Friday, June 25, 2010

Wildflower and Siberian Irises in the Smoke

The smoke from forest fires has been getting thicker all week, with even a few fires in and around town. The water bombers have been busy; we see them flying continuously over our house. We had our upstairs smoke alarm go off in the middle of the night, triggered only by the smoke that had wafted in through open windows. It was a brand new smoke alarm and quite a terrifying sound at night, but I suppose we are assured that it's effective. We'd better be careful making toast from now on. I'm hoping the weekend rain clears up the air so that our weather forecast doesn't call for conditions described as "smokey" anymore.
Aster alpinus "Goliath" blooming in a raised bed:

I noticed this wildflower growing in semi-shade among a grove of poplar trees. Its leaves resemble a tiny version of my Bergenia cordifolia, though the flower is unique. I have no idea what it is. Any ideas from the fine readers out there?
Unidentified wildflower:

The harsh winter cold wiped out several of the perennials, trees, and shrubs this year and certainly did some damage to the compact highbush cranberries (Viburnum trilobum) in the yard. This is remarkable, considering that their native counterparts live in a forest all around us, so they should be very hardy.
Two highbush cranberries, with the one on the right only showing a few live branches:

This siberian iris bloomed for the first time in the 4 years I've had it, possibly matching up to the identification tag "Caesar's brother". All the others I bought with it bloomed in a pretty pale blue and probably were wrongly labeled. This iris has been in this spot for three years and just bloomed for the first time this year. Irises, like peonies, require patience!
Siberian iris, "Caesar's brother":

The large raised bed nearly brings pain to my eyes this year, with all the bare spots from dead plants, but I am madly transplanting seedlings from deceased mature plants into the bare spots. At least the larger plants are making it look mostly green, now that July is almost here.

10 comments:

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

That stone wall looks good just by itself! Your Siberian iris was worth waiting! I had a similar situation with my oriental poppy which didn't bloom for 3 or 4 years. He decided to bloom after I decided to move it!

Cicero Sings said...

I believe your wild flower is a type of wintergreen, probably Pyrola asarifolia

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Jamie @ Woodside Gardens said...

I just found that exact same unidentified wildflower growing at the edge of my yard this morning! I will let you know if I figure out what it is.

Northern Shade said...

Your Siberian iris, 'Caesar's brother' is very pretty. I never quite know when I buy plants that are not in bloom, if they will flowers as expected, especially bulbs and rhizomes.

Tatyana is right about your gorgeous stone walls. It is fortunate that you found the seedlings to restart your plantings.

Dave at the The Home Bug Garden, http://homebuggarden.blogspot.com/2010/06/wildflower-wednesday-pink-wintergreen.html, just had an in depth post on your unknown plant, pink wintergreen, if you want more information about it. He gardens in Edmonton.

Aagaard Farms said...

It's hard, isn't it, to lose sooo many things. This was a weird winter/spring on the Prairies. I can't believe how many mature things were damaged this year. I, too, think the stacked stone beds look great!

Chookie said...

I suppose an open garden is more exposed than under forest trees, and that's why your highbush cranberries were damaged.

I love the stonework too.

The Garden Ms. S said...

I have also had surprises with irises. They are all so beautiful though. :-)

Your garden has such good bones, although the empty spots are heartbreaking, it still has great beauty.

Gardenista said...

Thanks for the identification! I know I can always count on those avid garden people out there to know the name of a plant.

Anonymous said...

I know this is a very old post, but i just thought I would tell you we have these growing in the woods at our cabin on the shield. My mother loves her Pipsissewa, as she calls it. I have had these plants pointed out to me for over forty years. I brought a couple home to calgary, but have yet to have them bloom here.