Okay I know you are thinking: WHAT!!! It’s still summer, but in many parts of the country bulbs go in the garden in the fall from late September until frost so start perusing those catalogs now and get your orders in. If you have favorites, you’ll want to order them quickly in case those special bulbs get sold out!
If you are on Instagram you can’t miss all those lovely photos of fields upon fields of tulips just waiting to be sent to us 🙂
Here are just a few varieties and collections for you to consider when planning your spring garden. Combine Daffodils, Muscari, Alliums, Hyacinths, Tulips, and Camassia for a long lasting display!
Day Lily is just what it means! A new bud opens and then closes every day. There are daylilies that start early in the summer and others that open later so it is completely possible to have daylilies for months! They are reliable, simple to grow, require no fuss and I have to say a favorite of deer in some yards, thankfully not mine! I have had some deer damage this year but for the most part they have left them alone.
Olallie Rose Ring
Francis of Assisi
Daylilies are good companions to many perennials like Shasta daisies, Black-eyed susans, Phlox, Coneflowers, Liatris, Russian Sage, Bee Balm, Grasses, Catmint, Shrubs and annuals.
Daylilies are great flowers for beginner gardeners as they are not fussy plants in any way! There are literally thousands of varieties in every color and form. The actual name for a daylily is Hemerocallis from the Greek words dayand beauty. As I mentioned blooms last only one day but each scape has multiple buds!
If you are truly devoted you might consider becoming a member of The American Hemerocallis Society (AHS) They recognize seven main daylily types, including singles, doubles, spiders, sculpted, minis, multiform and others. New varieties are being hybridized daily by hundreds of gardeners who are truly passionate. There are nearly 90,000 varieties registered with The AHS.
Many gardeners start out as casual lovers but quickly get consumed with this lovely plant. Most can be grown in Zones 3 through 9 and vary in height, bloom size and basically prefer sunny locations.
A great benefit is that if you want more you can divide the clumps every 3-4 years either when they first come up or after bloom is finished.
Daylily with eyezone
Unknown Spider daylily
Have fun and trade with friends! There are many daylilies to try beyond the reblooming daylily- ‘Stella de Oro‘ seen everywhere.
In my garden I have planted to encourage butterflies, bees and birds to enjoy and pollinate. At this time of the year it is important to keep food sources plentiful for these wonderful creatures. Black-eyed Susan’s start blooming in late July and continue all fall in my garden in Zone 5.
Most common of the Black Eyed Susan’s is Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldstrum’. If happy, I find it seems to reappear in new areas of my garden as if by design. Remember when your pollinators are busy plants appear where they are most happy. If you don’t want this you will need to pull them out. These look best when planted in masses or drifts. Leave the seed heads and the birds will love you! Hardy to Zone 4.
Rudbeckia hirta like most of the Rudbeckias are herbaceous perennials and is happy in Zone 3 to 7. It blooms from June to September with yellow or orange yellow rays and dark brown centers. The leaves are a little rough and hairy giving a nice contrast in the perennial border. It loves full sun and medium water. It will naturalize! That means spread!
Rudbeckia fulgida var. ‘Deam’s coneflower’ has large daisy like flower heads in yellow or orange petals (rays) with a dark center. It tolerates either full sun to partial shade. Have clay soil, you’re good to go with this variety and for the most part all in this category.
Problems with deer? Then Black-eyed Susan’s are for you as deer typically don’t touch them. BUT!!!! when hungry deer will eat anything! Forewarned!
Indian Summer is drought tolerant but don’t think the bunnies aren’t interested! This summer I have been battling with these determined guys. Winter hardy to Zones 3-7. All Black-eyed Susan’s need full sun and well-drained soils. I find that deadheading spent flowers helps prolong bloom time and encourage additional blooms. Given a spot they love they will self-seed. They have daisy like flower heads that appeal to butterflies. The flower heads are huge and add bold, stunning color to borders.
