Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
About 4 or 5 years ago I bought a small wisteria plant. I planted it near the fence, thinking that it could climb up that. A few days later I found that my plant had been dug up and was lying in a wilted heap on top of the soil. It was a mystery. I never found out exactly what happened to it. I replanted it, but unfortunately it never did well after that. I bought another plant the following year and watched it carefully. It started to grow and grow and grow! That sucker grew at least five feet that first summer. The following year I had a single drooping grape-like bloom! I was ecstatic! My neighbout was not! He kept cutting every new shoot that came over the fence into his yard. He had had a wisteria in his yard a few years prior to this. It was a present to his wife from their daughter for Mother's Day. It had many wonderful blooms on it the second summer they had it, but he cut it down because "it was growing too fast". That silly man does not like plants!
I bought a trellis for my wisteria, but it soon became too small. The plant has intertwined in it and I guess I will have to leave it there, but next year I am going to have my husband build an arbor for it to properly grow on. I love this plant and think it will look so amazing with all the flower clusters hanging down. I can already imagine myself sitting under it! Wisteria is a woody herbaceous perennial vine. It grows by entwining itself either clockwise or counter clockwise on anything that is available.
Wisteria is considered to be a weed in many parts of the world. And it certainly can be invasive. Its vigorous growth can choke out other plants. But it can easily be pruned to keep it in check. I plan to give mine a place of honour in the garden!
There appear to be two kinds of Wisteria. One is a Japanese Wisteria. (W. floribunda) It grows in a clockwise direction. There is also one that is a Chinese Wisteria. (W. sinensis) It grows counter clockwise. Mine grows clockwise so it must be the Japanese variety.
The blooms are borne on racemes - long pendular clusters -around the middle of June. They are a light lilac colour. Very beautiful! The leaves are pinate. There are about 9 to 15 leaflets on each. The seed pods look very much like beans, but the seeds are poisonous! This plant can live for 50 years! It'll be around a lot longer than I will.
There are two different colour of Penstemon in my garden. They were in the same pot when I bought them. One is a purple-blue one. The other is pink.
I have to look this one up, because I don't know too much about penstemon. I'll be back.
Friday, June 26, 2009
The flowers are borne on tall stems in clusters containing many florets. The florets are shaped like a cross, hence the name, Maltese Cross. The seed pods are dry capsules which contain many seeds. I usually remove the spent flowers in order to make this plant flower throughout the summer. Also, if left to self seed, it could become invasive. But it is not difficult to keep this plant under control. In early spring it is easy to identify Maltese Cross. Then they can be removed or transplanted.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
It is a member of the carrot family. This seems strange until you see the flowers which are borne in umbrella-like clusters. They have never flowered in my garden, but I think that is because they are growing in a dark, shady spot and don't get enough sunlight. Apparently it is possible to pick the leaves of this plant in early spring and eat them much like spinach. I have never done this. Goutweed just doesn't sound appetising to me. There is also evidence of this plant's early use as a treatment for gout and arthritis. Hence the name 'Goutweed', but a weed by any other name is still a weed! Hours of back-breaking weeding fun are in my future!
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
These plants are native to Japan, but they do very well in our climate. They love a shady spot in the garden and they are perennial. Their deeply divided, fern-like leaves stay on the plant long after the flowers die back. The flowers are heart-shaped, hence the name, Bleeding Hearts.
It has never failed to rapture and inspire me! After flowering the delightful seedpods begin to ripen. I think they are just as interesting s the flowers themselves. In the heat of summer the plants die back, but as soon as the cooler fall weather arrives with some much needed rain, the leaves begin to grow again. I used to have a lovely salmon coloured one too, but it has not come up this year. I think I will go out and buy a new one next spring. Oh! I can hardly wait!
Thursday, June 11, 2009
First cut a piece of background fabric about 7 inches by 10 inches. This will later be cut down to measure 6 1/2" X 9 1/2". The finished block will measure 6in. X 9in.
Then trace the pattern pieces onto the paper side of the freezer paper, cut them out and iron them onto your desired fabrics. Then cut out the fabric leaving a seam allowance of 1/4 inch around the pattern.
Baste each piece. Leave the stem piece open at each end. (Baste only along the sides.) Leave the flower pot bottom piece open at the top. (Baste only on three sides.) Now pin your pieces onto your background fabric as in the picture. The flower pot bottom piece should be placed behind the top of the pot. The stem should be placed behind the top of the pot and the tulip. Hope this makes sense. If you have any questions, email me.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
The name, Geraniums, is commonly used for the big, colourful annual plants that are available in garden centres in springtime. Most people are familiar with these wonderful plants that bring a burst of instant colour to the garden! But these are not true Geraniums. Although in the Geraniaceae Family, They actually belong to the Genus, Pelargonium. Pelargoriums are easy to grow and are great for beginners. They love a sunny location, are drought resistant and continuously blooming. They can be propagated by taking cuttings from the parent plant. These Geraniums are usually not frost hardy and need to be taken indoors or treated as an annual.
Family: Geraniaceae. Genus: Pelargonium.
Common Name: GeraniumThe plants that belong to the Genus, Geranium, are a huge group of over 400 species. Sometimes called Cranesbills because of the shape of the seed pods. These pods look like a crane's bill and are specially designed to spring open when ripe in order to disperse the seeds. These true Geraniums are hardy perennials. They spread by rhizomes as well as seeds, but they are not invasive. They like a partly sunny location, but are not fussy as to soil conditions. They are happy to grow in just about any kind of soil. Their leaves are a pretty light green colour and have a wonderful toothed appearance which provides an interesting contrast to other garden foliage. If the flowers are cut back after blooming, these plants will continue to flower right through to the fall.
They are available in many colours ranging from pinks to purples and blues. I have two kinds in my garden. I love the blue-coloured ones. I find them so inspirational.
Family: Geraniaceae. Genus: Geranium.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
There are about 70 species of Columbine. They are in the buttercup family - Ranunculaceae. I love this white one. It looks so delicate - almost see-though.
This yellow one is a fairly new acquisition. I just can't keep myself from buying a new plant every once in awhile. They look best in a sort of woodland setting, but they can be grown anywhere.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Common Name: Jack in the Pulpit
And here is my Lily of the Valley. I have thousands of these plants. But to get a photo, I had to drive my scooter into my neighbour's backyard. On my side there is a huge pile of gravel that is supposed to fill in the pool. Yes, sadly we are taking it out, or rather, filling it in.
Family: Ruscaceae. Genus: Convallaria. Species: C. majalis
Common name: Lily of the Valley
I also have a lovely red trillium. I planted one many years ago and only one keeps coming up. I bought it at a garden centre, so no worries about taking it out of the wild. I think I will have to revisit this garden centre sometime in the future and purchase some more - maybe some white trilliums too. I love those.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
This weed is kind of interesting. It's a biennial, but I already said that. It has large yellow dandelion-like flowers, only much bigger, about 2 inches across. It belongs in the aster family because of it's composite flowers.
Another interesting feature is that the flowers open in the morning and close again by around or a little past noon. This has given this plant the common name of 'Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon'. That's kind of cute. Another common name for it is Meadow Salsify. The seeds on this plant look a lot like that of a dandelion too, except much larger! They are spread by the wind, floating through the air just as a dandelion seed would. But that will never happen to my Goat's Beard! It is coming out...now!
Monday, June 1, 2009
I have no idea which species of viola I have in my garden. They have all been there for such a long time that their name tags are long gone. I also have some white violets. I love these!
Family: Violaceae. Genus: Viola.
Common Names: Violets, Common Violet.