Whoops…here’s some blooms I missed posting in July…

Lilium ‘Lily Looks Tiny Icon’. Happy Mothers Day gift from Phoenix Perennials.
Love that daylily….Hemerocallis ‘Cleo’ with NoID friends
Lewisia just blooming its heart out…as always. It has bloomed right up to Christmas before!
Verbascum ‘Jackie’? ‘Southern Charm’???  The photo is pinker…the real blooms are peachier. 
Hemerocallis ‘Cleo’. Makes my heart sing.

What’s blooming today….

We’ve had a run of hot beautiful days. Things are a little dry, but everything’s starting to bloom.

Heuchera ‘Pewter Veil’
Rosa ‘New Dawn’
NoID white climbing rose
Tanacetum parthenium (Feverfew)
Hemerocallis ‘Cleo’
NoID daylily
Geranium “Rozanne’
Hypericum. Perforatum (St. John’s Wort)
Clematis chiionensis ‘Lemon Bells’
Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion)

Garden Art

I’m not a huge fan of garden art, but I did see some that I loved on the Hardy Plant Study Weekend tours.

I managed to snap up these Fiddlesticks before the crowds arrived. Here they are, happily ensconced in my lavender. 
Loved this woman…simple, elegant.
I’m betting there are lights inside these. 
I loved these.  They were in several gardens. I’m looking for a source!
I love the detail on the border. 


Flourish…day 2 & 3


New day…renewed energy…1st off was the garden of Anne Mace in Saanich.  Fiddlestick Pottery was on site and doing a good business. Good thing I got there early and scored a lovely trio of fiddlesticks!  Loved this garden. There were some lovely shade spots…including a bed of Polystichum setiferum to die for.

Cornus kousa

Beautiful shade spots…note the allium!!

Now who knew that River Birch (Betula nigra ‘Heritage’)) would thrive here on the coast. This tree was a mainstay in my Ontario garden. I miss it terribly. Dare I try it here?  Now…yes!!

Now, the garden of Graham Smyth, with a peek-a-boo view of Cadboro Bay. Cadboro Bay is MY Beach. I spent my teen-age years just blocks from here. Who knew that gardening and microclimates existed at that point? I did overhear several fellow delegates commenting on this garden….”Hardy??  Really??”  Yes folks…welcome to Victoria.  We may be in Canada…but the microclimates on the sland can be absolutely incredible.   Here is Restio tetraphyllus…an Australian native.

more Podophyllum…very pale ‘Spotty Dotty”??
 Nope….Petasites palmatus….thanks Plants Ident!!

Agave…clearly made it through the island’s 2017 winter-from-hell.

Libertia peregrinans …. oh…need me some of these!!

Mukdenia rossii


Our native Holodiscus discolour, Ocean spray.

MY Cadboro Bay!

Unidentified…so glossy…so red…so gorgeous!!!

Ok…this one was in a greenhouse!

Dranunculus vulgaris. This was one of two of the tour.  PU!  What a smell!  But a lovely flower!  The next day we saw another one…but the smell was gone!  Hmmm….

Sunday….this was a beautiful garden belonging to Richard Mosselman in James Bay (downtown Victoria). Photos can’t do this garden justice. It was tiny. And voluptuous!  Privacy was the main goal of the garden…but the depth and breadth and richness of the plantings was divine.


Ok…this photo is my regret photo. I saw a lovely little Cornus alternifolia at Alba in the Market Place for $30. and debated…and debated…but eventually declined. Then…the next day…Cornus Alternifolias proceeded to haunt/taunt me. Arghhhh!!!!  Oops…where did that Cornus go??  This is actually a Styrax japonica in bloom. Lovely. Now the Cornus is getting all elusive on me ‘cuz I didn’t buy it!!!  Anyway…..moving on. 

Araucaria araucana…monkey puzzle tree.  This is a HUGE tree eventually, but lovely tucked into a woodland garden.  For now!

Now I know why I just bought a little piece of this. Hacquetia epipactis. 

This particular bed is a little formal for me…but this garden belonging to Lily Maxwell was amazing. Given that the surrounding properties were built on pure rock…this fertile lush garden space was inspiring.

Eryngium ‘Blue Jackpot’?

The next day… a NOT smelly Dranunculus vulgaris. Past its smell prime!!

Lovely garden

What’s this orchid. We saw it a few times on the tour….???

