Sunday, September 20, 2009

From seed to bloom first season - perennials

The new perennial bed is filling in with the plants that I grew from seeds this spring. It will take a couple of years until everything really has settled in and is able to block out most weeds, but I am quite happy (for now) - many of my plants have bloomed this first season:
The verbenas, poppies and daisies were the first to start blooming, already before they were transplanted to the garden.
The white poppy (papaver anomalum 'Album') is still blooming, but most of the plants are quite small and I hope that they will get stronger, larger by next summer.
Brazilian verbena (verbena bonariensis) has put up a non-stop show and I just love their colour and airy structure.
- and so do the Monarch butterflies.
Daisies have always been some of my favourite flowers - I would just wish that they had a much longer blooming time. I chose this double shasta daisy (leucanthemum maximum 'Crazy Daisy') and this first year their blooming season has been quite long, mostly because the individual plants decided to start blooming at different times.
This beautiful agastache (agastache foeniculum) also started it's purplish-blue flowers early in the summer - but ONE DAY AFTER we had this summer's heaviest rain they all died, drowned. My frantic digging of trenches didn't save these and a few more plants - darn!
Sitting right in the middle of the lowest spot and with their feet in water were the sneezeweed (helenium flexuosum) their happy little faces glowing. I'll ad some more heleniums next year to help fill in the bare spots in the bed.

Saved by the trench were the native Giant Blue Lobelia (lobelia siphilitica). A couple of them died, but most came back from their drooping state after I dug the trench.

Another native (you find it everywhere around the countryside this time of the year) the aster (aster puniceus) has bloomed and is now producing large amounts of seeds that will be spread by the wind.
Butterfly weed (asclepias tuberosa) bloomed although the plants are very, very tiny. After the butterfly larvaes have been there, there isn't much left - hopefully enough to carry the plants over till next year.
I didn't really expect any of the echinaceas to bloom this year, but the white variety Alba (echinacea purpurea 'Alba') has turned out a few blooms - although I have left them in small nursery pots to be transplanted to the garden soon. Looks like it was not just seeds from Alba in that envelope from the seed company.
With a little luck - and lots of work - I'll be able to post some beautiful images of the perennial bed next year.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Meme Award - What you don't know

I was pleasantly surprised when I was tagged by Yvonne Cunnington aka Country Gardener with this blogger's meme. I have frequented Yvonne's web-site "Flower Gardening Made Easy" for a long time and when I found out about blogging (just recently), Country Gardener was my first to follow and still the one that I cannot wait to check out.
Participating in this Meme Award you have to:
Link back to the person, who gave you the award.
Reveal seven things about yourself.
Choose seven other blogs to nominate and post a link to them.
Let each of your choices know that they have been tagged by posting a comment on their blog.
When your post is up, let the tagger know.
About me:
I was born in a small town, Nykøbing Mors, in Denmark in 1953. My parents both worked in my father's meat shop, and literally, we all lived there. The ground level apartment in a small apartment building had been divided into two: the shop and the home, so even though my mother worked full time, she was always there. In that "half" apartment my parents had day beds in the living room, and the bedroom was shared by my older brother, me, and my younger sister. There was no garden, only a small paved yard at the back where we could play. Needles to say, we were all excited when my Dad bought a house with a garden by the time that I was 12.Most of my life was spent on the "sunshine" island Mors, where I lived like most small town dwellers, everyone knowing everyone.
Much later I met the most wonderful (Canadian) man, got married (again) and moved to Canada in 1992. Between the two of us we have four wonderful children, Ann, Alice, Dea, and Mark, who today live "all over the World": Ann in Denmark, Alice in England, Dea (with husband James) in Sweden, and Mark in Ontario, Canada. I cannot help but thinking of how difficult it must have been for families emigrating many years ago when there was no telephone, e-mail, skype, "cheap" flights etc, all factors to make it easier to live far apart.
Track and field was my favourite sport when I was at school. Later I started hiking and have participitated in 100 km long international hiking events in the Alps, hiking in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. We were more than 100 people from Denmark travelling together by buses and staying at a youth hostel in Switzerland joining the large group of international hikers. For 6 years I went on the Bodensee trip and over the years I found many wonderful friends hiking.
When I was 15 I had a summer job at a nursery. I started at 6 in the morning and worked till noon collecting tulip bulbs, crawling on my knees behind a tractor that was working the soil to loosen the bulbs. I stayed at my aunt and uncle that summer and I had to ride my uncle's moped for about one hour to get to the nursery. I was so proud and spent the money on a coat and winter boots made of the softest skin.
I love cooking. I never make anything, but from scratch - probably because that was how I was brought up. My mom was an excellent cook, but working full time at the meat shop didn't make time for a lot of "extra" as bred making or baking cake and cookies. Her sisters were all outstanding cooks and I watched and sometimes "helped" when I was a little girl. So to me it is nothing special to have a home cooked meal every day and I always bake my own bread. A stable is Danish rye bread which is somewhat like the German dark, dense rye bread. It is made with a sourdough, and I ad lots of rye and wheat kernels as well as pumpkin seeds. This bread is sliced very thinly, and used for open face "sandwiches" - which you may know is a Danish specialty.
As a teenager I listened to Danish as well as international pop and rock. And I was an Elvis fan! Today I enjoy classic rock, easy listening and light classical music. The radio is mostly tuned in on oldies, some easy listening, or sometimes the Danish radio (the computer is hooked up to our amplifier).
I also love dancing. When the work schedule has allowed we have been taking dance lessons over the last few years. When my parents had a party at the house, they would be dancing and that's where I learned my first steps of polka, waltz, cha-cha, etc. Music and dance just make me happy.
Now for my seven nominees:
My friend, willow grower and weaver, Frances of Weaving Willow
Steve of Willow Basketmaker, who writes the blog about Katherine Lewis and Dunbar Gardens showcasing her craft and beautiful baskets.
JW of MacGardens whos posts are always interesting and with beautiful pics.
Linda of Tree and Twig Farm Blog for me a local farmer advocating buying locally grown food. Her web-site: Tree and Twig
Kathy of Skibby's Vegetable Garden at Kathy (with Skibby's help) you can find any information you could ever need growing a veggie garden.
Kathy Purdy of Cold Climate Gardening - whose blog posts I always enjoy.