RSS Feed

Virginia bluebells-The Pocket

In 2012 I made my first visit to the Shirley Miller Wildfower Trail; the area is known as the “Pocket “ in North Georgia (near Lafayette) and was amazed at the variety of wildflowers, including trilliums, foamflower, violets and columbine just to name a few. The timing of our visit was such that the Virginia bluebells, Mertensia virginica, had already bloomed. Still, I was in awe of this botanical treasure and vowed to return.

Virginia bluebells and Celandine poppies

This year, with the cold winter and reluctant spring, I was hopeful that April 3 would be a good time to view the bluebells in flower.

I went with three friends who were visiting the Pocket for the first time.  As we approached the trail, I could feel my pulse quicken ( if you’ve ever seen masses of bluebells flowering in one spot  you understand this reaction completely).   For those of you not familiar with this beauty, here is some background information. Native to North America, Virginia bluebells (hardy from Zone 3 to 8 )occur in moist woodlands and river floodplains.  The flowers are pink in bud and open to the most beautiful blue.   In the wild, catching them at the perfect moment is a real treat.  Blooming at the same time were celandine poppies, Stylophorum diphyllum. Also known as wood poppies, these perennials display bright yellow flowers against blue-green foliage.  The combination of the celandine poppies and the bluebells is lovely and has inspired many a gardener to try and recreate in their own woodlands.

overview of bluebells

As we took photo after photo of this magnificent scene

(the photos never completely tell the story) it was hard to imagine that this planting had not been orchestrated by man.  (it was not)

It’s also interesting to me that by mid-summer the foliage will die back and disappear completely until next year.

Trillium flexipes

In addition to the bluebells, we saw masses of Dutchman’s breeches, Dicentra cucullaria (forming a lace carpet on the hillside), Phacelia bipinnatifida (don’t know a good common name), hepatica, Phlox, trilliums, sedum, foamflower and more.

Trillium decumbens and Thalictrum thalictroides

While the boardwalk trail is not very long (not sure maybe ½ mile) it took us several hours to reach the end where we were rewarded with waterfalls, rock outcroppings and sites like hydrangeas growing out of rock crevices.

waterfall and rocks

Phacelia

Relaxing at the Pocket

As we headed back to the car, we talked about our next visit and reflected on how glad we were that we had arrived early, as the small parking lot was beginning to fill up.

Spring blooms at Callaway Gardens

Last Thursday and Friday, March 27 and 28, I was at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia to give a lecture and teach a garden design workshop. This is an event that I look forward to every year.   One of the things that makes this experience so enjoyable is the audience.  This year I was once again rewarded with an interested and enthusiastic group.  I also had the pleasure of being on the program with Andrea Wulf, award-winning author and historian.  Her topic and title of her book The Founding Gardeners: The Revolutionary Generation, Nature and the Shaping of the American Nation provided an interesting and insightful look at the founding fathers and “how their attitudes towards plants, gardens, nature and agriculture shaped the American nation.  To find out more about her writing visit www.andreawulf.com

Rhododendron canescens

When my mother and I were talking recently she described spring this year as  reluctant.  I have to  agree that it got off to a slow start.  The positive side to this is a banner year (at least here in the South) for saucer magnolias, flowering cherries, redbuds and more.  It seems as if blooms have lasted longer and colors have been a bit brighter.  At Callaway the first azaleas are showing color, including both native and exotic types.  Redbuds linger and the cherries hang on to their blossoms before they cover the ground with white.

Azaleas

Dogwoods will be in full bloom by now and masses of azaleas too.

As I walked along the trail of the wildflower gardens, I was thrilled to spot trilliums, green and gold, Pachysandra procumbens , trout lilies and other woodland gems.

Azaleas beginning to bloom March 27

fragrant flowers of Viburnum x burkwoodii

In my own garden Leucojums, Pulmonaria, hellebores and masses of daffodils are in full bloom.  Minor bulbs including Scillas and grape hyacinths are also in flower.  Yesterday temperatures shot up to over 70F and today it is predicted to be in the 80’s!  Welcome to the South.

