Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Michael Garden in Saint Petersburg

        Last days the weather was nice, sunny but a bit cold +4 C therefore I headed to my favorite garden  to take pictures of falling yellow leaves. I realized that actually nature was not ready to get yellow, only some oaks started to throw off leaves and acorns.
The Michael Garden takes its name from the Michael Palace better known to visitors as the State Russian Museum. Throughout garden long and varied history it has been a formal French garden, then a hunting reserve, and also it housed labyrinths and fountains. When construction of the Michael Palace finished in 1825, the Garden was turned into a landscaped park.

On the banks of the Moika River, is an ornamental wrought-iron fence built in 19th century. Next to the fence there is a bed with blooming white roses and the very old oaks grew there, preserved since old times probably. On a canal despite of cold weather tourist boats were waiting for passengers for canal cruise.

I love watching another wrought-iron fence that separates Michael garden from the Church of the Savior on the Spilled Blood.

This fence actually is wrought-iron interweaving of branches, leaves, tulips, roses, dahlias and other flowers. In this time of year against the background of yellowing leaves, it looks very nice. Besides white roses hostas, pelargoniums, chrysanthemums, asters continue their blooming till now.

The Michael Garden was closed for restoration and opened again for St. Petersburg 300th anniversary in 2003. Today it is once again a favorite place for citizens to go for a walk or simply to relax and do nothing. Classical music concerts are often held here in late spring and summer.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

GBBD in October

The second month of Autumn, month of first frost, falling yellow leaves, cold nights, calm woods, frozen water, often rains... and some warm sunny days. Mid-October is enough warm +8..+5 C and sunny in Northern area. Here are pictures of what blooms in my garden in Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day:

Aster novi-belgii, variety 'Mont Blanc' is blooming now as each autumn with bright white flowers. Looking at them I understand that we're really in fall and summer won't come back. On the other hand Brunnera has started blooming as if it's in spring. Its small blue flowers recall me April and May, and yellow viola adds the picture. Monarda continues flowering  hasn't noticed cold nights therefore I can continue having a cup of tea with its fresh leaves :))

Rudbeckia ‘Irish Eyes’ (above) is a new one to my garden, I love this green center and big yellow petals. Look at my poor rose 'Red Brilliant' after first frost, cold rain and low temps, its wonderful buds are fading.

The 'Pink Grootendost' rose (above) is very hardy and it usually blooms till November.  What about bushes? They are pretty well,  hydrangea Grandiflora has become pink after cold night temps.

Viburnum opulus, it's called in Russia 'Kalinka' . I love Kalinka berries, they are a bit bitter but after frost are sweet. Last blooming Clematises, Marguerites have a new flush. I love a good crop of red sweet apples!

Red apples fall down in grass, and lay there with yellow maple leaves...It's autumn, October.
Is October cold or warm in your place? What is blooming in your garden?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Plants and Stones

Ten years ago planning my garden I wanted to set some big boulders between or near the planting area. There are many of  granite boulders in the woods around my summer cottage, that had been left by a glacier from the time it had gone. As I learned, one time Rock Gardens were usually designed to imitate native plants growing in natural stone outcroppings.

Today, though, rocks and boulders have become of using  in a naturalistic style to accentuate just about any kind of planting area, from bogs to a complex deserts. For these purposes some years ago I have found out the more traditional kinds of perennial for rock garden plants. These tend to be compact in size, many of them originated in the mountain regions of the world, and most of them have to be quite hardy. In one of last posts I've written about my small rock garden, so I continue to tell you how I use boulders in the garden.
I planted a lot of evergreens like a euonymus fortunei 'Emerald gold' and 'Gaiety', dwarf golden thuja, juniper,  Chamaecyparis Pisifera, rhododendrons. Between them several species of hostas and yellow flowering Potentilla grow.

I have chosen flowers for planting near stones:
Gypsophila, I love its spreading mat of greyish foliage, abundant clusters of white flowers from late Spring until early Summer grow near the pond. Daisy
and Geranium were planted near thuja and juniper.  Daisy has now been hybridized to include double flowering varieties in shades of white, pink, rose-red or purple 
Many species and varieties of Primula and annual Begonia are the best for planting near boulders. Bright green Sedum leaves covered with small, star shaped, red and golden flowers grow between stones as well. Saxifrage, an evergreen perennial that forms cushions of moss-like fine foliage and produces pretty, cream colored flowers, Periwinkle with blue flowers grow along the low stone wall that separates a bed and a lawn.

Some landscapers call rocks and boulders of "stone beads" in the gardens. I do not know whether they are right or wrong, but boulders help me to take care of flower beds, because of grass doesn't grow among the flowers and shrubs.

Do you use stones and boulders in your garden? What do you think they can take place in garden design?