Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Primula and Androsace

Pages from Alpine Flora by Prof. C. Schroter. I found this lovely old book in Hay-on-Wye last Fall, it came complete with inserts of post cards and dried botanical subjects (in this page they were Androsace).

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Asarum #2

#2 is the best name I can come up with for this unidentified Asarum. It was given to me some years ago by a local grower and has, since then, struggled along in the garden. If I had known that it produced these spectacular flowers, I'd have given it more attention.

Fortunately, seeing how my friend Erika grew her Asarum 'Green Panda' in a container and realizing how rewarding it was to see the dramatic flowers at eye level, I too have taken all my Asarums out of the garden and now keep them in containers.

Luckily I have a cool greenhouse and that enables me to see these flowering wonders close up and early in the season.

Geranium sanguineum 'Cedric Morris'

Geranium sanguineum 'Cedric Morris'
I have a soft spot for any plant called Cedric Morris, the gentle Welsh artist and gardener, who through careful observation of plants, collected and selected many of the plants we still cultivate in our gardens , many of them bearing his name.
One of these is a 'must have' for me, and although not the most exotic, it has the most intimate associations.
Geranium sanguineum 'Cedric Morris' is a particularly large flowering form of its kind and was collected by Cedric on the Gower Peninsula in South Wales.
This is my home turf and when visiting this Fall, I followed in his footprints and collected a few seeds from some of the G. sanguineum growing in the sand dunes of Broughton Bay near the little village of Llangennith.

My G. sanguineum seedlings from seed collection.

My friends who live near Broughton Bay only recently noticed that it was their house in the middle distance of Cedric's "Llanmadoc Hill" and this makes me think that this may well be the place that Cedric found his G. sanguineum when he painted in this landscape in 1928.

"Llanmadoc Hill" painted by Cedric Morris in 1928.

My friends house in the Broughton Bay area. ( Photo by Graham Mathews).

Monday, February 13, 2012

My Garden in Garden Making Magazine

My garden is featured in the Spring edition of Garden Making Magazine. Thanks Lorraine Flanigan and Michael Graydon, you did a great job!

Thursday, February 9, 2012


This Hamamelis x intermedia "Jelena' Has been growing in my garden for at least 20 years, and is close to 14' in height and now towers above the nearby fence which is 7'.
It has been beautiful at all stages of its growth, but never more than now, when in the coldest month of the year, it glows in the afternoon sun.
This moment in time has been hard to capture, but I hope this picture comes close to showing this effectively.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Galanthus elwesii

I'm not sure where they originally came from, but I have a couple of nice clumps of G. elwesii that are reliably in bloom this time of the year.
In warmer climes they bloom in late winter, but they have the good sense to wait a month or two in the Great White North and give us a wonderful show just when we need to see some signs of life in the garden.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Asarum splendens

Although it's hardy to Zone 5, this year I kept Asarum splendens in a pot and wintered it over in the greenhouse. Last week I noticed that it had set a dozen or so blooms, and so I removed all of last years leaves and have enjoyed the amazing sight of these strange and wonderful flowers open.
I have another Asarum waiting in the wings, A. maximum 'Green Panda' should be the next one to show off its spectacular flowers in the next week or two.
In the meantime, enjoy this zoom in:

Groundhogs? Humbug!

In 2003 I bought my first copy of Margeret Bennet-Alder's 'The Toronto Gardener's Journal and Source Book'. It is an informative publication and in particular I found the charts in the inside covers very useful.
The inside front cover has a weekly count down to the usual last frost for Toronto, which at this time is eleven weeks away on April 20th.
This may astound many local gardeners who stick to the old-school idea that the gardening season starts on May 21st. This is ridiculous, of course, as most of the Spring flowers have finished by then, no more Narcissus, Galanthus or early Tulips and the Hellebores are past their best.