Monday, July 30, 2007

The Dog Days of Summer

The dog days of summer are upon us and they've slowed my blogging down to a snail's pace. It has been just over a week since my last post but I feel I've been away a lot longer. The heat combined with a gruelling work schedule and even more gruelling birthday party preparations for my daughter forced blogging onto the backburner for a few days. It's good to be back. While I've been a slouch, the garden has been anything but. Case in point: the hibiscus. It has gone absolutely bloom crazy.

I don't know too much about my calamint plant. But I do know I love it. It was an addition to last year's garden and I couldn't be more pleased with its performance. It has filled in to a signficantly-sized plant with a naturally attractive form. It has cute little white blooms with what appear to be tiny burgundy spots. The spots are placed in such a way that they make the bloom look like a puppy with droopy ears. I especially love the calamint for its fragrance. Here it is paired with an Autumn Joy Sedum, also an addition from last year. It too is doing well. I was never a fan of sedum until I saw their glorious burgundy flower heads in late fall. It's so nice to always have something to look forward to next in the garden.

A new addition to this year's garden is the Sneezeweed or Helenium. So far so good. I'm not sure that the colour is a fit for my garden but I'm willing to give it a season or two. Like the sedum, the helenium is a late bloomer with a fantastic show straight through until fall. And this yellow and brown combo certainly spells fall to me. I can already feel the chill in the air.

From the "I couldn't resist" file: three delphiniums to feed my need for purple flowers on tall spikes. On my bike ride to work the other day, I saw these delphiniums sitting on the sidewalk outside one of Toronto's many mom-and-pop convenience stores. It took everything I had to keep from pulling over and dragging those plants to work with me. Needless to say, I had my eyes peeled for them on the ride home. Sure enough they were there. It was a nice surprise that they were about half-price compared to the local garden centre. Like I said: I couldn't resist.

I've also added five new Japanese Forest Grass plants. While I think they look quite lovely as they are, I have really high hopes for them. I'm trying to duplicate many a garden magazine photo I've seen in which the Forest Grass cascades forward creating an almost waterfall effect. Based on what I've read, this might take a while. Japanese Forest Grass is apparently notoriously slow to grow.

The liatris are going strong. As you can see, many of them have only just begun sprouting from the top and are slowly working their way down the flower stalk. They are always reliable and therefore always a favourite.

Overall, this year's garden gets a big thumbs up from me. It's nice that visitors to the garden have offered the occasional compliment. If I can work up the courage, I might even submit my garden for consideration in next year's Toronto Open Gardens tour. I think I might have a contender.


Pam/Digging said...

Your garden looks lovely. I really like that Japanese forest grass too and only wish it would grow well here in Austin.

Connie said...

Nice to see you back on your blog... your garden is looking very nice! I planted Helenium seed I got in trade this spring, but none came hope to try it next year. I think it comes in another color if you decide you aren't happy with the one you have. I share your love of liatris! Anything that blooms for me this time of year is a winner in my book.

Soilman said...

It looks lovely, Irena. Especially those delphiniums... I have a thing for them.

linda said...

Thanks for leaving a link to your blog(s). Thanks, too, for the free tour of your garden. (You should enter it for public display!) Of all the plants you mentioned in this post, the Japanese Forest Grass "Hakonechloa" popped out at me. I bought two giant- admittedly overpriced-specimens last year. In the woodland shade beds of my Zone 7 garden their golden leaves create folcal points that light up the area. Great investment at any cost. You'll love them! Linda

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

Your garden is absolutely lovely!