Pachysandra procumbens, great native for the woodland

I look forward to watching Spring unfold with all that it has to offer.

grape hyacinth and daffodils in my garden

February in my garden- Snow, hellebores and more

Today is February 21, the sun is shining and hellebores, a mixed bag of hybrid seedlings, are the stars of the moment.  Looking back to just over one week ago, it’s hard to believe that my garden was covered with heavy, wet snow.

Hellebores

my front garden, February 13

For a moment I could appreciate how pretty it looked, covering all the dead leaves and plants waiting to be cut back.  While I enjoyed the quiet beauty and brief reprieve from cleaning up my garden, (guilt-free for a few days), I am glad not to live in a climate where snow is a regular occurrence in winter.

this table never looked so good

Almost overnight, early daffodils are beginning to bloom and the forsythia buds are showing color.   Yesterday was short sleeve weather and I decided to cut off the ratty foliage on my hellebores.   The reward is the hellebores themselves, in shades of pink, maroon, white, green and dark purple.  These unnamed seedlings delight me and persist for weeks.  When they finally begin to fade, their bedmates, ferns of several types will fill in with lush green growth.

While I know better than to think we have seen the last of winter, these late winter flowers have me feeling “guardedly optimistic.”  And, tomorrow I look forward to attending a symposium titled  “The Inspired Gardener.”

early daffodils

Presented by the Atlanta Botanical Garden and the Georgia Perennial Plant Association, it takes place at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.   There are still a few spaces left (don’t count on lunch though).

For more information visit http://www.georgiaperennial.org/events/

In March I will be giving a lecture and teaching a workshop at Callaway Gardens ( always a  great group) on garden design and in April I am excited to return to Barnsley Gardens (now a resort in Adairsville, GA)  to teach a workshop and give a tour.  I worked at Barnsley many years ago helping to prepare the garden for its debut as a public garden.

Just in case you missed the news, I am leading a tour to Southern Italy this spring and a few spaces are still available.  It should be a great trip if you like gardens, good food and Italy!   Check out this link for the details.

http://www.earthboundexpeditions.com/journeys/western-europe/gardens-of-southern-italy-with-erica-glasener

Holiday Gift Ideas for Gardeners-and a few notes on fall

Tonight is the last night of Hanukkah and Christmas will be here before you know it.If you’re having a hard time figuring out what to get the plant lovers and gardeners on your list, here are a few suggestions.  For Georgia gardeners, join me and my coauthor Walter Reeves on Saturday, December 7, from 12noon until 1pm at Eagle Eye Books in Decatur  (www.eagleeyebooks.com)  and purchase a copy of our new revised and updated  (in its former life it was the Georgia Gardener’s Guide)

Georgia Getting Started Garden Guide.  Bring your garden questions and checkbook.    To make it even more enticing, when you purchase one of our new books,  Eagle Eye will offer a 20% discount on any other titles written by Walter or me (while the stock lasts.)

In addition to books on gardening, there are still some worthwhile magazines being published to consider as gifts.  I don’t think you can go wrong with a gift subscription to Gardens Illustrated which always inspires me with its photography and writing even if it is pricey.  Reading articles by the likes of Fergus Garrett and Beth Chatto make it a worthwhile investment.  (for US subscriptions email  gardens@magcs.com)

Gift certificates for memberships to your favorite nonprofit or charity, given in honor of a friend or family member are satisfying and keep you from buying “stuff” that nobody wants or needs.  Locally I plan to support the Atlanta Food Bank (www.acfb.org) and Trees Atlanta (http://treesatlanta.org/who-we-are/the-kendeda-center/). Both do great work and I love food and trees!   For $25 or more, Trees Atlanta will plant a tree to honor someone of your choosing.  A $35 dollar donation to the Atlanta Food Bank translates to 140 meals.  (wow)

At the other end of the spectrum of giving maybe you want to give a big once-in-a lifetime gift.  How about sending your garden person on a trip to Southern Italy with me next spring, May 19-30, 2014.   Organized by Earthbound Expeditions, it promises to be interesting and filled with beautiful gardens and tasty meals.

For more details http://www.earthboundexpeditions.com/journeys/western-europe/gardens-of-southern-italy-with-erica-glasener

Of course some of the best gifts are gifts of time and energy.  I think I will ask my husband and daughter  to help me rake the yard and maybe I will get caught up before spring.

