2020 – Part 2

As the snow starts melting in the front yard, I go out almost daily to check for my snowdrops. This small patch of bulbs is the first hardy plant to bloom, after the witchhazels which bloom while there’s still snow (usually in March). This is when Spring starts, at least for me! These tough little guys keep going, despite never have been cared for and having to hold their own with Vinca (periwinkle) and poison ivy, both of which have taken over in that area between the trees and large shrubs.

Galanthus nivalis

This wonderful Scots pine, Gold Medal, turns brilliant yellow over the winter, then gradually changes back to dark green in the spring.

Pinus sylvestris Gold Medal

With us starting the year doing curbside pickup only, it was necessary for me to take pictures of every plant, including every variety, that came in. In most cases, it amounted to a picture of leaves, but sometimes they came in with flowers.

Primula Belarina Amethyst Ice

The Belarina series of hardy Primula have been great performers. Like most of the earliest perennials to bloom in the garden, they prefer part shade to shade. As a bonus, they almost always bloom again in the fall when the nights start getting cold again.

Primula Belarina Nectarine

This hardy pansy, Northern Lights, has a wonderful fragrance. A great low growing, low care plant for a shadier garden.

Viola Northern Lights
Dianthus Silver Star

The Star series of Dianthus have been around for a number of years. These low growing, sun loving, drought tolerant perennials have silvery-green leaves and are covered in single to semi-double fragrant flowers in the Spring/early Summer. They’re great for edging, in rock gardens, in crevices between rocks, or even as an alternative to grass in boulevards due to their salt tolerance.

Dianthus Superstar
Phlox subulata Bedazzled Orchid

Creeping Phlox (or Spring Phlox) are another low-growing, low care perennial for a sunny spot. They are drought tolerant and are absolutely covered in a carpet of vibrant blooms in the spring. They are even native, growing naturally on the north shore of Lake Erie. I needed a ground cover with white flowers for a property that was only to include Carolinian natives years ago and, after much research, frustration, and hair pulling (it’s not like I have a lot to pull), I happened across this little gem of information. Note that there are hybrids starting to show up, so if you’re a strict native plant person, you only want the P. subulata varieties.

Phlox subulata Spring Hot Pink

Lungwort (Pulmonaria) is an old-fashioned perennial for a part-shade/shade garden. Most have blue (gardener’s blue 🙂 ) flowers that age to pink, although some have pink and blue flowers, and a few have true blue flowers.

Pulmonaria Trevi Fountain

Bleeding Hearts have always been one of my favourite perennials. The old fashioned type (Dicentra spectabilis) grow quite tall (3-4 feet) and tend to disappear as the summer gets really hot. Luxuriant (pictured below) is a different species and is usually lumped into a group called fern-leaf bleeding hearts. They are shorter in habit and can bloom all summer. They prefer part shade (afternoon shade is a must) and well-drained soils that are on the drier side.

Dicentra Luxuriant

Pulsatilla (Pasque flower) are delicate looking perennials that do best in part sun locations. While they may look delicate, these perennials are very hardy and very reliable. Like the old-fashioned bleeding hearts, they tend to go dormant as the summer turns hot.

Pulsatilla vulgaris Rubra
Epimedium Rubrum

Epimediums (barrenwort/fairy wings) are very very tough and very easy perennials and they deserve so much more consideration than they usually get. Plant people love them and with good reason. The leaves are semi-evergreen and are usually edged, or blotched with red in the colder months. The flowers are held just above the leaves and in the case of a few newer varieties, well above. These clump forming perennials will grow in part sun to full shade and almost never need water. They are so drought tolerant and tough, that they are one of three plants that I recommend to plant a Norway maple (the hardest tree to plant under – much worse than a walnut)

Epimedium Sulphureum

Drumstick primroses (Primula dentata) are another spring time favourite for a part shade garden. They’re easy to grow, hardy, and the balls of flowers held well above the clean foliage make a great show.

Primula dentata

Hepaticas are another plant person plant. These delightful woodland natives are easy to grow in part shade to shade conditions on the drier side. They have now been moved into the Anemone genus but, for me, they continue to be Hepatica.

Hepatica americana

Euphorbia Bonfire is just a stunning perennial. When the bracts open and turn shades of yellow, chartreuse, and orange above the wine red foliage, it’s a show stopper and, unlike some Euphorbia, this one stays in a clump. It prefers full to part sun and likes to be on the drier side.

Euphorbia Bonfire

This perennial Geranium stays in a nice neat compact clump and produces these stunning flowers in the spring/early summer. They do well in full sun to part shade.

Geranium sanguineum Striata

Iberis sempervirens (perennial candytuft) is an easy to grow compact tidy perennial for full sun locations. It is covered in a carpet of white flowers in the spring/early summer.

Iberis Snow Cone

With distancing last year, the chipmunks (and birds) were the only visitors I had on the deck for quite a while. This one in particular was very comfortable with Latte and I and would jump on my lap when he wanted peanuts and I wasn’t paying attention.

