Sunday, June 27, 2010

Lupinalooza and Rusty Roses

I've noticed orange spots on the wild roses near our yard this year. In some places, it's so thick that it almost looks like town employees were going nuts with the orange spray paint. I'm not sure if this threatens the domestic roses, but it's a moot point as many (most?) domestic roses in town died over the past winter.
Wild roses:

I've decided to make the most of seedling perennials already in the yard to fill in the spaces in the flower beds. Buying new plants is too expensive, though exceptions can be made for daylilies, which I also need to replace. I can also justify using my seedlings for design reasons. Repeating the same element through a flower bed adds some cohesion to the bed, making it looks a bit less like a mismatched crazy quilt. In my case, I don't have a huge variety of seedlings, as I usually am fastidious about removing dead flowers before they go to seed. I do however, have a lot of yellow lupines (Lupinus polyphyllus Gallery Yellow) and from past experience, I know the seedlings look like the parent plant. I've found that large numbers of the same flowering plant creates an impressive show and looks quite spectacular. (Next year BETTER be spectacular).

Here's a new addition I did allow into the flower bed: a "Paul's Red" Rhubarb:

I notice that garden centers sell ornamental rhubarb, but why not just get the real thing and have your rhubarb pie too? I've given this one some compost and it seems to be doing well. I even think the red stalks look quite attractive among the other plants. My last rhubarb was a "Macdonald Red, but I was disappointed in its failure to acheive "true rhubarb red-ness". At least, my mother-in-law had much redder rhubarb, which is what probably made my old rhubarb die in shame. Well, that or slugs and poor weather.

While I've had it in my mind that Geranium pratense is borderline hardy in our zone, this "Black Beauty" made it though the winter quite well. I have several seedlings of this plant too, so a year a patience should show the results of my recent transplanting frenzy.

Finally, here is Aquilegia flabellata nana "Alba", the Japanese fan columbine with white flowers. However, it's not quite white, but a morbid shade of pale grey that I think is really unusual.


The Garden Ms. S said...

I wonder if that orange could be cedar rust? Hmmm....

Love the white Aquilegia. The shape is fantastic - and white is always a winner in my eyes. ;-)

GardenJoy4Me said...

Hey there !
Yes .. that horrible orange monster .. we have a few on our Serviceberry .. not so far on the roses as I can see yet .. but I am sure with all of the rain we are getting .. it will spread ;-(
... and the red beetles are starting on my lilies aaarrgghhh !

Karen said...

Your 'Black Beauty' is similar to my 'Hokus Pokus'. I had no idea there were different varieties of rhubarb (well, I suppose if I'd thought about I could have guessed), but I agree. Why bother with ornamental rhubarb? Rhubarb tastes so good right out of the garden. I think I need more of it.

bed frame said...

Wow, your garden is wonderful. You have grown your plants very healthy. I wish I can also do that.

Shirley said...

I'm so glad I came upon your blog today. I currently live in zone 3 Edmonton but may be moving to zone 1 or 2 (depending who you ask) Ft. McMurray. I am glad to see your garden flourishing in your zone 1b/2a area.

Have you successfully tried pushing the boundaries with any plants? If so, what worked and what did you do to aid its survival?