A few words about fall this year

Hydrangeas in Seattle, November

Fall here in Georgia arrived late but was colorful and a few trees are still hanging on to brilliant foliage.  My own garden had its moments but now the dead leaves and withered perennials are a daily reminder that I need to get out into the garden and clean up.

View to Canada from Orcas island, November 2

I was fortunate to make a quick trip to Seattle right before Thanksgiving to visit with my two best friends.  One of my friends commented that she thought fall color was some of the best she had seen in Seattle in recent years.  As I walked around her neighborhood in Queen Anne I agreed, it was noteworthy.

Organic pears, Orcas island market, November

If I’m lucky I make a trip to Seattle once a year.  This fall we headed to Orcas island for a few days and despite the mostly rainy weather (the sun did come out one day) we had a great time.  A pleasant surprise was the local organic market where we purchased some of the best tasting (they looked good too) pears I have ever had.  There was also the usual fare at this time of year including  kale, lettuce and apples, but the pears were amazing.  (I don’t use that word lightly) What made the story even more interesting is the man selling them has been offering them for 30 years at this market and brought some of the original scion wood, which he used for grafts from Holland ( It think it was Holland).  Anyway, if you get to Orcas be sure to check out the local organic market, it’s inside an old building.

moss on trail, Mt. Constitution, Orcas Island, November 2

Tour Gardens of Southern Italy – May 2014

Rome * Amalfi Coast * Sicily

Hosted by horticulturist Erica Glasener

May 19-30, 2014

Italian cypress in Atlanta garden

”To have seen Italy without having seen Sicily is not to have seen Italy at all,
for Sicily is the clue to everything.”
Johann Wolfgang Goethe

Join horticulturist and author Erica Glasener in Southern Italy this Spring.  Johann Wolfang Goethe had it right when he boasted of the mysteries of this ancient land, for Sicily and Southern Italy are stunning regions which few travelers will ever visit… or understand. On this one of a kind gardening and culinary adventure you’ll sample some of Italy’s most celebrated dishes and visit some of the most stunning public and private gardens. Savor Spaghetti alle Vongole, fresh Mozzarella di bufala, and Sicily’s tasty olive oil. Along the way, you’ll delve deep into the historic richness of Southern Italy and Sicily and meet some interesting gardeners. Here is your opportunity to experience first-hand perfect Greek temples, elaborate Roman gardens, Medieval Norman castles and colorful Moorish markets.

YOUR JOURNEY

1 Night Historic Rome
3 Nights Positano/Amalfi Coast
1 Night Sunset Cruise from Naples to Palermo
2 Nights Palermo, Capital of Sicily
1 Night Agrigento, Valley of the Temples
3 Nights Taormina, the Jewel of the Mediterranean

EXPEDITION HIGHLIGHTS

The stunning gardens of Southern Italy • Ancient Rome • Ancient Pompeii • a visit to Naples’ stunning Archeological museum • the glistening Amalfi Coast • the white-washed village of Positano • The gardens of Amalfi, Capri and Ischia • Taormina and her Greek theater • an expedition to Mount Etna • the Roman mosaics of the Villa Casale • Sicily’s towering hill towns • Palermo’s colorful outdoor markets • the Byzantine/Norman mosaics of Monreale, Sicily’s grandest monastery • historic walks with local guides • wine and cheese tastings • an interesting small group of fellow travelers.

INCLUDED IN YOUR JOURNEY

  • Hosted by Erica Glasener
  • A savvy Earthbound Expeditions guide
  • Eleven nights of accommodation in charming hotels, historic villas and magical monasteries (all rooms with private bath)
  • An entertaining & informative cooking classes (followed by either lunch or dinner)
  • Private garden visits as listed in your garden itinerary
  • All breakfasts and twelve additional meals (featuring country picnics, local trattoria’s and wine estates)
  • Transportation by private air-conditioned bus
  • Cruise and cabin from Naples to Sicily
  • An excursion to towering Mount Vesuvia and/or Etna
  • Entrances to castles, Greek temples, museums and other special events listed in your itinerary
  • Historic walks with knowledgeable local guides
  • Gratuities for your guide and driver and local guides
  • Wine, olive oil and cheese tastings at the producers
  • Regional and city maps, reading and video lists