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2020 Part 1

Like a lot of people, I’ve been out of sorts for quite some time so I thought I’d put up a series of pictures taken in 2020 showing that it wasn’t all bad!

Taken just at the cusp on the year, on December 29. Those might look like water droplets on a white pine (Pinus strobus), which they were, before they froze in place. I noticed this while walking Latte in the woods and had to take a picture

January 13th, walking Latte up the driveway. There had been drizzle as the temperature dropped and the walk was beautiful.

My amaryllis Rilona, which was new in the fall of 2019. It’s a gorgeous coral colour, even more beautiful and vibrant than the picture shows. February 16, 2020

My mini Cattleya Golden Boy – Feb 16

phalaenopsis (unknown variety)

Another of my orchids whose tag is long lost

Latte really wanted to go beyond the driveway, but that’s just too high of ajump for the poor old girl. She’s 13.5 here and still going strong (for her age) at 14.5.    February 28, 2020

March 4, 2020 – Bulbophyllum Elizabeth Ann ‘Buckleberry’

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Amaryllis, Specials and Clearances – Updated Availabilities Oct 10

Amaryllis bulbs have just arrived. Daffodil bulbs are on sale at 25% off, as are fall plants like mums and kale. End of Season clearance has plants at 40-50% off.

Amaryllis and Paperwhite bulbs

Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) are bulbs that you grow indoors, usually in time for Christmas, but I like to time them for January/February when things are rather dreary. Same thing goes for Paperwhites. Paperwhites are small white daffodils that are grown indoors. They have an amazing fragrance. Some people find the fragrance overwhelming, so there is a non-fragrant variety that works for them.

Some of the daffodils available

Mid-October is the optimal time to plant daffodils. They can still be planted later, but seem to get a boost if planted around now. A patch of daffs will always make me smile in the spring. They’re like masses of sunshine in the garden and it means that the rest of the garden is waking up. They range in height from 4″ up to 20″ and are easy to grow. Neither the bulbs nor the flowers are eaten by anything that I know of (probably because they’re very toxic and animals seem to know better)

Mums, Planters, flowering cabbage, grasses, flowering kale, pansies, dusty miller, and ornamental peppers (fall plants) are 25% off, just in time for Thanksgiving.

One of the large metal herons (vines are now 50%)

The End of Season sale is continuing. Perennials, Shrubs, Vines and Evergreens are 50% off and Trees, Small Trees, Furniture, Figurines (metal, concrete, and resin), and Pots are 40% off.

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Update Availability: Mums, Bulbs, and End of Season sale

New availability is up – Perennials, trees, shrubs, evergreens, and vines are all 25% off! (basically, all plants except fall product)

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Updated availability: August 27

Updated availability with new sales: Japanese maples, ornamental grasses, pots, and sun hats (pots and hats aren’t on the form)

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Updated Availability

Forsythia Show Off Sugar Baby

Updated availability with new sales: Hostas, Forsythia, Ferns, perennial Sunflowers, Rudbeckia, Goldenrod @25% off!

Crested Surf Japanese Painted Fern
Rudbeckia Goldquelle
Hosta Electrocution
Hummingbird Feeders
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Updated Availability: August 5

Updated availability with new sales.

Iris Synergy

Eupatorium (Joe Pye weed), Oenothera (sundrops), Viburnum, Irises, and Weigela are 25% off for the next week.

Eupatorium Gateway (native Joe Pye weed)

All annuals and tropicals (including succulents) are now 50% off!

Oenothera Fireworks (native sundrops)

Fruit, Clematis (only 1 left), and wildflowers continue on clearance at 50% off.

Viburnum nudum Brandywine
Weigela My Monet Purple Effect

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Updated Availability: July 30, 2020

Updated availability with new sales.

A bumblebee enjoying the Agastache Poquito Lavender (hyssop)

Echinacea (coneflower), Peonies, Agastache (hyssop), Heliopsis (false sunflower), and Helenium (sneezeweed) are 25% off for the next week.

Echinacea Rainbow Marcella (coneflower)

Annuals (excluding 10″ pots) and Fruit continue to be 50% off!

Paeonia Scarlet Heaven (Itoh peony)

Wildflowers, Lupins, and Clematis are now on clearance at 50% off!

Heliopsis Tuscan Sun (false sunflower)

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Updated Availability: July 22

Updated availability with new plants that came in this week in bold at the beginning. There are also some new sales.

Phlox, Dogwood, Rhododendrons, Azaleas and Hydrangea shrubs (not including Hydrangea trees) are 25% off for the next week.

Annuals (excluding 10″ pots) and Fruit continue to be 50% off!

Wildflowers, Lupins, and Clematis continue to be 25% off!

We are now showcasing a number of perennials and shrubs that are native to Ontario on the display benches up front.

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Updated Availability – July 15

New plants are at the top in bold. Some new sales as well.

Daylilies, Baptisia, and Amsonia are all 25% off for the next week. Annuals (except for the new 2 gallon pots that just came in) are now 50% off. Fruit continues to be 50% off.

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