Black-eyed Susan’s are sometimes called Gloriosa Daisy.
Rudbeckia ‘Herbstsonne’ is a tall beauty and one of my favorites and this summer a favorite of my local bunnies! It can grow up to 7′ tall so I use it in the back of the border and support it. It starts blooming in June and goes all summer. It loves well drained soil in full sun. The large daisy like flowers having drooping petals (rays) with bright green center cones.
Rudbeckia subtomentosa ‘Henry Eilers’ prefers medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Deadheading here also helps encourage additional blooms. It typically grows 3-5′ tall so I use it in the back of the border to showcase smaller plants. It has stiff, upright leafy stems that hold these blooms straight and tall. I prefer to support all of my very tall plants with decorative supports. The rays are rolled unlike the typical Black-eyed Susan’s so it has a quilled effect. The flowers bloom in clusters starting in July and lastly all the way thru September.
What pairs with these late summer gems? Well I love purples so in my garden I have Agastache Blue Boa, Russian Sage, Liatris, Daylilies, Phlox, Nepeta and Dahlias. In one bed I have paired it with “hot” colors like red and orange daylilies and Dahlias as well as Red Persicaria.
What combinations do you love with Black-Eyed Susan’s?
Just a short drive from Philadelphia, Chanticleer is one of the great gardens in this area. Once the Rosengarten estate, today Chanticleer is a contemporary garden situated in a historic setting. Garden Design magazine has dubbed this “America’s most inspiring garden.”
“The Chanticleer estate dates from the early 20th-century, when land along the Main Line of the Pennsylvania Railroad was developed for summer homes to escape the heat of Philadelphia. Adolph Rosengarten, Sr., and his wife Christine chose the Wayne-St. Davids area to build their country retreat. The family’s pharmaceutical firm would become part of Merck in the 1920s.”
They purchased a neighboring property in 1933. It is now the site of the Minder Ruin Garden composed of three “rooms”. The Great Hall; The Library; and The Pool Room
As you leave the Ruins you enter the Gravel Garden filled with orange butterfly weed, grasses, Alliums and a variety of other plants including Yuccas.
Daughter Emily’s house, located at today’s visitor entrance, was built for her in 1935. It is presently used for offices and classrooms. Here is another house on the property.
The heirs left the entire property for the enjoyment of the public The garden opened to the public in 1993. If you are in the area and are visiting gardens be sure to check out both Chanticleer and Longwood Gardens.
Morikami celebrates the connection between Japan and South Florida. Little did I know that in the early 1900s, Japanese farmers arrived in southern Florida and formed an agricultural colony called Yamato, an ancient name for Japan. Most of those farmers returned to Japan but one of the remaining settlers George Sukeji Morikami donated his land to Palm Beach County as a park to preserve the memory of the Yamato Colony.
The garden consists of 16 acres of authentic Japanese gardens and art exhibits. There is even an authentic tea house and don’t miss Hotei, their resident god of happiness.
This remains the only museum dedicated to Japanese living culture and the gardens are among the finest outside of Japan. So let’s begin our walking tour:
As you exit the main building you are immediately in front of the Wisdom Ring (Chie no Wa) which is a replica of a 500 year old stone lantern, a symbol of Delray Beach’s sister city in Japan.
Next up cross the Memorial Bridge marking the entrance to the gardens and symbolizing the link between Japan and Florida.
Follow the path to the Shinden Garden which recreates the 9th – 12th century Heian Period that featured lakes and islands and emphasized informality always with an appreciation of nature and often meant to be viewed from the water.
The “Ancient Gate” (Kodai-mon) was inspired by the large mansions of samurai leaders from 1600 – 1868. Walking through this area of the garden you pass through a Bamboo Grove and the lovely sound of the bamboo stalks knocking against each other as the breeze blows. It was a lovely, musical sound and I am sorry I didn’t do a video for you to hear the clinking of the stalks.
