The garden that almost was.

We live in a townhome currently with a small yard and have always wanted to not live so close to others.  I guess this is what happens when you grow up in the country with no neighbors in sight and land to go on adventures and explore.  Recently, came across a house with land that would have been prefect of our little family.  A house not too big or too small, same with the land perfect for the girls to run on, out of the city enough, closer to work and family.  I started planning in my head the garden; sweeps of large sun loving Hydrangeas and grasses with larger groups of all my beloved flowers (in comparison to what I have now which is one of each), an actual kitchen garden full of all my herbs, a veg garden to last us year long, a cold frame, a greenhouse (this I think I loved the most), apple trees that included my favorite Winter Banana and enough berry bushes planted out for my monsters to fill their bellies till content and fingers stained.

Reality set in.  The owner was unwilling to workout the price, which was way over priced and still needed costly fixes.  😦 He owes nothing on it, rented it out for the past 15 years.  I would have understood some, if the money was needed but it was just out of greed.  The realtor stated that the owner did not care if the house sat, just cared that the price paid to him was the high or more than his asking.  So now I guess we just wait until we find the actual “perfect” one for us.  Until then I will keep collecting and starting seeds for our little section of veggies.  But one thing has keep me thinking, which plants I would take with us, all of the plants? I could not just leave everything. I could not narrow it down but what I came up with was; Snowdrops, lilies, daylilies, hellebores, Swamp Azalea, misc. rare bulbs and random climbing rose that I no longer remember the cultivar.

So the question is which plants would you “have” to take with you if you were to move from your current home and garden?

Happy Monday!

Misc Climbing Rose

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Winterthur

Snowdrops pic 1Saturday, March 8th,  I had the pleasure of hearing Mr. Matt Bishop a give a presentation.  He is the co author of “Snowdrops: A Monograph of Cultivated Galanthus.”  I have yet to purchase because here in the states it is rather expensive, but hopefully one of these days my bookshelf will be the home of a copy. The presentation on Snowdrops was titled “A Survey of Snowdrops Freaks and Mainly Natural Variants’.    The talk highlighted 62 different Snowdrops and the stories behind some of them, which was very interesting.  The photographs were exceptional on the presentation and that made me want to add all of them to my collection, an impossible feat I know.  But below I are some of the ones that I liked the most.

  • G. nivalis ‘Angleposie’ – pure double whiteSnowdrops pic 3
  • G nivalis ‘Green Tear’
  • G. nivalis ‘Miss Tep’
  • G nivalis ‘Dreisporn’
  • G. nivalis ‘Charlotte Jean’
  • G. gracilis ‘Atlas’
  • G. plicatus ‘E.A. Bowles’
  • G. plicatus ‘Bumble Bee’ – loved the markings on this one. Stunning!
  • G. elwesii ‘Nobody’s Prank’
  • G. ‘South Hayes’
  • G. ‘Bill Boardman’ – a very nice yellow
  • G. ‘Midas’

I know it is a long list of ones selected from his list, but I would love them in my garden.  If anyone has some free time….what’s that right? 🙂 do a search a look them up, they are beautiful!Group

As for the location, the talk was located at Winterthur in Delaware. A great place to visit full of history, gardens and lots of fun. It was about a three hour drive north, so not too bad.  In correlation to the talk Winterthur gave a tour of called “Bank to Bend.” The walk/tour called was named this because it started at March Bank and ended at Magnolia Bend.  The different names for the garden paths.  The walk was full of Snowdrops, Aconite and Adonis. The group that showed up for the tour was very large which made it hard sometimes to enjoy it.  But in the end we ended up walking it again without the group and walked the rest of the gardens.  A lot of the spring flowering bulbs/plants had just started so they were not all up, but you could see just how large the mass plantings were of the Snowdrop, Aconite and Adonis.  They had a large section dedicated as a children’s area was wonderful.  I will have to revisit when the temperatures warm up and take the girls along, for they are sure to enjoy it.

