When a garden designer or landscape architect plants something in their own garden, you know they are serious. We are happy to appreciate plants in other people's gardens, but to find the plants closest to our hearts, snoop around our places. There is only so much room after all.
Clematis armandii is a classic and one of my two favorite vines (the other being hops vine). It is the plant I walk under first thing in the morning and the plant I walk under last thing in the evening.Read full post
See also: Trees and Shrubs
I have found restraint is wise both in judgement of others as well as the pruning of forsythia. How harshly a plant is pruned may reveal something about the values of the person manning the shears. Or it might not. For example, one might believe tightly pruned forsythia to be a sign of a controlling or uptight personality.
Our gardens are often a reflection of our values, whether we intend it or not. Indeed, gardens throughout the centuries have tended to reflect the societal rules in place at the time. Still, when it comes to individuals, I choose to believe we do our best and maybe just need a little help along the way.
When it comes to the aesthetics of pruning, it often comes down to experience and knowledge*. There are some plants that respond to pruning tightly (hedges, topiary, etc.) and other plants that look best when allowed to retain their natural shape. One thing is certain: If you bring electric clippers to the job instead of pruning shears, you have lost.
Forsythia is best, always, when allowed to grow relatively unbound.Read full post
they mourn the death of Venice
but i do not.
all kings fall,
but the people will remain,
a sea, a plain
to the horizon, treeless.
and the grasses and the wind
are the things i love.
there is only one you.
only ever be one you.
never before. never after.
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See also: Herbaceous Perennials, Tawny Daylily, Stella de Oro
The lilies are about the flowers, bold and illuminating the landscape the way few other perennials can. They do tend to add a boisterous element, so you should be okay with that. From a design standpoint, lilies have to be used with a painterly eye or they will overwhelm the garden. But man are they hardy. Oklahoma City is an excellent choice for northern gardens, surviving temperatures to -35 degrees Fahrenheit. Gardeners reportedly grow Oklahoma City in Alaska.
Oklahoma City, typical of the asiatic lilies, grows 3'-5' and blooms reliably in late Spring. Flowers are beacons and large, to 6" or so across. Plant asiatic lilies here and there throughout the garden. Ideally, they appear as if they've just erupted out of the landscape.Read full post
I chose to write more about false indigo due to liking some photos of the post-flower seed pods. There is something about the beauty of those seed pods in the correct light (golden and late in the day) that works. Perennials that have little interest when out of bloom are of marginal value in most cases anyway (with apologies to the peony crowd).
About false indigo's seed pods...they are not attractive to everybody. You can trim them back if you prefer. The seed pods do however give insight into the relation of false indigo to the pea family, as well as a path to new plants. False indigo does not divide nor transplant well, so if you want to make more false indigo without a visit to the nursery, you will need to learn how to harvest and grow new plants from seed.Read full post