This Week in the Garden

After last week’s snowstorm, the temperature has been fluctuating wildly – some days are 26°C (80°F) while the next is barely 8°C (46°F). Typical spring weather, you might say!

The garden doesn’t seem to mind at all. Many of the tube-stock plants that I put in last autumn have really started to fill out. One of my favourites is Weigela florida:

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Weigela florida ‘variegata’

I love the multitude of colours, and its many seasons of interest. There is an existing plain white Weigela in the garden, but sadly it will have to be taken out. It’s in the middle of the lawn, and was cut to just a stump by a previous owner a number of years ago, giving it a decidedly ugly silhouette for much of the year. This is the first time I have seen it in flower, so I shall be striking cuttings before it is removed.

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Weigela florida

The Deutzia gracilis has put on its first show. It’s tiny now, but will fill the space in years to come:

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Deutzia gracilis

The variegated Red dogwood shrub is starting to flower: it certainly is subtle against the white margins of the leaves 🙂

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Dogwood Flower – but you have to look closely!

The first of the Aquilegia plants that I put in have started to flower. I splurged and put in a few named varieties (I have a mixed seedling tray which will be ready to go in the ground in a few weeks), but I must confess that this is the only one that has really done anything – the others, while still alive are no where near being ready to flower. This one is Aquilegia vulgaris plena ‘Bordeaux Barlow’:

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Double, spur-less, Columbine

The Pelargonium ‘solstice star’ is in flower. The purple centres pick up the burgundy-wine colour of the Aquilegia nicely. And while many gardeners won’t agree, I do like the contrast to the sunny yellow of the wallflower:

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Solstice Star Pelargonium

The tiny Lupins that I planted in the ‘secret garden’ area have grown:

June:

Lupins

Lupins

Now:

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Lupins & Japanese Maple seedlings

If you look closely, you can see a proliferation of Japanese Maple seedlings that have self-sown. There would are hundreds everywhere throughout the garden….who would have thought that beautiful Japanese Maples could be weedy?

The ‘secret garden’ area is already sheltered, but the idea is to enclose it with a clipped, formal hedge. This will also have a dual purpose of hiding a very ugly, fibro-cement garage wall. To do that, I put in a dozen Leyland Cypress trees in June, and they sure do live up to their fast reputation. In just 6 weeks, these have put on almost 30cm/1′ of growth. You can see the colour change 3/4 down from the tip which indicates the growth:

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You can actually hear the x cupressocyparis leylandii growing

Little wonder that these trees are often so reviled when planted in a suburban setting. However, when these hit 3-4m (10-15′) they will have their tops cut off and clipped, so they won’t become a menace.

Other trees have also put on strong growth. The Sugar Maple:

April:

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Sugar Maple

Now:

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Sugar Maple – Now

Quite surprisingly, the Horse Chestnut seedling has delivered quite strong growth. These are rare trees in Australia, but remind me of my time in the UK and Europe. Additionally, in Australia, we don’t have the bleeding canker disease that is wiping out so many trees in the Northern Hemisphere, so I’m quite proud that this little fellow has almost doubled in height:

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Horse Chestnut with strong new growth

As always, happy gardening! 🙂

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6 thoughts on “This Week in the Garden

  1. Your columbine is beautiful (as well as the other bloomers). Only one kind will grow here on the Gulf Coast and it is yellow. I love yellow in the garden, it is such a happy color. I am putting together a post on just yellow flowers as many bloom in the fall here.

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  2. Everything is looking so good! It’s fun to watch your season winding up while ours is coming to a close. I have variegated weigelias in my garden too. They are one of my favorites and bloom a lot more profusely than my plain ones do. Lupines defeat me every time

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  3. Thanks guys. I have a real soft spot for the variegated weigela, and lots of colour combinations – I think in the harsh Australian sun (even though my climate is cool, I’m on the 34th parallel) you can have stronger combinations, such as yellow/pink, as often the colours appear bleached during the day.
    @theshrubqueen, tubestock is also known as ‘plugs’ in the UK, but I’m not sure what it is called in the US – it refers to the tiny, juvenile plants in tiny pots less than 60mm (2″). It’s similar to what you might buy from a mail-order nursery – so they are very inexpensive to purchase but establish very quickly if you look after them. I also use the tubes to strike cuttings, and, once they’ve added sufficient root growth, in the ground they go!

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  4. That sugar maple will put on a great show one day, gorgeous. I also have Deutzia gracilis and wouldn’t want to be without it although it’s not that exciting for the rest of the year.

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  5. Thanks – I do hope so. It certainly is growing quite quickly. While it’s cold enough here for the tree to grow and give a good autumn display, it doesn’t get cold enough in the winter to give the spring sap surge needed to tap the tree for syrup, so this one will always remain decorative 🙂

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