MySecretGarden

U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8a. Sunset climate zone 5

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Monday, May 31, 2010

My First 2010 Foxgloves. New Digitalis 'Serendipity'

You know me, I love foxgloves (and love to show them off on my blog: Foxglove ). I don't know if that love is mutual. I want to believe it is. Why would they come back every year if they didn't like my garden? They selfseed, and their tiny seeds, which remind me of poppy seeds, find space for them to grow. Naturally, seedlings appear close to places where the parent plants have grown. It is always a surprise to find them far away, in unexpected places, sometimes on the opposite side of the yard. My first 2010 blooming foxgloves are a good example. These plants are tucked in between the garage wall and the driveway. A small piece of unamended sandy soil and a couple of hours of morning sun - not much of a luxury, but look what I have:
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Last year, there was one plant, also a volunteer, growing there, but now I have several of them, both purple and white. Oh, I know the secret: look who is fiddling for them. This fiddler is a kind soul - earlier this season, he was playing serenades to my potted tulips. The tulips are gone now and the pot has been moved behind the garage, but the cat found new listeners!
Foxgloves began teasing me in early March as I found them everywhere we took a trip. During our spring break, in Las Vegas' Bellagio casino:
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in the Governor's Palace garden in historic Williamsburg:
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in Williamsburg's Colonial Nursery:
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In Monticello:
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and in Mount Vernon:
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Most of my foxgloves grow behind the house, and some of them will bloom soon. I hope they will do as good a job for my garden as they did last year ( It's Foxglove Time!) .
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Did you see a new Digitalis 'Serendipity'? Hermes posted a picture of it and a link http://www.rhs.org.uk/Shows-Events/RHS-Chelsea-Flower-Show/2010/Plants/Plant-features/Top-10-plants.
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This is what is said about a new foxglove in the post "Matt Biggs' top 10 new plants":
"Digitalis ‘Serendipity’ – I’m not normally one for flouncy flowers but happily make an exception with this one. Produced by Master plant breeder and selector Alan Postill, this is one of the most extraordinary Foxglove’s, ever! The split tubular flowers with gently undulating petals, give it a soft, ruffled appearance."

The following is the description of 'Serendipity" from http://gardenshop.telegraph.co.uk/ :
"A new and exciting foxglove, which produces a robust rosette of foliage from which an upright flowerspike emerges in summer. It grows to 1.2m tall and is clothed with curious, wavy-lipped flowers, which look more like orchids than foxgloves. A hybrid of Digitalis 'Saltwood Summer'. this is a stunning plant that is bound to become a talking point in your garden. These plants are mainly biennial, although they will produce plenty of new sideshoots and self-seed relatively freely".

Sounds exciting, doesn't it?

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Copyright 2010 TatyanaS

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Picture of The DAY


Arlington. May 2010
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Copyright 2010 TatyanaS

Friday, May 28, 2010

May 2010 Blooms

Blue, purple and pink are the main bloom colors in my garden in this cool and moist May, with some red and whites showing here and there.
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On the collage above: Tulip Queen of Night, Allium, Bluebells, Magnolia Vine Eastern Prince (Schisandra chinesis), Clematis montana, Pieris, Double Anemone Lord Lieutenant, Double Anemone Mount Everest , Clematis montana Wilsonii, Fragnant Foam flower (tiarella wherryi), Rodhodendron, Petunia, Hydrangea.
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On the second collage: Aquilegia, Tulip Judith Leyster, Clematis montana, Heuchera, Tree peony, Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis), Fragnant Foam flower, Zonal Geranium.

New this season, among those shown in the collages, were tulips (First Tulip Container ,Four Tulip Containers), alliums, anemones and foam flower. I am very pleased with them. The tall purple alliums create quite a show in the terrace garden. That garden hosts perennials which are not blooming yet, but the alliums alone look pretty exciting on the dark green background :
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Lilac James MacFarland can be seen on the back of the terrace bed. It starts blooming later than other types of lilac.
The anemones exceeded my expectations. They bloom profusely for a long time and, what is important for me, they spread! They have a prominent spot in front of the house, close to the central entrance, and you can not miss them!
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There are more blooms around here, but they deserve a separate post.
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Copyright 2010 TatyanaS

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Colonial Gardens. Part 3 - Williamsburg

How much we can learn from the gardeners of the past! How much inspiration we can get from the replicas of their gardens, thanks to the efforts of thousands of professionals and volunteers! Jamestown, Yorktown and now, Williamsburg.
From 1699 to 1780, Williamsburg was the political, social and cultural capital of Virginia, Great Britain's largest, wealthiest and most populous colony.
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As the Colonial Guide states, in Williamsburg, "there are more than 90 acres of gardens and greens showing a range of 18th-century landscaping designs and a variety of uses, from purely decorative to strictly functional".
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I was glad to see my favorite foxgloves all over the place. Like tall exclamation marks, they attract attention in both primitive and formal gardens.

