Tuesday, 7 August 2012

More plants

It's hydrangea time. I'm becoming more addicted to hydrangeas since I discovered how many alternatives to coarse-leaved mopheads there are in the family. I have a young H. serrata hybrid called 'Waterfall' that has put out one bloom this year.

As it ages, the greenish-white petals are slowly becoming suffused with ice-blue. The leaves are rather coarse but they are a good sharp green that sets off the flowers very nicely. If it blooms more profusely next year, I think it will earn its place.

A close relative of 'Waterfall' is still in a pot, but it too has produced one flower. I'm not sure I like the colour...

because it's too lush a pink, especially for a plant called 'Purple Tiers'. I think I'll move it to a larger pot, add some aluminum sulphate to push it towards blue tones, and see what happens next year before giving it garden space.

My tree hydrangea that I hope will eventually dominate the northeast garden bed is, however, living up to expectations. I love the crisp look of the flowerheads...

 ...and the big velvet-textured leaves.

None of these new additions has supplanted 'Beni-gaku' as my favourite, and that's not surprising when its combination of beautiful foliage and delicate flowers is so exquisite.

Elsewhere, a couple of thistle relatives are looking dramatic in the dry part of the front garden. One is Eryngium giganteum aka Miss Wilmott's Ghost.

Miss Wilmott, a rich, eccentric Englishwoman, so liked this plant that she used to secretly scatter seed in other people's gardens. Its mysterious arrival following a visit from her led to its unusual nickname.

On the other side of the front path competition comes from Echinops ritro 'Taplow Blue'. Both plants have a metallic sheen that makes them almost pulsate in the summer sunshine.

What they both need is more companions to cover the bare earth at their feet. I'm still contemplating candidates for that job.
Meanwhile my lavender hedge in front of them has become a reality. I've just clipped off the dead flowers and, with the exception of a couple of plants under the canopy of the street maple, they've now grown together, just as I had hoped, to form a continuous line along the sidewalk.

 Slowly I am making progress.

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