Progress on getting the gardens put together for the year has been slow this spring. Between two weeks vacation in April (when I should have been cleaning out the borders and moving things around) weeks of cold rain, and this past weekend three days of 94 degree temps and humidity I've not made as much headway as I'd like. Today the hot spell ended with an overcast sky and temps in the 70's, halleluiah! I'm finally getting to the end of the containers that need assembling and arranging the container borders to my satisfaction.
Anyway, I took a walkabout with the camera this afternoon to capture a few thing that are looking very nice at the moment.... Some are very old friends like my Hydrangea petiolaris that has been climbing my old oak tree for eighteen years.
This is a Rosa rugosa that was a gift from a friend's garden twenty-five years ago. About fifteen years ago it threw an enormous cane that was much longer and stronger than the rest of the shrub so I thought I'd do an experiment and try to standardize it. I was told by another garden friend that "you can't make a standard out of a Rugosa" so the challenge was on. I'm happy to say that yes, indeed, it can be done if one is persistent and patient enough. It's looking quite lovely this year and is covered with blossoms and buds. I don't know how much longer I'll have it as I have no idea what the life span of that original cane will be.
I like to pair this with one of my fuchsia standards (Beacon Rosa) because the two forms complement each other. It's always a bonus when they are blooming at the same time.
The Rhododendron 'Minnetonka' is in full bloom right now and is putting on quite a show. I love this variety as it is very well behaved and is easy to keep to a reasonable size.
This outstanding begonia is a new one in my collection and rapidly rose to the top of the favorites list. It was one of my great 'finds' last summer. I bought this gorgeous, large begonia for $15.00! Eureka! I had to ask the clerk if it was a mistake but I was in luck and this year it is bigger and better than ever. It produces large, extravagant panicles of pink flowers. Between that and the beautiful, glossy serrated foliage what's not to love?
I had to include this pot with my "favorite things" list. Doug bought this beauty for me for my birthday about five years ago. It's an imported English limestone planter. Just love the relief design on the sides. So pretty! I try to plant things that don't trail over the edges so the sides can be seen and appreciated. This year I'm trying Caladium 'Florida Beauty' Hopefully they'll live up to my expectations.
The newest addition to my list is my bromeliad 'tree'. I had this old oak branch kicking around the garden for a few years and I thought it would make a great presentation for some of my bromeliad collection. I'm loving this up against the Japanese Maple.
This was just a quick walkabout and there are other gems to add to this list so I'll have to do a sequel to this post as soon as I get the rest of the pots done....