A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

More Friends, Old and New

I buy most of my plants, bulbs and seeds from catalogs. The variety offered is much better than what I can get locally. There is one big drawback, though. Pictures can be very deceptive. Or non-existent. Sometimes all that is offered is an enticing description. In my quest to constantly try new plants, I occasionally have big disappointments. Last year it was the yellow muscsari. This year it is another muscari variety described as “An old variety introduced in 1596 easily recognized by its loose spikes of brownishpurple fertile bells crowned with an explosion of bright violet tassel-like sterile flowers “. This is what I got:

I think I’ll stick to “regular” grape hyacinths; maybe try some white ones or blue ones.

Here’s the perfect example of why good records are a must:

What I ordered, in 2005 before I starting keeping records, was Iris chrysographes, a black iris. Right shape, wrong color. This is the second year in a row that I’ve asked myself “What is that?”. I don’t know where I ordered it, so I can’t get a replacement or credit. Thankfully, it is an attractive iris that goes well with the Japanese iris in the Purple Garden.

Here’s the other Japanese iris in that bed, making its debut today:

And look what I found hiding in the foliage:

More Dame’s Rocket. I can’t remember if I planted seed or if this is a volunteer. Coincidentally, earlier this spring I sowed seed for purple Dame’s Rocket about 12 inches away from this plant.

Completing the circuit around the (round) Purple Garden, here’s my Common Sage, one of three types of salvias I am growing this year.

Note to self: do some research on salvias. They are very attractive and easy to grow from seed.

The first of my five Blaze roses is blooming.

Looks like it is made of velvet, doesn’t it?

Spring is in full swing in my yard. I have new iris and Canterbury Bells to look forward to as well as (double) peonies with buds so huge, they look like they are going to burst any second. And two kinds of foxglove, perennial and straw (Digitalis lutea).


At 8:47 AM, Blogger Colleen said...

Ya know...I actually like that muscari. Granted, it doesn't look all that much like the description, but I like it. It's different.

I love salvias, too. Especially since they're so easy to grow from seed!

At 9:19 AM, Anonymous Anthony said...

Well that may not be the right iris but it still is great looking. :)

Please share the research that you're going to do on the salvia. I'm very interested in hearing what you find out.

At 11:37 AM, Blogger Xris said...

I don't keep good garden records, at least not like I used to.

One trick/tip I have: I like those writable metal (aluminum) labels. On the front I write the name of the plant. On the back I write the source and year of acquisition. If the paper records get lost, there's backup in the field.

I also enjoy reading the backs of the labels when I divide or transplant. Some of the plants I have are now more than a decade old. Some of the sources no longer exist, or no longer sell retail. I get a history of my own gardens from this little extra bit of information.

At 2:22 PM, Blogger Yolanda Elizabet said...

It may be the wrong Iris but it's pretty! The Dame's rocket seems to be in the right place in your garden!

Salvias are great plants, so very elegant and they go with almost anything. Love that rose, what a wonderful colour.

At 1:58 AM, Blogger OldRoses said...

Colleen, in person the muscari are tiny and tan. They look like little thumbs.

Anthony, there is a book on salvias in the Master Gardener library that I want to borrow. It's a huge and fascinating family.

Xris, I have considered labels, especially now that I volunteer in a public garden and have learned how valuable they are.

Yolanda Elizabet, I seem to always plant the Dame's Rocket in the same place in that garden!

At 9:18 PM, Blogger Kerri said...

I've enjoyed seeing all your flowers. The iris is lovely, despite being the wrong one. I'm really interested in growing some salvias and will look forward to hearing what you find out about them. It's good to know they're easily grown from seed.
Those single peonys (spelling?) you found are gorgeous! No wonder you fell in love :)


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