I start each spring watching and anticipating each new bloom, watching the succession of daffodils and hellebore blooming to the burst of the foliage on trees. Now that I am surrounded by blooms and fresh greens, taking the time to walk the gardens each week and cutting blooms allows me to pause and appreciate the ever evolving selection.
Right now we still have a few daffodils and hellebore hanging on, the allium are just starting to open and the peony heads are ballooning larger each day. One of the hellebore plants is now completely covered over by a hosta, so I clipped as many blooms I could to make the focal point of the arrangement. Everything else is a collection of items bloom in the gardens and on the perennial pads waiting to be planted in a client’s garden. I wish I could include the roses, they were absolutely beautiful. Maybe next week.
You can tell from my collection below, I don’t focus on editing. I try to get as many different varieties gathered together, much like I cut blooms within a specific perennial border to bring inside. My arrangement below includes seven different plants.
The blooms collected this week are listed below and included in the image below for quick reference. If you have any questions about a specific plant, let me know. Our gardens are in a zone 6a for reference.
- Camassia leichtinni ssp. suksdorfii ‘Blue Danube’- Blue Danube camass
- Aquilegia vulgaris ‘Black Barlow’ – Granny’s Bonnet Columbine
- Penstemon ‘Dark Towers’ – beardtounge
- Narcissus poeticus var. recurvus – Old Pheasant’s Eye daffodil
- Salvia longispicata x farinacea ‘Playin the Blues’ – Playin’ theBlues Sage
- Polygonatum odoratum var. pluiflorum ‘Variegatum’ -Variegated Solomon’s seal
- Helleborus “Royal Heritage’ – Lenten Rose
Every September I make a plant order from Holland for us to grow in our nursery the following year. I create the list based on the plants I have seen in inspiring gardens throughout the year (either through Pinterest, traveling or reading) or just those that catch my eye in the catalog. The plants then arrive at the tail end of winter for us to plant and nurture in the greenhouse until they are rooted and can start planting outdoors. There is a good six months between ordering the plants and when they arrive, and then another two months before we get to see them in all their glory. Before the end of the year, the plants I order normally find a home, but if not we add them to the gardens around our offices or at my home. The result of my ordering process results in a lot of excitement around the greenhouse in April/May as we get to see what unique items we have to play with this year.
Aquilegia vulgaris ‘Black Barlow’ is an example of a plant I saw in a Pinterest pin and ordered 100 plants without a specific project to use. The image that spurred my purchase is from a garden designed by Wilson McWilliams for the Chelsea Flower show. The link for the image does not go back to a site with any information, but with more research ‘Black Barlow’ was used in the Cloudy Bay Discovery Garden in the RHS 2013 Chelsea Flower Show. With my order of bareroot plants, we got a surprise with an additional cultivar and species of Aquilegia plants; Aquilegia ‘Chrysantha’ and Aquilegia vulgaris ‘Rose Barlow’. The ‘Chrysantha’ is a beautiful yellow with delicate yellow cup flower surrounded by five long, pale outer petals, while the ‘Rose Barlow’ is a pink with white tips flower matching the ‘Black Barlow’. We only have a few of these plants so will either use them in a container design or in our gardens around the shop.
I will share photos of these planted in the garden later this year. With only 100 plants I think these will go pretty fast.