I love being in the garden like many of you but this time of year has to be my favourite. There are so many flowers in bloom and the birds are everywhere. This year we have resident eagles in the area. Each day they come to the neighbours large beech tree and snap a branch off to take to the nest they are building. It’s quite something to watch. We have yet to see the nest as it’s a few houses away.
The Azaleas look like they are on fire in the garden. This deep orange provides a contrast to the bluebells and grape hyacinths planted below them.
I love Hostas. Yes, I know. Havent we got enough of them? I can’t get enough of them so we decided to start a collection. Above is our newest addition, Hosta ‘Empress Wu’. A visitor to the garden looked at the plant tag and at me. He said, “You know this will get to six feet across.” I said yes. We took out the Choisya to make room for this one. There is something about large plants that add boldness to the garden. I look forward to seeing this one grow.
When we moved here eleven years ago, the previous owner had started growing Rhododendrons. Lets just say, forty Rhododendrons to be exact. We have the perfect climate and soil for them here on the southwest coast of BC. They need little care and with the right choices you can have them bloom from February to July. I love the way the leaves form a circle around the blooms on this one.
This one is a standout this year. It never gets many blooms so I have to wonder about its hardiness. Don’t you love the splotch of yellow inside this Azalea bloom? I know Azalea or Rhododendron? If you take a close look at the bloom above it has just five stamens. If you go back and look at the Rhododendron above it, it has ten stamens.
Here is a small part of our front garden. I am trying to use a palette of golds, whites and greens in this garden. It gets a lot of shade in the summer from the large trees and the hedge along the road. This can make the garden seem dark. Having a white Rhododendron in the back really shows up at night. I have added many Hostas to give the area some colour.This garden had no color but plain green when we moved in. An Aucuba was added to the far left of the hedge and a Pieris japonica to the far right. The Dicentra ‘Gold Heart’ has been the best plant ever. Its golden foliage stands out against the dark green of the hedge.
There was a time when I used to pull out all the orange poppies out of the garden. It didn’t take long for me to start appreciating them as a good thing. When you garden on a large property, ground covers take on a whole new light. The same goes for the bluebells. They will soon finish blooming and the more stately plants like peonies will burst into bloom here.
This is a small section of the shade garden in the backyard. I think its time to use one of these Japanese forest grasses or Hakonechloa in the front yard to give some narrow leaf texture near the large leaves of Hostas. I have the Japanese forest grass placed near a Hosta and Solomon’s Seal in back and Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’ to the side.
I love how species tulips can grow so well in a shady corner. They get a couple of hours of morning light before the sun goes behind the house next door. I am still trying to figure out what the plant is on the right of the tulips. Its foliage resembles a perennial geranium but the leaves have a sheen to them. When picked this plant does not have the usual scent most geraniums give off.
I will end this post with my favourite plant of the week. This pale lavender Iris just opened outside my kitchen window. The softness of this colour is stunning paired with other pastels in the garden.
Above it is a large rose that just opened with peach coloured blooms. Every time I walk by this garden, the fragrance makes me stop and linger. Isn’t that how it should be?