Thursday, January 17, 2013

An Emerging Flower Bed in Photos

There was extensive digging, weeding, planting, and mulching that took place this past garden season.  The flower bed at the front of the house - which, let's face it, at 50 feet long is actually a Flower Garden - really began to take shape. 

Winky Purple White Columbine
Plants from previous seasons began to take hold and blooms emerged.  New additions were bought and planted.  I saw these starry blooms at the nursery in spring and Could. Not. Resist.

Ruby Wedding Astrantia
Astrantia is one of the most charming flowers I can think of.  This variety emerged in subtle shades of pink and white but matures to a very becoming red.  A happy addition for the shadier end of this bed.

Another new addition that I fell head over heals for was this Agastache.


Liked it so much I bought 5 of them in fact.  I really hope they survive the winter!

One plant I'm not sure whether I love or hate is this evening primrose.  They expanded their territory at a rapid pace this season but the plants themselves didn't seem particularly attractive.  They dried up and died out after blooming but considering it was so dry this summer I'm not sure if this is a normal thing.  I did enjoy them while they were blooming though.


A surprise plant this year was this Achillea ptarmica - The Pearl.  Some bellflowers left by the previous homeowner were moved to this bed and this plant came along for the ride.  


I didn't realize the addition until the plants started to bloom.  I like it though, it's a keeper.

Back in 2010 I purchased a tiny stub of a plant at the Home Depot for a paltry $1.25.  I've been waiting patiently ever since to see what would become of it.  This was my year.


Clematis Emilia Plater finally produced blooms and it was worth the wait.

Another plant that's taken some time to come unto its own is the Quickfire Hydrangea.  I purchased this on a whim back in 2010 at a summer sale.  I had no place to put it at the time and simply dug a hole and dropped it in beside the driveway.  This year it was moved to the flower garden.

Quickfire emerging in early summer
This is an early blooming hydrangea with flat blooms that look like a lacecap.  I was thrilled to see pure white flowers emerge in July.  Finally, it has a good home and it's happy.

The thing about Quickfire is it doesn't stay white.  White flowers fade to pink, stems turn red.

Quickfire in late August
So even though it blooms early, the flowers are still a joy to look at two months later.

And what would the late summer garden be without these superstars?



Ruby Star and Magnus echinacea both bloomed and grew into sturdy clumps this season.  A sign of good things to come.

23 comments:

  1. What a difference two years makes in the maturity and fullness of a new flower garden. I am really interested in your Achillea ptarmica -- it has been on my list of plants to get since I read a glowing review of it a while back. And you are seconding that now. No place to put it, though, so maybe I'll try it in a container. So pretty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laurrie, it took me quite a while to identify that plant. It looks nothing like other Achillea, reminds me more of baby's breath. It has that same wild sort of feel that Achillea has though, and mixes nicely with other more cultivated sorts of plants.

      Delete
  2. What a great collection of blooms. I don't have Astrantia, not sure if it does well in my area. I will have to read more about it. Sure is a pretty one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janet, Astrantia is also called Masterwort if you're looking for it. This plant has a pretty wide growing range (zones 3 - 9) so you should be able to grow it. Flowers range from white with green touches to pink and red. Prefers moist soil and semi-shade so good for shade or woodland gardens. My garden is a bit sunnier than it may like so I have my fingers crossed this works out.

      Delete
  3. I've made some notes and put a few plants on my must have list, and then to see Laurries comment above makes me want this even more.

    Thanks!

    Jen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. good old plant lust!! LOL. This is the worst time of year as all the plant catalogues are piling up just begging you to get out the credit card.

      Delete
  4. must admit there's a teeny bit of envy in me for the abundance of sunshine you have for growing a glorious flower garden .. that said, though, i love the challenge our shady yard presents for bringing colour to otherwise green and low light garden .. thanks for bringing the light and colour of your flowers to my day ..

    first colours in my garden this time of year .. cyclamen coum, helleborus niger and vibirnum bodnantense ..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know exactly what you mean Jane! When I lived on Bowen what I would have done for a sunny patch of garden. Now there are days I miss my shady garden and all the lovely plants that grew there. I need to move some hostas this year and am having the darndest time trying to figure out a cool enough spot for them.

      Delete
  5. Oh mercy Marguerite, you have stirred up a bad case of the wants with this post. All of these plants are lovely. I like the tiny white of Achillia 'The Pearl'. I am not overly fond of achillia in the first place but this bloom is wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lisa, that plant elluded me for some time as it looks nothing like Achillea. I could not figure out what sort of flower I had dragged in but it sure is a pretty one. A nice little surprise when least expected.

      Delete
  6. wonderful Marguerite, lots of beautiful blooms, you must be looking forward to seeing the flower garden this year, a good reward for all your hard work, onwards and upwards, Frances

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know every gardener thinks this, but yes I'm really looking forward to this year's garden looking better than ever. I anticipate many of the plants will begin to fill out and the bed will start having a more mature look to it.

      Delete
  7. All the flowers in your flower garden sound wonderful. I love that Quickfire Hydrangea. I'll have to keep an eye out for it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know good gardeners are supposed to research plants and then buy them but I've never been very good at that. Quickfire was one of those lucky purchases that I had no idea what I was getting. I saw hydrangea and sale and into the cart it went. Now it's my favourite hydrangea out of all my plants. (I also have Limelight, Little Lamb and an unknown paniculata).

      Delete
  8. What a pretty selection of plants! I bet you get a fair share of pollinators visiting too! Isn't it nice when beds start filling in and maturing?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pollinators are starting to come but it's a slow business. They prefer the meadow and herb garden to my flower beds right now. The plants are still small so there isn't a ton of blooms yet but I expect this will start to change in the next year.

      Delete
  9. Lovely photos of gorgeous plants :-)
    I think Clematis Emilia Plater was well worth waiting for!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. me too Helene. I really wasn't sure that little thing would survive but it's turned into one pretty plant. I'm hoping this coming year it decides to climb up into the white birch I planted next to it.

      Delete
  10. Dear Marguerite, I love all these blooms! I would love to see a wide view of the whole garden. P. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Pam. I've taken a couple wide shots in older posts but it sure doesn't look like much. The plants are tiny with lots of bare ground (which is why I needed to do all that mulching) between. Or where I didn't get to mulching it's a mass of weeds! I'm hoping this coming spring I'll get some better photos as things get bigger and the space is a bit more under control.

      Delete
  11. I know what you mean about evening primrose. I've planted 'Fireworks' and loved the flowers, but it's really a one season plant. Gorgeous pictures overall, sounds like you've put together a wonderful garden. Can't wait to see pictures from next season!

    ReplyDelete
  12. How lovely to see your blooms, certainly brightens up a dull winter day. I'm sure you are looking forward to that garden being in bloom this spring.

    ReplyDelete
  13. "Flower garden" is right Marguerite, that is one huge border! Lovely selection of plants, astrantias are one of my favourite plants, and "Ruby Wedding" is a classy cultivar.

    ReplyDelete