Through the Garden Gate 2015: Lawrence Park Garden

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A formal front garden reveals neat and tidy lines, symmetrical plantings and vibrant colours.  A curvy front walk is mirrored in a garden bordered by a boxwood hedge and filled with eye catching alliums and stately geraniums.

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The backyard plays around with a more casual scene, using the ample shade to create a woodsy water feature and surrounding garden beds.

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The space directly off the homes kitchen door is perfectly used as a edible herb garden, bursting with flavour and scent.

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Through the Garden Gate 2015: Lawrence Park Garden

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Curving garden beds in the front accentuate the modern feel of this homes architecture.  Gorgeous flowering dogwoods are paired with willowy ferns and bright annuals.TTGG 6 (2 of 14)

A rock garden cascades down a slope towards the city sidewalk surrounding and highlighting the massive front tree and allowing a space perfect for alpine, rocky plant life.

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All hard surfaces are built to focus your eye to the gardens themselves and the extensive use of tender tropicals, Japanese painted ferns, azaleas, roses and beech trees.

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A small water feature adds tranquility to one of the patio areas while a second sitting area takes advantage of the trees and the shade they provide..

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A sturdy pergola between the two entertaining areas is a sure talking point as it helps provide a base for a massive wisteria.

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Lupines

lupines

With it’s brilliant colours and tall towering spiky flower heads with buttons of petals slowly opening as the plant reaches the sky, Lupines are a showcasing winner in your flower garden. However they have many other uses aside from decorative.  It’s seeds are used in the culinary world and can be used as a soybean alternative.  Since it draws Nitrogen from the air and into the soil it makes a great green manure and because of this trait Lupines should be planted with other nitrogen loving plants.

Lupines don’t like to be moved therefore dividing is discouraged.  Deadhead spent blooms to encourage further flowering.

  • Light Exposure: Sun-Partial Shade
  • Soil Type: Acidic, Well Draining
  • Height: 3-4′
  • Width: 1-2′
  • Bloom Time: Late spring to Early Summer
  • Bloom Colour: Blue, pink, red, yellow, orange
  • Foliage Colour: Green
  • Pests and Disease: Aphids, slugs, powdery mildew, crown rot
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders
  • Special Features: Attractive Foliage, Cut flowers
  • Zone: 4-8

Foxglove

 

Digitalis-Foxglove (7)

This stunning biennial is popular choice for many English or cottage garden fanatics with it’s tall sturdy stalks of tubular flowers.  It is nectar rich making it a great spot for hummingbirds to zip in and out getting their fill.  While the entire plant is toxic it has been used medicinally in the distillation of cardiac medications.

To encourage more flowers remove the centrals stalk allowing for side shoots to sprout up and flower.  Because it is a biennial, let it go to seed and self sow for years of continuous plants.

Foxglove

Digitalis purpurea

  • Light Exposure: Partial shade
  • Soil Type: Moist, well draining
  • Height: 1-5′
  • Width: 1-3′
  • Bloom Time: Early Summer
  • Bloom Colour: Pink, purple, white, yellow, cream
  • Foliage Colour: Green
  • Pests and Disease: Japanese beetles, aphids, mealy bugs, powdery mildew
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders
  • Special Features: Cut flowers, attracts hummingbirds
  • Zone: 3-8

Evening Primrose

Oenothera-Evening Primrose (1)

Also know as Suncups or Sundrops these beautiful blooms sadly only open for a minute in the evening but are well worth the wait.  Because of this flowering phenomenon special bees exist that help pollinate this perennial. Native to Mexico and Central America it is considered a wildflower and are sown directly through seeds since they don’t transplant well.  Evening Primrose will also be the first plant in your garden to tell you it needs a watering with severe wilting occuring.

Evening Primrose

Oenothera sp.

  • Light Exposure: Sun
  • Soil Type: Well draining
  • Height: 6-36″
  • Width: 8-24″
  • Bloom Time: Late Spring to early Fall, depending on variety
  • Bloom Colour: Yellow, white, pink
  • Foliage Colour: Green
  • Pests and Disease: Spittle bugs
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders
  • Special Features: Attractive foliage, fragrant, attracts butterflies
  • Zone: 3-11

Lantana

Depending on the USDA zone you grow in Lantana may be treated as an annual plant or a perennial shrub.  Upright and trailing varieties are available with globular flower heads in bright shades of red yellow, orange and pink.  Deadheading will encourage reblooming and planting it in acidic soil will guarantee and thriving specimen.  The plant can grow quite tall and will benefit from being cut back at least 1/3 to keep it from being overgrown and messy.