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I would gladly shop in the Colonial Nursery, below, but it's not a good idea to travel with plants by a bus, train or plane (yes, my trip included all these types of transportation). Info about the Colonial Nursery was borrowed from this site: http://www.history.org/history/CWLand/nursery1.cfm.div.
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The Colonial Nursery has 18th-century garden plantings, historically accurate plants and reproduction gardening tools for sale. Garden historians are on site to answer questions. Hot beds, cisterns, cloches, and unusual pruning methods are among the topics which the garden historians discuss.
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The seeds sold here represent those plants that would have been found in the gardens of a cross section of 18th century colonial society, and a smattering of other heirloom varieties.
Other goods, such as cloches, are also available for sale and represent the colonial nursery's intent to develop products that reflect the horticultural practices of the past. The purpose of these cloches is to trap heat at night and to force vegetables to bear earlier than they normally would. The short wattle fences, visible on several pictures, would have been used to keep small wild animals out of the beds at night.
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Do you see two bulls on the picture below?
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The pictures below are of the Governor's Palace. This place was the home of seven royal governors and Virginia's first two state governors, Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson.
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Credits: Colonial Guide, Vol.19, No.1, 2010; Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site

The garden posts with my photographs of two other parts of Virginia's Historic Triangle, Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Victory Center, are here: Part 1 - Jamestown , Part 2 - Yorktown .
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Posted by TatyanaS at MySecertGarden

Monday, May 24, 2010

My Shade Garden Additions

Earlier this spring, I had my new shade perennials blooming. Most of my garden has sun and partial sun. Those areas were developed first. Only a couple of years ago, I started to plant a shady area behind the garage. Rododendron, fuchsias, hostas and hydrangea came first, then trilliums and other plants were added. These are two of my favorite new additions:
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Trillium grandiflorum. Other names: Great white trillium, White wakerobin.
Vigorous, clump-forming perennial with almost stalkless, ovate to rounded, dark green leaves, to 12in (30 sm) long. In mid-spring, pure white flowers, often fading to pink, with green sepals, are produced above the leaves; they are stalked, erect or outward-facing, cupped at first, then opening widely, with broadly ovate, slightly wavy petals, to 3in (8sm) long, reflexing near the tips. Height: to 16in (40sm), width 12in (30sm) or more. E. North America. Zones 5-8.
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Trillium kurabayashi Giant Red
The species is named in honour of a Japanese botanist Masataka Kurabayashi who specialized in Trillium. Plants have slightly mottled leaves and robust, broad petalled, upright flowers of deep purple-red, which are considered to be among the best of the stemless species.
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Credit: A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants
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Copyright 2010 TatyanaS

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Gardens Of The First Colonies. Part 2 - Yorktown

I love history and I love gardens. A recreated 1780s farm in the Yorktown Victory Center was a great place to learn about both.
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Yorktown, founded in 1691, was a busy 18th-century tobacco port; the town is best remembered as the site of the Battle of Yorktown, which effectively ended the Revolutionary War.
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After the war, most Virginians lived and worked on small farms that usually included a wooden house with one or two rooms, a detached kitchen, a tobacco barn and fenced crop fields. Most small planters owned one to three slaves who worked alongside the family in the fields and gardens.
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A Tidewater Virginia farm provides a glimpse of home life after the Revolution.
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I wish I could have such towers to support my beans.
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Herbs were used for cooking and medicinal purposes:
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The previous post of this series is here: Gardens Of The First Colonies. Part 1 - Jamestown .
I was excited to learn that one of the commenters of that post, Linda at Scentsibilities Herbal Adventures , had a relative among the first colonists of Jamestown! This is her comment: "Tatyana - great pictures, I haven't been to Jamestown in about 20 years during a family vacation. My great, great (forget how many greats..) grandfather was one of those original Jamestown settlers from England. I've always been amazed how any of them survived (although many didn't) that first winter. They were certainly not prepared! It's a fascinating piece of history. And yes, I'm impressed you brought a group of 5th graders. Can't wait to here about the rest of your trip East, Linda".
I am going to share this with 5th-graders who were on that tour! As for my chaperone job, I have to say that the main job was done by four heroic teaches and a chaplain who led the group of 49 students.

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Credits: Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation
Copyright 2010 TatyanaS

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