Tuesday, July 31, 2007
This is one of my favorite trees, commonly called Seven Sons Tree. It has only been grown in this country for about the last 15 or so years, or at least in general commerce. It has wonderful peeling bark after a few years, which is a nice asset in the winter, but the best part is what comes after the white flowers you see in the picture. The flowers come in August or September, and after they are done, there are hot, shocking pink calyxes which will remain on the tree, sometimes until November. They will rival any fall color on anything, except for maybe Aesculus obovatus. It isn't a huge tree. Our oldest one is approaching 15 years old and is probably 20 feet tall. It is rather fast growing. It will want to be a multistemmed tree, sometimes many multi stems, but it is easy to keep that down to 2 or 3. Full sun or light shade seems to suit it best, probably similar to what a dogwood might like. It's gotten a lot easier to find and would be a nice addition to anyone's garden.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Friday, July 27, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
I mentioned 2 days ago when I was talking about the Aralia elata how people really noticed it. I thought I'd put off talking about those pesky deer for a day and put up this picture. The white tree in the center is the Aralia, so you can see why people notice it. When we bought this place in the early 70s, this hillside was just a hillside, nothing else there. For awhile it was an orchard, but the fruit trees stopped bearing well, as older fruit trees do, so about a dozen years ago we started taking out the fruit trees and putting in other gardens. The large conifer on the hill were planted 30 years ago and look now like they've been here forever. People find it hard to imagine this as a cow pasture, but that was the reality. The back garden was a hog wallow and part of Lake Amanda was where the chicken house was. This was a working farm for about 100 years, the land having been given as bounty after the Civil War. Our house was built in about 1869 and the barns, not long after I expect. We have a coal mine where they got the coal to heat and cook, though it is a very thin seam, only about 6 inches think in most spots, and would be a lot more work than I'd want to do. I could go on with the history of the area, but this is a gardening blog, so I'll end here. On to deer and rabbits tomorrow.
Monday, July 23, 2007
I just love variegated plants, though I guess you have to have something green so they stand out. This is an aquilegia (columbine) which has variegated leaves. Flowers are single, but the color is variable. I've seen pink and white, and the last two that bloomed had dark blue/purple ones with white centers. The leaves often come up all green in the spring with the variegation really showing up after it gets warmer. I think a little sun also helps give more variegation, though these will grow in a bit of shade also. One of the nicest things about them is that they come true from seed, so you'll have enough to transplant to other places in the garden or trade with friends. I also have never had a problem with them being eaten by deer or rabbits, but more on critter problems tomorrow.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Saturday, July 21, 2007
This is Veronica 'Sunny Border Blue'. It was new here last summer but has all come back even after the horrible winter we had and is one of the few things that is blooming right now, even with our horrible drought and the marauding deer who are eating most everything else. This Veronica is about 18 inches tall and seems to like a sunny spot, but will also tolerate light shade. The flowers are more purple than they show in the picture and it will continue to bloom until frost. I bought it on a whim, but it was a good addition to the garden. I'm starting to add more Veronicas since the newer ones seem to be less tempermental than those I tried a dozen years ago or so.
This week's rain has helped the garden, though some things will probably just wait it out until next year to put on a good show.