The Paradise Garden or Buddhist heaven was meant for casual exploration.
I need one of these! The Shishi Odoshi or “Deer Chaser” is a swinging bamboo arm that collects water and then strikes a rock basin below and startles the animals who shouldn’t be there!!!!! I am definitely creating one of these in my garden!
The Karesansui, Late Rock Garden which means dry landscape consists of rocks not plants and features a bed of raked gravel.
Continue on through the Modern Romantic Garden as inspired by the late 19th – 20th century gardens with its very naturalistic setting which leads you to the Contemplation Pavilion. No real view to speak of from here but every twist and turn of the path through this garden affords some incredible views.
The South Gate is the exit from the historical gardens in contrast with the Ancient Gate.
Yamato Island is the site of the original Morikami Museum and the island represents a modern garden emphasizing the relationship between interior and exterior spaces. The Bonsai Collection of trees are housed here. A unique collection of Bonsai for sure!
The tour ends at the Morikami Falls a dramatic and powerful waterfall set among massive boulders signaling the end of your journey thru the garden or maybe you are ready to take another walk around so see what you might have missed the first time!!!
These six gardens are inspired by the famous gardens of Japan and encourage you to find peace in the environment and within one’s self. So if even just for a little while leave the outside world behind and just be one with nature. Visit a garden today!!!
Thankfully the weather held out for the Sunday Garden tours this year unlike Saturday’s Garden and Rare Plant Sale at Lion Rock Farm. Wethersfield Garden in Amenia, NY is a beautifully manicured ten acre garden surrounding the home of the late Chauncey D. Stillman. The gardens were created in a classical style similar to the Italian villas found in the 17th century.
In every direction the Garden takes full advantage of the views and creates rooms and spaces with statues, steps, water features and plant materials. It was created on a north-south and east-west axis by Landscape Architect Bryan J. Lynch and then Evelyn N. Poehler.
The Garden relies on the architecture of varying shades and textures of plant material that marry themselves into the natural landscape starting immediately upon arrival in the East Garden. Besides the sculpted yews there are Korean dogwoods, azaleas, lilacs, rhododendrons and magnolias. The four corners of this garden feature the most magnificent European Weeping Beech trees trimmed into cylindrical shape. Sorry the Garden geek in me was drooling!
The north wall in the East Garden features the Cupid Fountain surrounded by a fieldstone retaining wall that supports Sedum, Campanula and Ivy.
When you look to the south through the Arborvitae Arch which is flanked by two figurines playing pipes the views of the countryside unfold. These statues are called the “Pan Pipers”. This area features Witch Hazel, Hawthorne, Elderberry and Gray Dogwood.
The reflecting pool has a black interior that allows the surrounding shrubs to reflect onto the water’s surface. The surrounding yews are shaped into globes and cones.
The Inner Garden was originally designed when the house was built.
In the Knot Garden the flower tubs on either sides of the steps supposedly were designed by the architect Stanford White so they plant them with white petunias in his honor.
The Pine Terrace so named for the White Pine in the center of the stone terrace. A goldfish pond with its frogs and Iris and Agapanthas and Clivia that attract hummingbirds.
The Allee is flanked with Cupid urns that encourage “silence” in the garden. This area features a 12′ wide lawn and a bronze statute “Naiad” by a Swedish sculptor Carl Milles.
The Trade Secrets Garden tours are always a wonderful opportunity to tour private gardens that we can get ideas from for our own gardens even if only in our dreams.
Pollinators are crucial to the production of most fruits, nuts and berries including apples, oranges, tomatoes and blueberries. There are many plants that will attract hummingbirds, butterflies and bees to your property. In order to attract these pollinators plant a succession of blooming annuals, perennials and shrubs so pollen is available throughout the growing season. Planting flowers in large drifts and different shapes will also help attract pollinators. Just as we can’t find a ‘needle in a haystack’ neither can they. One plant will not say ‘COME HERE’ to my yard! Be Bold!
