Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Critical Look at the English Landscape Garden

From the German newspaper Die Zeit comes an interview with German art historian Horst Bredekamp about European garden history and particularly the surprising ideological differences between the English landscape garden and the Baroque formality that preceded and sometimes survived it:

Der Hort des Philosophen

Nothing too groundbreaking, perhaps, but still exciting to see these matters discussed in a mainstream - that is not horticultural or landscape architecture focused - publication.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Edged in Pink

Much of the garden reaches its first peak around this time of the year, and this is particularly true for many of the flowers in the front yard. This is the current view from our front door:

Among my goals for the coming days is to find plants to put in the two green containers. Last year they contained purple petunias and verbenas and the year before that pale blue Plumbago auriculata...

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Irises

Most of the irises are pretty much done flowering now but over the past week they were still putting on quite a show.

All that is missing now are some yellow-flowered cultivars. Maybe I can snap some up on sale now that they are through flowering...

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Michigan Garden in May

I am back in Michigan for a little while before heading off for some traveling and I am enjoying the opportunity to work on the garden here. Things are coming along beautifully and before I get back to weeding, mulching, and transplanting things I wanted to post a few pictures of things  in bloom as well at the moment as well as sections of the garden that currently look good on the whole.

A section of the backyard as seen from the terrace, with some of the tender container plants in the foreground

Eastern red columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

Daisy (Bellis perennis) - I am afraid these will not keep going for long now that the weather is getting hot but for now they are lovely

 Helianthemum 'Annabel'

Helianthemum 'Rhodanthe Carneum'

A red-flowered Helianthemum cultivar

Painted daisy (Tanacetum coccineum)

The first daylily (Hemerocallis cv.) of the season

Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus)

Indigofera kirilowii

This is a perennial I bought on sale last summer well after it had finished flowering; I am not sure what it is but the flowers are lovely

Mazus reptans

Double Love-in-a-mist (Nigella damascena)

Pink ice plant (Delosperma cooperi)

View along the long border in the front yard

The irises have been flowering as well but I decided that, due to their sheer variety, they deserve their own post, coming up soon.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Garden Images in the Media - Part 3: Tatort 'Der Name der Orchidee' (2005)

Tatort or "Crime Scene" (see the English-language Wikipedia entry here and the show's German website here) is a German-language crime show that has been running since 1970. The series has a number of unusual features. For one thing, it is not just set in one city - or country - but rotates between a number of cities in the German-speaking world, including at least one in most German states as well as the Austrian capital of Vienna and different cities in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Each location has its own recurring set of detectives and other characters, such as pathologists and prosecutors, and also often a distinct style, with some cities producing more light-hearted and humorous episodes while others tend to a darker or more violent tone. Another difference from most other crime shows is the length of the episodes: each is about 90 minutes, the length of a regular movie. In its long history, the series' over 800 episodes have touched on many subjects, including horticultural ones. A 2005 episode set in the Lake Constance region of the southwest German state of Baden-Württemberg - my home state! - bears the title 'Der Name der Orchidee' or "The Name of the Orchid" and is set in part on the Insel Mainau, a famous  horticultural park and botanic garden set on an island in the lake. It revolves around a murder in the milieu of orchid enthusiasts:

Many - though by far not all - of the orchids shown are obviously artificial and I am not sure how to feel about the fact that most of the orchid specialist characters are portrayed as arrogant maniacs. Even so, it is interesting to see where the world of botany and horticulture in general take people's imagination. Unfortunately I could not find a subtitled version of the episode, so this requires German.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The First Black-Eyed Susan of the Season

For the past three years, I have been raising black-eyed Susan vines (Thunbergia alata) on my window sill from a February sowing, and I am only growing fonder of them. Yesterday the first flower of this year's batch opened:

In the past I would plant the vines in the Michigan garden once I got home for the summer but this year I think I will keep them as container plants on the terrace, since planted in a border they tend to be drowned out a bit by larger plants.

Another Michigan Update

The tree peony (Paeonia suffruticosa) that I planted last summer appears to be doing well so far. My mom sent this picture yesterday:

Hopefully I will be able to plant some more this summer once they are done flowering and go on sale...