TRIP FACTS
13 Days/12 Nights (when including overnight flight)
$3,995 per person in a double shared room (land) based on 24-35 guests
$795 Single Supplement (waived if you are willing to share and a roommate is found)
Tour begins in Rome at 6:00pm on May 19-
Tour ends in Taormina, Sicily on May 30-
*NOTE: Prices based on an exchange rate of .77 Euro = $1USD

SAVE $200
*Alumni Save $100
*Make your final payment by check and save $100

Here’s how your journey will unfold…

DAY 1: Depart North America for historic Rome
Arrive early and spend a few additional days exploring Rome. Note: Be sure to book your flight to depart on May 18th in order to arrive by the 19th.

DAY 2: Arrive in Rome
All roads lead to Rome, which happens to be perfectly located to begin our dive into southern Italy. Please meet in the lobby of the hotel at 7:00pm this evening for a welcome dinner hosted by Erica Glasener and your guide. Your journey truly begins tomorrow morning at 8:30am after you have enjoyed a traditional Roman breakfast. Sleep in Rome

DAY 3: Rome to Positano via Naples and Villa d’Este gardens
The Villa d’Este in Tivoli, with its palace and garden, is one of the most remarkable and comprehensive illustrations of Renaissance culture at its most refined. Its innovative design along with the architectural components in the garden (fountains, ornamental basins, etc.) make this a unique example of an Italian 16th-century garden. The Villa d’Este, one of the first giardini delle meraviglie, was an early model for the development of European gardens. After our guided visit we drive south to the Amalfi coast and our village home, Positano. Sleep in Positano

DAY 4: The Island of Capri
Oh…. decisions, decisions. Shall you play the part of Emperor Tiberius and stroll through The island of Capri, or meander through the little alleyways of quaint Positano? This is a great day to practice the art of far’ niente (doing nothing at all). Or, join your guide and host for a full day excursion as together we hop a ferry and head to the island of Capri where we’ll tour the Villa San Michele gardens. Sleep in Positano

DAY 5: The Amalfi Coast and The Villa Cimbrone Garden, Ravello
Not to be missed is the coastal town of Amalfi. In the 10th century, the maritime state of Amalfi was an economic powerhouse. Her numerous ships plied the waters of the Mediterranean Sea in search of commerce and new conquests. In the middle ages every city (if it was of any importance) required a relic which would bring good fortune for its inhabitants. Not to be outdone, Amalfi chose Saint Andrew, who is now buried beneath her remarkable cathedral. After exploring Amalfi, we’ll drive thirty minutes into the hills where you’ll have time to visit the quaint white washed town of Ravello and the gardens of the Villa Cimbrone.

“Incomparable… rising above the roses and oleanders on a plateau whence the gaze sweeps to the sea.” This was the description of Villa Cimbrone given in summer 1835 by the German traveller Gregorovius, who was in no doubt about the charms and magic of this place.

The Villa and its wonderful grounds, which have been compared to the “Gardens of Armida amongst the roses and the hydrangeas”, have remote origins that are intermingled with the history of Ravello itself. Early archive documents from the eleventh century tell us that the Villa was built on a headland of a vast estate called “Cimbronium”, from which it got its name.

The current complex at Villa Cimbrone, consisting of the main building and the centuries-old six hectare park, is universally recognized as one of the most important sites – in landscaping and botanical terms – produced by the English romantic culture in the Mediterranean area in the late 19th and early 20th century, along with the Hanbury Botanical Gardens and Russell Page’s “La Mortella” on Ischia.

In addition we’ll visit the Villa Rufolo which is famous for its fabulous 19th-century gardens. Commanding mesmerising views, they are packed with exotic colors, artistically

crumbling towers and luxurious blooms. On seeing them in 1880, Wagner wrote that he had found the garden of Klingsor (setting for the second act of his opera Parsifal). Today the gardens are used to stage concerts during the town’s celebrated festival.

