Sunday, May 1, 2011

Perrennial Favourites

Blood root
Ah, yes!  They are finally making an appearance in the garden!

Hellebore, bloodroot, bergenia, tulips, daffodil, pulminaria, wasabi, chionodoxa (blue star shaped).  The scila are just now starting to bow over, and there are no signs left of the crocus.

Yesterday's OHA District 5 meeting inspired me, with topics of xeroscaping and gardening for all seasons.

Paul Zammit was brimming with enthusiasm and spoke of a few cultivars that would look great in the garden:  Marybells, for their graceful yellow cascade; Pink Frost or Ivory Prince hellebores for their upward-facing habits; Lightning Strike Toad Lily because of its great spring foliage and autumn flowers; and Diane Witch hazel for its very early orange blossoms.

He went on a bit of a rant about tulips in general.  Don't arrange them like soldiers standing in a row, or toss them up in the air to plant where they land (it looks like the squirrels have been at them!).  Plant them in clumps for colour and bloom season.  He joked about people with the time on their hands to braid withering tulip leaves. "Don't think of them as dying plants", he said, "think of them as maturing foliage".

Variegated Firespray tulip
Which leads to another point.  Choose tulips not just for their flower, but for their foliage, because the leaves are what make the first and last appearance.  I was pleased when he showed examples of a couple different varieties I already have blooming in my own garden.

The afternoon presentation on xeroscaping was a good review of basics.  Don't fight mother nature, work with her:  place the right plant in the right place, compost, and mulch.  If you can't resist water-loving plants, try hydro-zoning so similar plants are nestled together.  Choose drought tolerant plants, which you can recognize by silver leaves that reflect the sun.  They're often low-growing, fuzzy, and fragrant.

Then today it was off to the hardy plant sale at the TBG with Nicki.  So crazy-busy it was hard to get close to some of the tables.  I looked at a ruffled peony and was surprised by a $75 pricetag, but was told it was an excellent price.  I was very tempted -  but "ruffled peony" sounds a bit too high maintenance for me...

No comments: