Chilly End of July

Datura bud waiting to unfurl.
Datura bud waiting to unfurl.

Though the temps are only in the high 50’s, it is still summer in the garden and today’s rain was welcomed.  I’ve taken advantage of the cooler temps and moved a few things.  I wilt less in cooler weather.  And, of course, the plants don’t mind a cool move and a nice rain.  The Ruby Stellas under the Rose of Sharon have never done well and so I pulled one clump out.  I’ll probably remove the other two clumps, too.  And, since the Francis Williams hostas under the kitchen window were looking really bedraggled, I moved them to a spot under the Rose of Sharon.  They might like the shade there better.

This Deep Blue Sea hosta was planted a year ago and it's doing very well.  So is its neighbor My Friend Nancy.  Of COURSE I had to get THAT hosta!
This Deep Blue Sea hosta was planted a year ago and it’s doing very well. So is its neighbor My Friend Nancy. Of COURSE I had to get THAT hosta!
The old Rose of Sharon is in full bloom.  Notice the Citronelle heuchera and the Francis Williams hostas.
The old Rose of Sharon is in full bloom. Notice the Citronelle heuchera and the Francis Williams hostas.

 

It’s sale season at garden centers and so I went to one yesterday that tends to be more expensive.  Their perennials were half off, so I picked up a couple of heucheras (Citronelle) and few other things.  I thought the bright yellow Citronelle would look nice under the Rose of Sharon with the Francis Williams.

SONY DSC
Datura bloom

I’m seriously considering taking the crushed limestone out of the Secret Garden and putting in brick pathways.  I asked a landscaper to come by last week and measure.  But a good friend from Maine has offered

Fragrant Angel echinacea and the Kim's Knee High
Fragrant Angel echinacea and the Kim’s Knee High

to do the work.  And I think I’m going to take her up on her offer.  I have another friend who can get me lots of bricks for free, so this might work out quite well.

One of my favorite spots in the Secret Garden is a home to various heucheras and hostas under the Kousa Dogwood.
One of my favorite spots in the Secret Garden is a home to various heucheras and hostas under the Kousa Dogwood.
This sunny bed in the Secret Garden is crammed full of echinacea, White Dome hydrangea, Jean Davis lavender, liatris, Cool Cat Nepeta, and East Friesland salvia
This sunny bed in the Secret Garden is crammed full of echinacea, White Dome hydrangea, Jean Davis lavender, liatris, Cool Cat Nepeta, and East Friesland salvia

 

Hostas, Baby

It’s been quite the spring and summer for my hostas.

Hostas in the Lower Garden

Lucy Vitols sits right next to my back steps. I love the deeply textured leaves.
Though hard to see, there are three Halcyon hostas at the top of this picture.  This H. tardiana cultivar maintains its rich blue color all summer. It’s leaves are quite sturdy. It sits outside my kitchen door near the Lucy Vitols. In front of it is a Francee that seems very happy in this location that receives a nice mixture of sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon.
The champ of the season, hosta seboldiana Elegans, is threatening to take over the universe. It’s been in this spot for five years and was even thinned last year.
The large hosta to the right is Abiqua Drinking Gourd. It’s large blue leaves form a cup that can actually hold water. In the middle are some pots that I take to the farmers market. But behind those pots is one of my favorites, Stained Glass. It is a sport of Guacamole and has shiny leaves and fragrant lavender flowers.  The hosta in the upper left is Singing in the Rain.
The large hosta on the right is Regal Splendor. It has this lovely vase shape is a nice contrast to the hostas around it that grow in a more circular shape. Next to it is Christmas Tree.
On the right is Striptease. I was looking for a hosta that had a bold white stripe down the center and though the stripes haven’t quite shown themselves in the three years that this hosta has been in place, I love the name. I bought it at the same time I bought Hanky Panky. Every garden should have a few lewd plants. The bright green hosta on the left is a mystery.
This blurry image features Krossa Regal and June Fever. I love June Fever’s glossy foliage
This little guy had to have been planted last summer, but the tag isn’t in my book and so it is just another mystery hosta until I find the tag.
Here is another Striptease. It sits next to a division that a friend gave me, but its name is another mystery. It might be Sum and Substance, though the leaves don’t seem quite oval enough. Behind on the right is another mystery that is probably Ryan’s Big One.
In the back behind the Francis Williams and the Endless Summer hydrangea is Sum and Substance, a division I got from a friend.

