November 17, 2011

Autumn Crocus

It snowed last week, not enough to stick, but we've had a bit more snow several times since then. Welcome to another long winter in Spokane! These photos show the last flowers left blooming in my garden - Crocus speciosus, also known as Autumn crocus.

Last year I planted a bunch of Crocus speciosus, and this year added C. speciosus 'Oxonian', which is a deeper lavender than the species. Both types fade over time.

The first two photos showed 'Oxonian', and the one above is plain C. speciosus. I love the light in these photos, taken late in the day.

The light in spring and fall is especially nice for photos in my garden.

Speaking of good spring light, I'll finish with a shot of Maidenhair fern, Adiantum pedatum, taken as it was unfurling in the spring.

November 10, 2011

Garden Accessories in Classic Black

Garden accessories are a nice addition to the landscape, but many times they start to look cluttered. Although some people can bring together various materials, colors and finishes and have them look good together, I'm not so confident in my ability to pull that off. So I'm sticking with basic black.

The fountain and birdbath are from the same collection and both sit in the backyard.

This combo on the back patio looked OK in the spring . . .

. . . and better in the summer with the addition of a chair and a backdrop of filled out plants.

The front porch sports a bench in the same style as the chairs in the backyard.

And the side yard includes black metal trellises that tie it in with the rest. Since each side of the yard has a different plant palette and color scheme, the similar styles of the accessories are helpful in unifying all the parts.

November 1, 2011

Fall Bulb Planting

Despite my decision to go easy on the bulb planting this fall, somehow I find myself in the middle of planting several hundred bulbs. Last spring the 'Gypsy Queen' hyacinths, above and below, were so pretty that I had to add a few more for next year.

You can see how their color gets pinker as the flowers age. The true blue 'Spring Beauty' Scilla siberica make a nice contrast. I should mention that the scilla produced VAST amounts of seed this year. I assume they take a few years to progress from seed to flower-producing sized bulbs, but they are terrific naturalizers.

In this photo the 'Salmon Impression' tulips are exactly the same shade as the 'Gypsy Queen' hyacinths. Tulips are hard to plant because they have to go so deep - 8 to 10 inches if you want them to have a chance of coming back more than one year. Thankfully, I only have 60 tulips to plant this fall.

Although they were pretty, I didn't order any more of the 'Salmon Impression' tulips. The Impression series tulips are good perennials for up to five years, so last year's crop should show up again next spring.

Instead, I added a bunch of 'Jap Groot' yellow tulips. This photo was taken at my church's nearby temple. The soft yellow color plus a 'strong perennial tendency' (quoting the catalog) convinced me that they'd be a nice addition to my spring garden.

These next photos show 'Pink Fondant' hyacinths that are several years old. The flower clusters weren't as large as they were the first year, but they still smelled wonderful last spring.

The other bulbs I've been planting include: 'Oxonion' fall crocus (Crocus speciosus), 'Blue Spectacle' tulips, 'Blue Shades' windflowers (Anemone blanda), 'Pink Giant' glory of the snow (Chionodoxa), Allium 'White Giant', and more 'Golden Bunch' crocus, 'Tete-a-Tete mini daffodils and Chionodoxa luciliae.

I love this photo from last spring so much that I had to repost it. Above are violet 'Grande Maitre' crocus, blue 'Spring Beauty' scilla, and yellow 'Tete-a-Tete' daffodils. I just have to wait for four months until the bulbs start their show again.