29 May 2014

iris chrysographes fail

Joe adding insult to injury.
Sad rotten little Iris chrysographes, who sits in his pot of free-draining soil.

The rhizome looked a little sketchy to me when it arrived from White Flower Farm last week, and I saw no evidence of growth, but I potted it up and set it out on the fire escape anyway.

This week there is nothing happening still, so I wrote a note to the nice folks in customer service, had a response within the day from Diane, and have been promised a replacement.

We just want these things to work.

23 May 2014

new arrivals on the hill

More plants = more fun, do we agree? The following represent some replacements, some eagerly anticipated for a few years, and some just because the catalog photographers are so good . . .

So, the upshot is that the dahlias are sprouting, the daylilies have been planted in the holding spot (that being the chicken coop), the iris is potted up on the fire escape in the city (where it is not doing a thing yet, making me a little nervous), the banana plant is on my desk at work until tomorrow when we shall take it upstate (it will grow to 10 feet: are you kidding me??!), and the Bluestone delivery is imminent.

From Old House Gardens:
Dahlia 'Clair de Lune' (photos of dahlias and daylilies
from Old House Gardens website)
Dahlia 'Nonette'
Dahlia 'Wisconsin Red'
Daylily 'Orangeman'
Daylily 'Theron'

From White Flower Farm:
Iris chrysographes
From Santa Rosa Gardens:
Ensete ventricosum 'Maurelii' (photo from Santa Rosa Gardens website)

From Bluestone Perennials:
Intense blue spikes to 4' in May.
Anchusa 'Dropmore' (photos from Bluestone Perennials website)
Centaurea 'Black Sprite'
Starlike flowers in violet/purple with white centers
Clematis rubromarginata
Starburst yellow flowers
Rudbeckia 'Henry Eilers' 

01 November 2013

On Callaway Road

Callaway Road (about a mile north of Pleasant Hill) is beautiful all year round. It's a dirt road through farm fields bordered by sumac in the foreground with the Adirondacks to the west and the Green Mountains of Vermont to the east. But it's especially lovely once the sumac has fruited and the leaves have turned.

The view from Callaway Road, October 2013.

Abutilon theophrasti or velvetweed

A few years ago, B and I paid good money for a load of compost delivered by a local farmer. He dumped it at the top of the driveway, and we spent the next few months spreading it over all the gardens. As the summer progressed I saw all sorts of plants I'd never seen before. The compost was full of uncooked seeds, and we ended up pulling luscious, gigantic weeds by the thousands over the next two summers.

One of the new weeds took a liking to the bed down by the road. I let it go to seed a few times, the first time out of laziness, the second because I thought the seedpods were beautiful. I called it witchweed until I did a little research and determined it's Abutilon theophrasti. Kind of a nondescript plant when it's green and flowering (although the leaves really do feel velvety), but once the flowers go and the seeds develop: Wow.

Dehiscent velvetweed.

30 October 2013

killing frost

Not having actually been at the house during the week, I'm going on what my neighbors tell me: We had a killing frost Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, October 16, 2013. Just for the record, and all that.

And, yes, it was a glorious bunch of dahlias.