Tag Archives: eastern red columbine

Early April Charms

The temperature is 79°F (26°C) at 7:00pm but it will cool down for the weekend about ten degrees. It has been sunny and warm this week and somehow I even managed to get a few things accomplished in the garden. There are quite a lot of weeds I still need to tackle, but I can see progress in the area of maintenance. Meanwhile plants are responding to the nice weather, putting on new growth, sending up shoots and displaying glorious blossoms.

Phlox subulata (Moss Phlox) is just beginning to open. It is planted in several locations around the garden and I just made an application with our architectural review board to put some in the “hell strip” near the street where grass struggles to grow.

I prefer the bluer hues and currently am growing Phlox subulata ‘Emerald Blue’ and the darker Phlox subulata ‘Purple Beauty’.

On the left is Phlox subulata 'Emerald Cushion Blue' and on the right, 'Purple Beauty'.

On the left is Phlox subulata ‘Emerald Cushion Blue’ and on the right, ‘Purple Beauty’.

Phlox subulata

Phlox subulata

This native Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) is at about the same stage as last year and should bloom in a few days. This particular one is hovering above a thick mass of Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm), also a native plant.

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Despite being crowded out by evergreens in the back corner of the garden, a struggling Cercis canadensis L. (Eastern Redbud) is valiantly signaling another spring. This tree also is native to this part of North Carolina. The clusters of magenta flowers often grow out of the tree trunk itself.

Cercis canadensis L. (Eastern Redbud)

Cercis canadensis L. (Eastern Redbud)

Cercis canadensis L. (Eastern Redbud)

Cercis canadensis L. (Eastern Redbud)

Cercis canadensis L. (Eastern Redbud)

Cercis canadensis L. (Eastern Redbud)

 

I pruned the Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ back to 7-8 inches in late winter and it is leafing out and forming a lot of healthy buds.

Clematis 'Jackmanii'

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’

 

Spiraea is in full bloom this week in the western border.

Spiraea

Spiraea

Spiraea

Spiraea

Spiraea

Spiraea

Another white flower in bloom now in my garden is Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft). This can be long-lived but I have lost many plants in the last few years due in part to voracious voles and perhaps also due to wet soil. Some have survived here at least ten years so there may be a difference in the variety also. At any rate, things are moving along. So nice to see the garden awakening.

Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft)

Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft)

Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft)

Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft)

 

Mid-April, Briefly

I had but a few minutes to enjoy the garden today and notice the many changes, but plan to spend tomorrow finishing up some weeding and planting some recent purchases. The Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) is coming into bloom in various regions around the yard.

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)-2

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)-2

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)-2

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)-2

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)-2

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)-2

The Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood) near the back corner is blooming unusually well this year.

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Irises are beginning to fill the beds.

Irises, Dogwood–Garden View Looking Southwest

Birds scratch around looking for breakfast, scattering the mulch in the recently planted meditation circle. The labyrinth is calling.

Meditation Circle

Meditation Circle

Early April Color

At mid-afternoon and mid-week, it is a sunny 54°F. There is a freeze-watch for tonight, but the plants in the garden seem emboldened by the moderating temperatures of the past few days. In these first days of April spring is inching forward, bringing deep, rich color.

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Euphorbia 'Blackbird' (Spurge)

Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ (Spurge)

Phlox subulata 'Purple Beauty'

Phlox subulata ‘Purple Beauty’

Garden Walk In Early December

During a late afternoon ramble through the garden I noticed the simple dignity and beauty of this fading Clematis flower.

Clematis 'Jackmanii'

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’

For the most part I have been letting the plants die back naturally, leaving seed heads for the birds and winter interest. This suits my gardening style and is a good way to postpone cleanup chores until at least January.

Four and five-foot stalks of Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’ criss-cross and lean along the southern side path, each topped with brown cones. At the base its large leaves are in various stages of change.

Seed heads of Rudbeckia hirta 'Irish Eyes'

Seed heads of Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’

Leaves of Rudbeckia hirta 'Irish Eyes'

Leaves of Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’

This fall there have been several brief periods of cold nights and a couple of hard frosts, but soon the weather warms again. A small Spiraea transplant, after experiencing this transition from cold to mild temperatures and detecting a similar amount of daylight as in spring, sent out a few more flowers this week, even as its leaves turned rich red-orange rust and rosewood.

Spiraea Blossoms

Spiraea Blossoms

Rust-colored Spiraea Leaves

Rust-colored Spiraea Leaves

In many areas mounds of Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) soften the garden at this time of year and fill the beds with soft greens, reds, yellows and burgundies.

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

The cold temperatures have damaged many of the sasanqua blooms, but the shrubs are full of buds and continue to brighten the northeast corner of the house.

Camellia sasanqua

Camellia sasanqua

Camellia sasanqua

Camellia sasanqua

Camellia sasanqua

Camellia sasanqua

Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide'

Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’

Almanac

Fifty-two degrees at 4:50 pm. Overcast most of the day. The sky was deep blue and clear during my garden walk but the sun was low and most of the garden had fallen into shadows. Chapel Hill and about two-thirds of the state are in a moderate drought with little chance of rain forecast. Temperatures will edge back up into the seventies by the weekend.

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – October 2012

It is Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD) and here are some examples of the variety of foliage in the October garden.

Strongly patterned leaves of Arum Italica are maturing this month in a shady spot under the camellias.

