Sunday, July 3, 2016

News from garden beds


2016 summer meet us with new challenges again. Last year we faced some kind of draught. But it was in summer, when all plants was at least half mature. This year draught started in spring, when most of plants need water the most. My peaty soil get dry really fast and some parts of garden is impossible to gardening at all. Main border look lush and green at the moment. Mostly of grasses started to grow pretty well. Miscanthus plants are not growing (main lost in my garden). So I have to look for something else. Molinia's look average, but Calamagrostis 'Karl Foerster' look really good. Lower grasses like Deschampsia cespitosa 'Schottand' love my conditions and grow. Sporobolus heterolepis grow slower. But I use them confidently. Because of dry and high temperatures I didn't plant annuals in right time. They were in trays for as long as they look good. So just few days ago I planted them. Too late, but I wish they at least fill some gaps.
In autumn all meadow border should look great.

CIRCLE PROJECT UPDATE

Plantings started with orders and some replanting ones. And after rain come, I start planting seedlings from last year crop. All daylilies and nothing else. Try to make separate beds for dips, tets and different hybridizers. Sadly most of them get blended with half to half bed. But it is still better than total madness in all.

Beds get filled quickly.

Later on, I found peddling mulch. All other in market has huge pieces of bark. Sadly, after huge storm, major part of it get blown away. So not the best so... However, it is stable now. Get wet and save moisture.

And final look. Already with weeds coming. But I am cleaning and planting center of circle project. I sown some sweet peas here, but because of heat and dry weather for that time, just two sprouted. So I decided to plant with some other perennials that could make nice feature in this project. And from now on I am looking fro two clematis 'Tie Dye' plants. So it will remind me of last year visit to States (Running Fox Farm).


Back to meadow border.

Papaver orientale in meadow border. Fancy in June.

Leonurus cardiaca - new plant for me. Last spring I got seeds from States. Sown in ground, and later planted in few parts of garden. Perfect background plant.


And start with DAYLILIES

This year daylily season will be filled with way more blooms than last year. I can see that more than half of all daylilies set at least a scape. So it will be glorious madness in mid-season.
And here are few early blooms.

Ruckus (Rice 2007)

Foar Bizar (Riggle 2001) 8:30 am

Foar Bizar (Riggle 2001) 10:30 am

Foar Bizar (Riggle 2001) 3:30 pm

Deep Impact (Peroni 2013)

1902-4 [Purple Pinwheel x (I Can Fly x Malachite Prism)] Gerald Hohls

Mitsu (Misiukevicius 2013)

3029-2 (Sunbear x Ruckus) Gerald Hohls


Friday, June 10, 2016

Summer in border

Each year I am looking for inspiration in books, media or nature. Now I can enjoy my garden and give something back. My swing with plants. Obviously I get inspired with Piet Oudolf planting and understanding of it as plant's groups. Like help from each other and little eco-system that could keep biodiversity or even expand it. Well yes, this year I saw more butterflies, even Echinacea's still not blooming. Last year I decided to add some bulbs to my border. And I simply can say that Alliums did all job more than great. I planted about 100 giant allium bulbs. Other bulbs was Allium moly that past owners left in rose bed. No roses are left now. And I wanted to keep those bright yellow alliums. In spring I thought that I placed all in circle project and wait for any shoots. Later on, I saw couple in main border and later they all started to pop-up from all corners. In this picture you can see them in left side. Cute yellow drops in border. Spontaneously I planted first plants before we moved-in. Those where pink Paeonia seedling, Baptisia australis seedlings, Iris spuria and several Miscanthus sp. I keep them in same spot, because they might found that place. Not too far, and not too close. Even I formed this long border later, but I knew that it will turn to something. But can't imagine this is so fast. Now this border has lots of new plant. I try to keep normal amount of ornamental grasses. Not all like conditions I have here. Peats, dry and sunny spot. Short living Deschampsia cespitosa 'Schottland' seems to be the one I keep and plant more next year after dividing clumps. But I try to add more long living perennial grasses like Sporobolus heterolepis. It grow really slow at the moment. But I might see some better results in future.
Salvia nemorosa 'Amethyst'. Honestly I can say that I have never seen or own any perennial Salvia's before. Last year I tried few to grow from seeds ('May Night' growing well, some seedlings big and lush, others small and not so fancy. Genetics...) and I get really addicted. Later I saw few varieties in real and decided to add enough. About 80 tinny plants of this Salvia was planted in 2015 July. This year I have huge impression in border. Some planted in one spot, and others randomly spread around for natural effect. Captured in sea of blooms. Wonderful variety. Taller than others, even a little messy, but I love it. Very delicate and even fancy.  
Salvia nemorosa 'May Night' seedling. It is not true variety. And I might have to call it hybrid. However, it is plant that I love and happy to try. You never know what kind of plant you will get from tiny seed. And what a progress when you see them mature. True power of seeds is when you realize, that this not only give pleasure, but save money as well. I get seeds in trade for other seeds. So it came free. I grow and get at least 10 plants. So 2€ for each. Easy to count.
Salvia nemorosa 'Ostfriesland'. Smaller variety that I also get in numbers of 80 plants of one variety. Yes, that look crazy, but my garden is big enough to get mass of plant and even stronger impression. This variety is scenery. Compact and low, so look outstanding in front of border. Also it is bright, so catch eyes and keep them from neighbors yard.

