May 28, 2012

Dahlia update

    All dahlias are planted. This year I had very narrow time window to plant everything and it was a bit stressful. But now it's done and I got time to update my collection catalog. There are about 180 plants of 83 varieties planted in the garden this year. Some are new for the collection. Some I liked so much that they were kept since last year. Some varieties are out of the garden since they didn't fit my taste or were lost during winter storage.
    Among newly acquired dahlias are several varieties originating from France. Some of them are low growing varieties suitable for planting in pots. Here is a preview of these varieties.

Picture borrowed from Dahliafrance

Avalanche Rose
Picture borrowed from Delbard Direct

Citron Fraise
Picture borrowed from Delbard Direct

Picture borrowed from Delbard Direct

French Cancan
Picture borrowed from Delbard Direct

Puerta del Sol
Picture borrowed from Delbard Direct

Picture borrowed from Dahliafrance

May 23, 2012

Black Tulips

     The latest of my tulips are in full bloom now. Two of them have the word 'Black' in their name. 'Black Parrot' is a parrot tulip with deep wine colored petals, not black but very dark. Beautiful shape.

Black Parrot

     Next is fringed tulip 'Black Jewel'. Dark purple petals with heavily fringed tips. Not really black as well, but the shape is gorgeous.

Black Jewel

     And finally the most black tulip I ever seen - single late tulip 'Queen of the Night'. The color of this tulip is very difficult to catch in the photo. In bright sun it has dark burgundy tint, but in the shadow or at dusk the color of silky petals turns to almost black as on the photo at the top of this post or on the close-up photo.

Queen of the Night

Queen of the Night close up

May 20, 2012

New additions to the Garden Phlox collection

     Today looked like summer. First dahlias were planted out and more waiting for their turn. Almost all tulips are blooming. Two double late tulips 'Cilesta' and 'Carnaval De Nice' are my first double tulips. Perhaps, I will skip that type of tulips for next year, flowers are small and unruly in comparison with perfect shape of 'Crystal Beauty' or 'Yokohama' for example.

Double Late Tulip 'Carnaval De Nice'

     Couple of days ago I added 6 new varieties to my collection of Garden Phlox Phlox paniculata. All these varieties originated from Russia. Russian Garden Phlox varieties are well known around the world and it was my cherished dream to get some of them for my own collection. During my last trip to Saint Petersburg I visited one of the best perennial nurseries of North-West Russia Severnaya Flora. They have an impressive assortment of perennials in general and Russian Garden Phlox in particular. Here comes a preview of my new additions.

Дымчатый Коралл (Ph. paniculata 'Dymchatiy Korall')
Picture borrowed from Russian Phlox Society

Лорд (Ph. paniculata 'Lord')
Picture borrowed from Severnaya Flora

Мисс Ольга (Ph. paniculata 'Miss Olga')
Picture borrowed from Severnaya Flora

Покровский Барон (Ph. paniculata 'Pokrovskij Baron')
Picture borrowed from Severnaya Flora

Уральские Сказы (Ph. paniculata 'Uralskie Skasi')
Picture borrowed from Dacha Photo Catalog

Фламенко (Ph.paniculata 'Flamenko')
Picture borrowed from Severnaya Flora

May 16, 2012

Nice to be back home

      Isn't it nice to come back home after a few days long trip in May and notice all the changes in the garden? Just in 5 days garden has changed remarkably. Most of the tulips were still in bud when I left but now many are flowering. My first time attempt to plant tulips in color combinations seems to work well. Here are couple of examples.

Tulipa fosteriana 'Orange Emperor' and Single Early Tulip 'Yokohama'

Fringed Tulip 'Crystal Beauty' and Darwin Hybrid Tulip 'Golden Apeldoorn'

Darwin Hybrid Tulip 'Van Eijk'

Kaufmanniana Tulip 'Giuseppe Verdi'

     Perennials are growing very fast, they look different every day. Foliage is freshly green and soft on touch.

Aruncus aethusifolius

Dicentra spectabilis

Adiantum pedatum

     When I left 5 days ago there was not a single flower open on rhododendrons. Today 'Cunningham's White', the earliest of my rhods, is in full bloom. I especially like the combination of pink flower buds and white flowers.

Rhododendron 'Cunningham's White'

May 1, 2012

Spring is speeding up!

     Just a week ago spring felt very slow, but during last days things started to change quicker and quicker. One of my hosta beds is bursting with intensively growing spring bulbs.

     In this mix of Hyacinths I planted several bulbs that I saved from last year together with some newly bought. All of them are blooming fine except for 'Odysseus', the beautifully peachy colored one in the back of the mix. Its flower spikes are very prone to falling, which makes it difficult to appreciate the beauty of the flowers.

Hyacinth mix with Hyacinth 'Pink Pearl' in the front

Hyacinth 'City of Haarlem'

     I can't stop admire the brightest color of Tulipa kaufmanniana 'Show Winner'. Here comes a close-up of the open flower.

Tulipa kaufmanniana 'Show Winner'

     Fritillaria meleagris are growing in that spot for a 3rd season and multiplying steadily.

Fritillaria meleagris

Chionodoxa forbesii 'Pink Giant'

     Wood anemones Anemone nemorosa are wildly growing in the garden and popping up everywhere.

     Maidenhair Fern Adiantum pedatum is amazingly beautiful perennial in all stages of its development. Now it looks like this.

     Leaves of the oldest Astilbe growing in my garden are deep red this early in the season. The name of this variety is probably 'Erika', it was bought without tag and is waiting to be identified for sure.

     It's very exciting to watch hostas coming up in the spring. How well did they overwinter? How well did they feel last season? How much did they mature? Here are two favorites that obviously increased since last year.

Rhino Hide

Cherry Berry