Saturday, February 9, 2013

Dancing daffodils and Colourful Caladiums

The daffodils are definitely starting to provide a show now and my Narcissus Grand Soleil d'Or are STILL blooming -can you believe it - 2 months after the first brave bloom opened its eyes to the sun.  And we had another frost last night!  The garden is always an amazing place. There is always so much to see from the bark of the River birches and the changing hues and the leaves of evergreens, to the stunning winter blooming shrubs and the oh so many changing expressions of the winter garden.  The tiny leaves of miniature tulips are starting to show now also along with their mid-size cousins the Gregeiis, with their attractive mottled leaves.  The full size tulips will follow of course such a wonderful array of colour, but I do love those smaller varieties that bloom so early and perennialize in the south much better.

Of course this is also the time to plan that summer colour.  We go from the dark days of winter to the joy and dazzle of the spring blooms but then what?  Many, many summer flowering bulbs are available and now is the time to start ordering those.  Lilies, Cannas, Dahlias, Elephant ears, Calla Lilies, and those colorful Caladiums  to name but a few.  Have you tried using caladiums as summer ground cover? -awesome! And some types really will take full sun even here in the south.  Varieties such as the bright and bold large leaved Red Flash, White Queen, the strap leaf White Wing and the new Tapestry,even the more demure green and white Aaron also. Make a bold splash in the flowerbeds and of course the many shade preferring varieties can brighten up the shade gardens and add a glow of  white or a mass of colour to surprise and exclaim over.

Start working out what you need now and if you need help with choices or color schemes or ordering, make sure you check us out at or call us on 1-800-999-0567.  You can also email orders on

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Wine garden

Wine garden, cocktail garden, 5 o'clock garden or, as my husband calls it -my acoholic garden!!!
Well, a garden should be a place to have fun and indulge in fancies.  Right?  I have a series of gardens in our one acre site and I have been asked quite a lot about my alcoholic garden. So here it is.

It is a corner of the garden where all the plants have the name of alcohol.  A great setting for a cocktail party don't you think?  The plant on the left is Atropurpurea 'Burgundy Glow' while out of site is an old apple tree with a wine bottle humming bird feeder and a parrot (5 o' clock somewhere and there is a sign with that on also!!) A red and a white grape grow over the home made arch and the wine bottles serve as edges as you can see.  Anyone know of any easy way to get rid of those wine labels??  The small berberis is Berberis thungbergii "Royal Burgundy" The lilies coming up  are Muscadet . I also have  Lilium Grand Cru in there.  Those gladioli are "Wine n Roses" and there is a Clematis Pink Champagne on the side fence with the Iceburg Rose (well it is stretching it a bit but you do need ice!) and another grape. The elephant ear Colocasia esculenta  "Mojito" obviously has a place there with tulips Burgundy Lace and T. Tequila Sunrise. The bright green little bush is Deutzia Chardonnay Pearl  and behind that is Viburnum Brandywine.  We also have Weigela Midnight Wine and W. Summer Wine.  Later we plant Caladium Brandywine en masse too with Tomato Brandywine. There are alcoholic day lilies and Heuchera, Ajuga, Bearded Iris, Canna etc etc.  I do need Narcissus Mint Julep though.  does anyone have any to swap?? Oh I now have Camellia 'Tama Vino' in there  too. The stepping stone -another of my fancies -each area has its quote- this one says
"......and wish to all
Flowers in the garden, meat in the hall,
A bin of wine, a spice of wit,
A house with lawns enclosing it" ! Robert Louis Stevenson
On a wooden table hidden in the background I wrote 'Eat Drink and be merry -for tomorrow we die" Ecclesiastes

With theme areas it is a fun to look for plants and it is amazing how lots of friends and colleagues join in the hunt. I am always being asked for updates at trade shows too.  So for all of you who have swapped acoholic plants for bulbs a big thank you and here you can see some of those treasures.  It is a great talking point.  From a gardening point of view it helps to break up the chore of weeding as you only have to concentrate one one area at a time and not get overwhelmed by the whole garden.
Last summer was the first of our now to be annual English Garden Parties .  I was born a Brit after all.  Hats are obligatory by the way!!!! Everyone loved dressing up and we had lots of requests to make it an annual event. So hats and croquet it is.