Beautiful Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca Pendula’

OMG…done!!  An amazing weekend.  Very, very tiring. Overstimulating. So happy to be home, sweet home!!!

Flourish, Hardy Plant Study Weekend, Victoria, B.C. June 23-26

I’m finally getting around to blogging about the stunning and overwhelming study weekend in Sidney/Victoria a few weeks ago. Held over 3 days (four if you stayed and did the public gardens in Victoria) with 7 speakers, 19 gardens and 6 plant vendors.  Where to begin?  The speakers were all excellent. A special shout out to James Alexander-Sinclair and Joe Swift who were informative, inspiring, witty, with that dry humour that only the British seem to be able to get away with. Their dual presentation on Saturday had us rolling in the aisles and reminded me of the BBC TV series Top Gear hosted by the similarity wonky, witty and dry Jeremy, James and Richard.  Very impressive was Rebecca Macklin’s session.  Rebecca directs biodiversity through the Brooklyn Bridge Park project.  Her talk was called “Post Hurricane Sandy: Lessons in Management and Vegetation Performance” which in hindsite may have done her a bit of a disservice. Her session was the least well attended.  I considered passing it up because I really wasn’t too terribly interested in the topic (although pretty important for us coastal folks!). Her standing ovation however was a testament to the brilliance of her talk and the knowledge and passion she brings to her job.  She was inspiring in her knowledge of pollination ecology, wildlife habitats, tree and plant biology and soil science. She’s a delightful science nerd!  One of my biggest takeaways was on the topic of turf. Yes, turf!!  (big yawn). I think originally in her career she agreed with that yawn, until she discovered that people actually come to public parks FOR the turf!  Playing, rolling, frisbee, sunning…the turf is what draws people. The plants and trees are a glorious bonus when they get there!!  The first half of her talk was a fascinating discussion of native plants, building gardens from scratch on industrial lands, successes and failures…the second half of her talk did touch on the lessons learned from Sandy.  Good to know for us coastal communities.

And then there were the gardens!!  It will be impossible to do any of the magnificent gardens we saw in those 3 days any kind of tribute or justice.  But I will try to post a few (!) pics of gardens, plants, views, etc. that caught my eye enough to click and/or piqued my interest for my garden’s future.  So, without any further ado….here goes some HIGHLIGHTS of the study weekend…for me. I will try to identify gardens as best I can. Apologies for any gardens or plants mislabeled.

Viv Davis & Ian Tresidder’s suburban oasis in Saanich impressed me with its ferns…this is Walking Fern aka Asplenium rhizophyllum poking through immaculate Hostas.
I saw this in a couple of gardens. A native apparently…Adiantum pedatum subsp. subpumiltum.  Gorgeous!
The garden of Janice Currie, Saanich. A new garden (!) and clearly Janice is a plant geek/collector.  I was especially in thrall of her shade gardens.  I ran into her at Far Reaches Farm display and she convinced me to buy a Amicia zygomeris!!  More later.
Quercus dentata pinnatifida aka Cut leaf Daimyo Oak
Aralia ‘Sun King’ thriving golden in the shade.  Need to get me some of these!
Syneilesis??  Or….a Helebore maybe….
Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’. Got me one of these already. I managed to score a Podophyllum delavayi at the Market Place from Far Reaches Farm. ❤️
Shout out to Fiddlestick Pottery whose fiddlesticks were showing up in many gardens and luckily selling their wares on site. I got me three of them!!
I don’t know what this is, but I like it!  Aha!  Eucomis ‘Freckles’. Thanks Plant Ident!
Lots of alpine troughs.
Janice’s amazing crevice garden.
Mary Payne’s lovely Saanichton suburban Asian inspired garden. Her green ‘carpets’ were serenely inspirational.
Alliums and allium shadows in Bonita Elliot’s North Saanich garden.
Succulent pots.
Oh dear.  I may be confused as to which garden this is. So sorry!  I loved this Mediterranean courtyard.
And a green roofed shed beside the courtyard.
I seem to have a new found love of the architecture of alliums!
Buddleia globosa – gorgeous dried blooms
Buddleia globosa against sky.
I loved this courtyard.
More tree against sky shots
Pretty!  Add rocks to a discarded nest. I got me one of these now!!

That’s about it for Day 1 and part of Day 2!  The rest of Day 2 and 3 needs their own post!!