Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The early summer garden

My early summer garden has been buffeted by high winds and rain recently, the elements are taking a toll with thalictrum and lilies.
The lilies, queen of the July garden have been spectacular. I have planted fifteen to twenty five of a single variety together with a few complementary or contrasting lilies of another color. That grouping is then situated in complement or contrast with another grouping. I have tried to create my borders in full sun with protection against the vagaries of summer storms especially high winds.
The largest planting is a bed 5' by 80' in a raised bed at the back of the house. We have smaller plantings used as accents throughout the garden, five to seven of a single cultivar. Theses ares sometimes mixed with a complementary colored lily.
I like the combination of salmon, yellow and orange but have not yet found a salmon which blooms at exactly the same time as my favorite yellows and oranges. Red, pink and white varieties make another attractive grouping.
Lilies like their feet cool, in mass they provide dense shade to one another, only the front of the border needs cover and there I grow annuals,
My garden ideas with lilies outstrip my garden space. They are also dependent on the amount of cultivars available to my pocket book. I am thinking of putting out some plans that others can implement but they stretch gardening resources

PAVIA chrome yellow 7 inches across



Beautiful red ORIGINAL LOVE





I have two reddish purple Asiatics about the garden LANDINI and DIMENSION

A "tango" lily if I remember correctly PARIS HEART





Clumps of  SUNCREST

LA Lilies, I call then lilies on steroids




With end of the Asiatic and LA lilies begins daylilies season

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Gorge of the St. Louis River - Jay Cooke State Park

Jay Cooke State Park Carlton, Minnesota

I first visited Jay Cook at age 17. Then I was a goat and I clambered all over the ancient rock. A beautiful mix of boreal forest and swift water over rock. It was a mythic place for me, I dreamt I would meet my wife in the park. The park buildings are WPA projects of stone, The lot is surrounded by tall forest.

Now in my sixties I am not able to scramble over rock because of a damaged leg but the gorge still draws me to its beauty. The swinging suspension bridge of my youth has been replaced, damaged by flood. In my first visit we travelled up the north canyon wall from Hwy 23. That route was also destroyed by flood and under construction. Access the park off I-35 through the Carlton exit via Hwy. 210. The final miles to the park center is a slow meandering under a boreal canopy, you can hear the river roar to your right. 

Beautiful in all seasons, Mashell and I visited two weekends separated by a three to seven inch rainfall which flooded all the local rivers. First weekend the character of the St. Louis was placid the next weekend the waters raged through the gorge.

The lower St. Louis is a whitewater enthusiasts haven, There are great hiking and biking trails. The boreal environment contains Black Bear, Timber Wolf, White-tailed Deer and Coyotes. Hawks and Herons fly the gorge skies.

Jay Cooke has beauty in abundance which calms my spirit. Feeds my desire for nádúr.

Ancient rock; slate, greywacke, with intrusions of basalt 1.5 billion years old.

The restored Suspension Bridge.

Looking west off the bridge

Left or south channel

Pool east of the Swinging Bridge

The right side channel

Next week after three to seven inches of rain.

Forest calm and river tempest.

The swollen left channel.

A mist hangs over the turbulence.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Highlights of late spring 2016

Late Spring has been series of contradictions, some plants blooming early and others late. The Standard Dwarf Bearded Iris were on time, a few Tall Bearded Iris failed to bloom. Siberian Iris were fabulous in all my gardens but bloomed a month early from their traditional bloom season. The Iris Society of Minnesota show was nearly half Siberian Iris.

Allium "Purple Sensation"
Unfurling hosta with last flowers of Anemone canadensis

Siberian Iris "Linda Mary"

Linda Mary was introduced by Joan Cooper, an AIS Emeritus Judge who encouraged me to start hybridizing and become an AIS Garden Judge. Linda Mary has always been a great landscaping Siberian Iris, floriferous, a great grower. 

Rock soapwort

Seedling in the rock garden, third year, why I grow siberian iris.
After a hard rain.
My buddy Jack Worel is also an AIS Garden Judge and has hybridized Tall Bearded Iris for many years, the next three pictures are iris in his garden.

A pseudata, cross between Iris pseudacorus and Iris ensata

"Coral Red" peony.

One of many baptisias in my garden, attracts bumblebees and Tiger Swallowtails.

There has been a conspicuous absence of honeybees and Monarch Butterflies. 
Forget the flowers of Actaea species I prefer the foliage, always fresh and green or purple black.

Actaea rubifolia, Appalachian Bugbane

Actaea japonica

Actaea racemosa formerly Cimicifuga racemosa atropurpurea
High Standards

Multi-petal "Kita-no-seiza"
Iris virginica var. shrevei

Bowl of Beauty
Do Tell
Strawberry Fair
Fond Kiss

Hosta glade

Yellow seedling

Near species siberian iris seedling, first bloom.
Dwarf Siberian Iris seedling lined out for future introduction

Blooming at ten inches

Lined out seedling patch in full bloom
Variegated hosta
The next few pictures are of Penstemon grandiflorus, a happy accident, a self-sown clump of 85 plants growing in one of the new rock gardens.

Dianthus and sedums in the walkway rock garden

Baptisia australis

Thalictrum in bloom
One last look at seedlings lined out for increase
Early June was magnificent in the garden with peonies, roses, iris and penstemon grandiflorus in full bloom. Lilies will be the next emphasis with borders and potted plants in the hundreds poised to show off.