Perennials forum: Favourite perennials in my Canadian garden

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Name: Charlie
Aurora, Ontario (Zone 5b)
Maintenance of Perennial Beds.
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SunnyBorders
May 22, 2013 8:57 PM CST
Lovely iris, Cindy.

Most tulips are finished in all but the shadiest parts of the garden (as above).
The few left in the front garden must be late ones.

Sorry: some combinations in the top picture are misleading - a tall iris ('Blue Flirt') and several columbines, which are in bloom, were only purchased and planted in flower within the last week).
Excluding these recent additions, with the exception of the plicate iris above, we only have dwarf irises blooming, and almost all the columbines are only in bud).
(Forgot: And the flowering Dianthus and creeping phlox were also added, in flower, to fill in holes and maintain diversity - Dianthus is not blooming here yet, either.)

Got the iris in bloom from Mori Perennials in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Got to the stage where I will only buy irises in bloom, to be sure of what they're selling.
Our own garden (above) is generally not a good iris garden; high mortality (find irises don't tend to do well in mixed perennial beds, and that's planted at or close to the front).

You're right Suzie; beginning to lose sight of the surface of the soil in many parts of the garden (even without the above remediation).
I need to cut back several things, however, especially the species lungbanes which tend to run a bit.
Several things like the spring peas also need division.
Like to thin out the 'Giant Pink' Chionodoxa (which I deadhead), but currently have to tolerate the leaves of spent crocuses, daffodils and tulips.

Tend to plant close (a challenge of small mixed perennial gardens), so being able to see the soil surface is a big help in reducing the size of things (and weeding, before shading by taller perennials and deadheading take over seeding weed control).
[Last edited by SunnyBorders - May 22, 2013 9:10 PM (+)]
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Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
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gardengus
May 23, 2013 6:01 AM CST
Leave no space unplanted is my motto in the spring , but when summer comes things are too crowed .

Smiling Gardening is such a dance
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: Charlie
Aurora, Ontario (Zone 5b)
Maintenance of Perennial Beds.
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SunnyBorders
May 23, 2013 8:02 AM CST
My style too, Cinda.

I tend to call it "juggling", but same sentiment.
Name: Brian
Ontario Canada (Zone 5b)
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bearsearch
May 26, 2013 9:43 AM CST
HiCinda, Charlie and others.
Jumping in here a little late to the conversation. I have both pulminaria and mertensia and have to say that the pulmonaria have it all over the mertensia. In my garden the pulminaria bloom for a much longer time and are far more visible due to the sheer number of blooms which is much greater than the mertensia. I have a number of varieties of pulmonaria that range in colour from completely pink through completely blue. Some have a couple spots on the leaves and range all the way to totally silver. I don't have any that are plain green though. The foliage adds quite a bit to my garden when nothing else is in bloom. My front garden is planted in more of a natural fashion and I let a bunch of my plants seed themselves where they will and the pulmonaria is an expert at that.

I'm on the other side of Southern Ontario from Charlie, just off from the Lake Huron shores, and it's interesting to see what blooms when given we're approximately the same latitude. I'm zone 6a though because of the lake.
Thumb of 2013-05-26/bearsearch/e00e24 Thumb of 2013-05-26/bearsearch/865b06
Thumb of 2013-05-26/bearsearch/e94a37 Thumb of 2013-05-26/bearsearch/bde2e9

As you can see I really need to do some thinning too!
Name: Brian
Ontario Canada (Zone 5b)
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bearsearch
May 26, 2013 9:48 AM CST
Quote from Charlie : " Got to the stage where I will only buy irises in bloom, to be sure of what they're selling."

I've got that way with most plants now. The last two or three years have been so bad for not getting what I ordered that I've cut out quite a few retailers from my acceptable sources list.

