April 2009

We've had this one bulb in one of our garden boxes for a number of years now and while it comes up and blooms late March, early April most years, we have never been able to figure out what exactly it is. It's cute, and a welcome sight, and I can now refer to it by its name: Scilla siberica. Apparently the entire plant contains cardiac glycosides, which can potentially cause poisoning if ingested. Guess we'd better keep the dogs away from it.

Hosta 'Fire Island'It is nice to see most of my 'bleach babies' coming back up and pretty much all with greater vigour than last year, like this 'Fire Island' for example.

Hosta 'Thumbs Up'This one, 'Thumbs Up', is another one of them that is showing just great vigour and at the rate it's going, I'd say odds are it'll be divided, if not Rossized pretty soon.

Hosta 'Ray of Hope''Ray of Hope' is also showing nice vigour, going on from what it showed last year. Of the 8 bleach babies there are only 2 that so far this year have not shown anything in terms of new shoots, they would be 'Déjà Blu' and 'Miss Grace', but I'm not overly worried about those. Yet.

Hellebores flowers typically stay up for quite some time. This hybrid -a seedling gift from a customer- has been in bloom since about March 15th, this picture was shot April 3rd.

The first of the Trilliums are now in bloom. Although you cannot see it in this picture, it is interesting to see how the majority of Trilliums we have are now showing more than 1 stem per bulb, with one that's just coming up and it looks as if it might have 4 or 5 even.

This was supposed to be Hosta 'Avocado'. Well this surely looks more like 'Wolverine' to me..... yet another example of incorrectly labelled bare dry root perennials from your friends @ Costco.

Later in the month it would appear as if there may have been at least 2 different varieties in this package, it could well be that 2 of the plants actually are as labeled, time will tell.

Hosta 'Blue Mouse Ears'One of our Hosta 'Blue Mouse Ears' was showing just tremendous vigour this spring and while it would have been nice to be able to just transplant the whole plant from its 1 gallon pot into a spot in the yard, it was plain too tempting to do divisions this early in the year. So, this became 4 divisions, with one 5 shoot one going into the ground in a hopefully permanent spot, the others destined for sale in our plant sale.

The last weekend of April we took a workshop at one of the local nurseries that dealt with planting perennial hanging baskets. We were eager to get some more insight into this since we'd been toying with the idea this spring in order to come up hanging baskets whose contents do not have to be replanted every spring.

Both of us signed up for the workshop of course and we each brought a plastic basket with us, like the one you see here. It became clear to us halfway through the workshop that a good deal of the plants that could be used were ones we already had growing in the yard. For that reason we only bothered to complete one basket at the workshop -this one- and we simply purchased enough additional assorted perennials to allow us to finish all the others we had at home and take advantage of the on-hand plants.

As you can see, this particular basket incorporates only succulents, others use a variety of other plants, including Heuchera and Hosta.

This moss basket uses a small home-grown division of Heuchera 'Mocha Mint', home-grown Artemisia 'Silver Brocade', Ajuga reptans 'Black Scallop' and Sempervivum 'Blue Boy'.

The Hosta in this basket is 'Invincible', which we considered a good choice since it tolerates sun very well and is a good grower that will quickly fill the center spot of the basket. Add to that some Artemisia, Lobelia for a spot of annual colour, and some Lamium.