Sunday, September 21, 2014

Cotoneaster 'Tom Thumb'

Cotoneaster apiculata 'Tom Thumb' seems to have gotten the message about autumn starting.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hardy Begonia

begonia grandis

A friend gave this to me last fall, not knowing if it was hardy or not.  I planted it in the shady, moist bed on the north side of our garage.  In the spring it failed to reappear and I thought "oh well" and moved on.  Only in the early summer did I notice its distinctive leaves rising up from the ferns and Solomon's Seal.

I've been warned that this spreads very, very easily by little bulbils at the leaf axis.  I did notice that a small new plant sprouted where I dumped the extra potting soil from the pot that I had used to transport the plant.

I'll be watching this one.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

New Troughs

 I've been casting a lot of troughs lately, now that all of our vacationing is over.  I was hoping that it would be nice and cool but we've been having the hottest spell of the summer.

Above is a rectangular trough that's about 18 hours old, photographed as I removed the sides of the mold.  I've already removed the inner core and the foam blocks that make up the spaces around the feet.

I'm never sure if people understand how much of my handwork is visible in the trough and how much is inherent in the process.  For the record, the left side of the trough above reflects how it looks as it comes out of the mold.  The right side is after I've given it a good scrubbing with the wire brush.

I made these three in one long, sweaty session in the garage.  They are about a day and a half old in the picture.  Right after the photo, I sealed them in plastic and slid them under the deck, where they can cure for a month.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

It's the Little Things...

daphne cneorum 'Blackthorn Triumph'

I've always loved daphnes, even with their femme fatale reputation.  I ordered this teensy one from Arrowhead Alpines in the spring.  I knew that it would be small when I ordered it but was sort of shocked to see how tiny the cutting actually was when it arrived.  I planted it at the edge of a big trough and it's settled in nicely, even blooming this week.  What a treat.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Back from the Beach

We arrived home yesterday after a week at the Jersey shore.  My daughter got right to work sorting shells.  

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

New Plants. Old Trough.

I cast this trough about 6 years ago.  In its former life it had dianthus and other things that I've forgotten.  Gradually it got overgrown by a chamaecyparis pisifera 'Boulevard', so this spring I relocated the trough and replanted it.  I've read that hypertufa can have as short a life span as a decade, but this trough seemed totally healthy and solid.

That's ilex crenata 'Dwarf Pagoda' (back R), vitaliana primuliflora (front R), gypsophilia cerastioides 'Pixie Splash' (front L), arabis blepharophylla from Home Depot (back L) and armeria juniperifolia 'Alba' (center).

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Weedy, yes, but...

I confess, I love thalictrum rochebruneanum, even though it self-seeds everywhere and tends to fry out in the hottest heat.  When it works, like this summer, we get clumps of airy pink flowers at my eye level and above.

And I'm 6'2".