It is important to note that Lantana is toxic to kids and pets, especially the berries which consumed in small quantities can be fatal.  The leaves of the plant may also cause skin irritations.

Lantana

Lantana camara

  • Light Exposure: Sun
  • Soil Type: Light, fertile, well draining
  • Height: 4-12′
  • Width: 8-30′
  • Bloom Time: Summer
  • Bloom Colour: Yellow, orange, red, pink
  • Foliage Colour: Green
  • Pests and Disease: Foliage miiners, botrytis, whitefly
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders
  • Special Features: Attractive flower heads
  • Zone: 9-12

Example Varieties:

Japanese Bottlebrush

Resembling the cleaning instrument to which it is named it is grown for both it’s flowers and it’s foliage.  Originally from Japan this perennial can grown quite large almost into a shrub or tree if left to it’s own devices in more milder climates.  Also known as Burnet, you can divide this plant each Spring

Japanese Bottlebrush

Sanguinsorba obtusa

  • Light Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Soil Type: Sandy, moist, clay or normal
  • Height: 27-35″
  • Width: 25-30″
  • Bloom Time: Early to Mid Summer
  • Bloom Colour: Deep pink
  • Foliage Colour: Grey green
  • Pests and Disease: Trouble free
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders
  • Special Features: Cut flowers, rabbit free
  • Zone: 4-9

Example Varieties:

 

 

 

Perennial Verebena

‘Coral Red’

Drought tolerant Verbenas love the heat.  Planted in full sun this compact perennial will reward you with brightly coloured blooms that can last all season with regular deadheading. Cut back the plant right to the ground in the fall and if you wish for more plants divide then or in the early Spring.

Verbena

Verbena canadensis

  • Light Exposure: Sun
  • Soil Type: Fertile, moist, well draining
  • Height: 8″
  • Width: 16″
  • Bloom Time: Spring to fall
  • Bloom Colour: Pink, purple
  • Foliage Colour: Green
  • Pests and Disease: Botrytis, spider mites
  • Landscape Uses: Beds. borders
  • Special Features: Fragrant, attracts butterflies, long bloom time
  • Zone: 4-9

Example Varieties:

Blackberry Lily

Also known as the leopard lily it’s the shape of it’s seed pods that give it it’s fruity name.  Used in dried flower arrangements this seed pods help prolong the life of your plant in the garden by self seeding.  It’s bright spotted blooms only last one day yet it’s abundance of flowers still make it a showy display in your garden.  If you don’t let the plant self seed they are grown from fall planted bulbs.

This plant has been used medicinally in East Asia to treat asthma, swollen liver, spleen conditions, gonorrhea and malaria.

Blackberry Lily

Belamcandus chinesis

  • Light Exposure: Sun
  • Soil Type: Well draining
  • Height: 3′
  • Width: 12″
  • Bloom Time: July and August
  • Bloom Colour: Orange, Yellow, Red
  • Foliage Colour: Green
  • Pests and Disease: Bacterial crown rot, leaf spot, iris borer
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders, containers
  • Special Features: Fall colour, winter interest, cut flowers, dried flowers, drought tolerant
  • Zone: 8-10

Example Varieties:

Adam’s Needle

 

This evergreen plant is native to Southwestern Unites States and Mexico and with its spiky cactus like foliage it is easy to see why it prefers arid growing conditions.  It’s tall profusion of flowers are sweet smelling and lovely as a cut flower. The sword shaped leaves, which can be plain or variegated, are sharp at the tip and can be dangerous around small children.  If you don’t have little ones to worry about then make sure you plant the yucca in an area where it can’t be disturbed.  Make sure to remove it’s rooted suckers and propagate through root cuttings not division.

Its root can be used medicinally to help with inflammation and pain relief however with it’s single tap root you would be destroying the whole plant for harvesting.

