Sunday, August 17, 2008


Growing roses for years it never seems to amaze me on how beautiful they are.
The fragrance, the colours, the different sizes and forms. There really is something for everyone.
Here are some fun facts about Roses.

The oldest living rose is said to be over 1000 years old and is on the wall of
Hildeshiem Catherdral in Germany

The Worlds Largest Tree Rose is located in Tombstone, Arizona (USA). It's canopy spread across more than 8,000 square feet and has a trunk diameter of approximately 12 feet.
When in bloom it's calculated to have over a million flowers.

Roses belong obviously to the rose family. But did you know that many fruits and nuts we eat also belong to that same family.
Almonds, Apples, Pears, Peaches, Nectarines, Apricots, Berries, and Plums to name a few.

Currently there are over 16,000 varieties of roses available in commerce.

The worlds largest Rose garden is located in Cavriglia, Italy.
It has over 7,500 different varieties of roses.

The rose hip contain more vitamin C than just about any other vegetable or fruit.

Although Roses do take a little extra time and care, to me they are worth it.
I hope you have a place in your garden for some.

What does this mean?
ramulosus --- twiggy
Plants with this name, Olearia ramulosa

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


This year I decided to start more of my annuals. It was not only because it is very cost effective but also because I truly enjoy starting something from seed and seeing it through to maturity.
I figured I'd give a try at a few new plants that I haven't started from seed in the past. It's always good to try something new and for the nominal cost of a few dollars for a seed packet, I thought I really had nothing to lose. One of the new plants I tried was Brachycome

Brachycome is a plant that I purchased before and used in mixed hanging baskets. I wanted to try it as border edging. This plants common name is Swan River Daisy and is native to Australia. A member of the Asteraceae family it covers itself with a myriad of 1 inch (2.5cm) daisy like flowers and blooms profusely until the first frost. It is not a tall grower topping out at 9 to 12 inches (23-30cm). It requires very little care other than full sun and occasional water.
The hybrid I grew was "Purple Splendor". I would recommend it, with only one small reservation. It had inconsistent colour ranging from periwinkle to orchid purple (you can see by the two photos above). I didn't mind the different colours but do know some gardeners when planting in large drift preferring one colour.

What does this mean?
eburneus --- ivory white
Plants with this name: Eryngium eburneus

Monday, August 04, 2008


Earlier this year I removed all my dahlias, gave them away, and replaced them with new dwarf varieties. The old types that I had were beautiful but required staking and some extra work. I'm, at times, a lazy gardener and got tired of the maintenance. So the new dahlia bed is fill dwarf hybrids that top out at a max of 36 inches and come in a rainbow of colours. The flowers are all standard sizes, many with long enough stems for cutting, but they require no staking. It's wonderful! In the raised bed with the dahlias I've also planted cactus flowing Zinnias to round out the display. Once the the bed fills out I'll share a picture.

What does this mean?
laevis --- soft
plants with this term; Aster laevis, Escallonia laevis



It's been way to long since my last post. My new job keeps me very busy in the Spring and early Summer, and now that business is starting to slow down I can return to blogging and share the goings on in the garden.

Since I have a lot of photos saved up over the last six month, my posts will feature plants currently of interest or in bloom in the garden, as well as some that have long since finished from their peak.

In addition, at the end of every post I plan on adding a fact on botanical names or
nomenclature. I find this sort of thing interesting and educational. I hope you do too!

I look forward to posting again and as always feel free to comment or ask questions.

Happy Gardening, BOB

Monday, March 10, 2008


The Cabbage photo is one I took in mid January. Last fall I shared a picture of the cabbage seedlings that I started, and now I wanted to show what they look like at maturity.
Ornamental kale and Cabbage are planted here in early fall and continue to grow throughout the Winter. They don't seem to be bothered by the cold and now that we are in March they are starting to bolt because the temperatures are warming. All come from the same parentage as regular cabbage and kale, as well, as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kohlrabi, and cauliflower. Through selection in different areas of the world the same plant evolved into many forms.

The kale and cabbage I choose were shorter cultivars only getting about 14'' high. I like planting them with winter pansies for colour in the colder months. Usually they go in the ground in October around the same time I plant the fall bulbs.

Thursday, January 31, 2008


With Winter still going strong and work being very busy, I haven't gotten as much of an opportunity to do the daily stroll to see whats growing. Other than some of the perennials and bulbs sprouting their still is not much going on. During these times I take great joy in noticing some of the old stand-byes in the garden that always seem to putz along without any extra care.
One of these plants is the Cotoneaster dammeri that I have several grouping of throughout the front gardens. I planted these roughly 3 years ago as a under study to the foundation plantings and they have worked very well.

Cotoneater is a member of the Rose family and when studying the flowers closely you can see it family resemblance (each flower looks like a miniature old rose).
C. dammeri is native to China and has been hybridized creating several sizes and berry colours. I have C. dammeri 'Coral beauty'. It's a variety that grows 12" to 18' high and about 6' wide. When the plant is young it's important to pinch it to promote fullness, then allow it to spread on the ground or cascade over walls and rocks. C. dammeri is hardy to zone 5 and requires little water once established. Spring flowers produce red to vermilion berries that form through out Summer and last till late Winter. Cotoneasters do best with minimal care and actually seem to look their best when left unattended once established.

Coral Beauty is an appropriate name for this plant because it really is a beauty throughout the whole year.

Monday, January 28, 2008


It's been a month since my last post. It's funny how life works out when you think you might have a little extra time on your hands and suddenly you end up with less. The last month has been very busy, but also good. I am very excited about this year. Lots of new opportunities and events, and many new things I'm learning at my new job.

That being said I thought I'd share something else that delights me, signs of Spring. Right now it's snowing and in my area we are expected to have snow or rain for the next few days. I feel very fortunate that soon the snows will stop and Spring will begin to make her appearance. Usually in my area Winter finishes up the end of February to the beginning of March.
The above shots were taken a few weeks ago. I'm always glad to see the new growth on the perennials, the bulbs push through the ground and the buds start to swell on many of the deciduous shrub.

For those interested, the top and bottom pictures are of Sedums, the middle photo is of Alliums sprouting.