Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Summer planting catch-up.

Long time no blog.

My first PG, second hydrangea. Propped.
       It's been a busy summer, gardening. I added three new hydrangeas to my collection, making ( I think) 12 in all. The new ones are Vanille Fraise and Limelight, both PG-types, and Glowing Embers, a macrophylla. The Glowing Embers is an especially good do-er, as the Brits say. Blooming since planted, and lovely colour changes. I also have three propagated ones - one macrophylla and one probably PG-type, which I managed to do, and one Anne did, macro, from scrumpings at Cotton Park or Home Hardware, I am not sure which. These are all very small so far, and as I'm not sure a) what they are, and b) if they will survive, I'm not counting them in the 12! All my commercial ones, except macrophylla "Cityline Mars" bloomed this year. Not many blooms, it's true, but a sign of things to come! And they have all put on growth.
Glowing Embers
       I got three new rhododendrons this year - One early in the season at WalMart (for which I can't find the tag), one Lepidote Dwarf "Karen Seleger" at an amazing Kent sale in September, and one from Don, who is moving one of his which has gotten too big. His is in full sun, and is doing very well, so I'm not quite sure where to put mine! The "Karen Seleger" I put in the bed beside the drive, in a spot cleared out by removing an overgrown clump of shasta daisies. More shastas went to make space for a "Coppertina" ninebark, and a couple of ecinaceas. Anne gave me a Pieris, which I put beside my one surviving tree peony, after removing a huge clump of iris.These are all in the same bed. Anne also gave me a purple-leaf birch (Betula "Royal Frost") for my birthday, which I put in front of the spruce hedge just beside the PG hydrangea above. It should be amazingly beautiful when it gets older and the bark turns white.
       Anne just gave me a "Mixed Nursery Planter" she got at Home Depot, on sale for $12.50 and marked down from $50. It had a Fagus sylvatica "Purple Fountain" (weeping purple beech), a spirea, a cotoneaster, and quite a large eunomous, all crammed into a 12 inch square plastic pot. The beech will be 30 feet x 15 feet at maturity. Naturally we have pulled it all apart and I am looking for the perfect spot for the beech - it is a fastigiate specimen, not too huge, but requiring full sun to create those purple leaves. I may have to put it below the big white pine, in the spot we're considering as an "Alpine" area. It's sunny, or at least *will* be when we take out the Norway maples in the ditch, and a couple of Pinus niger that are looking quite sickly.
       We went to Cornhill Nursery in the spring, and I bought an Amur Maple (Acer ginnala) which was blooming there at the time. After dithering all summer, I put it in the "Shade Garden", which has lost all its shade. The viburnums which have hitherto provided shade were cut down this spring, after the third year in a row of being totally defoliated by the nasty larve of the viburnum beetle. Our highbush cranberry bushes have fared a bit better, but they are related, so I expect they will go as well. I am suppressing regeneration of the snowballs with carpet. Hope it works. I really don't want them back. 
Cedar waxwings, feeding!

     The one good thing about the nasty larve was, before we cut the bushes down, a flock of cedar waxwings came and had a great feed on them. I think there were 12 waxwings in all! But, lovely as they were, it wasn't worth having these buggy specimens in my garden to attract them. We have left a few smaller bushes around the other side of the house uncarpeted, so if they regenerate, and the bugs do not, I'll leave them alone. Otherwise, I'll look for resistant varieties. There are a few, I understand.

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