gardenchatter

Garden adventures and advice…


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Daylily “Happy Returns”

There are hundreds, possibly thousands of different daylilies but Daylily ‘Happy Returns’ (Hemerocallis ‘Happy Returns’) is one of my favourites. A non-stop summer bloomer, Happy Returns presents 3-inch, butter-yellow flowers similar in appearance to early spring daffodils. It’s smaller size (2 feet high) makes it perfect for a garden border, a perennial bed or containers. It grows well in full sun but does appreciate some morning or afternoon shade. Hardy in zones 3 to 9, it’s not fussy on soil type and pollinators love it. A bright addition to any garden – large or small!

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Lacy Hearts Chinese Hydrangea Vine

Lacy Hearts
Came across a very interesting, but apparently rare, new hydrangea vine – Lacy Hearts.

Lacy Hearts foliage is stunning – olive green, heart-shaped leaves that are edged in ivory. Small white flowers present a showy display in late summer.

Lacy Hearts needs plenty of water, particularly during hot spells and because of it’s shade tolerance would grow well in a woodland garden setting. It’s also suitable for creating a colorful privacy fence and would perform well if grown on a north or east-facing wall.

It’s fairly slow growing though but will ultimately sprout up to 15 feet.

A deciduous self-clinging vine (doesn’t need support or to be grown on a trellis), Lacy Hearts will survive in zones 6 to 9. There’s some discussion as to whether my area is 5, 5b or 6a, so if I can find this unique little hydrangea at any of the local garden centers, I might just give it a try in an area well protected from harsh winter winds. Most hydrangea vines grow just fine in zone 5+.

Other Chinese hydrangea vines with unique foliage include ‘Red Rhapsody’ – new foliage growth is red, ‘Rosea’ – bright pink sepals and ‘Moonlight’ – blue leaves with dark green veins.


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Cranesbill Geranium x cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo’

The Perennial Plant Association has announced its “2015 Perennial Plant of the Year” – Geranium x cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo’.

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Family: Geraniaceae

Genus: Geranium

Species: x cantabrigiense

Cultivar: Biokovo

A stunning addition to any garden, Cranesbill ‘Biokovo’ is a low-maintenance, long-blooming hardy geranium. It will grow well in full sun and part shade to a height of 12 to 18 inches and up to 36 inches wide. It will not bloom if planed in full shade.

With dark green foliage and light pink blooms, ‘Biokovo’ plant will provide delicate color form early spring right through to late summer.

Occurring naturally in Croatia’s Biokovo Mountains on the Dalmation Coast of the Mediterranean, ‘Biokovo’ has a medium growth rate, will adapt to most soil types and performs well in borders, edgings, alpine plantings, containers or when used as a ground cover. It’s even deer and rabbit resistant!

This plant is quite drought resistant once established, easy to split in either the spring or fall and is hardy from zones 5a (-28.8°C/-20 °F) to 9a ( -6.6 °C/20 °F).

Geranium trivia – Cranesbill geraniums get their name from the shape of the seed – it’s actually quite similar to the beak-like appearance of a cranes bill.


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Pinky Winky Hydrangea

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Wow! Where did the summer go? 

It’s been a good one, a little dry right now, normal for August, but overall good garden weather. Have been on a steady diet of tomatoes, sugar snaps, and bean thanks to the numerous plants in the veggie garden. And the squash is coming along quite nicely. Tried some new beans this year – purple pole and rattlesnake – best we’ve ever eaten. Definitely going to expand the bean bed next year.

A friend of mine gave me a fabulous pinky winky hydrangea. An old garden was in the process of being redesigned and it needed something spectacular – and this plant sure is.

The large white flower spikes open in mid to late summer, and as summer turns to fall the flowers at the base turn pink. They continue to grow, producing new white florets at the very tip. The result is a stunning two-toned flower  that can reach up to 16 inches in length! 

The hardiest of all hydrangeas – to USDA plant hardiness zones 3 through 9, pinky winky is drought tolerant, provides bright color right through until the frost hits and grows to 8 feet high and 6 feet wide. 

This hydrangea blooms on new wood – prune in late winter or early spring for an incredible summer flower show!