Butterflies are attracted to red, yellow, and purple blossoms that are flat topped or clustered and have short flower tubes and they prefer to feed only in the sun. Sunflowers, Zinnias, Lupines, Red-osier Dogwood, Chokecherry and Asters are a few. Female butterflies select specific plants on which to lay their eggs. The Monarch butterfly relies on Ascelpias – Butterfly weed as it serves as a Host and Nectar plant.
Hummingbirds are attracted to scarlet, orange, red or white tubular flowers sipping nectar from long tubular honeysuckle flowers as well as Verbena, Zinnias and Penstemon.
Bees are attracted to bright white, yellow or blue and purple flowers so plant several colors in your yard to attract a variety of pollinators such as Black-eyed Susan’s and Sunflowers. Bees, unlike Hummingbirds and Butterflies feed only on flowers gathering nectar and pollen.
You will get hours of enjoyment watching the hummingbirds and butterflies dance around your garden and think of all the cut flowers you will have for bouquets!
Some Plants that attract polliantors:
Salvia guaranitica; Asceplias; Agastache; Asters; Verbena bonariensis; Rudbeckia – Black-eyed Susans; Lavender; Lespedeza; Leucanthemum- Daisy; Ligularia, Coreposis, Helianthus annus- Sunflowers; Baptisa, Catmint, Solidago – Goldenrod, (not to be confused with Ragweed); Lilacs, Antirrhinum – Snapdragons; Buddleia – Butterfly Bush; Zinnias, Penstemon; Phlox; Allium, Cosmos, Monarda- Bee balm- Eupatorium- Joe Pye weed; Columbine; Echinacea- Coneflower; Achillea millefolium – Yarrow to name just a few.
A great source for plants to attract butterflies, bees and hummingbirds to your garden is White Flower Farm. They can help you select a variety of plants to keep a steady supply of pollen and nectar available all throughout the growing season. You can find them at White Flower Farm
Roses are perhaps my favorite flower! There are so many varieties, some with glorious fragrances, others with prickly thorns that always seem to get me through my garden gloves. Roses are quite versatile in the garden as they can be used in mixed borders, as a hedge, in a Rose only border as climbers or container plants and of course they make wonderful cut flowers. Planting in groups of three or more makes a big impact if that is what you are after. What is your favorite way to use Roses?
My favorite roses are David Austin English Roses www.davidaustinroses.com but there are many other types of Roses. Knock-Out Roses are very useful in the landscape as well. Roses are very adaptable plants and look great in a mixed border which is my preference. They continue to flower when many other plants are finished blooming providing color right through the end of the growing season here in CT.
One of my favorites is ‘Heritage’ which has a medium sized cup shaped bloom. It is a soft, clear pink at its center and the the outer petals are almost white. Thankfully for me it has very few thorns and is a nicely shaped shrub. The fragrance makes it one of my favorite for cut flower arrangements.
I have finally gotten ‘Munstead Wood’ and Old Rose Hybrid that I have coveted for years. It is a very deep velvety crimson. Hopefully this will take hold and become a lovely bushy shrub. They supposedly have good disease resistance so that is always a plus when it comes to Roses. The new leaves are a lovely reddish bronze and it has a very strong Old Rose fragrance that is a little on the fruity side. I am very excited for this to really take off.
Another new Rose for me is ‘Princess Anne’. This rose is a deep pink and blooms for a long period. An added benefit for sure! The blooms are in large clusters and this Rose has a medium Tea Rose fragrance. This too should become a lovely compact, bushy, upright shrub.
I couldn’t talk about Roses without showing you one of my all time stars – ‘Winchester Cathedral’. I have a few of these and have moved them with me from property to property since I can’t bear to leave them behind. This is an Old Rose Hybrid with a lovely fragrance of honey and almond and is a pure white Rose with just a touch of pink at the center. There are masses of flowers on this shrub and it blooms at different intervals during the season. It would be a superb selection for anywhere in your garden whether in mixed borders, hedges or flower beds. I can’t get enough of this Rose!
