The Garden Path

It is spring in this photograph and the shade is light and the plants are coming out nicely. The first plant on the left is Barrenwort (also called Bishop's Hat) then on the fence beyond is a Lemon Bell Clematis vine. To the right of the largest tree stump is Snakeroot - it has the deep eggplant colored stocks with the jagged leaves. As with most plants it has many common names - Black Cohosh, Bugbane because of the unpleasant smell of its flowers. Fortunately there are a few different kinds so you can plant a late bloomer and you may not get the flowers at all! I planted this perennial solely for the foliage. Starting on the bottom right of the path are Woodland Forget Me Nots then immediately beyond them to the right and much taller are False Forget Me Nots (Brunnera). The flowers are very similar and I will not tell you the difference. You will need to peek a little closer to find it for yourself. The foliage's are completely different. Woodland Forget Me Nots foliage is a mass of short broad grass shaped leaves, put it where the soil will stay moist. Brunnera has large heart shaped leaves with a blue cast and lovely speckles as though the light fallen here and there on the leaves like rain ... a very lovely plant. Beyond that is a Halcyon Hosta which has a very blue cast to the leaves.

Different angle ... further along the path. The tree is the previously mentioned Toba Morden Hawthorn which blooms in the spring. Beside it is the Halycon Hosta and to the right of that is are the speckled leaves of Lungwort. An unattractive name for a very beautiful plant which blooms first thing in the spring. On the fence are trellis with chicken wire for the clematis to climb on. Behind the tree is the Lemon Bell clematis which is making it's way tendril by tendril to the empty trellis on it's right. The trellis on the farthest right has a large flowered mystery clematis. Immediately in front of the empty trellis is a tallish perennial with deep purple stems and jagged outward facing leaves. That is Snakeroot and is very rich and beautifully coloured. The little purple flowers around the trunk of the hawthorn tree are Jolly Bee geraniums. Then on the far right the pink roses are tied up around the twisty sticks are John Davis shrub roses. In front of them are little splashes of small deep red flowers called Coral Bells. The Jolly Bee Geraniums, John Davis roses and Coral Bells bloom most of the season.

At the bottom left are John Davis shrub roses (bred at the Experimental Farm in Ottawa in about the 1930's) then tiny Geraniums. The large fringed leaves that look like upturned hands are Hollyhocks long before blooming. In front center the tall thin stocks with the tiny curled ends are Lavender Mist Meadow Rue - it will get as taller than me and develop open airy clusters of tiny mauve flowers, very lovely and delicate. At it's feet you can see a small bronzy green plant called Labrador Violets. Beautiful foliage and they self see nicely filling in gaps and staying low. Mother of Thyme forms pillowy little mounds with tiny purple flowers along the front of the garden. Immediately above them is a Therese Bugnet Shrub Rose (bred in Alberta, Canada). It is only a couple years old but grows very fast. Clambering along and over the fence into the neighbours yard is the five leaved Virgina Creeper. A hardy climber but it doesn't go berserk here like in warmer climes.

The tall skinny tree at the far left of the photo is Columnar Trembling Aspen. It makes the loveliest sound as the leaves rustle when the merest breeze dances through the leaves. The other little tree is a 2 year old Toba Morden Hawthorn tree (bred in Morden, Manitoba). When it blooms in spring it's flowers resemble clusters of tiny 1/2" round pink flowers that closely resemble tiny little roses. At it's feet is the purple flowered Jolly Bee Geranium. It is one single perennial that grows about 3-4 feet around and 2 1/2 feet high! It will bloom the entire season. On the fence behind are various types of clematis - behind the tall aspen tree is the four petaled delicate pink Willy, then to it's right is a Helsingborg, and two it's right is a Lemon Bell that has not covered the trellis entirely. Beside that is a virtually empty trellis waiting for the only large flowered clematis I own to grow and bloom. It is a mystery clematis I bought without any labels but a single flower was in bloom and I loved it. So ... $14. No label. What can I say - it was lovely. When it blooms again I will try to figure out what it is. Standing tall with large upturned leaves are the hollyhocks just recently bloomed. Just right of the blue-purple Jolly Bee geraniums are tiny red flowers called Coral Bells and just to their right are the lovely pink John Davis shrub roses (Canadian bred).

1 comment: