival of Buffalo.
I will be part of the Kenmore/Tonawanda tours on Sat. July 23 and Sun. July 24. (After all the gardens have been entered in June, you can get more specific info by clicking here.)
Thinking of all this on a rainy day, I made a list of garden nurseries and centers links in the WNY area to visit that are listed towards the bottom of this page. If you have a favorite that I forgot, let me know.
Old Heirloom Daffodil from a GW friend in Arkansas which I believe is 'Butter and Eggs'