Arum italicum

Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ (Spurge) has been growing in a large pot on the patio since spring and is my first and only Euphorbia success.   It needs to go into the ground soon. Having never reached this point before I am not sure how well it will overwinter.

Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ (Spurge)

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm) has been expanding its territory recently and has sent up shoots among the Sweet Alyssum, a dainty annual. At this height the lime-green young leaves add nice textural contrast to the tiny white flowers of the Alyssum and they are nicely fragrant.

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm) and Lobularia hybrid ‘Snow Princess’ (Sweet Alyssum)

Autumn leaf color has become quite noticeable only in the last five days. The complementary hues found in this leafy pair added a touch of boldness to the garden this week. This particular tree has been an underwhelming performer, but in general, Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood) is beautiful in spring and fall.

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Gentle mounds of Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) fill part of a border near the back steps. Round-lobed leaves range in color from pale green to a coppery russet pink, accentuated by dark red stems.

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine), Salvia splendens (Scarlet Sage)

Purchased on a whim because they were on sale, three new trees were added this month in front of a south-facing portion of privacy fence. Online resources describe Juniperus scopulorum ‘Wichita Blue’ (Juniper) as having a pyramidal form; however, these seemed very narrow at the store, which is what I liked about them. Also, the plant tags appear to have understated the final height and width, and oops, it may not tolerate heat and humidity very well.  I believe I could find a lesson in all this—instead I planted them anyway.

At least the foliage has an interesting texture and is soft, not bristly nor prickly.

Juniperus scopulorum ‘Wichita Blue’ (Juniper)

Thanks to Christina of Creating My Own Garden of the Hesperides for hosting Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD) each month.

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – September 2012

Each month Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD), hosted by Christina of Creating My Own Garden of the Hesperides, is an opportunity to examine the contributions of foliage in one’s garden.  It is 83F this afternoon, the first day of autumn, sunny with a gentle breeze.

Primed to focus on foliage I started out walking around the front of the house this morning where glossy leaves of Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ (Winter daphne) shone in the early light. The anomaly of red-tinged buds was an unexpected sight.

Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ (Winter daphne)

Along the north side of the house is a very narrow strip separating our property from the neighbors’ drive. Planted at the northeast corner of the house is a Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’ and just beyond are several gardenias (variety unknown) that have bloomed well this year.

Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’

Both the camellia and the gardenia are trouble-free but do require some light pruning to keep from extending into the neighbors’ driveway. I had to trim them last month which I think stimulated this new growth on the Sasanqua.

New Growth On Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’

Listed variously as fall-blooming and winter-blooming, this Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’ bloomed last year by November 1.

Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’

A friend rooted the gardenias that grow here now and presented them to me when they were just six or eight inches tall about ten years ago. This view is looking west toward the main garden.

Gardenia in Northern Border

Both the camellia and the gardenias are evergreen with nice glossy leaves.  These shrubs serve to hide utility units from the street, but flowers, such as this creamy Gardenia flower, are a bonus.

Gardenia Flower in Northern Border

Next to the gardenias is a grouping of Helleborus orientalis (Lenten rose) which add deep green color and texture now and will enliven this area in winter and spring when they bloom.

Helleborus orientalis (Lenten rose)

Moving down beyond the Hellebores the rest of the north side strip is planted mostly with Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) and Aegopodium podagraria(bishop’s weed) that took over. The Aegopodium can be invasive and I have planned for several years to remove it. It will die back in the winter.

Narrow Property Strip

The reddened leaves of Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) suggest a sense of autumn.

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

This variegated Aegopodium is a shade-loving ground cover.

Aegopodium podagraria(bishop’s weed)

Flowering Dogwoods are native here but this is not a good example of one. It turned brown during a three-week dry spell in July and never recovered. Flowering dogwoods usually have beautiful red foliage in the fall.

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

The dogwood is setting fruit.

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood) Fruit

In front of the house near the street the Crape Myrtle that was blown over in July is rallying.  I was unable to match the variety reliably for a replacement so decided to see how it works out to let the tree recover on its own.  There are utility lines nearby so this is the easiest and least expensive approach.

Crape Myrtle

Crape Myrtle

Thanks to Christina for hosting this look at foliage.  For inspiration visit her at Creating My Own Garden of the Hesperides where you can find links to other Garden Bloggers Foliage Day entries.

Early May Garden Views and Notes – Part 1

Forecasts warned today would be 92 degrees. Since there are a few new things in the garden I spent some time selectively watering them very early this morning. With the garden still sheltered at this time of morning by shade from the house, it was a peaceful time to be outside.

View from the Southern Border

With the grass freshly mown the garden is vibrant.

Tradescantia (Spiderwort) has moved into every available bit of soil, making the garden burst with color during the morning. By mid-day the little blue-violet flowers close up, diminishing the garden’s overall impact. I began cutting back large swaths of spiderwort this morning to make room for emerging echinacea purpurea, liatris spicata, foxglove and maybe a few more plants.

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) has bloomed prolifically for six weeks and is beginning to go to seed. I removed many of the flower stalks today to make the garden look tidier and to prevent further proliferation of this native wildflower.

The one-year-old ‘Blue Point’ Juniper hedge is growing well, although I did notice a worrisome brown branch on one. Probably I need to clear some room around the trees to give them adequate sun and air to keep them healthy.

Japanese irises and white and black bearded irises continue to provide color and interest at one end of the southern border. The old-fashioned rose at the other end of the border is waning quickly. A group of Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear) caught the early morning sun as light began to enter the garden.