About Good Scents

The cut flower business ended in 2011 but I continue to post other items about gardening.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Monday April 26th, 2010

Things still running ahead. I have tons of doronicum this year (Leopard's Bane). I always say it blooms with tulips, and it does. As I've said before, the color is like a dandelion and it is just a yellow daisy, so what really makes it special is how early it blooms.

The clove scented "snowball" that is center on the pink and white bouquets is a Korean spice viburnum. This is Viburnum carlesii I believe. There are hybrids of this flower like Judd's viburnum and 'Mohawk'. The hybrids bloom earlier and grow faster but the Korean spice has the largest flowers. They all smell great to me but some people I'm sure say the Korean spice has the strongest smell.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Aptil 23, 2010

Everything is really accelerated this year. The crabapples in the easement across the street are blooming and there is also a white flower blooming in the woods down the street. I think it might
be bridal wreath spirea naturalized into shady areas but I'm not sure. You can see the spirea or whatever it is in the first picture - it is the upright white flower.

There are a few bleedin hearts, too, and of course lots of tulips and daffodils. Every year most of the tulips seem to bloom within about 10 days. I will try to keep track of which are the latest ones this year and print those here.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Right Amount of Weeding

I have much better luck just letting nature take its course with most difficult to germinate plants such as bleeding hearts, peonies and hellebores than I do trying to germinate them deliberately. With most of these I only want modest numbers of them anyway so that is not a problem.

Of course, there are always exceptions. I was never able to get sweet ciciely going at my house without sowing them in a seed bed over the winter and then transplanting them. I now can't get rid of the stuff and my peerless gardening partner claims it has become a weed. On the other hand, I fussed and fussed to germinate Hellebores and find they grow like weeds beneath any mature plant.

I searched everywhere for a Henry Mitchell quote about this stuff and finally found it by doing a web search. Of course, if I'd never read the whole Henry Mitchell book to begin with I wouldn't have known what to search for. I searched for "Henry Mitchell I have so many weeds", the quote is on the second page of 'A Word About Worts' in One Man's Garden:

Commonly the gardener relies on stray seedlings, but one year he wakes up to see no seedlings at all. I enjoy saying I have none at all after about the third year, and I enjoy saying this because it suggests that I weed so carefully that no little self-sown seedling has a chance. It is far otherwise. I think the trouble is I have so many weeds that no self-sown seedling has breathing space.

By this definition I must be doing about the right amount of weeding because I often get self sown seedlings and the beds are not yet overrun with weeds.

I was really shocked a few years ago to see that I was getting self sown peonies. This is through absolutely no virtue of my own - they just appeared. I thought I was quite lucky and special until I mentioned it to Patrick Lima at Larkwhistle and he said, "Yeah, they do that now and then. They're always single reds"

Oh well. I can see by their distribution that they tend to appear under certain peonies but I'm never on top of things enough in June to keep track of which peonies are creating progeny. The only exception to this rule is one peony I have planted by itself. It is at least the MOTHER of the baby peonies appearing beneath it. There are lots of self-sown alliums in the picture below (at least most of it isn't grass), and you can see several tiny peonies.

You can see that one of the babies is going to bloom this year in this picture:

The parent is a Saunders hybrid called 'Lustrous'. You can often find interesesting peonies very reasonably at Wild's. I f you're willing to poke through catalogs and wait. I paid $9 each for 'Lustrous' and 'Rushlight' in 2002. They say you can contact them with specific requests but I never got an answer when I did.

You can read something about professor Saunders and the peonies he bred here.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday April 19th, 2010

I actually began deliveries last week but couldn't get my act together to take pictures when I was doing all the last minute stuff (making maps for new houses etc) that I leave until the last minute every year. The flowers this week are not greatly different although the bleeding heart is new (I have a plant that is against the house - the ones in the open are not blooming yet).

The double yellow and orange daffodil is 'Tahiti', the pure white one is 'Stainless'.

The apricot and white daffocil is 'Fragrant Breeze' and the woody shrub bloom that is a pink and white cluster and smells like cloves is Judd's viburnum. I also use a later blooming variety called 'Mohican'. Both are descended from the Korean spice viburnum which is where they get their fragrance.