Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Josee Reblooming Lilac

When I received four Josee Reblooming Lilacs in a grab bag from Spring Hill Nursery, my first thought was, "Oh, I really like these!" My second thought was, "Where can we plant these? I have no place for them."

My husband and children suggested that I plant one on the front corner of the house where my blueberry plant was located. Thus I dug up the blueberry and replanted it in a temporary location. The lilac was then planted as suggested and seems to like its new location. One down, three to go.

Removing the grass
Next, I rallied my children and we started making a new garden bed, removing grass from in front of the left side of our fence in the front yard. When we found that the grass removal was harder than I had expected, we convinced "Daddy" to come and help us. all of the lilacs are now planted and look like they are thriving in their new locations.
Newly planted little reblooming lilacs (Click on photo to enlarge)
Religious Name: Ascension Flower
Botanical Name: Syringa Josee 'Josee'

Height: 4-6'
Space: 4-5'
Sun Exposure: Full Sun

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Arizona Sun Gaillardia

I really like blanket flowers and was therefore very happy to see that four Arizona Sun Gaillardias were included in a grab bag that I received from Spring Hill Nursery.

Marian Name: Mary's Face
Botanical Name: Gaillardia aristata 'Arizona Sun'

Form: Herbaceous perennial
Pruning: Remove spent flowers.
Sun Exposure: Full Sun
Height/Habit: 8 - 10"
Spread: 10 - 12"
Spacing: 12 - 15"

Note: Add photo when bloom.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Thank you, Spring Hill Nursery

Two weeks ago, we ordered a couple of grab bags from Spring Hill Nursery. The first grab bag arrived today and I am very pleased with it. The grab bag included the following healthy looking plants: 

1 Blue Festuca
1 Dicentra Burning Hearts
1 Mammoth Mum Bronze Daisy
3 Red Freedom Hedge Roses
4 Arizona Sun Gaillardias
4 Josee Reblooming Lilacs

We still need to decide where we will plant the roses, the mum, and the lilacs, but everything else has been planted to help make our garden beautiful.

The children are anxious to receive the Shade Perennials Grab Bag that we ordered. Theresa is hoping that it will include another Dicentra Burning Hearts.

Viola Rebecca (Violetta, Viola, Pansy)

We planted these three healthy looking plants in front of one of our fir trees. I am anxious to see them flower.

Height: Short 8" / Plant 10" apart
Bloom Time: Summer to Fall
Sun-Shade: Mostly Sunny to Full Shade
Zones: 5-8 Get Your Zone
Soil Condition: Normal, Sandy, Acidic

Flower Color / Accent: White / Purple

Description: Clump forming Violetta does not spread. Enticing vanilla fragrance, evergreen foliage. Best in some shade - perfect under deciduous trees. Reblooms consistently if sheared when blooming begins to decline. Flowers are white flushed in lemon yellow with deep violet markings. 

General Information: Like miniature Pansies but blooming continuously right through the warmest summer. Perfectly hardy, we have seen them blooming here as the snow melts away. A vibrant splash of color. 

Plant Care: Remove seed heads to prevent prolific seeding.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Twilight Coneflower

This flower also came from Spring Hill Nursery. It is currently very small, but I am looking forward to seeing it bloom this year.

Description: Sweet Fragrance Smells Like a Rose! Rose-red petals create a romantic display in your garden in mid to late summer. Flower heads up to 4" across encircle a large, deep red cone center. Bright color as well as the sweet rose-like fragrance make it a favorite of butterflies. 24-30" tall. Ships in a 3" pot. PP17651. Echinacea ‘Twilight’.

Full Sun to Partial Shade
Botanical Name: Echinacea x 'Twilight' PP17,651
Form: Herbaceous perennial
Sun Exposure: Partial Shade/Full Sun
Height/Habit: 24 - 30"
Spread: 18 - 24"
Spacing: 18 - 24"
Hardiness Zone: 4 - 9
Foliage Type: Lance shaped to ovate, medium green leaves with toothed edges.
Flower Form: Flower heads up to 4" across with slightly reflexed petals that overlap and surround a large cone center.
Flower Color: Rose red with a hint of orange surrounding a large deep red cone center.
Flowering Date: Mid to late summer
Planting Requirements: Very adaptable to soil and climate conditions. Blooms best in full sun.
Soil Requirements: Well drained soil.
Growth Rate: Moderate
Unique Characteristics: The third Echinacea in the Big Sky TM series developed by Itsaul Nurseries of Atlanta Georgia resulting from a cross of E. purpurea and E. paradoxa. Rich rose-red petals with a slight hint of orange, a romantic color scene in any garden or landscape setting. Butterflies are attracted to the bright shade of color as well as the sweet rose like scent.
Pruning: Remove spent flower stems to tidy up plants and promote additional blooms.
Time of Pruning: After flowering.
Additional Information: Coneflowers like it hot and sunny, but will tolerate light shade but flowering is not as productive.
Restricted States: AE AK GU HI PR

Butterfly Blue Scabiosa

Photo taken June 28, 2011
Although I purchased this plant from Spring Hill Nursery, I prefer the information that Bluestone Perennials provides about this plant. I also like the fact that the latter company sells this plant for a reasonable price. Thus, I am referencing both companies below.

