June 03, 2010

Ok, now THESE are my FAVORITE!!!....

....until my next trip to the greenhouse.

Stopped by Bogie Lake Greenhouse last night to pick up a couple more Liatris and came across these stunning flowers. I have never seen them before, but then, I always find something at Bogie Lake that I've never seen before!

They were simply labeled 'Double Poppy' and had some basic care info listed. Unfortunately, the usual perennial lady wasn't working, and the girl working didn't know much about them. Didn't matter - I HAD to have them, three of them. My wonderful fiance liked them as well and bought them for me (love him).

Lol.. the funniest part is thinking back on our conversation as we drove to the greenhouse:

Me: "No, really. I just need two more Liatris, one more Salvia, and maybe one Beardtongue to replace that one that's not doing well. Then that's it, I'm DONE."
Ten minutes later, at the greenhouse: "OOOOhhh! What are THOSE! I think I would need THREE of them to make it look right!! Don't ya think!!??"

My fiance: "I think you really have a problem."

So does the fact that he bought them for me make him an enabler? ;)

Anyway, back to these amazing flowers. Peony Poppies (Papaver somniferum Paeoniflorum). I couldn't find much on them online, but from what I can gather they are not in fact perennials, but do reseed themselves prolifically. The seeds can be collected and sewn in spring or fall, or they can be left to scatter themselves in the garden. They need a well-drained soil and full sun. They grow 2 to 3 feet tall -though mine seem closer to 4 feet. The blooms are about 4" to 5" across and the foliage is a lovely dusky blue.

June 01, 2010

The Latest Bloomers and Recent Additions

So much color. I could just stand there staring at my garden for hours. Aren't flowers amazing?

I am in awe of these irises given to me by a friend last year. I didn't know what color any of them would be. Many of the blooms were the traditional purple with hints of yellow. One was a very pretty antique peach with orange accents. But my absolute favorite were these gorgeous, nearly black bloom.

It does pick up quite a bit of color when the sun hits it, otherwise it looks quite dark, and dramatic. I love it. Even the inside is gorgeous!
Alright, I'll stop gushing about my iris now... I have more things to gush about. :)

My 'Arctic Fire' Dianthus came around in full force this year. So many blooms on each plant - even after I moved them around. The blooms are so small and delicate, yet they still add a bit of "pop" in the garden.

I'm also loving my Coral Bell I got at the farmer's market last year. Coral Bells are always great - such pretty and delicate flowers and so many foliage variations. I could have a garden full of these.

My painted daisies from my mom are blooming too. The foliage looks a bit scraggly, moreso than mom's, but it's seemingly doing okay and it's still blooming.

Okay, I'll start wrapping this up. A couple new additions:

A cute little Dahlia I got over the weekend
And a couple of Iceland Poppies; the brightest happiest little flowers.
I think this year I have become a "poppy" person. I haven't grown poppies before, and I don't know why I never cared for them in the past. I'm realizing now just how pretty they are. :)

May 22, 2010

Mouse Ears!

Found the most adorable little guy to put in my garden - a 'Blue Mouse Ears' Hosta. It is so small and cute, and just makes me smile. Typical hosta as far as care goes - mostly sunny to mostly shady. It's a dwarf and gets 8" tall (12" with flower), and blooms in mid summer. The buds on mine should be opening before long. One site I found says it's supposed to be slug resistant. Time will tell.
These were voted Hosta of the Year in 2008 by the American Hosta Growers Society. I purchased three of them at a local greenhouse, but they can also be found online at places like Bluestone Perennials: 'Blue Mouse Ears' Hosta

I knew exactly where in my garden I wanted to put them. Now I'm just waiting to see if it may be too much sun. So far they seem perfectly happy. :)

May 10, 2010

Incredible Luck

We had an incredibly lucky find at our house this year.... or rather, my fiance had an incredibly lucky find. Morels! LOTS of morels, all over our yard!

I'm just lucky in that he doesn't eat mushrooms. They're mine! All mine!! Hehehe....

Actually, there were so many (28 of them) that I was able to share with just about everyone who wanted some. Parents, coworkers, friends... all got a taste of the delicious delicate flavor. Mmmmm.
And they were so big that just a couple could be considered a whole meal! This was only my second time ever eating morels. They are so delicious, just a little butter and viola!! Even got my anti-mushroom fiance to try them and he said they were "okay". That's saying a lot for him to think a mushroom tastes okay!! Of course my parents and I just moaned with contentment as we sat around devouring the tasty morsels.

We did collect most of them, but we were sure to leave a few to spread spores. Hopefully we'll be this lucky again next year! :)

May 09, 2010

Getting Things Started.... Finally

A little bit of a late start this year. Work and school have been keeping me busy - just finished up the semester with Hardscape Construction and Landscape Planning. Now I can get into my garden!

Things are really waking up! Already so many beautiful blooms out there. This is the first season my garden has woken in it's own bed! I can't wait to see what the plants all do with a full season in the ground.

Some of my first additions for the year are...

Black Snakeroot
(Cimicifuga racemosa)
I love these unique plants and have wanted one for some time. Can't wait for it to do its thing!! It should do very well in my shady woodland garden.

Beardtongue (Penstomen)
I love my 'Red Riding Hood' Beardtongue that I got last year - so much so that I bought two more this year for a grouping of three. I saw this Beardtongue at the greenhouse near my house and, though the color is quite similar to my 'Red Riding Hood', I had to get it as well.

Perhaps the most exciting buy for me so far, is my Alstroemeria. I LOVE these - I have for quite some time. They are one of my absolute favorite cut flowers - looking like somewhat of a cross between a lily and an orchid (my other FAV). I had tried to read about growing them in my area, but hadn't found much info. I came across these at the local greenhouse with my mom and we each had to buy two - one of each color. They drooped a little in the beginning, but I have repotted them and they have since flourished. I hope I overwinter the tubers correctly and can keep them for a while! This will be my first attempt at overwintering any tubers.

March 01, 2010

Know and Grow 2010

I went to the annual Know and Grow seminar this year and had such a wonderful time. It's held at Dow Gardens in Midland, Michigan. It was fantastic! Such wonderful speakers and great topics, and lots of vendors with goodies!

The highlight though, was speaker Michael Dirr. He is an icon in the industry and it was such a pleasure to hear him speak. He spoke twice - once on Hydrangeas and Viburnums, and again on the newest and best of shade and flowering trees. It was so inspiring to listen to someone with such endless passion for what they do.

(Me with Michael Dirr and his wife Bonnie)

The other speaker was Jeff Epping from Olbrich Gardens in Madison, Wisconsin. He covered the topic of container gardening and showed some incredible pictures of different techinques and ideas.

Both speakers were incredibly knowledgable, friendly and entertaining, as was the staff of Dow Gardens. Everyone had a smile on their face the whole day. Can't wait for next year!!