And more context. In bed they should be just in front. And not alone, they need company of other plants. There in back stranding Monarda 'Scorpion' and those empty like gaps is filled with grasses that need some time. As we are facing another drought in here, some of plants didn't hurry with new growth. Mostly of miscanthus just now started to grow. So you can imagine...
Rudbeckia occidentalis is new plant to me. Last year I have got several seeds of it and started to grow. All germinated and growing. Now started to bloom. With no doubts it is strange. But pretty. I try to save all seeds for more plants of it. I think this could fill all empty gaps in back of border now.
Allium atropurpureum also new. Only one bulb I have. At least to try and see if I like it or not. This color is really strong and bloom longer than others. At least I will save seeds of this too.
Baptisia 'Chocolate Chip'. Did I ever mention how much I love Fabaceae, Leguminosae or Papilionaceae family. And Baptisia's is new passion. I have 3 varieties and several seedlings of species, but they are still not blooming. 'Chocolate Chip' is really nice and bright variety. Even this year it decided to bloom horizontal, but it still catch my eyes. Bees just love this plant. So wonderful. As long living perennial it require a lot of room in future. So I planted several annuals around. So it can grow and later I have no worries about how to lift plants without disturbing this beauty.
Baptisia 'Starlite Prairieblues' might be the best known variety of baptisia's I know. It has way more buds and well standing stalks. Color is lighter than B.australis. Highly recommend this variety for all who have little prairie in your garden, or want plant that could last forever in the same spot. Lupines will last for few years with those bright blooms. But Baptisia's is more loyal and with each year getting just better and better. Last year I visited Tower Hill Botanical Garden in Boylston, MA, U.S.A. where I saw very nice collection of baptisia. But amazed not diversity, but size. They where almost my size. So hard to believe that mine could be at least 5 feet (~1,5 m). Time will show.
Lupinus polyphyllus 'My Castle' growing not in main border. But I have to show this for you all. Wonderful bright variety that catch everyones eyes. Also very nice for cutting. In vase it can stand at least 6 days. Also it is stalwart in flower beds. All spring get no water and still give fancy blooms and stand well without any attachment.
Aquilegia vulgaris hybrids. In 2012 I started my very first crosses of columbines (Aquilegia's). And just now I can see very nice results. Just like this seedling. Long blooming and really lush. Others end their show in week. This one is still standing and show great performance.
 And for the end some older photos. These two made few weeks ago when giant alliums where in peak. I want to show you at least a part of my little joy place. Garden that already inspire myself. And even give energy back. Simple weeding, cutting, or cleaning give more joy than exhausts.
This old and distracting fence is something I really do not like. But neighbors are fine with it. So I simply add more taller plants or even some evergreen hedge to cover their buildings. My goal is lush and relaxing garden, little heaven on Earth and my small experimental zone where I have no limits what I do inside the boundaries (property line). There is still lots of parts in garden that I have no idea what to do. But this border is all I wanted before I could start other projects. Even something big is going next spring in this area, but let it be a little secret.
Have fun with your own gardens and thank you all for reading my blog and writing messages. That inspire me to write more and more.

Edvinas


P.S. All photos are true. No corrections added. Simply angle and light of different time a day.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Circle project

 Continuing project theme I want to present circle project from where I have done last time.
 There used to be daylily circle from the beginning as we moved here. Sadly soil was too poor for them and I changed it to iris circle. Add some better soil for irises and form beds around lawn circle. It was great till I reach point of daylily seedlings. I simply have no space for them. So decided to change iris circle project to simply CIRCLE PROJECT. Now here grow both daylilies and irises.
 We dig all lawn, rake all roots and tilled top soil. That help to mix soil and slice all roots that we have left after digging.
 I still wanted some grass in this area of garden. So will make circle edge with grass and all the rest - beds. So here you can see new top soil circle for grass and tilled inside of circle get ready for beds. We organized circle in perfect shape. As I have drawn it a little bit like egg before. So fixed it and started forming beds.
 And there was great fun of preparation work before. As all circle was with small hillocks and after tilling they are still visible, we decided to make all beds in one level. We put height of desired beds and make same for all with knots. Lots of them for the perfection.
 With all beds it looks like reflecting water feature.
And the funniest part - paths. Round ones was easy. But those crossing ones was serious time to think. In center only one cross all inside circle with all beds. And other one cross all except center bed. It is easy to walk around and check beds. And lots of space for daylily seedlings and might other plants to fill gaps. At least for the very first year.
So I can cross out one of the biggest project of this year. Now only planting left. Which is easy for me. Lawn will be sown any time after some rain comes. Still thinking what to do with center bed in this circle. Leave it all for daylilies or maybe add some feature and give more official look. However I am not so much with official style garden. I like function and lovely look. Time will show what I will do with it. And I promise to post lots of photos from this part of garden.