Spring Hill Nursery's Butterfly Blue Scabiosa arrived looking very healthy and the flowers will be blossoming soon. I am looking forward to seeing them.

Marian Name: Our Lady's Pincushion

Description: Former Perennial Plant of the Year! Lavender-blue flowers with pincushion-like centers bloom in spring; continue all summer into fall. 12" high, 12" wide. Plant in full sun to partial shade. Shipped in 3" pots. Deer tend to avoid. Zones 4-9. Scabiosa columbaria ‘Butterfly Blue’.

Height: Short 15" / Plant 16" apart
Bloom Time: Spring to Fall
Sun-Shade: Full Sun to Half Sun/ Half Shade
Zones: 4-8 Get Your Zone
Soil Condition: Normal
Flower Color / Accent: Blue / Blue

General Information: Needs well drained soil.
Plant Care: Deadhead to keep plants fresh looking and prolong bloom time.

Black-Eyed Susan

Once again, this plant came from Spring Hill Nursery. It arrived with only two very tiny leaves.

Religious Name: Golden Jerusalem (
Botanical Name: Rudbeckia fulgida var. speciosa

Description: Keeps Blooming Until Frost! Multitudes of large, golden, daisy-like flowers with glistening black centers start blooming in midsummer. One of the few perennials to remain in bloom until frost stops them. Hardy, easily grown plants multiply fast, reaching 18-30" tall. Plant 12-16" apart. Ships in a 3" pot. 

Zones: 4-9
Light: Full Sun to Partial Shade

May 31 Update: The Black-Eyed Susan is starting to get more leaves.

Belladonna Delphinium

We purchased two Belladonna Delphiniums (or Larkspurs) from Spring Hill Nursery. We planted them in Our Lady of Lourdes' garden bed. I was impressed with how good the roots looked when I planted them and am happy to say that both plants have leaves (one is larger than the other). I am looking forward to seeing the flowers.

I have to admit that we bought this particular delphinium because of its name. As I told my husband, "Bella donna, makes me think of our Blessed Mother. She is a beautiful lady."

Marian Name: Mary's Tears
Botanical Name: Delphinium x belladonna

Description: Dazzling Blue Blooms for Weeks! Statuesque, 36-48" spires are covered with light blue 1 to 1 1/2" double florets in late spring to early summer. What a wonderful addition to a fenceline or foundation area. Great in the back of a border planting, too. The lush blue color complements yellows and reds nicely. Plant with coreopsis or monarda for a lovely display. Pick some flowers for a fresh bouquet. #1 field-grown plants. 

Height: 36-48"
Zones: 3-9
Bloom Time: Late spring to early summer
Light: Full sun to partial shade
Form: Herbaceous Perennial
Sun Exposure: Partial Shade/Full Sun
Height/Habit: 36 - 48" spikes
Spread: 12 - 18"
Spacing: 12 - 18"
Hardiness Zone: 3 - 8 (-30 degrees F)
Foliage Type: Elegant palmately lobed leaves of rich green.
Flower Form: Showy racemes or spikes
Flower Color: Light blue
Planting Requirements: Set crown so bud tips are just below the ground-level, firm soil and water well.
Soil Requirements: Humus enriched, well drained
Growth Rate: Rapid once established, which takes approximately 4 - 6 weeks.
Unique Characteristics: Grown for their showy spikes of blue flowers. The belladonna group has spikes that are more loose and branched than the Elatum group which are more densely grouped along the stem.
Pruning: Cut back spent flower stems to encourage repeat blooming. Trimming out spent flower stalks can encourage repeat blooming in early fall.
Time of Pruning: After flowering
Restricted States: AE AK GU HI PR

Monday, May 23, 2011

Pink Peony (Paeonia 'Sarah Bernhardt')

Photo taken May 31, 2011
We added the 'Sarah Bernhardt' Peony to our collection of flowers last week. I planted it in Our Lady of Lourdes' garden bed next to some Daylilies and a Dwarf Lupine Minarette (started from seed). I am looking forward to seeing the first flower bloom.

Marian Name: Mary's Rose

Description: Hardy perennials with beautiful pink blooms in mid-spring. Full sun or shade, moist soil.