Name: Susie
Leonard, Minnesota (Zone 3b)
Composter Hellebores Garden Art Irises Xeriscape Echinacea
Sedums Foliage Fan Herbs Dahlias Frogs and Toads Bee Lover
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4susiesjoy
May 26, 2013 4:20 PM CST
Brian, what is the name of the beautiful blue pulmonaria in the first picture? I love the intense blue! Lovey dubby
Name: Brian
Ontario Canada (Zone 5b)
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bearsearch
May 26, 2013 6:27 PM CST
I think that one is "Marjery ( Marjory?) Fish" but I'm not sure. I bought one with that name but I've never been able to find any reference to that name. They have all inter bred and and have given me quite a variety of plants.
[Last edited by bearsearch - May 26, 2013 6:37 PM (+)]
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Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
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gardengus
May 26, 2013 7:41 PM CST
Beautiful garden you have there Brian .
and that is an intense blue Thumbs up
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: Brian
Ontario Canada (Zone 5b)
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bearsearch
May 26, 2013 7:52 PM CST
Thanks Cinda. It's kind of gotten a bit out of hand and needs some thinning out! If only I could find the time.
Name: Susie
Leonard, Minnesota (Zone 3b)
Composter Hellebores Garden Art Irises Xeriscape Echinacea
Sedums Foliage Fan Herbs Dahlias Frogs and Toads Bee Lover
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4susiesjoy
May 26, 2013 9:18 PM CST
bearsearch said:I think that one is "Marjery ( Marjory?) Fish" but I'm not sure. I bought one with that name but I've never been able to find any reference to that name. They have all inter bred and and have given me quite a variety of plants.



thanks for the info! Smiling
Name: Charlie
Aurora, Ontario (Zone 5b)
Maintenance of Perennial Beds.
Image
SunnyBorders
May 26, 2013 10:31 PM CST
Lovely pictures, Brian.

I do have Mertensia, but I too get much greater mileage from Pulmonaria.
Am trying to take stock of what perennials we have, in our own garden, while I can still see some soil.
Have already done the lungbanes.
Of our dozen or so cultivars, think I particularly like the flowers of 'Blue Ensign' and 'E.B.Anderson' (very different blues).

We also have one or two species lungbanes which tend to spread around, but which are easy to control with a spade.

Being a bit on the perfectionist side, I eliminate seedlings because, as Brian and Susie say, the bees can cause a lot of interbreeding.
'Margery Fish' is of hybrid origin, likely the work of bees; it's also now the parent of a number of more recent American introductions.

Was happy to get a root of 'Regal Ruffles' (the first lungbane with ruffled flowers) in early May and even happier that it's now leafing.


Name: Brian
Ontario Canada (Zone 5b)
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bearsearch
May 27, 2013 4:36 AM CST
Charlie, where do you get your phlox? That is one of the plants I've had extreme troubles with ordering a variety of colours and ending up with one white and the rest a muddy pink? One is a little closer to purple but basically they are all the same colour.

I know where your coming from about the perfectionist side but I had to quickly learn to adjust to a more naturalistic type garden where plants can seed and spread (within reason of course) because I live and work 3 hours away from my garden and don't get the time I want to spend in it. Eventually when I move here permanently the garden will become more controlled. Maybe managed would be a better word, Mother nature doesn't like to be "controlled".
[Last edited by bearsearch - May 27, 2013 6:24 AM (+)]
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Name: Susie
Leonard, Minnesota (Zone 3b)
Composter Hellebores Garden Art Irises Xeriscape Echinacea
Sedums Foliage Fan Herbs Dahlias Frogs and Toads Bee Lover
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4susiesjoy
May 27, 2013 5:10 AM CST
Brian and Charlie, I'm a bit of a perfectionist too, But I have the hardest time getting rid of some things that have self-seeded. I'm getting better at it but I'm alway thinkin' that the one I pull (or hoe) is gonna be a beautiful new variety. Hilarious! Hilarious! There's been one or two....... Whistling Whistling
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
Dances with Dirt
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gardengus
May 27, 2013 2:05 PM CST
We have been discussing bluebells vs lungbanes

