Monday, June 30, 2008

Cool Plant Combos II

Here's a few more suggested perennial plant combos...

First, an interesting combination of Iris sibirica 'Butter and Sugar', Tradescantia 'Concord Grape', and a Rose.

Second, good ol' Veronica spicata 'Red Fox', with the newer Coreopsis 'Autumn Blush'. I have generally found the latter not to be hardy here in zone 6, and so have been somewhat disappointed, but I am however, looking forward to trying the newer varieties as they become available. You can see some here.

Finally, here's one that I've loved for several years now, Campanula 'Kent Belle' with Aruncus aethusifolius. Similar combinations could be made with variations of the above and/or Campanula 'Sarastro' (generally better than 'Kent Belle'), Aruncus dioicus, Aruncus 'Horatio', or Aruncus 'Misty Lace'.

Here's to dirt under your nails.


Monday, June 23, 2008

Cool Plant Combos I

One fun challenge of gardening is finding two, three or four plants that combine well with each other. One suggestion to see "what works" is to visit other gardens, whether it be your local city, botanical, or fellow-gardener's, they typically have something that we may find useful.

Here's a first set of a few suggestions re. plant combinations. This is a classic combination of "layers" or horizontal bands of colour: Geranium 'Brookside' in the foreground, Iris sibirica 'Butter and Sugar' in the middle, and a Rodgersia is the background.

Here's an interesting combination of perennials and trees/shrubs: Geranium 'Rosemoor', Hosta 'Paul's Glory', a Cornus (my best guess) and a Blue Spruce. The purples/blues of the Geranium, Hosta and Spruce create some harmony, in contrast with the white flowers of the Dogwood.

Finally, a favourite shot of mine, of the flowers of Iris sibirica 'Caesar's Brother' leaning over after a rain, and lying on top of Hypericum 'Albury Purple'.

Here's to dirt under your nails.


Monday, June 9, 2008

Favourite Peony

Peonies are easily considered a "classic" perennial -- certainly the flowers are big, bold and beautiful. They are long-lived as most herbaceous perennials are concerned, and are generally easy in the garden. With recent advances in commercial propagation, newer varieties, including Tree Peony types, ITOH, and other "inter-sectional" hybrids are becoming more readily available.

My favourite of all is the herbaceous P. 'Flame', a 1939 introduction of American breeder Glasscock. It's simply a beauty with early single, and brilliant deep coral-pink flowers. It does not require staking.

An interesting source of information (and some excellent photography) is Carsten Burkhardt's Web Project Paeonia.

Here's to dirt under your nails.