Monthly Archives: March 2010

Gardening Report — March 14

Last week­end the front bed with the cedars in it got new shrubs.

Con­tin­u­ing the theme of hap­py flow­er­ing shrubs and brood­ing conifers that we start­ed with the cedars and the (now gone) bud­dleias we’ve added more hap­py and more brood­ing.

the weeping cedar bed got shrubs
the weep­ing cedar bed got shrubs

Start­ing with the hap­py, a flow­er­ing cur­rant. I’ve seen this plant on both the lists of -plants that birds like- and the lists of -plants that deer don’t like-. We shall see. The shock­ing cerise of the flow­ers is a nice stun­ner — at the far edge of the bed.

Ribes sanguineum 'King Edward VII', King Edward VII flowering currant

flow­er­ing cur­rant, shock­ing cerise

And now a lit­tle gloom. Okay, maybe not so gloomy. This lit­tle White Cedar cul­ti­var has a love­ly fluffy, bun­ny look up close.

Chamaecyparis thyoides 'Heather Bun'

Heather Bun, what a ter­ri­ble name.

Con­trast­ing nice­ly in form is this whip­cord West­ern Red Cedar. It’s an Iseli intro­duc­tion. I’m always hap­py to see that they’re still in busi­ness and still devel­op­ing  inter­est­ing plants.

Thujja plica 'Whipcord'/Whipcord Western Red Cedar

whip­cord west­ern red cedar

Also along the back of the bed there’s a white flow­er­ing quince. I know, I know, flow­er­ing quinces are sup­posed to be that red-orange col­or. But this one is so pret­ty… I also like how well the wrecked, stick-fig­ure angu­lar­i­ty of the this par­tic­u­lar one is already devel­oped. (I’ll plant one of the prop­er­ly col­ored ones down by the farm sign, I promise.)

Chaenomeles x superba 'Jet Trail'

flow­er­ing quince — Jet Trail

These creamy flower clus­ters were irre­sistible.

Chaenomeles x superba 'Jet Trail'

close up of the flower clus­ters

There are three of the­ses lit­tle red twig dog­woods. The var­ie­gat­ed leaves will con­trast nice­ly with the green wrinkly cur­rant leaves behind them.

Cornus alba 'Bailhalo', Ivory Halo dogwood

nice shrub dog­wood with ivory edges leaves

The oth­er gloomies. Two nice­ly col­ored conifers. The juniper in the front will have a pur­plish cast dur­ing the win­ter, the yew in the back will be some­what bronze. Both will head more toward full green in the sum­mer.

Juniperus horizontalis 'Youngstown', Youngstown Andorra juniper and Taxus b. 'Repandens', Spreading English yew

just being to lose it’s win­ter pur­ple

Now I just have to be patient. And dili­gent with the deer repel­lent.

Gardening at the End of February

It was a busy gar­den week­end here at Black Dog Farm. We start­ed with a trip to Mol­baks to take advan­tage of their 30% off bare-root and b&b trees and shrubs.

We start­ed with some­thing to go in front of the three cedars. The ear­ly white blooms of this mag­no­lia shrub will light­en up the dark cor­ner.

Magnolia stellata Royal Star

balled and burlapped mag­no­lia ready to go in

Dig­ging the hole for the mag­no­lia was lit­tle nerve wrack­ing. There are irri­ga­tion pipes every­where. This one isn’t actu­al­ly split — though all that water run­ning into the hole made us ner­vous for a cou­ple of min­utes.

oh dear

it’s not what it looks like

We added two oth­er shrubs to the front bed. Spireas have nice lit­tle white flow­ers ear­ly in the spring and the bright green foliage will make a nice back­drop for more col­or­ful flow­ers in the sum­mer.

Spirea thunbergii

bare root spirea

Spirea thunbergii

spireas in front of the oak-leaved ash­es

It was hard stick­ing to the bare-root sec­tion at the nurs­ery. I did pret­ty well, but I just had to have these lenten rose for the library win­dow.

Hellebore "Ivory Prince'

nice lenten rose

hellebore, grass, irises

lenten ros­es bloom­ing and iris start­ing grown

The last plant we bought (and we had to go back for it with the trail­er) was replace­ment for the Kore­an Dog­wood that froze out 2 years ago. Red­buds are a lot hardier. Jim liked the shape of this con­tort­ed weep­er.

Cercis canadensis "Covy" - Lavender Twist Weeping Redbud

weep­ing red­bud for the end of the rock wall

Cedrcis canadensis "Covey" Lavender Twist Weeping Redbud

fat red buds!

We’re still play­ing catch up with reha­bil­i­tat­ing the trees that were improp­er­ly plant­ed 6 years ago. So far we’ve had two die. This cedar is doing okay but look at those roots, aren’t roots sup­posed to grown down?

badly planted weeping alaska cedar

roots are sup­posed to grown down not out

The Black Dog Ivan. What can I say…

ivan

ivan was super­vis­ing

Things are start­ing to get going. This fat old peony is send­ing up it’s shoots. They’re so red! They’re also brit­tle.

peony

fat roots, lit­tle shoots

Last Octo­ber I fell for one of those mixed bags of spring bulbs. In this case retic­u­lat­ed iris and some unnamed species tulip. There were 25 or 30 bulbs (I think) I’ve seen three iris­es and 2 tulips. Bloody deer. Chewed them all off. I’ve nev­er had much faith in deer repel­lents but I’m des­per­ate enough to start throw­ing away mon­ey 😉

reticulated iris

a bit fad­ed now

tiny tulips

pur­ple!

I also did some ear­ly trim­ming in the herb gar­den. The rose­mary may have sur­vived the win­ter. I can’t tell yet. One of the things I cleaned out was the wash­tub that holds the clothes line post and the mint. Hun­dreds of tiny mint plants.

Mentha

tiny mint plants

Also com­ing up are the lilies. Time to put out slug bait.

Asiatic Lilties

start­ing to appear — lilies

asiatic lily

amaz­ing that this will be 4 feet tall by august.

I’m hop­ing for anoth­er dry week­end, there’s a lot of plant­i­ng to do!