DAY 6: Pompeii and Naples Archeological Museum
After a lazy morning in Positano we relive the splendors of ancient Pompeii and then enjoy a private tour of the National Archeological Museum. In the early evening we’ll board our ship for our sunset departure to Palermo, Sicily. Sleep on board the ferry to Sicily.

About the Ancient Gardens of Pompeii

Gardens in Roman towns began as a limited feature at the very back of the house known as a hortus. An example can be found at the House of the Surgeon in Pompeii. Essentially practical rather than ornamental, they were used for growing vegetables and herbs for the household.  A whole range of flowers and plants were popular in Roman gardens. Herbs were essential, being useful for culinary and medicinal use. Thyme, mint, savory, celery seed, basil, bay and hyssop were a few of the popular ones. Favorite flowers include roses, narcissi, oleanders, violets, crocus, narcissus, lily, gladioli, iris, poppy, amaranth and wildflowers in general. Ivy, acanthus, myrtle, box and yew appeared in more complex gardens, as did plane and Cyprus trees. The crucial factor in deciding what appeared in the garden was size.

DAY 7: Colorful outdoor Markets & Stunning Cathedrals
From the 9th to the 12th centuries, Palermo was an unrivalled city of learning and famous for her wealthy court. Our day begins with a walk to a nearby market where you may want to stroll through endless alleyways brimming with fish stalls, fruit stands and bakeries. Our exploration continues to the core of Palermo’s Arab and Norman roots with a visit to the towns main cathedral. It is here where you’ll find buried the Kings of Sicily. Sleep in Palermo.

DAY 8: Botanical gardens of Palermo and the World Heritage Site of Monreale
The Botanical Gardens (Orto Botanico) of Palermo are among the oldest modern centers for botanical studies in the Mediterranean region. The park houses a greenhouse (glasshouse), seed and dried plant repository, catalogue archive, and more than ten hectares of outdoor gardens in the busy centre of what is today Sicily’s largest city. The Orto Botanico is home to hundreds of tropical and semi-tropical plants from around the world, many of which were introduced into Europe by this unique organisation, now administered by the University of Palermo. The medieval kings of Sicily had vast gardens around the palaces known as the Cuba and the Zisa, but in terms of modern botany, the Orto Botanical was founded with eighteenth century biological principles in mind. The Royal Academy of Studies, the university of its day, first established a botanical institute at Palermo in 1779 under the auspices of the government of King Francesco I of the Two Sicilies. One of the more important roles of the Botanical Gardens is cataloging the wild plants found in Sicily.

Our exploration of the area continues with a visit to the Monastery of Monreale. The Cathedral of Monreale (Monreale, means “Royal Mountain” in Italian) is set on the lower

slopes of Mount Caputu overlooking Palermo. The history of this island in southern Italy is shaped by two invasions and occupations, that of the Arabs in the ninth century and the Normans in the eleventh century. The Monreale Cathedral is the last Norman church built (by Wililam II in the twelfth century) in Sicily, and today it is one of the most beautiful and finest existing Norman structures in the world. Inside this UNESCO protected site you find richest Byzantine mosaics in Italy, embellished with more than two tons of pure gold. Sleep in Palermo.

DAY 9: Palermo to Agrigento via the ancient Greek cities of Selinunte & Segesta
Leaving Palermo behind, we drive south towards Agrigento. Along the way we’ll take in two of Magna Grecia’s most fascinating sights, Segesta and Selinunte, both of which are burst with ancient treasures. Take time to admire the grace and ingenuity of Greek architects and have a picnic at a nearby temple. Our drive today culminates with a stunning view of the Valley of the Temples. Let’s sample some of her spicy dishes tonight in the old town of Agrigento where we might even part take in the evening Passagiatta (neighborhood social stroll). Sleep in Agrigento.