so what do you think of this??
Can you guess what it is?
Growing under cherry trees .
Thumb of 2013-05-27/gardengus/d6a4f9
from a distant I thought bluebells
then lungbane

closer shot
Thumb of 2013-05-27/gardengus/d30b1c
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: Susie
Leonard, Minnesota (Zone 3b)
Composter Hellebores Garden Art Irises Xeriscape Echinacea
Sedums Foliage Fan Herbs Dahlias Frogs and Toads Bee Lover
Image
4susiesjoy
May 27, 2013 8:01 PM CST
It looks alot like comfrey to me. Smiling
Name: Brian
Ontario Canada (Zone 5b)
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bearsearch
May 27, 2013 8:05 PM CST
That's my thought too.

I was wondering where the name "lungbane" has come from? I have never heard of pulmonaria or lungwort referred to as lungbane. I'm interested in how and where plants get names from. When searched on GOOGLE the only reference to lung bane was in regards to lung cancer. Does anybody know?
[Last edited by bearsearch - May 27, 2013 8:14 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #413949 (16)
Name: Charlie
Aurora, Ontario (Zone 5b)
Maintenance of Perennial Beds.
Image
SunnyBorders
May 27, 2013 9:34 PM CST
Phlox are my absolutely favourite plants, Brian, so have quite a few.

Think we're fortunate in where we live.
This and adjacent towns have lots of garden centres, so I'm usually able to buy phlox, in season, (usually) in flower.

Find a particular garden centre may have a good variety of phlox one year and less the next.
Also find what's available tends to change from year to year, new cultivars continually appearing.
For instance, I saw lots of the pink and white pinwheel 'Peppermint Twist' in one garden centre a bit over five years ago and haven't seen any elsewhere since.
Assuming though that they can be ordered on-line.
I find 'Peppermint Twist' to be a particularly useful cultivar, especially for it's robust growth.

So far this year, I've only seen 'Glamour Girl' (new?), 'Starfire' and 'David's Lavender' (I'd only read about the latter).

I also have the advantage of being retired!
I just have a very small retirement perennial gardening business to distract me from our own small garden.
Name: Charlie
Aurora, Ontario (Zone 5b)
Maintenance of Perennial Beds.
Image
SunnyBorders
May 27, 2013 10:34 PM CST
Lungbane/lungwort, Brian.

I usually use the word pulmonaria (in appropriate form).
However, in popular form I've always called it lungbane, but am going to have to change to lungwort.
In the case of the only three usages I saw on-line of lungbane (for Pulmonaria), the author was me!
Checked the RHS Plant Finder, so it's lungwort.

Suspect you know of the origin of the name in the Doctrine of Signatures.

Didn't know comfrey, but despite the very slight resemblance of the plant in Cinda's picture to Virginia bluebells, knew it was not that.
Looking at pictures of comfrey on-line, agree with the plant being comfrey.



Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
Dances with Dirt
Butterflies Cottage Gardener Birds Vegetable Grower Herbs Frugal Gardener
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Organic Gardener Composter Bee Lover Garden Procrastinator Frogs and Toads
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gardengus
May 28, 2013 6:34 AM CST
Morning all

Yes it is blue comfrey (hidcote) , you are all so good , I had never seen blue comfrey before.
I thought it looked good and reminded me of bluebells.

I used the word lungbane out of respect , because that is how it was referred to in this conversation.I am a very poor speller and when I try to use the Latin names I have to look up the spelling every time. Also being a two fingered typist makes for some very time consuming responses Rolling my eyes.

Charlie ,
you are right about the name lungwort coming from the Doctrine of Signatures.
Even the Latin pulmonaria refers to the word we use for lung (pulmonary)
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: Charlie
Aurora, Ontario (Zone 5b)
Maintenance of Perennial Beds.
Image
SunnyBorders
May 28, 2013 8:04 AM CST
Thanks, Cinda.
You're the soul of tact.
And suspect it's also a case of the deference of "age before beauty"!

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