Thursday, April 24, 2014

Elegant Fuchsia

          Many gardeners love fuchsia, but sometimes store-bought plant is immediately getting ill after flowering (as in my case) because hot and dry home air does not suit them. Fuchsia is a well known houseplant, and all summer it blooms well in open air or on the balcony. In winter it has be stored in a cool, bright place or on the balcony.
When I've been to Munich Botanic Gardens I saw many pots with fuchsias growing in the Conservatory. Mostly they were shrubs with large simple, semi-double and double flowers on long stalks. These photos I've taken there show that flowers are a combination of two colors. 


The upturned edges of the flowers give special grace to them. Petals of flowers often have a different color than the calyx, are purple, red, pink and white.
I love fuchsia, but growing them here in North is difficult, they love warmth, although there are varieties that are hardy to little freezing. I admire the fuchsias in Helene's garden, they are wonderful! She grows and propagate cuttings from spring to autumn. 


I'd like to plant one or two fuchsias in garden pots and enjoy their blooming during summer in my garden. But I'm afraid I won't be able to store them in winter time.
Did you ever grow some fuchsias? Was your experience successful? What varieties of fuchsias do you have in your garden or home?
Thank you!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Keukenhof in Bloom

The garden Keukenhof (The Netherlands) is pretty big. Aside from numerous flower beds with tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and muscari I liked the blossoming trees and shrubs there. In April, the trees in our area are not yet in bloom. So blossoming trees in the park were great. Look at the blooming apple and plum trees:

The gardeners of Keukenhof show apple trees growing the "espalier" style, a very interesting way of growing. Some young apple trees and plum trees grow in my garden for 3 years, I will try to make  the "espalier" style, fasten their branches the same way on wires.

Several pavilions are in the park, the exhibitions of flowers and blossoming shrubs are held there. Please, look how bright these bouquets are:


In another pavilion the exhibition of lilac and viburnum was. Very beautiful shrubs, especially with double flowers. My lilacs are ordinary shrubs and I would like to have any of these varieties.

Then I went to see the Japanese garden. Before entering a large 'sakura' (Japanese cherry) was flowering. Great, I had not seen 'sakura' in blossoms before! In the Japanese garden beautiful magnolia and maple was growing near the stones.

I looked at the blooming magnolia and imagine how my little magnolia will be in bloom in a few years.
In the alley I saw flowering camellia and immediately recollected "A Lady with Camellia" by Alexandre Dumas. Also there were rhododendrons that have started to bloom. But not all rhododendrons yet, probably in May they will amaze visitors with their flowers.

Do you ever grow an apple tree  the "espalier" style? I need you advice! 
Do you have some double lilac or viburnum in your garden? Thank you!

Happy Easter and Good Friday! 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Colorful 'Rivers' of Flowers

       I just got back from Holland. My dream has come true: I've visited Keukenhof, the famous park of tulips. I read a lot about this amazing park that is only open from mid-March to mid-May, ie the time of tulip flowering. Certainly Keukenhof amazed me as other visitors.
Over 70,000 bulbs of tulips, daffodils, hyacintn, muscari were planted this year.
I was delighted with the beautiful combinations of flowers and rhododendrons, flowers and blooming trees. Tulips, daffodils, anemnony, hyacinth, muscari seemed the colorful rivers. Look at this great combination of pale pink tulips and blue anemone:

Or this combination of tulips they remind me multicolored stripes waving in the wind:

I saw a brook running into a lake. Near a brook a red leaved Japanese maple grew up surrounded by tulips. This picture was very calm:

Along the alley a flower bed of tulips and daffodils was planted. Look at this great variety of tulips:

Farther a bed with hyacinths was planted. The combination of light and dark purple hyacinths struck me. Light yellow-lemon hyacinths completed the picture. But there is little focus. Dutch gardeners put a piece of metal wire in the center of hyacinth that it could not be bent over!

I went to the pavilion and saw a vase with muscari. Amazingly beautiful variety of muscari! Near another pavilion tulips with fimbriate petals grew together with muscari:

But the 'river' of muscari and yellow and red tulips was an amazing spectacle:

Park designers show interesting ideas combining different bulbs. Yellow and white tulips, dark purple hyacinths, white daffodils, anemones and lupins grow together in mixborders:

More photos near the pond:

I have lots of impressions and will tell you in my next posts about rhododendrons, hydrangeas, lilacs, roses, orchids, Sakura in Keukenhof.

Did you love some of these combinations? Would you like to implement these ideas in your own garden? Thank you!

Here is my video of Keukenhof:

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Clematis in My Garden

           By the time when the first clematis was planted in my garden there already were many other plants. Before I did not buy clematis, because I thought it's very difficult to grow it. The first one was 'Jackmani' specie and it was brought by a neighbor as sometimes happens. Then I decided to carefully examine how to grow clematis, and eventually have got my own experience.
 I learned that:
1. In wild clematis can be found on all continents, in forests, steppes, along rivers and gorges. 
2. Clematis it is better to be planted to a permanent place.
3. Usually clematis have thin shoots of the current year. All new shoots develop from dormant buds in the spring. Clematis leaves consist of three, five or seven leaflets, the usual green leaves meet the purple color in fall.
4. Clematis flowers are white, yellow, pale pink and pale blue, and velvet shades of red and blue
5. When the light is not enough, you will not achieve good flowering. The best place is a solar or slightly shaded at noon spot.
6. The moist areas of high groundwater levels are not suitable for them, even if only temporarily stagnate water.  

Clematis 'Jackmanii' 

 Clematis 'President'

I love clematis blooming, it lasts a week or two, and double clematis bloom almost three weeks. When the first clematis beautifully flowered in its second year,  I have purchased more different varieties and decided to achieve clematis flowering  from spring to autumn. 

Clematis 'Justa'

The early blooming variety has flowers in two months after growth starting in spring  The big-flowered clematis are beautiful and graceful, but I also like small- flowered clematis ( 'Justa' above) as they are undemanding to growing conditions, give a lot of greenery. When I've enough learned about clematis I thought: 
 What specie of Clematis to choose? As I  have a relatively short summer and winter frosts, it is better to choose early blooming variety of the 'Jackmani', 'Viticella' and 'Integrifolia' groups.
Where to plant clematis? I have decided to planted them on the east and west sides of the garden. 

 Clematis 'Miss Bateman'

Clematis 'Rouge cardinal'
For normal growth and abundant flowering clematises need any trellis, arch or arbor. I think this support has not to be only practical and easy to plant, but also to be beautiful. Now I use wooden pergolas and plastic grid with large cells attached to them.

What is your experience in clematis growing? What varieties do you prefer?
Thank you!

P.S. I go for short holidays and will immediately read your blogs when I get back. Bye for now!