DAY 10: Mount Etna, a wine tasting then on to Taromina
Belching hot lava and smoke, Mount Etna towers over Sicily. Standing at nearly 11,000 feet her flames and frequent eruptions were famous even in Antiquity. Virgil, in the 570 BC wrote about her power and the Greeks believed that Vulcan, God of fire, lived within her crater. According to a local legend, the soul of Elizabeth I of England now resides in Etna; a deal she made with the devil in exchange for his help during her reign. This morning, we’ll set off to explore Mt. Etna and then enjoy lunch and a tasting at a local winery before driving west into central Sicily. Sleep near Taromina

DAY 11 & 12: Taormina and environ
Situated below Mount Etna, overlooking the sea, is an antique Mediterranean jewel. Taormina was founded by the Greeks in the eighth century BC, and later, in the 19th century, became a popular haunt for the English aristocracy. Men like Oscar Wilde and D.H. Lawrence, who was inspired to write Lady Chatterly’s Lover from his experiences here, flocked to Taormina in order to escape the doldrums of conservative London.

After a introductory guided tour in through the Greek theatre and town center your free to lose yourself in streets lined with flower-filled balconies and surprisingly tranquil piazzas. Catch a glimpse of the ocean through palms and bougainvillea. Sleep near Taormina

DAY 13: Tour over after breakfast
Some of you will fly home today. Those of you staying in Italy may consult your guide for post-tour planning assistance.

Buon Viaggio!

-ITINERARY DETAILS SUBJECT TO CHANGE-

My Favorite Organic Farmers-Woodland Gardens Organic Farm

My friends and family know that I love to eat. Some might say that I live to eat. I also love to cook. With this in mind, every Saturday morning when I’m in town, I get up about 6am so that I can be sure to get in line and wait for my local organic farmer’s market (Morningside Farmers Market) to open at 7:30am. There are a few of us who meet (often it is still dark) and wait for the farmers to set up their stands. Typically the conversations center around food. Last week we were excited because we knew that Woodland Gardens would be offering their first carrots of the season. What’s the big deal you might wonder? All I can tell you is that these are by far the most delicious carrots I have ever eaten. I have made a few feeble attempts to grow carrots but with not great results.

lettuces in flats in greenhouse

In addition to carrots, Woodland and the other farms, including Crystal Organic and D&A Farm, offer a large variety of organic produce ranging from the familiar tomatoes to the more exotic fresh ginger or turmeric. The market is open year around and it’s always a treat to see what they will have each week.

tomatoes in heated greenhouse, October

Yesterday my friend Anne invited me to join her for a visit to Woodland Gardens Organic Farm in Winterville, GA which is close to Athens, GA. Having been a loyal patron for many years, I was excited to finally visit their farm. John Cooper showed us around and told us about some of their techniques. One of the first things I noticed was how clean they keep all the work areas. And, of course the produce is beautiful! They have heated greenhouses for starting seeds and for growing certain crops like lettuces, micro-greens, cucumbers (amazing vines whose individual seeds can cost up to $1.00 each) tomatoes and even celery!

Tyria cucumbers in October

Outside I was in awe of their beautiful compost piles. John stressed that the most important component of your soil when you garden is the organic matter (it should be 4% of the makeup of the soil). He also extolled the virtues of cover crops. They like to use rye, Austrian winter peas, oats and clover. He says it’s important that you don’t let the cover crops set seed. Otherwise you will have crops like rye coming up in your beds. However the roots of cover crops provide great organic matter.

Savoy Cabbage

Some of the crops growing in the fields (they have 12 acres in production) in early Octoberinclude Savoy cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and even non edibles like zinnias, Salvia leucantha(Mexican sage), cosmos and the fragrant tuberose. In addition to produce, they sell cut flowers.

Broccoli

Farm manager) and John Cooper do. I seek out organic and local food whenever possible. Not only does it look and taste better than anything I buy from the grocery store; I like the idea of eating food that has been treated with the minimum amount of pesticides. For more information about Woodland Gardens Organic Farm visit http://woodlandgardensorganic.com/

Zinnias in October

It depends on what part of the country you live in but in Georgia, Georgia Organics, http://georgiaorganics.org/ is a great resource for information about organic food, sources, how to grow it, etc.

Gold in Your Garden Symposium

September 12, 2013 | 8:30 AM - 3 PM

Callaway Building Auditorium

2450 S. Milledge Ave. Athens, GA 30605

Cost: $60 Early Registration, $70 Day of

Amsonia hubrichtii

Amsonia hubrichtii in fall

It’s time for the biennial Gold in Your Garden symposium, teaching us how to design with and grow Georgia Gold Medal Plants, a palette of beautiful, reliable, easy-to-grow plants for Georgia gardens.