Front Garden

I like mixing huechera with hostas and the front bed under the magnolia tree is a good example of how these work together. On the right are Francis Williams. These are a sport of Seboldiana Elegans and they were the first hostas I planted. To the left is Guacamole. Tucked behind Guacamole is Golden Tiara. The blue hosta to the left of the huechera is another mystery. I want to say it is Wheaton Blue, but it seems a bit small.
The hosta with the narrow white stripe down the center is Lakeside Beach Captain. Next to it is a recent addition, but, again, I’ve put the tag somewhere and now can’t remember the name. On the far left is an Elegans division from the monster under the cherry tree in the lower garden.
The large hosta on the left is another Francis Williams. In the center is another Lakeside Beach Captain and to the right is another division of Elegans. To the far right is Pineapple Upsidedown Cake. I love its brightness against the blue of the Elegans.

Secret Garden

I think the Secret Garden hosta beds are my favorites, perhaps because I didn’t not initially think I would plant hostas there.  But the spot behind the garage is shady and it became the home for hostas that weren’t thriving in other beds like the Great Expectations and the Francees.  I gradually began adding more varieties, and sprinkled in huecheras for contrast. I decided to put more hostas under the Kousa Dogwood, just to carry the eye across the garden path.

In the foreground are the Great Expectations. I initially planted these in the front garden in full sun. That was a mistake. They much prefer the dabbled light at the far eastern edge of the Secret Garden. I’ve heard that Great Expectations can be tricky to grow, but obviously these are doing well. I don’t give them any extra attention. Next to the Great Expectations are the Francees. They, too, could not take the sun in the Lower Garden. I always think of the word “tailored” when I see these hostas. They are elegant and tidy.
Just west of the Francees is one of my favorites, Stained Glass. This hosta has a fragrant flower and lovely shiny leaves that add a nice contrast to the Krossa Regal behind it.
Meet June, the “parent” of June Fever which lives under the cherry tree in the Lower Garden.  It is a tissue sport of Halcyon.
Looking east in the Secret Garden. The hosta with the light stripe in center June. Behind it is Dream Weaver, a sport of Great Expectations.
Under the Kousa Dogwood is Ghost Spirit. I think I just liked the name. Next to it is Dream Weaver.
On the left is one of my favorites–Stitch in Time. It’s got these wonderful puckery leaves and a bold dark stripe down the center of bright green leaves. Next to it is Allegan Fog. Behind is one of several Dream Weavers. I think I went Dream Weaver crazy at the end of a season a couple years ago.  As I recall they were only $1.  How could I not get them??
These three hostas sit under the eastern edge of the old dogwood.  The two in front are Moerheims. I don’t know what the one behind is. I think I may have thought I was buying three Moerheims. It may be that the one in back doesn’t turn white around the edges because it gets less light.  But it might be Hanky Panky.  I bought it and Striptease together and I don’t see anything in the garden that resembles Hanky Panky.  I really do need to keep track of these things better.
Under the old dogwood on the west is another Dream Weaver and several Patriots that were not thriving in the full sun in the bed under the sun room and dining room. They seem to like the shade under the dogwood far better.

New Additions

K Gardens in Byron Center had an open house yesterday and I stopped by.  I picked up four new hostas and have planted them in the Secret Garden.

Silver Threads and Golden Stitches just seemed like a logical choice to put next to Stitch in Time. They aren’t related, and Silver Threads may be much smaller, but…
I planted, from top, Orange Crush, My Friend Nancy (how could I resist!), and Deep Blue Sea under the lilacs on the north side of the Secret Garden.
This might be a pipevine swallowtail caterpillar. It’s the second one I’ve seen in 24 hours. I know that a female swallowtail seemed to love the dutchman’s pipe this year. I wonder if this is one of her babies.