Adam’s Needle

Yucca filamentosa

  • Light Exposure: Sun
  • Soil Type: Medium to dry, well draining
  • Height: 2-4′
  • Width: 4-6′
  • Bloom Time: Mid Summer to Fall
  • Bloom Colour: White
  • Foliage Colour: Stiff green or variegated
  • Pests and Disease: Rot
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders
  • Special Features: Attractive foliage, fragrant, Fall colour, Winter interest, attracts birds and butterflies, drought tolerant
  • Zone: 4-11

Example Varieties:

Balloon Flower

‘Astra Bouble Blue’

Native to East Asia the Balloon Flower is striking with it’s beautiful, bright hues and a spherical flower bud that unfurls into a stunning star.  A late bloomer in your flower garden, this cousin to the Bellflower doesn’t like to be distrubed so it shouldn’t be divided.  Also known as the Chinese Bellflower, children love this plant as they can ‘pop’ the balloon to open the flowers.

Ballon Flower

Platycodon grandiflorus

  • Light Exposure: Sun-partial shade
  • Soil Type: Slightly acidic, well draining
  • Height: 1-3′
  • Width: 1′
  • Bloom Time: Late Spring to Summer
  • Bloom Colour: Blue, white, pink
  • Foliage Colour: Blue/green
  • Pests and Disease: Trouble free
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders
  • Special Features: Attractive foliage, cut and dried flowers, attracts butterflies
  • Zone: 4-9

Example Varieties:

White Snakeroot

‘Chocolate’

White Snakeroot is incredibly poisonous to livestock with the toxins possibly be transfer to humans.  It is believe that this plant killed Abe Lincolns mother.  However it’s hard to not appreciate the dark foliage similar to stinging nettle and Ageratum like flower heads.  Just beware in whose proximity it is planted, presidential relatives and animals included.

White Snakeroot

Ageratina altissima

  • Light Exposure: Sun
  • Soil Type: Moist, fertile, well draining
  • Height: 3-6′
  • Width: 3-6′
  • Bloom Time: Late Summer
  • Bloom Colour: White, brownish
  • Foliage Colour: Gray/purple
  • Pests and Disease: Rust, powdery mildew, leaf spot, snails, slugs
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders
  • Special Features: Attractive foliage, attracts butterflies
  • Zone: 4-6

Example Varieties:

Bearded Iris

A Springtime favorite, Bearded Iris give you reliable colour with it’s vast variety of shades and appealing texture with broad grass like foliage. It is extremely easy to grow as long as you keep it clear of leaves and debris that could bring on a bout of root rot.  Cut the plant down to the ground after flowering and mulch it well over the winter.

Bearded Iris can be divided in the late Summer once it’s been trimmed back, every 4-5 years.

Bearded Iris

Iris sp.

  • Light Exposure: Sun-partial shade
  • Soil Type: Moist, well draining
  • Height: 6″-3′, depending on variety
  • Width: 6″-2′, depending on variety
  • Bloom Time: Spring
  • Bloom Colour: All
  • Foliage Colour: Green
  • Pests and Disease: Iris borers, root rot, thrips
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders, slopes
  • Special Features: Fragrant, attractive foliage, cut flowers, drought tolerant, attracts birds, butterflies and hummingbirds
  • Zone: 3-9

Example Varieties:

Bee Balm

Also known as Bergamot, it’s sweet smelling tubuler flowers and bright green leaves are one of the more popular and well known herb used medicinally.  It is used as a tea, or an essential oil and to aid in the treatment of skin infections, wounds and dental pains. It’s leaves can be a substitute for mint and Native American use it as a seasoning.

On of the more fragrant plants to have in your garden it makes a great dried flower for sachets and is a popular choice in your yard for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

Bee Balm can be divided every 2-3 years when the center of you plant begins to die out. Remove the plant clump and divide of the healthier edges for replanting while discarding the center.  Cut the plant each fall almost to the ground to help with its mildew troubles.

Bee Balm

Monarda didyma

  • Light Exposure: Sun-partial shade
  • Soil Type: Rich, moist, acidic
  • Height: 1-4′
  • Width: Up to 2′
  • Bloom Time: Mid to late Summer
  • Bloom Colour: Pink, white, purple, red
  • Foliage Colour: Dark green
  • Pests and Disease: Mildew
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders
  • Special Features: Fragrant, cut flowers, attracts hummingbirds and butterflies
  • Zone: 3-9

Example Varieties:

Bellflower

Bellflower

Campanula sp.

Campanula species cross a wide range of plant categories.  You can find annuals, biennials, perennials, low growing, tall, upright or trailing and all of them are beautiful in an outdoor space.  The bell shaped flowers that open almost into a star enjoy cool evenings and should be remove once they have died to discourage seeding and encourage more blooms.

