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Thursday, June 28, 2018

Planning for next year.

At this time of year and throughout the summer is a good time to take photographs of your gardens. comparing colour texture and form for possible future plant combinations.

One of our plant combinations, pastel colours for spring, will be supplanted by more vibrant colours to compete with the mid-summer sun.

Perhaps a combination of a pure pink rose

with a clear blue hydrangea.

A selection of Kniphofia  after the German physician Johann Hieronymus Kniphof (pronounced nip HOE fee uh, not ny or nee FOE fee ah) 

with a combination of Hemeracallis.

Lemon yellow 

with the blue and white Geranium Splish splash.

 Golden yellow

with a blue/purple salvia

 I'm always reluctant to prune the greenhouse overwintered Pelargoniums of their early spring blooms, but by doing so pays dividends as they grow into domes full of flowers, this one is 30 inches across.

One should never be content or satisfied with what is and always be thinking what if.

Monday, June 18, 2018

A cut in time is fine.

When your Spring shrubs are looking like this, and you want next year's flowers to be at eye level and not sky level, especially when those flowers are fragrant (Lilac, Philadelphus, etc) Now is the time to get out the pruners.

The traditional way is to take a third of the old stems, and cut them back to near the base. This gives a more open, natural look,

or you can cut them back to a more formal looking bush with a hedge trimmer or garden shears. New growth will soon hide any bare spots and both methods will produce a glorious display of flowers come next Spring.

For less compact shrubs, I prefer dead heading and cutting back old stems.

If the shrub, or small tree has showy berries, then simply shorten any branches that are getting to high, or wide.

During this yearly pruning, you may come across unwanted guests.

Like these tent caterpillars, remove the branch, making sure to get all the caterpillars and burn.

 Sometimes a shrub maybe rather wild and the flowers insignificant, but wonderfully fragrant, a must for keeping at nose height.

Occasionally a shrub will have wonderful flowers, vibrant seed heads and colourful leaves.

Prune as little as possible and give it room

 This stunning Philadelphus, planted to hide the utility pole, when in flower has this rather relaxed, draping habit, but when pruned, becomes upright, allowing the underplantings to grow and flower.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

A pleasure garden.

Our dear friend/client suggested we come visit her gardens, which we designed and installed three years ago, because she felt they were looking more spectacular than usual. A committed Anglophile, she wanted a garden that felt like an English cottage garden and we were happy to make her garden fantasy a reality.

An initial site analysis to determine soil structure, texture, pH and nutrients will go some way to determining which plants are chosen.  We are sticklers for garden preparation, amending the soil with copious amounts of composted horse manure, and organic fertilizer. 

 This year, we fertilized the gardens again, before replacing the mulch, and the results surprised even us. Hosta leaves the size of a tennis court (slight exaggeration) do not grow by simply throwing in a few plants.

We create colour combinations that will maintain visual interest even when some of the plants are past flowering. This chartreuse leaved hosta, plays well against the darker foliage of the peony and will remain interesting long after the peonies have stopped flowering. Colour combinations that transform throughout the year,

Colour combinations that transform throughout the year, from the pastel shades of spring,

to the more vibrant colours of summer

 keep the garden interesting throughout the seasons.

We succeeded in mitigating the starkness of the white vinyl fence by planting a selection of climbing and shrub roses and clematis so that they would grow up, over and through the enclosure.

 We restricted the floral colour palette to white, pinks, blues, purples; combinations that create harmony, and added plants with chartreuse and silver foliage for contrast of color and texture.

For those of you with green fingers, we offer online garden design.

Garden consultation for a more hands on approach

and full service design and installation.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Peony Heaven

Some of our peonies, and the gardens where they grow.
The picture would be complete if photos had fragrance.
No more words are needed.


Roses are next.