Sunday, August 8, 2010

A White August

No, I'm not dreaming of snow; in fact, I'm not dreaming at all. White blooms are showing up in every part of the gardens here in Cornwallville.

In my past post "Young Summer At Dusk" I mentioned how I always wanted a white garden, and with this flush of colorlessness in early August it has definitely firmed up that idea.

I believe I'm in heaven when I see white blooms, it is my absolute love when it comes to flowers. I can't explain how it makes me feel when I see them. But, calm and peace fill my body and a dream like setting always takes over me when I stare at a snowy patch of blooms.

The star of this show for me is Nicotiana sylvestris pictured below. Patches of this 4 ft annual planted in several parts of the property are covered with plenty of tubular star-shaped flowers.

The spicy scent of this outstanding annual fills the summer air, and has the added bonus of re-seeding next season if you allow it to.

Behind a patch of the Nicotiana in the woodshed bed is a patch of Phlox 'David', a great mildew resistant variety that is an absolute must in any garden.

Over at the kitchen door landing is my favorite flowering shrub of all time, Hydrangea paniculata 'Tardiva'. This was the first flowering shrub I planted here in Cornwallville and although it is starting to bloom now, it has been shaded out by the two ash trees along the side of the landing.

I will do some heavy pruning of the trees soon in hopes that this shrub will stop leaning towards the south for light; nonetheless it is giving me the best show it can under its present situation.

In the north meadow I planted several native Veronicastrium virginicum, pictured above. This coming fall I will definitely plant more of this outstanding 6 ft perennial around the property including its light purple cousin Veronicastrium sibiricum.

The dainty flowers of Begonia 'Bonita Shea', are as small as my finger nails but really beg you to get up close and examine their beauty.

The tropical climber Cobea scandens 'Alba', pictured below, is covering the veranda. Although the variety is 'Alba' it is more of a creamy green.

This spectacular vine from Mexico quickly grows 10-20 feet in a season. This is a definite keeper, I just hope I'll be able to find it again next spring as I have not seen this plant ever before.

Heuchera 'Autumn Bride' above, is a white August bloomer perfect for part shade. These young plants only sent up a few flower stalks this season but in a few years they should be covered with a cloud of white over fuzzy green foliage.

Below is a small patch of what I believe to be a variety of Feverfew, although I might be wrong. There were masses of this plant all along the side of the turkey coop when we moved in. I foolishly removed it all for my shade garden but this lone little guy came up this year to my delight.

Foliage can also be white like the Carex 'Silver Scepter' above. Thin blades of creamy white are banded by deep evergreen. It reminds be of an undersea creature walking through the garden floor.

The soft blue white bracts of Mountain Mint in one of the south island beds reminds me of a misty morning in the garden. The scent when the flowers are touched is heavenly.

Abutilon 'Snowbell' a white flowering maple below greets us as we walk up the kitchen landing steps. It's about two feet tall now and sits atop the largest pot above all the other plantings.

Finally an unusual tropical I acquired this season is Clerodendrum incisum 'Musical Notes'. It's a small tropical shrub that I planted in a large pot in front of our house.

The buds start off as tightly curled "musical notes", and open to a pure white open flower with long dark stamens.

White flowers are an important theme here at The Cornwallville Gardens. They are one of the main links, and add continuity to the whole property. I can't say enough about them and how their beauty brings me joy each day.

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