Another of my favorites is David Austin ‘Graham Thomas’ but it did not bloom this past year as I have transplanted it now so many times. This year I hope to see that lovely pure yellow bloom once more. This is one of the best known of the English Roses and is usually very vigorous and fragrant.
There are other varieties of Roses as I mentioned earlier, Climbing Roses, Knock-Out Roses, Shrub Roses. Here are some more photos to entice you into planting at least one rose bush this year whatever type suits your fancy!
Pink Knock Out Roses
Villa Cimbrone, Ravello, IT Rose
More from the home of Linda Allard. Sorry I don’t know the varieties.
“What’s in a name? That which we call a Rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
Hydrangeas can add drama to the garden whether pink, white, green or red. They make great cut flowers! Early spring is a perfect time to plant Hydrangeas because the ground is still cool so they are less likely to get stressed.
Hydrangeas are basically low maintenance shrubs and highlight the summer and fall gardens. Just prune occasionally for shape and they will serve you well. The key with Hydrangeas is to site them properly to start with so they have the appropriate room to grow and don’t need pruning. You should however remove spent flowers and dead wood. They prefer sun and some shade. If you do need to prune it should be done after the years’ bloom cycle has ended to ensure blossoms for next year for some that is late summer or even late winter.
I’ll try to explain some of the many varieties of Hydrangeas:
Hydrangea Paniculata – Blooms on new wood and has large coned shaped flowers and are very cold hardy.
‘Quick Fire’ – turns a lovely rosey-pink in fall and blooms up to a month earlier than other Hydrangeas; ‘Bobo’ – compact with lime green and violet blooms; ‘Pinky Winky’ – has large white panicles that turn turns pink at the base during the fall creating a two-toned effect; ‘Pink Diamond’ – white blooms fade to pink and ‘Limelight’– huge, bright lime green panicles that changes to deep pink, red and burgundy in fall.
Hydrangea Quercifolia – Oakleaf Hydrangeas – These have a lovely, peeling bark on older stems and a felt like bark on newer stems. They start out white and turn pink as the season progresses and have amazing burgundy red leaves in fall. Shown below is ‘Alice’ which I use in my garden in a group of 3. Give it lots of room to spread out! The inflorescences are about 10-14″ long. Others to consider: ‘Snowflake’; ‘Ruby Slippers’ and ‘Gatsby Moon’
Hydrangea macrophylla- “Bigleaf Hydrangeas” – these have large round mophead flowers particularly in June, July and August. They have beautiful dark green leaves and can provide some but not great fall color. Also in this category are the Lacecaps.
Flower color can be determined often by the acidity (blue-purple) or alkalinity (pink or red) of your soil. Some of these bloom on new growth as well as last year’s stems. So prune right after flowering to be safe if in doubt which you have. Deadheading spent blossoms unless you are going to dry them will help produce more blossoms.
‘Endless Summer – Bloomstruck’; ‘Nikko Blue’; ‘ColorFantasy’; and ‘Vanilla Strawberry’
Hydrangea arborescens or ‘Smooth Hydrangeas’ – which bloom May – June on new wood so they are good for colder climates although there is little fall leaf color. Most notably ‘Annabelle’ is one of the most hardy with large inflorescenses. Also ‘Incrediball’ is another variety
Yet another popular Hydrangea anomala petiolaris: the Climbing Hydrangea: This Hydrangea has lovely white lacecap blossoms and a thick vine that also produces horizontal branches and nice thick green leaves and clings to any structure. The bark is also distinctive with its cinnamon colored bark that exfoliates and is lovely in winter.
A good source for Hydrangeas is White Flower Farm since they also ship if you are not in the CT area. www.whiteflowerfarm.com