Archive for the ‘Perennials’ Category
Despite my complaints about the rain, ain’t it grand to live in zone eight? I must remind myself, I could be digging out from a snowstorm, like the folks in Calgary. Instead, I wander around the garden and capture its last hurrahs.
Eupatorium rugosum ‘Chocolate’
Peanut butter plant
To go with your chocolate garden… Melianthus major (Peanut butter plant). It’s a weird, dramatic shrub with large, serrated leaves. And yes, it really smells like peanut butter. Zone 8.
Chocolate. Plants. Put ‘em together and you’ve got one of the hottest trends in gardening. If it weren’t enough that there are a number of plants with “chocolate” in their name, (Heuchera ‘Chocolate Ruffles’ and Eupatorium rugosa ‘Chocolate,’ for example), there are several plants that smell like chocolate as well. Here are a few of the best.
Berlandiera lyrata (Lyreleaf Greeneyes, Chocolate-scented Daisy, Chocolate Flower)
Berlandiera lyrata is the most chocolately-smelling of all chocolate-scented plants. A night bloomer, so your garden will smell like cocoa in the morning. Zone 4-10. Full Sun.
Cosmos atrosanguineus (Chocolate Cosmos)
A must have for the chocolate garden. Plants form a medium-sized clump of dark green leaves, bearing cup-shaped blooms of deep burgundy-red, with the distinctive fragrance of dark chocolate. Sun. Zones 8-9.
Akebia quinata (Chocolate vine, Five-leaf akebia)
A deciduous to semi-evergreen twining vine with a chocolate scent, – Akebia quinata has clusters of rounded leaves and racemes of captivating purple-brown blooms with a spicy fragrance. Warning: potentially invasive if left to own devices.
Zone 4 but deciduous in zones 4 through 6. Height 20′ to 40′. Full sun.
Mentha piperita cv. ‘Chocolate’ (Chocolate Mint)
Chocolate mint doesn’t really taste like chocolate to me, but lots of people claim it smells like a combination of chocolate and peppermint. Who cares when it’s got lovely bronze-green leaves. 12-24″ tall. Sun to part shade.
Gilia tricolor (Bird’s Eyes)
This annual California wildflower is deliciously fragrant. Meadow plantings. Full sun. Height 3′.
(Now only if they tasted like chocolate…)
Chocolate Flower Farm is a Washington-based specialty nursery offering “chocolate” (scented as well as coloured) perennials.
Read more about scent in the garden in Scent for all Seasons.
Fall container no. 2
It’s not as exciting as the other planter I made up at the same time, but I like the simplicity of this one (also with 50% off perennials from David Hunter Garden Centre ).
Clockwise from left: Hebe glaucophylla ‘Variegata,’ Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Hameln’ (Dwarf Fountain Grass), Chrysanthemum Showmaker™ grandiflora amor, Brassica oleracea acephala (ornamental kale), Acorus gramineus ‘Ogon’ (Golden Variegated Sweet Flag), and Viola (Pansy) ‘Trick or Treat mix.’
Fall container with Canine schnauzer ‘Shadow’
An amazing selection of fall blooming perennials (50% off!) at David Hunter Garden Centre allowed me to make up some stunning containers. I combined tall, red Carex buchanii (New Zealand sedge) with two varieties of Heuchera; ‘Dolce Peach Melba’ and ‘Velvet Night,’ Ophiogogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’ (Black Mondo grass), Bracteantha bracteata ‘Sundaze Golden Beauty,’ Capsicum annuum (ornamental pepper) and Viola (Pansy) ‘Trick or Treat mix.’ Perfect for combatting those autumn blahs, n’est pas?
Mmm… rotting flesh
Plants that smell like rotting flesh to attract pollinators include the dragon arum (Dracunculus vulgaris), which has a burgundy leaf-like flower out of which flows a slender, black appendage. The plant is native to the Mediterranean, but this one “showed up one day” in the Bronx, New York, garden of Rosemarie Dieda. The plant was identified by Debbie Gartzke of Weird Dude’s Plant Zoo. The plant “will seed around, so apparently someone else in the neighborhood has one,” said Gartzke.
Read more at National Geographic.
If your beds are looking a little forelorn right now, it’s time to reassess your fall garden. Plant some fall-blooming perennials, grasses, or cool-season annuals.
Rudbeckia (Black-eyed Susan) is one of my fall favourites, as is Colchicum:
I love grass no. 2
I love the simple drama of this Crescent Beach garden; there’s only, as far as I can tell, three types of plants used here. I could never be that restrained. Miscanthus sinensis ‘Gracillimus’ (Maiden grass) is in the background, Pennisetum villosum (Feathertop) is in the mid-ground, and there’s another grass in the foreground that I can’t identify. The plantings suit the seaside community and the house they surround.
See how the grasses seem to grow right out of the pavers on the front drive? And the use of white sand to further blend the plants with the pavers? Genius.
The Buckland’s UBC garden — with cat.
Their’s was one garden on the last tour I went on and I thought this was a cool photo.
A showpiece of beauty, design, and ingenuity, Jennifer Buckland’s UBC garden makes for an envy-inspiring visit. The scent of a large, white-flowering magnolia welcomes you to the front garden, where purple clematis intertwines with a red-flowered vine (Tropaeolum speciosum?) and a lovely Salix integra ‘Hakuro Nishiki’ creates dappled shade for the heathers beneath. The cobblestone drive leads down into the exquisite back garden. Of the many beautiful trees in this garden, Jennifer pointed out the last remaining, large cedar, and told us how this garden was largely created after the house burned down in 1996. Newer trees include Acer negundo ‘Flamingo,’ Pyrus salicifolia, Styrax japonicus, and a Catalpa ‘Aurea’ cleverly limbed up to show to best advantage against the red maple behind. Jennifer’s husband (sorry, I forgot to ask his name) and his handiwork were evident in many areas of the garden, especially in the stonework throughout and around the lovely pond, which was bounded by a crabapple, Dahlia ‘Laura Huston,’ nigella, and the frothy blossoms of Alchemilla mollis. Via lush and skillful plantings of shade-loving perennials, this garden made brilliant use of that dark, under-the-deck space. Clematis ‘Blue Angel’ blooms over the back arbour, guarding entry to this area. Considering how meticulous it is, that this fabulous garden is shared with three large dogs and one cat and makes it all the more amazing.
Powerful Plants for Low-Maintenance Areas
Alchemilla mollis (Lady’s Mantle) Zone 4
Erysimum ‘Bowles’ Mauve’ (Shrubby Wallflower) Zone 6
Geranium macrorrhizum (Bigroot Cranesbill) Zone 2
Hydrangea (Hardiness varies according to variety)
Lonicera purpusii (Winter-flowering honeysuckle) (Zone 5)
Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) (Zone 7)
Viburnum (Zone 3)