|[ Hoya (Hoya pubicalyx 'Royal Hawaiian Purple') | Posted on September 11, 2012 ]
Smells divine at night.
|[ Pale Swallow-wort (Cynanchum rossicum) | Posted on May 31, 2012 ]
This is a highly invasive non-native (to Ontario) plant.
Produces scented, milkweed-like flowers with 5 petals that are smooth unlike the Black Swallowwort which has fuzzy flower petals.
Destroy this plant if you see it! Female Monarch butterflies will mistakenly lay their eggs on this plant believing it to be a milkweed but it doesn't have the right food for the caterpillars.
|[ Dutchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) | Posted on May 2, 2012 ]
Dutchman's Breeches are one of the early spring ephemerals. All traces of these plants are gone by late summer.
The flower shape gives Dutchman's Breeches its common name.
An Ontario native plant.
4 to 8 inches tall.
Leaves are greyish green and hairless.
Plants prefer dappled shade in woodland settings.
|[ Bee Balm (Monarda didyma) | Posted on January 31, 2012 ]
The red Monarda didyma is the most prolific grower in my Zone 5 garden. It isn't prolific to the point of being invasive, but if left alone it will gladly fill a large area over a few years.
Super easy to rip out though because of its very shallow root system.
Transplants like a dream, yank out a hunk and barely shove it in some soil and it will grow.
Prefers full sun (Canada) but will grow nicely, although not as prolifically or as tall, in partial shade.
Not fussy about soil. My gardens are sandy.
Doesn't need any extra watering up here either although we do get rained on at least once a week.
Leaves will get mildew during years of high rainfalls or if the nights are too damp and cool. This can be alleviated by thinning the patch to allow airflow between the stems.
|[ Oriental Poppy (Papaver orientale) | Posted on October 27, 2011 ]
Zone 5a, Ontario, Canada
These can be slightly invasive...they do not stay where you put them and will self seed like crazy. Hard to eradicate if you decide you don't want them. My Mom has been trying to get rid of mine for years with no success :))
They are beautiful though.
|[ Ostrich Fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris) | Posted on October 26, 2011 ]
These can be found growing in moist, rich soil.
When the new fronds are roughly 2 inches tall they can be harvested (just take 2 out of every 5 emerging heads) and boiled (after rinsing and removing the brown husk). They are also delicious sauteed in butter.
They can also be eaten raw as a snack or in salads.
Note: never eat any wild plant unless you are 100 % certain of its identity.
|[ Great Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum biflorum var. commutatum) | Posted on October 26, 2011 ]
This plant can be found growing in the wild in moist woodland areas. It likes moist, cool, air.
Great Solomon's Seal is endangered in some US States.
The ground up rhizomes (root) of this plant are still used by herbalists to help heal fresh wounds and bruises.
Berries and seed are poisonous.
|[ Eastern Prickly Pear (Opuntia humifusa) | Posted on October 25, 2011 ]
This is the only native cactus of Ontario, Canada. Endangered.
Every winter the entire plant turns to mush. When Spring arrives and the ground starts warming up, after a few rains, the plant starts to "fill out" again...eventually turning into it's full version.
Very prickly. Not a large plant. I've had this plant for 6 years and it barely fills half of a half whiskey barrel planter.
Blooms every year. Blooms begin a beautiful lemon yellow fading to peach the second day and pink the third and final day.
I've never gotten fruit from the blooms.
Needs no special treatment.
|[ Mock Orange (Philadelphus lewisii) | Posted on October 20, 2011 ]
No maintenance, this bush grows in perfect form without having to be trimmed/pruned.
|[ Bush Honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica) | Posted on October 20, 2011 ]
This is a beautiful, Spring flowering bush growing "wild" on my fence line.
Flowers are highly scented, more so in the late evening and at night.
The reddish-orange berries it produces in the Fall attract birds, especially Cedar Waxwings.
Slow growing, no maintenance bush. I've never noticed any pests or diseases in the 20 years I've been here.
|[ Japanese Morning Glory (Ipomoea nil 'Rose Silk') | Posted on October 18, 2011 ]
Flower is 2.5 inches across.
Almost need a longer growing season for these here in Zone 5a. Mine always have to be brought inside in the Fall since they're just starting to bloom when frost comes the first week of September from seeds planted late May.
|[ Common Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea 'Alba') | Posted on October 11, 2011 ]
If dead-headed after blooming this plant will bloom again later in the Summer.
Prefer, but do not need a well draining soil. If the soil isn't well draining they may rot over the winter.
These will happily self seed and return for many years.
Digitalis leaves are a source of the drug digitalis and are highly poisonous. Plant juices may also cause allergic skin reactions. Caution required if you have curious children or pets, I've never had a problem with them.
|[ Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina) | Posted on September 30, 2011 ]
I make a "tea" with the "fruits" of this Sumac.
Pour boiling water over the red berry clusters. Let sit for 10 minutes then strain (the boiling water kills any bugs/worms).
You can also put the berry clusters in a pitcher, fill with cold water and steep for a few hours like you'd make ice tea.
Very fruity tasting, kind of like a mild cranberry lemonade.
Chock full of vitamin C.
If your Sumac has white berries DO NOT TRY THIS!!
|[ American Larch (Larix laricina) | Posted on September 30, 2011 ]
The needles are normally borne on a short shoot in groups of 10–20 needles
The Larch is deciduous and the needles turn yellow in autumn.
The seed cones are small, less than 2 cm (0.8 in) long.
Larch are commonly found in swamps, bogs, and other low-land areas.
|[ Bog Bean (Menyanthes trifoliata) | Posted on September 29, 2011 ]
I've had this plant growing happily in my pond for 5 years.
My pond gets drained every winter and I just leave the plant in its pot in the empty pond for the winter. Comes back faithfully every spring.
Full shade. Grows like a weed, but is not invasive here.
|[ Shrubby Cinquefoil (Dasiphora fruticosa) | Posted on September 29, 2011 ]
They don't mind my sandy soil...in fact they aren't the least bit fussy about growing conditions. Full sun or part shade. Don't care about watering.
They bloom almost all summer.
Easily propagated by snipping off new shoots in the spring and sticking into some soil in a shady area until rooted, or bending a branch down and pinning to the ground with a rock until rooted.
|[ Adam's Needle (Yucca filamentosa) | Posted on September 29, 2011 ]
I grow these in full sun.
The bloom spikes are huge and very eye-catching. The blooms last a long time.
They enjoy my sandy soil and don't need any extra watering.
|[ Arkwright's Campion (Silene x arkwrightii 'Vesuvius') | Posted on September 29, 2011 ]
It took me several Summers to figure out what this plant wanted. Finally have it happy in mostly shade with a bit of evening sun.
Seems to prefer being tucked in around other plants for shelter.
Did not like sandy soil...prefers a heavier compost-y type soil.
Doesn't like to get too dry for long periods.
|[ Flanders Field Poppy (Papaver rhoeas) | Posted on September 29, 2011 ]
One of my favourite poppies.
Self-seeds faithfully every year.
Blooms all Summer.
Huge variety of different colours.
Full sun or part shade.
A must have for any garden.
|[ Clematis (Clematis tangutica 'Bill MacKenzie') | Posted on September 29, 2011 ]
This Clematis grew almost 20 feet up the television antenna the first year I had it.
Blooms off and on all summer.