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!