Height: 24"

Width: 24"

Hardy to Zone 3

Care: Water thorougly twice weekly in the growing season, or as needed, until established. Spray for diseases and insects as needed. Fertilize 1-3 times during the growing season.

Consult your local nursery professional for further advice and information.

Photo taken May 31, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fragrant Sunshine Wallflower (Erysimum Walfrasun)

Last year, we added Erysismum Walfrasun to one of our garden beds after purchasing it on clearance at Fred Meyer for $2.50. I thought that I had found a great location for it. However, when I saw the leaves remain green all winter and how large it was getting, I decided that I had a better location for the Wallflower. I decided that it would look better where everyone can see it. I really like the bright yellow flowers, as they contrast nicely with the red azaleas and roses, and the green grass. I also like the delicious scent of the flowers.

I would like to keep this plant in this location, but I think that, come fall or winter, I might need to plant it back in the ground or move the pot closer to the house. I have read that Fragrant Sunshine Wallflower does not like cold wet winters. Our winters aren't always cold, but they are usually wet.

Marian Name: Mary's flower

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Double Knock Out Rose

On Thursday, we planted two Double Knock Out Roses (Rosa Radtko PP#16202, CPBR#3104). We will most likely be buying a third Double Knock Out Rose to make a full hedge.

Marian Name: Mary's Rose

Description: From the same cross that produced the original Knock Out, The Double Knock Out Rose represents the next generation in the family of the The Knock Out Roses. The full double flowers look just like a classic rose. What it gained in beauty it did not lose in performance. It is as resistant to black spot as the famous original and is slightly more winter hardy.

Zone: 5-9

Light: Needs 4-6 hours of full sun for best blooming.

Water: Water well when planting, then as needed until plant is established. Water only at the base of the plant. Do not water overhead.

Flowers: Bright cherry red flowers from mid-spring until the first frost.

Spacing: Plant 3' apart.

Size: 3'-4' wide x 3'-4' tall.

Care Instructions: If unpruned, The Knock Out Family of Roses can easily grow to be more than 3-4' x 3-4' tall. To maintain size and for best performance, cut back once a year or once every three years (to about 12-18" above the ground) in early spring (after the last hard frost).

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Combination Apple (Semi-Dwarf)

We brought home a Combination Apple tree in February and planted it next to our Friar Plum tree.

Description: Three or more different apple varieties on one tree. Enjoy various fruits throughout the harvest season. An apple orchard that takes very little space. Self-pollinating.

Varieties on the tree that we purchased: Early Fuji Apple, Honey Crisp, Liberty, Red Gravenstein, and Morning Mist or Chehalis (one of the branches was not marked).

It is very interesting to see different leaves growing on the same tree.

Note to self: Add photo

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Friar Plum (Semi-Dwarf)

In February 2008, we bought a Friar Plum tree from Costco. Each spring, it produces beautiful white blossoms, but we have not gotten any fruit from it yet. During the last two years, we constantly saw black ants with blossoms climbing down the tree. This year, as soon as Brendan saw ants ascending the tree, he applied some sort of tape around the base. The tape worked in preventing the ants from taking the flowers. Hopefully, we will have some plums this year. I am slightly skeptical as I have not seen very many bees.

The tree can be seen slightly in this photo to the right of the statue of Our Lady of Grace.

Description: Friar has black skin and amber flesh when fully mature. The fruit contains a small pitted freestone that is resistant to cracking. Good cross pollinization with Santa Rosa. Ripens midseason. Needs pollinizer.

Note to self: Take a photo of the plum tree in full bloom to add here.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Pink Weeping Cherry

Yesterday, we purchased a Pink Weeping Cherry (Prunus subhirtella) tree from Costco. It was the last tree and some of the leaves were turning brown, but hopefully it will thrive after receiving a little TLC. The tree replaces four fir trees that blew over in a big storm a few years ago.

Description: Flowering tree with light pink to rose-pink blooms. Highly ornamental tree prized for its graceful form. Crafted on a standard. Weeping branches display numerous light pink to rose-pink blossoms in spring. Outstanding choice near water features; ideal specimen tree.

Exposure: Thrives in full sun. In warm climate areas some full sun plants need protection from hot afternoon sun.

Average Mature Size: 25 ft. tall x 25 ft. wide

Watering: Water regularly first growing season. Water plant throughout the year. Don't let plant get too dry. (This shouldn't be too difficult in Western Washington.)

Hardiness: Cold Hardy - 20 to -10 F

I have ordered this double daffodil mix to plant around the base of the tree. I am toying with planting crocuses, snow glories and tulips underneath the tree too.  Maybe, I should have made the circle larger.