Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Freak Out Plant: Iris 'red hawk'

This "Freak Out Plant" post is debuting with Iris germanica 'Red Hawk'. This new series will feature plants that when I see in person, in a nursery or some garden will completely captivate me. When I encounter them I can not control my feelings and basically freak out over its beauty, with some aspect of the plant whether, foliage, bloom, or some other detail.

Basically I must have it and take it home.

So with this, the first of my "Freak Out Plants" it is Iris germanica 'Red Hawk'. I saw this amazing bearded Iris, which I have to admit melted me when I first laid eyes on it at Loomis Creek Nursery.

I was watering the front half of the yard one Friday when I spied this gem in full dark glory. What a great color I thought to myself, burgundy, brown, plum altogether, with a small little golden yellow throat. I had to have it!

It was not till the end of the day and I thought, hey, do I need another bearded Iris? Do even like bearded Iris that much?

I walked to my car and then guilt from my plant obsession took over. I had to have this variety!

So I got him, yes I think its a male and planted him in one of my south island beds.

I am in pure bliss when I stare at his striking bloom! I am sure I made the right decision to get this outstanding Iris.

Iris germanica 'red hawk'
Bearded Iris
Z 3-9
Full Sun
36" tall
Fertile well drained soil that is high in organic matter (though Iris thrive here in Cornwallville's clay Catskill soil).

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Gardens in Late May

I thought I would debut this blog with a little spring tour of the gardens and plants that are really strutting their stuff here at the end of May. All of these gardens will be featured at some point so just think of this as a sneak peak.

In my Sedum steps (as Stephen and I refer to it); there is this amazing alpine Gypsophila. I lost the tag so unfortunately I have no real name. Research time this summer will commence.

This unknown small bearded iris was here next to the sedum steps when we moved in. I like to call it "Butter and Cream", but perhaps I am just dreaming, more research I guess.

Paeonia 'Kelway's Glorious', is glorious to look at in one of our island beds but the lack of fragrance has been a bit disappointing. It's a love hate thing for this one.

This Nepeta is in its full glory now. Its a bit early but the heat spell we are having here is forcing all sorts of perennials to push bloom.

I have two of these Rumex sanguineus (Bloody dock) in the front gardens, and they do well in the rocky clay soil even though they prefer a bit more rich moist soil. When the morning light beams through their leaves it is just amazing to study.

A little patch of Russell hybrid Lupines stand at welcoming attention.

I have always loved Verbascum thapsus or (commen mullein). I know many of you may think of it as a weed because it's not native, but I love its velvet leaves and giant flower stalks later in the summer. I have been letting seedlings take hold here and there in the island beds.

The bronze fennel, Foeniculum vulgare has been one of my favorite plants for years. I had several swaths of this ferny perennial in the island beds, but it hates our winters and clay soil. So it's sad to say this is my last guy. I hope you make it next year ole chap!

Over now to the side door landing and turkey coop gardens with this killer combination of Japanese painted fern, Ophiopogon, and the blue green boxwood 'Jensen' in the background.

This is my small pond I created last year that brings me so much enjoyment. I have some floating Salvinia (my new favorite floating plant) amongst the vintage Japanese glass buoys. This is my bullfrog Verde's home who has been here since the pond thawed this spring.

The woodland rockery (as we have named it) out back, has my faux bois planters I have been creating with an exciting mixture of awesome annuals that I will feature later on this season.

Now down to the barn gardens where I have a Rodgersia, under-planted with my new love, Heuchera 'Paris'.

Finally the pond garden which is, at most, a wild combination of grass, perennials and soon to be added tropicals at the far end of the north side of the property. This Primula Japonica thrives here at the shore.

The Leucojum is still in full swing here. This is one of our favorite spring bulbs. No garden should be without them! Their look is that of the ultimate English meadow.

This waterlily, Nymphaea variety is another unknown to me, planted in the pond by the previous owner. It has gorgeous hot pink flowers and its leaves are plum underneath and curve up out of the water when unfurling.

Ligularia is one of those perennials that a bog garden wouldn't be complete without. Its Leaves are more breathtaking in my opinion than the flowers.

To conclude the tour the final image is of an amphibian I met on the Sedum steps.

I found this little Spring Peeper crawling among the alpines and gave him a little love. I felt like a little kid when I spotted him, picked him up and was amazed by his uniqueness. I let him back down into a small Dianthus and thought how I would meet him again someday here in the gardens of Cornwallville.