Edvinas

Friday, April 22, 2016

Projects. Projects. Projects.

      Dear Blog readers. Thank you for your attention and patience of waiting for new blog posts.
Talking honestly, I forgot it for some time. I keep myself very busy with studies and big projects in my garden. Now I will talk about main two projects that change garden face a little but for all time.
When we moved here in 2014 I thought that this property is big enough for all my needs and dreams. However, I get insufficiently of land. After some talks with neighbors we decided to fit all plants in our actual garden and do not worry about other needs. And we decided to get rid of iris circle project. That big round lawn part look really attractive and I can say this give some powerful effect to garden. But I need some more land for daylilies. My main project of hybridizing and selecting the best of what I can.
 I still keep idea of round shape and make reflecting beds. I keep all beds with irises and fill empty gaps with perennial plants. I have lost several varieties and couple seedlings of irises. So some extra place for miniature daylilies or other lovely perennials I like. Soil is bad. I have discussed about it several times before. And lawn is full of moss and weeds. So we simply decided to dig it all. Some part move to other project (I will talk about it a little bit later) and others go to compost. After that add some new top soil, form lawn grass path, also round in perimeter of iris circle now. And just for few steps wide. And then form beds for daylily seedlings, that I will be planting this June.
 I can honestly say, that time of digging grass in spring is very important. As soon we make this, the easier it will be. In early days of spring, lawn grass just start to grow. Roots are not so strong and get out of the soil easy. But later it is harder and harder.
 We take pieces of lawn upside down for some reasons. That keep grass out of light and start killing weeds, also, it help to dry them up and when we take some part of soil get back to place.
Here is way more than half done. Seriously hard when grass turn so big and green.


Our second project, or how we call - First. Because it was must for when we moved here. Woodshed renewing. But we decided to demolish it and start from scratch.

 Situation photos. It is pity to show them for you all. But only in this way I can show all the work. It is made out of lots of thing. Metal railway rails, wood, some other metals and other things people usually do not use for such building.
 After demolition all view look like this. Really empty. And lots of pieces of shed. Wood we cut and later will warm our house in fireplace or reuse for building new one.
 There is still some wood left. So we arrange them close to wall and later move to new one. And demolish this wall.

 And here it goes. It is smaller and build closer to other building. So we save lots of space around.
 In front of this picture you can see grass pieces from circle project. There soon will be shade garden and they form nice base layer. Give nutrients and compost and add layer of new soil.
Style of it will be the same as other, close to it. Same wood and later will be painted in green. I wanted for some grey colors, but green look nice too. For shade bed I place some logs for edge. So it will be easier to maintain this huge bed.


And here projects go one by one. Third big project for this year is hedge.
 This part of garden is close to house and it is like main entrance to garden where all the magic happens. So I wanted like entrance to garden and to cover neighbors distracting view. They used to sit outside very often and we felt uncomfortable with that. So our decision was to plant bigger hedge.
 We drive to my friend with rented trailer and get 20 Thuja occidentalis seedlings. Out of column type mother plant. Yes, I know that seedlings didn't look same as mother plant. But I wanted fast and not so expensive hedge. Later I can form it in any way I wish. And I have few ideas for that. So if I made it, will show you all. That is view from trailer. Packed close, but safe. And there is other nice plant to my garden - Calycanthus fertilis. It's wood smell very nice. A little spicy, but nice. Also have interesting blooms, that I saw in Italy few years ago. This is hardy enough for my garden. So take it without any worries.
 And here is main view from yesterday work. We dig them out, move and plant in the same day. So huge work done. But worth it all. From this picture you can see entrance to garden (gap of hedge) and lots of trees planted. That wood will be used to shed later. By the way this is other wall of it.
This area has other function, so I wanted to divide it from main garden too. There will not grow any perennials or other mixed things. Because there will go wood in future to shed or other handy works outside. But I try to keep this area as clean as possible for nice entrance to garden.
There you can see more clear what part of garden it is. In back is gates and entrance to property. So not the best view from garden. Maybe later this hedge grow big enough and I can make arch here for stronger focus point.

I presented all 3 projects of this year. So you all can understand what I do and why do not write here. Later will show some progress updates of projects and maybe soon they all will be done.
Going back to exam material at studies. Need to end the best before internship.

Edvinas