}

October 31, 2010

Rare Bulbous Oxalis Species

{LEFT} - OXALIS KAAJAGDENSIS
{RIGHT} OXALIS LUTEOLA
Every autumn, I find that I look forward to the many species of bulbous Oxalis which I grow in small pots in the greenhouse. Dormant all summer long, these tiny bulb plants emerge quickly, within a few weeks after their first autumnal watering, and are often in bloom for an entire month. Here are a few that are in bloom this weekend. Each have interesting foliage and growth habit, and some are so loaded with flowers that they look more like showy annuals than they do rare South African bulbs. We me loath many of the Oxalis species since they are weeds in our gardens and greenhouses, but these rare gems are completely different, and worth collecting if you have a cool greenhouse with lots of sunshine.

October 30, 2010

Fall Textures and Color

The fine thin foliage and blueish flowers of Amsonia hubrichtii is OK during the spring and summer, but it is autumn when the species really sings. This planting is still young, but in a few years, every autumn it will transform into a cloud of golden yellow.

Living in New England, I sometimes forget that not everyone has the intense autumn color that we have, given the number of native species here like Maples and Ash trees that make Vermont, Massachusetts and New Hampshire such tourist destinations during the month of October. Here are some shots of various plants around the property, some native to the US, and others from China, Japan, Korea and Russia.
The violet berries of Callicarpa are truly florescent. This Asian native is still rather new in most American gardens.

I planted a hedge in front of our home of Fothergilla gardenii, and although the white, fuzzy blossoms are great in the spring, again, it is autumn when the hedge becomes a traffic stopping event. I can see the hedge, even at night when I turn the corner and my headlights hit it. It virtually glows red in the distance.
Native? Yes, but the deciduous holly Ilex verticillata offers both fall foliage that is chartreuse, as well as berries.

From Japan, Enkianthus has bell-shaped flowers in the summer, but the foliage is one of the most brilliant of all of our deciduous shrubs, so bright when the sun hits it, that it almost hurts.

Amsonia hubrichtii with erica and calluna species in the background.

This natural planting which I started in our front yard, was inspired by the well-known landscape designer Piet Oudolf, where herbaceous plants and grasses are planted thickly in large sweeps showing off their various textures. Plants here are layered, with lots of seasonal interest, starting with bulbs, and ending with evergreen shrubs and fluffy grasses. I love how this is turning out, but I know that it will get better each year as the planting matures.

There are flowering perennials that bloom in the autumn, like this colony of Tricyrtis hirta, or Toad Lily, native to Japan. It begins blooming in August and is stopped, only by the heaviest of frosts in November.

Magnolia stellata foliage, even if dull mustard, looks nice with the grey tints of the fuzzy flower buds that have already formed.

October 21, 2010

Plant Society Sneak Peak


IN MANY WAYS, THIS WINTER ISSUE IS A BULB ISSUE

For those of you who personally know me, I know that you understand, but for the rest of you, I did want to share with you some pages from the next issue of my magazine, PLANT SOCIETY, which I plan to complete in the next few weeks. Between my roles in my day job, which have been rather demanding over the past two months between supporting China Trips, my involvement with the new TV network, the HUB, and many other intellectual properties at Hasrbo which I cannot discuss, I have had little time to finish this next issue. But over the weekends, and in spare time, I have been able to put together nearly 100 pages of new content, and, something very exciting for the next issue for those who own iPads. (more on that later).

                
A DETAILED FEATURE ARTICLE ON LACHENALIA, SHOULD EXCITE THE MORE ADVANCED GARDENER, AS WELL AS THOSE LOOKING FOR SOMETHING REALLY DIFFERENT TO GROW INDOORS. 




A NEW FEATURE SECTION WILL FOCUS ON INDOOR, OUTDOOR, GREENHOUSE AND OTHER PLACES WE ALL GARDEN. HERE, A SPECIAL LOOK AT INTERESTING PLANTS ONE CAN FIND IN A SUPER MARKET OR GARDEN CENTER AROUND THE NEW YEAR.


For now, I share some screen captures to tease you all with. A labor of love, PLANT SOCIETY continues, on a roughly organized quarterly schedule ( this next issue will focus on winter), and I plant to publish it around November 1. Until then, here are some sneak peaks of  certain spreads.

SINCE THIS ISSUE IS WINTER, THINK - CAMELLIA, JASMINE, TENDER RHODODENDRONS UNDER GLASS, ALSO, 10 NEW WAYS TO GROW PAPERWHITES. WREATHES, HOLIDAY AND MORE.
I can't decide what image to use on the cover, so far, I am thinking about this grid of Camellia's, but who knows, I may change my mind last minute!