Perennial bellflowers can be divided every 3-5 years in the Spring.

  • Light Exposure: Sun-partial shade
  • Soil Type: Well draining
  • Height: 4-36″
  • Width: 6-36″
  • Bloom Time: Summer
  • Bloom Colour: Blue, purple, white
  • Foliage Colour: Green
  • Pests and Disease: Snails, slugs
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders
  • Special Features: Cut flowers, drought tolerant
  • Zone: 3-9

Example Varieties:

Blazing Star

 

Native to North America Blazing Star is a popular cut flower with stalks of furry blossoms in pink, purple or white and bronze foliage late in the season offers fall interest. They grow quite tall and may require staking to keep them upright. The plants should be divided every 3-4 years in the Spring.

Blazing Star, Gay Feather

Liatris spicata 

  • Light Exposure: Sun
  • Soil Type: Moist, well draining
  • Height: 2-5′
  • Width: 1-2′
  • Bloom Time: Summer
  • Bloom Colour: Pink, purple, white
  • Foliage Colour: Green, grass-like
  • Pests and Disease: Root knot, nematodes
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders
  • Special Features: Attractive foliage, cut flowers, attracts hummingbirds and butterflies, drought tolerant
  • Zone: 3-9

Example Varieties:

 

 

Bowman’s Root

This North American wildflower loves a shady location and will reward you with a brilliant white star shaped flower.  Deadheading the spent blooms will result in another flush of flowers that will carry into the early Summer and further accentuate the bright red stems of the foliage. Medicinally, Native Americans are known to use the dried root as a powdered laxative.

You can divide Bowman’s Root in the early Spring.

Bowman’s Root

Gillenia trifoliata

  • Light Exposure: Partial-full shade
  • Soil Type: Acidic, well draining
  • Height: 2-4′
  • Width: 2-3′
  • Bloom Time: Spring to early Summer
  • Bloom Colour: White, pink
  • Foliage Colour: Green
  • Pests and Disease: Aphids, fungus
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders
  • Special Features: Cut flowers, attractive foliage
  • Zone: 4-9

Example Varieties:

Bugleweed

Native to Europe Bugleweed is a ferociously invasive groundcover that is hard to get out of an area once it has established.  It’s colourful flowers and foliage are very popular and ideal if you have a hard to plant area where you want trouble free coverage.  It’s tightly packed creeping habit is great at keeping weeds at bay and if you so wish the plants can be divided in the Spring or Fall.

Bugleweed

Ajuga sp.

  • Light Exposure: Sun-shade
  • Soil Type: Fertile, moist, well draining
  • Height: 4-9″
  • Width: 6-18″
  • Bloom Time: Spring to early Summer
  • Bloom Colour: Purple, blue, white, pink
  • Foliage Colour: Dark green, maroon, bronze, purple
  • Pests and Disease: Crown rot
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders, groundcover, slopes
  • Special Features: Attractive foliage
  • Zone: 3-9

Example Varieties:

Butterfly Weed

Brilliant tones of oranges, reds and yellow are always striking in a flower garden and the Butterfly Weed is no except.  As it’s name indicates it is a favorite of our winged friends and being a cousin to the milkweed also encourage the butterflies visits.

Native to Eastern North America, Butterfly Weed is nectar rich with a milky sap that can irritate the skin.  It can be toxic when eaten however the Natives who called this the Pleurisy Plant are known to chew the root to cure this condition of the lungs.

You can divide this perennial each Spring.

Butterfly Weed

Asclepias tuberosa

  • Light Exposure: Sun
  • Soil Type: Dry, well draining
  • Height: 2-4′
  • Width: 2-3′
  • Bloom Time: Late spring to Summer
  • Bloom Colour: Red, yellow, orange
  • Foliage Colour: Medium green
  • Pests and Disease: Yellow aphids
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders
  • Special Features: Fragrant, drought tolerant, dried flowers, attracts birds and butterflies
  • Zone: 4-9

Example Varieties:

Candytuft

Depending on the zone that you live in Candytufts may grow back each year or you may have to treat them as annuals and replant every Spring.  Either way this spilling ground cover is a popular choice for trailing in rock gardens or cascading over walls.  Cut back the plants right after flowering to keep it tidy and attractive.  New plants are best started by seeds.

