September musings 2

22 thoughts on “September musings 2”

    1. Yucca! Some specie are very tolerant of cold. Yucca glauca is endemic to the southern edge of Alberta! There are a few others that are endemic to surprisingly northern latitudes.

      1. Good information Tony – thanks. As I just replied to Eliza, we get -15 to -20 celcius in winter, so I will definitely check out your Alaskan yucca. The lifespan of a ceanothus is not a problem. I have planted them in other gardens in the past (and I think I probably have only another 10-15 years here anyway). It’s the hardiness issue, really. I shall have to choose carefully. Thanks for your helpful comment!

    2. Eliza we get -15 to -20 celcius in winter. I would so like to be able to grow succulents here, because they are what’s needed. I am still trying to work it out!

      1. Good suggestions – and the thought of prickly pear in my garden! I might love it. Unfortunately I cannot get Agastache to come through the winter. I had one down here, but it died. However, thinking carefully, the one I had down here (a red one, A. mexicana ‘Sangria’) was, I think, more tender and the tougher ones I’ve tried up higher have not liked the heavy soil – ‘Blue Fortune’. I do love them, so find it hard to give up!. But maybe some ‘Blue Fortune’ down here might work? I’m trying to propagate my perovskia and pennisetum to spread down here as well. Weird about the Veronica – I bought one this summer and it came through nicely, although I always think of them as preferring damper conditions. Veronicastrum does well, however. Your suggestions are most welcome, Eliza! Thanks!

  1. You should be aware that ceanothus does not last very long. Some might get twenty years old. Others might last only ten years. There are a few that grow fast, but wear themselves out in five years! They are not as permanent as people believe them to be. For most of us, ten to twenty years is just fine, and the short lifespan in no deterrent to planting them. I just like those who grow them to be aware of the innate weakness of ceanothus so that they do not blame themselves when the ceaonuthus dies of natural causes.

  2. Ugh, how frustrating. You might want to consider Little Blustem grass (Schizachyrium scoparium) and Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa). Those should be hardy for you and take dry conditions. Also Wine Cups (Callirhoe involucrata). Just a thought.

    1. Thanks so much! – these plants are all on a list I discovered with an American dry prairie nursery. The Callirhoe for some reason I thought might be more tender. But I will try all three, via seeds if I can get them.

  3. It gets far colder there than I realised (I thought the -7.5 was excessive here last winter) so I haven’t any suggestions for such freezing temps. The things that do best in my garden over winter are the same as the ones Eliza suggested. My painter husband says he sees beautiful paintings in your garden photos.

  4. As Tony said, growing Yuccas is possible. I have 4 in Normandy where we have almost the same climate (-15° C) Mine are Y gloriosa. I also grew a ceanothus repens but it died. I planted a new one last summer ( C.cynthia postan) : we’ll see…
    As for the planting of dry prairie, I reserve a large corner behind a shed where I plant everything. I never water, full sun in the afternoon. There is sand and rocks in the soil and I put there plants that I don’t want, cuttings for the next years, old plants, new seeds in excess. A balance has been created and many wild flowers grow there… but there are also nigellas, dianthus, hollyhocks, lysimachias, lychnis, kniphofias, amaranths, aquilegias, cosmos …

    1. Interesting what you and Tony say about the yuccas – and thanks for the ceanothus tip. I was going to plant C. repens. Still might try, but you have warned me. What a clever idea to have a trial ground – I think that this area of the garden is probably going to be that for me!

  5. This year has been a nightmare for trying to keep things alive too. It is drizzling a bit here today, the first rain in ages. I was amazed that in my Mediterranean garden I lost lavenders and even a cistus to drought. Delphiniums and hydrangeas have gone. It really is a learning curve finding out what will cope with heat and drought here. Dahlias don’t seem to be able to manage more than a few hours. Your dry prairie garden is a great idea. Good luck with it. Nice to see your greenhouse and surrounding area looking so good.

    1. Yes – amazing to lose lavenders! Although I’ve noticed that in troughs on my balcony the lavenders do well on one side and struggle a bit on the other (differences in sun intensity during the day). We’ve now had two lots of wonderful rain in the last three days, and sun again this morning. Perfect!

  6. What a transition to the down below! I’m only used to seeing dry and suffering gardens like that around here 🙂
    It may seem hit or miss right now but your structure really is growing in! I love the hedges.
    I can’t think of much that hasn’t already been mentioned. Chrysanthemums tolerate drought well here and bearded iris seem to prefer it. Don’t forget bulbs such as colchicum! Even in miserably dry autumn they put on a refreshing show.

  7. I am always looking for plants for dry conditions too! I must try Amsonia. I can recommend Scabiosa and Centranthus ruber (although it can take over!). Another gap-filler that spreads and thrives in hot dry slopes is Teucrium hircanicum. It looks a bit like purple veronica, but lasts all summer. I never water my rockery and these all did fine in this incredibly hot and dry spring and summer. 🙂

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