Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Peonies II

Today, I represent the next two of my Peonies. The first one is this gorgeous pink flowered peony Paeonia lactiflora 'Monsieur Jules Elie'. This is its second flowering season since I have planted it in Autumn 2010. 

After it produced the single stem last year, this year it has five about 1 m tall stems, each of them carrying up to five flower buds. The flowers are rather heavy and I need to support them. No wonder, the flowers are really large, they reach up to 25 cm wide (10 inches). One branch broke under the weight of flowers and rain. 

The middle of the flower is packed with numerous petals surrounded by a single row of large ones. The flower also are highly fragrant so, this peony is real treasure in every garden.
The second one is Paeonia lactiflora 'Pink Hawaiian Coral'. It is really attractive because of this coral color of the petals.

The flowers are rose shaped, and fragrant. This year the bush itself doesn't look very much attractive because half of it is struck by some foliage disease. I did not have time to investigate what it actually is. I will let you know when I find out.

The flowers are short lived in compare to the other peonies but the color is really very attractive. It fades as it wilts and attracts lots of bees. This one already forms seed follicles. 

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Garden Walk

It's been raining and I only took a short walk through my garden. Hostas are really beautiful. This kind of weather is favorable for their growth.

Hosta 'Aureomarginata' on the left and 'Frances Williams' on the right.

The bold Hosta 'Sum and Substance' accompanied by bearded irises...

A colorful company in a shady part of the garden: the blue Hosta 'Halcyon', fern, Brunnera, Solomon's Seal in the background...

Clematis montana is yet to flower.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Weigela florida

I have two cultivars of Weigela. The pink flowered one brightens up one corner in my garden. The red one is planted in the mixed border among other shrubs and perennials. I love this funnel-shaped flowers that grow in small clusters along the shoots.

The shrub needs cut-back right after flowering because the flowers form on the new wood. I haven't done it last year as you might see on the photo. It looks a kind of wild and messy. The shrub has lost the shape and flowers only on new side-shoots. The middle is pretty much green.

Most of the early flowering shrubs like Weigela or Fosythia need to be pruned as soon as the flowers fade. New shoots would have more flowers and the shrub would have the better shape. I usually cut off 1/3 of the branches. 

The red Weigelia planted in the mixed border brightens up a shady part of my garden. Althoufh Weigelia prefers the sunny position, this one so far tolerates the shade very good.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Peonies 1

The last week of May and early days in June is the time for the Peonies. Early tree peony and good old cultivar 'Rubra Plena' have already finished the flowering. The peony 'Dr. Alexander Fleming' on the picture above opened the first flower.

The others have lots of buds... this one is Peonia officinalis 'Rosea plena'. Another two species are yet to open their flowers. The soil in my garden seems to be ideal for growing peonies and I plan to buy some more in Autumn. 

These loos like white but, are actually pale pink colored flowers. I don't know the name of the cultivar.

This is peony 'Festiva Maxima'. It has lots of large white flowers with tiny pink spots in the middle. One of the bad things with peony cultivars are these large and pretty heavy flowers that often need support. May is usually rainy and the rain makes the flowers even heavier. I put the wire collar around the bush early in Spring. As the stems grow they cover the wire. Additionally, I use to tie each stem to the supporting stick.  It  prevents stems falling to the ground. Not always an amusing job supporting all the stems but, worth time taken. 

Tuesday, 21 May 2013


As the name Sempervivum or 'ever-living' says, these succulent plants are really hard to kill. They survive the drought and frost, frying sun and lack of soil. They can grow in the shade too but then, they loose their compact shape. 

These two grow on the stone crevices in my rock garden.

Single planted, they look cute in small old terracotta pots...

Some have woolly coats and produce quickly lots of children...

The perfect companion to Sempervium is Sedum. You can make such a beautiful mini rock garden in a broad shallow pot. This one is about 50 cm wide.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

The Garden Update

It was raining on Thursday and Friday. Good. The garden needed a good watering and I needed some rest! This first weeding and clearing the garden in Spring is always the most demanding; maintain it after is easy. The most of the plants reached the final size and have flower buds. Iris sibirica, the Siberian iris, and Iris barbata or bearded irises are in full bloom.

I have several cultivars of Siberian irises in mixed borders. 
In front of the borders, silver foliage and white flowers make a good combination. Here are Stachys byzantina and Cerastium tomentosum (Snow-in-Summer).

Saturday was cloudy but the rain stopped. I went into fields to pick up some Elder flowers. Elder grows in natural hedges along the roads and fields and the river banks. Each year I make Elder syrup. It is quite easy to make. My recipe requires 44 big inflorescence of  Elder, seven liters of water, the juice of 5 lemons, 3 - 4 kg of sugar and 100 g of citric acid (the crystallized citric acid can be bought in shops).

Cut off the stalks and put the flowers into 3 l of water and leave it overnight. Do not wash the flowers because you need the pollen.
The next day, drain it through the clean clothe, add lemon juice and citric acid. Add another 4 l of water and sugar. Some people dissolve the sugar over heath, but I only stir the mixture until the sugar dissolves completely. Actually, I add citric acid and sugar to taste. 
The syrup can be made of berries as well but be careful to pick up the right ones! There is also herbaceous Dane-worth that looks like Elder and has the same type of black berries. These may cause diarrhoea. 

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Mid-May Bloomers

Clematis in full bloom.

Paeonia 'Rubra Plena', an old sort of peony.

Verbena in a hanging basket enhances the terrace.

Herbs on the terrace: sage, rosemary...

California poppy folds the petals over night.

Sunday, 12 May 2013


It is so lovely that I don't want to waist the words describing it's beauty...

Friday, 10 May 2013

In the Veg Garden

Warm weather and the reasonable amounts of rain do the miracle for the ornamental and vegetable garden as well. My broad bean is doing well and developed the first flowers. Once the ground is warm and wet, I put the straw mulch around it. 

The dwarf and climbing beans popped out in just a few days. This is the dwarf bean with purple pods called 'Amethyst'. I am curious to see it. 

Garlic, planted in Autumn last year and lettuce are growing nicely. It is great having ones own vegetable in the garden. The garlic from supermarkets is imported from, (where else!?) China! When you cooked it or put it into salads it turns green!
And, finally, I expect a very good crop of Red Currant this year. It looks great, lots of tiny fruit all over the bushes.

I will certainly make some red currant jelly. I love it's taste in the Christmas cookies.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

The Third Flower Show in My Town

Well, the flower show was terrific in spite of the rain that started to fall round noon. I sold almost all of my items and closed my shop at four o'clock in the afternoon. I too wanted to take a proper look around and buy some plants.

I won't share any pictures of the flower diversity displayed on the numerous stands because pretty much we have seen them all. I want to show you some interesting features used as decoration on greens around the flower show. Anything may be a planter, even this old car above. Or, this old bedroom furniture... table...

...recycled light bulbs...

This 'potty' family made everyone smile...

'Old ruined house'

A horse of straw and...

...the real one. Lots of fun for the children.