Candytuft

Iberis sempervirens

  • Light Exposure: Sun
  • Soil Type: Alkaline, well draining
  • Height: Up to 1′
  • Width: 8-16″
  • Bloom Time: Spring
  • Bloom Colour: White
  • Foliage Colour: Evergreen
  • Pests and Disease: Clubroot
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders
  • Special Features: Fragrant, attractive foliage, winter interest, drought tolerant
  • Zone: 5-9

Example Varieties:

Chrysanthemum

Nothing indicates the end of summer quite like the mass arrival of Chrysanthemums at your local garden center.  It’s name is derived from the Greek chrysos – yellow and anthemum – Flowers and while it has different meanings across the world from death, to grief, to honesty and cheerfulness it still evokes feeling of cooler temperatures and the beginning of fall.  The mum has a long history with the first known plants being grown in North America dating back to 1884 and over time have developed into varieties of a wide range of colours and sizes.

Chrysanthemum tea is a popular drink made by boiling the leaves and the Chinese use the plant extensively in their cuisine.  To encourage better blooms pinch back the new growth about 4-6″ and remove the stem at the second set of leaves.

Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum sp.

  • Light Exposure: Sun-partial shade
  • Soil Type: Well draining
  • Height: 1-3′
  • Width: 1-3′
  • Bloom Time: Fall
  • Bloom Colour: All colours
  • Foliage Colour: Green
  • Pests and Disease: Root rot, spider mites, aphids
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders, containers
  • Special Features: Cut flowers, Fall colours
  • Zone: 5-9

Example Varieties:

Coneflower

Echinacea purpurea is commonly believed to be a medicinal aid in the treatment and prevention of colds and flu.  Unfortunately this myth all came about when in the 1930’s a Swiss Herbalist was told incorrectly that it was used by the Native Americans to fight colds.  Whether it works for you or not Coneflowers are a beautiful specimen to have in any perennial gardens. Daisy-like flower heads with a prominent spiky center disk it’s botanical name is appropriately derived from the Greek word for Sea Urchin.

Coneflowers come in more colours than the popular purple and should be divided every 3-4 years in the Fall.

Coneflower

Echinacea sp.

  • Light Exposure: Sun
  • Soil Type: Well draining
  • Height: 2-4′
  • Width: 1-2′
  • Bloom Time: Summer to early Fall
  • Bloom Colour: Purple, white, pink, cream, yellow, orange
  • Foliage Colour: Dark green
  • Pests and Disease: Caterpillars, Japanese beetles
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders
  • Special Features: Fragrant, cut flowers, attracts butterflies and birds, drought tolerant
  • Zone: 3-9

Example Varieties:

Cornflower

In ancient folklore, men in love would wear cornflowers on their clothes and if it faded too quickly it would indicate that his love was not returned.  Lucky for most this prolific self seeder has a long lasting blooming time making it a popular cut flower for wedding bouquets or boutonnieres.  If you don’t want it seeding out cut back the flowers to encourage reblooming.  For those men whose love was denied, it is good to know that Cornflowers can be added to vodka in Russia to give it a blue tint.

You can divide Cornflowers every 2-4 years in the Spring.

Cornflower

Centaurea montana 

  • Light Exposure: Sun-partial shade
  • Soil Type: Well draining
  • Height: 1-5′
  • Width: 1-3′
  • Bloom Time: Early Summer
  • Bloom Colour: Blue, purple
  • Foliage Colour: Bright green
  • Pests and Disease: Root rot
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders
  • Special Features: Cut flowers, dried flowers, attracts butterflies
  • Zone: 3-8

Example Varieties:

Cranesbill

Cranesbill

Geranium sanguineum

Not to be mistaken for Pelagoniums, Cranesbill can also go by the name geranium. Varieties include annuals, biennials and perennials with fragrant, cleft leaves and veined flowers in either a cascading or upright habit.  It grows naturally as a wildflower and can thrive in all soil types and conditions.

The perennials can be divided anytime during the growing season.

  • Light Exposure: Sun-partial shade
  • Soil Type: Moist
  • Height: 6″-4′, depending on variety
  • Width: 1-4′, depending on variety
  • Bloom Time: Spring to Summer
  • Bloom Colour: Pink, purple
  • Foliage Colour: Soft green
  • Pests and Disease: Trouble free
  • Landscape Uses: Beds, borders, groundcover, slopes
  • Special Features: Attractive foliage, fragrant, drought tolerant
  • Zone: 3-8

Example Varieties: