Saturday, 30 October 2010

First plantings

A week of rain gave the new soil time to settle. Thursday was showery still in Vancouver, but clearing eastward so I headed that way to meet my friend Pat for lunch and afterwards we went to my favourite nursery, Free Spirit.
Naturally, I came home with a carload of plants. Some were babies of ones I had given to Lambert when we moved four years ago; some were his recommendations for specific locations I described to him; some were irresistible new-to-me pretty things; and one was a house-warming gift. Thank you, Lambert.
At the front of the house, in the angle between the porch and the steps, I need plants that can handle quite a bit of shade. Hostas will fill some of the space, and I had a Hosta sieboldiana already to start the collection. At this time of year its leaves have gone yellow, but next spring's foliage will be a dusty blue-grey. I've added a Beesia calthifolia with stunning leaves of shiny dark green suffused with mahogany,

and a Saruma henryi that has lime-green leaves. Modest little yellow flowers sit atop the leaves of this woodland plant, but flowers are not too important in this location; colourful foliage is more what I have in mind.

I'll admit they don't make much of a show yet. Still, it's a start, and in my imagination I can see them in a few years, filling out their allotted spaces.
Lambert's house-warming gift, Enkianthus perulatus,  should be able to tolerate this location, which gets only early morning sun. It will have white bell-shaped flowers in summer as well as this lovely fall colour. 

Along the east fence, I've planted a small rambler 'Ghislaine de FĂ©ligonde'.

This is one of the most disease-resistant roses I know. Again, it looks a bit miserable at present, but I will train it horizontally against the fence, and it will quickly spread to about 12 feet . Unlike most ramblers, it will flower from summer right through to the end of fall with clusters of cream flowers opening from apricot buds.  This is what it looked like in my former garden:

Its only drawback is a lack of scent, but I will find other plants to accompany it that will make up for that.

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