looking good: garden stars of early july

cimicifuga-racemosaJ UNGLE CONDITIONS NOTWITHSTANDING, some things are still standing here, and even looking good. I wanted to make sure to give each one its due so that these brave souls, who didn’t pack up and float away lately with all the you-know-what, know that I appreciate their courage and tenacity. And so I offer some apparently tough highlights of early July that you may wish to try yourself, including Actaea racemosa, above (which I still call Cimicifuga, taxonomic dinosaur that I am, sorry), and…

The preposterous purple cones of the Korean fir, Abies koreana, a great conifer (above), stand out defiantly against any force of nature, it seems.

astilboides-in-bloomAstilboides tabularis is in bloom (above, in front of a hydrangea), an amazing plant for shade that gets so many questions from visitors (though I grow it more for its giant leaves, bottom of frame).

Any day now: A favorite shrub, the bottlebrush buckeye or Aesculus parviflora (above), is about to do its thing, rebounding despite a hard year in 2008.

salviaHummingbird favorites like salvias (above) and Nicotiana are delighting the ruby-throateds, with even better sipping ahead, if summery heat ever arrives.

Of course, who needs flowers to be beautiful? Not these leafy darlings,
including Ligularia, above (OK, it’s now called Farfugium, but who cares?). Like I said, I like my taxonomy the old way, and somewhat lite.

Categoriestrees & shrubs
  1. Balsamfir says:

    I thought farfugium was the old name for ligularia. Oh well, they’ll always be cimicifuga, which is so much fun to say, and ligularia to me. My nicotiana’s are drowning, I think.

  2. Fred from Loudonville, NY says:

    Here at Whimsey Hill House, I have the Cimicifuga Racemosa, BUT it is a variety that blooms at the END of September, and into October. It is the LAST flower that appears in my garden. I have two different kinds of creeping ginger, one with a more glossy leave than the other. The ginger is supposed to be a moisture lover, but is doing fine enough in the NON bog area where I have planted it. Next year, if we don’t get as much rain, as this year, I will know how HAPPY it really is. Bunny Williams has wonderful specimens of the Bottlebruch Buckeye, at her place in Falls Village, Ct. If I had the space, at least one would grace my lawn. I was SURPRISED, that in a garden center, here in the Albany, NY area, they were trying to get $125. per bush.

  3. Fred from Loudonville, NY says:

    I have LOVED the Astilboides, since seeing it at Margaret’s house. When I went to Windy Hill Nursery, in Great Barrington, Ma, I had a hard time finding it. I was looking for a plant with the BIG leaves. The young plants that they were selling had small leaves. Someone there had to find it for me. I have had mine since 2004, BUT it is NO WHERE as big as Margaret’s. Though it has the big leaves. I have wondered if Margaret’s is in more moist soil. Mine faces East, and gets a drink when it rains, or I water it myself.

  4. John at JWLW says:

    Margaret, We can all complain about the wet weather but look out the window, there are things out there blooming and looking beautiful. If the weather was hot, Sunny and dry we would all be complaining, but again look out he window, there are things out there blooming and looking beautiful. Nature has a way of adapting to all situations and we are going through one right now that we are not use to, it’s different. But nature is coping with it providing us with new and different circumstances. So Look out the cwindow and enjoy whats there its natures way of showing us she may or may not know what she is doing.

    Have a good day,

  5. Michelle says:

    How refreshingly green and beautiful. Most of my garden is looking rather dry now, I only keep a couple of spots watered enough to produce flowers. Thanks for the eye candy!

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, Michelle. You are welcome. I really have so many things that have either been drowned, pierced by hail or chewed by slugs that these babies are much appreciated, even more than in a “normal” year. Hope we see you soon again.

  6. norma says:

    I think I can walk across the garden on the tops of slugs and snails without touching the ground at all this year. It also means I have lots of snakes. I appreciate their help, but dislike being startled by something slithering away as I reach for a weed.

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, Norma. Yes, they are disconcerting…but I am screwing up my courage and learning to be at ease (at least a bit more) and just thank them instead of scream and run. I am big on the “stomp around first” method of warning the snakes, which usually send them off away from where I want to work. Hope to see you soon again.

  7. Kathy says:

    Margaret, I love everything about your garden and we share the love of many of the same plants but the snakes you can have. Stomping or no stomping.

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