Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Cemetery Plants

The Environment/Weather Powers That Be promised us that we would not have a drought like last summer.
They lied.
We have had basically no rain in the month of August and it shows everywhere.
I started thinking again about using more drought tolerant plants in my own garden and wondered where I could get ideas besides the Internet lists.
Ah! the cemetery!!

Cemeteries water only the display areas. The lawns are never watered and relatives or friends must tend the gravesides themselves. Basically the plants must be drought tolerant to survive.

The cemetery management encourages shrubs and evergreens and that's why this one looks quite good design-wise.

But shrubs and evergreens grow so one has to remember to factor in mature height and spread (or prune and tend them fastidiously) or they will outgrow their allotted area.

So what does well in these open, windy, dry sunny conditions? Sedum 'Autumn Joy' seems to do excellently.

This particular Hosta (no variegation) seems to be able to handle the sunny conditions.

And the ever-faithful Euonymus can hold its own as well.

Here a combination of annuals (geraniums and cordalyne) and evergreens (cedar) do well.

Above, violets add a perennial clump of greenery to red geraniums.

Here is a winning combination: boxwood right in front of the headstone, Dusty Miller as a silver accent and mix of red and white fibrous begonias as the accent. Now I know that this site is watered weekly which may account for its lushness but still - I think the choice of plants are drought tolerant.

The 3 photos above show a colourful combination of annuals that are probably watered weekly but nevertheless have survived this summer of heat, high humidity and drought.
Keep these in mind if drought is a factor in your area during the summer months.

Please check out my food blog which presently features Avocado, Mango, Pineapple Salad with Pistachios and Pickled Shallots.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Weeds vs. Wildflowers

Here is an interesting definition:

A WEED is any plant growing where it should not be on cultivated land.

A WILDFLOWER is an "uncultivated" plant growing where it is wanted.

Here is a gallery of weeds? wildflowers? in my area.

Please remember to check out my food blog Astrid's Home for delicious tried-and-true recipes. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day August 2013

Summer 2013 has certainly had every type of weather! Environment Canada promised that there would be no drought like last summer but we have gone a number of times without rain for 2 1/2 weeks. Every day a promise of thundershowers but very rarely did they happen. There was severe flooding in one thunderstorm (especially in Toronto) but not here in Burlington. Now we have had a really chilly snap (overnight temps of 13C) but a promise of high heat and humidity for the weekend. Maybe this is the "new normal".

Regardless, some flowers are still blooming in my garden. Many are at their peak and quite beautiful. Please take a look.

The Oakleaf hydrangea bush at the front door is full of pink blooms

The Lisianthus are blooming strong

The white phlox are open and very fragrant

The blackcurrant bushes are full of berries

The Sweet Williams are re-blooming 

Agastache foeniculum, commonly called anise hyssop, is a species of perennial plant in the mint family. Very Bee-friendly.

My balloon flower has had more blossoms than ever this year. 3 weeks and still blooming. 

Achillea 'Coronation Gold' is always bent over, reaching for the sun

Most of the hosta flowers are gone but the smaller blue hostas are still in flower

I'm not sure if this is Coreopsis 'Moonbeam' or 'Zagreb' but it's a dainty little pop of yellow

A few blossoms are left on the Rose of Sharon

The Explorer Rose 'John Cabot' rarely re-blooms but it's doing it now :)

Here's the star of the show: Black Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm')

And at the side of the house, the self-seeding Sweet Peas are all over the fence

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day is a Meme created by May Dreams Garden
Gardeners post images of what's blooming in their garden on the 15th day of every month. All are welcome to participate.

Also, please check out my recipe blog Astrid's Home - the latest post is Zucchini and Summer Squash Gratin with Parmesan and fresh Thyme