Our Keynote speaker this year is the Perennial Plant Association Garden Media Award winner Erica Glasener. Erica will also be signing books.

The Gold Medal Plant Program promotes the use of superior ornamental plants in Georgia. It represents the combined effort of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia; the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension; University faculty members; and nurserymen, flower growers, garden retailers and landscape professionals across the state. Winners are chosen from five categories: Natives, Annuals, Perennials, Trees, Shrubs and Vines and Groundcovers.

Dottie Myers

9 AM

Favorite Gold Medal Plants and Thier Best Use

Matt Whiddon

9:45 AM

Color in the Garden

Plant Sale

10:30 AM - 3 PM

Open to Public and Symposium Attendees

Mike Sikes

11 AM

New Cultivars of Past Winners

Lunch

12 PM

in Visitor Center

Erica Glasener

1:15 PM

Designing with Gold: Creating a Garden for Year-Round Interest

Late Summer Blooms

The sun is out today and the forecast looks bright for the rest of this week.  We have had a rainy summer and I am still trying to catch up with the weeds in my garden. Yet, whenever I hear anyone complain about the rain, I think back to all the summers with extreme heat and drought. I’ll take the rain and the weeds, along with all the lush growth. It’s the end of August and my Joe-Pye weed, Eupatorium purpureum, soars to about eight feet high, provides a screen on the street and is a magnet for butterflies.

Eupatorium purpureum

Reliable and rewarding, Hydrangea paniculata ‘Tardiva’ offers welcome white flowers on these hot days. While it’s an older cultivar, it remains one of my favorites. The fact that it thrives in full sun (really) or part shade and all I have to do is cut it back in early spring, make it a winner every time.

Tardiva hydrangea

Hydrangea paniculata 'Tardiva'

Rain lilies, Zephryanthes candida are always a treat, and because I can’t get other species of this genus to persist I appreciate Z. candida even more. The hardy geranium ‘Rozanne’ has been in bloom for weeks and a good performer in my garden for the past five years.

rain lilies

looking down into Zephyranthes candida blooms


Allium millennium

Allium millennium in late August

Other good garden moments include Allium millennium and Clematis ‘Arabella,’ which always seems to have at least a few flowers or promising buds, all summer long. With all the rain my Japanese anemone , Anemone x hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’ is loaded with buds; something to look forward to later this fall.

hardy cyclamen

Cyclamen hederifolium

One more hardy bulb to mention, Cyclamen hederifolium, albeit a small clump, offers up tiny pink flowers. I hope it will multiply and spread.

Buff Beauty rose in late August

Rosa 'Buff Beauty' in late Summer

And, I am delighted that Rosa ‘Buff Beauty’ graces us with a small burst of her fragrant flowers. For late August in Georgia, my garden (in certain spots and from the right angle) looks good. I look forward to fall and what it brings.

Tour Southern Italy in May 2014

http://www.earthboundexpeditions.com/journeys/western-europe/gardens-of-southern-italy-with-erica-glasener#

Join me on a tour of southern Italy with Earthbound Expeditions May 19-30, 2014.

Limited space, sign up early!


Blooms in my garden- July

This spring was a banner year for hydrangeas, roses, and alliums, and

Rudbeckia

Rudbeckia laciniata 'Herbstonne'

summer blooms are equally abundant.   The secret is the rain!  It has been raining for days, really.  Today it was hot and muggy but so far no rain although I hear thunder as I write this.  With the exception of problems like flash floods or storm damage, I’ll take the rain over the drought any day.  Of course in my garden the weeds are keeping pace with the more desirable plants but the flowers help distract me from noticing the weeds.  Below are a few of the plants that look good right now.  There are so many shades of green to enjoy even when there are no flowers.

Echinacea Sombrero Coral Red

Echinacea Sombrero Coral Red

Clematis 'Princess Diana'  and Physocarpus 'Diablo'

The first time Clematis 'Diana' has bloomed in my garden

Hemerocallis 'Autumn Minaret'

'Autumn Minaret' one of my favorite daylilies

Rosa 'Perle d' Or' July

Rosa 'Perle d' Or'