Adonis They did have a great plant sale with a lot of spring beauties that included; Snowdrops, Scilla, Edgeworthia, Witchhazel, Hellebores, Adonis.  The plants provided for sale were from Black Hog Farmstead Bed and Breakfast and Carolyn’s Shade Gardens.  I bought two Snowdrops from Black Hog, Potter’s Prelude and reinae-olgae that I have been wanting for some time now.  These ones flower in the fall and not spring and I find that fact rather interesting.  Matt Bishop had some for sale as well but you had to place the order then and come back for pickup.  Reason being, the Snowdrops had not yet completely cleared customs for sale for Saturday.  I have heard that they still have not been cleared, I hope that the poor bulbs are alright.  I sadly enough did not get any which I find myself regretting.   I was rationalizing.  😦 I have completely blown my Snowdrop budget for the year and decided could not take the day off from work to go pick them up.  But it would have been cool to be able say that “yeah, I have a Snowdrop from Matt Bishop.”  Maybe he will come again next year and I can get one then.

Along with the plant sale they had some paintings by Adrian Martinez.  They were of the days theme of Snowdrops so it was very appropriate.  The paintings made me want to paint again and try my hand a rendering some as well.

Well I hope it was not too boring a read.  Thank you for reading! I hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Road Trip!

Anna's Red HelleborePennys Pink Hellebore

Pine Knot saleLast Friday we went on a road trip to an open days that a Hellebore grower in southern Virginia was having. It was so great to finally see something with flowers on it. It was about a 4 hours drive south. There was one gentleman there that had driven 8 hours to get there and was going to then drive right back.  I could not imagine.  I would have made a weekend of it.

There was a big difference between what they had blooming verses what we do further north. Which in turn was saddening knowing that I would be doing back toPrimula no flowers… but I have photographs so that makes it better. 🙂 My Hellebores have flower buds that are very low to the ground still and have not yet flowered nor are they as vigorous due to such cold conditions.  Above is the Anna’s Red and Penny’s Pink, I took them to show mine what they are really supposed to look like but they really did not care.

CyclamenFor those that do not really like Hellebores they had a selection of other plants and shrubs from other growers. One that I visited more aka spent more with was with the gentleman that had Hardy Cyclamens. I had three previously, lets just say they are going to be a really big happy family of Hardy Cyclamens in my yard. 🙂 They also had a vendor that had different shrubs that look very enticing, like the Daphne. I have tried Daphne a number of times because I just love it so much but it gets too cold for it here. I once tried growing as a container garden and Edgeworthia Akebonobrought it inside but it just did not get enough light inside and got terrible scale on it. Another stunner was the Edgeworthia and a cultivar called Akebono which was a lovely shade of orange that would brighten the winter landscape immensely.  Other things for sale were Snowdrops, Hepatica and Primulas.

Once I finished spending all of my money we took a walk in their garden. It was every nice seeing all the different flowers blooming in their garden. But of course I had no more battery left in my camera and was cursing the fact that I no back up battery, so lesson learned. Tomorrow I will be traveling North to hear Matt Bishop talk at Winterthur and I will charge my battery tonight and make sure camera cards are cleared.

It was a great trip. Sometimes one just needs a day to get away and enjoy.  They are calling for warmer weather for us tomorrow I hope for you all as well.  Have a great Friday and weekend!

Dahlia

Karma Cho Dalhia

Our snow and cold temperatures have had me going order crazy on just about everything plant related.  This year my little yard will be extra full, colorful and crowed.  This past couple weeks I have fallen victim to Dahlias.  Dahlias have me fully ensnared.

EvelineIn the past years I have only had a few at a time… not this year. 🙂 The two that I grew last year where Eveline and Night Queen.  I found that Night Queen was more of a vigorous grower and bloomer.  The flowers also lasted longer as cut flowers which is an added plus because during the warmer months I always have to have cut flowers fresh from the garden inside.  As for Eveline, not as impressed with her.  The photo that I had seen that enticed me to buy her had A LOT more purple blushing.  The photo to the left was the most purple blush Eveline got and that was at the end when the temperatures were cooling just days before the frost nipped it.  This time when I ordered I did a general search of photos of the cultivars I ordered to make sure they will be more of what I had in mind.

A couple weeks ago a read a blog from a flower farmer and she had some of her favorites.  It was a great read as always with her posts and to see which Dahlias in her experience that did better in general and as cut flowers.

Blogs have become dangerous thing.  I have been learning so much and have been introduced to so many different plants which in turn gets all the creative juices going and money flowing about buying some of the plants that I see that catch my fancy.

I hope that spring will soon join us for those of us that still see white and for those that are in full spring mode I hope you are enjoying it and that it is behaving for you. I enjoy seeing all the nice spring posts.  Thank you!

Do you grow Dahlias? If so, which ones are your favorites?

Happy Thursday!

Night Queen Dahlia