Wednesday, June 26, 2013

For Once, Some News Items Entirely Unrelated to Gardens...

Simply because it feels good to see things get better at least in some regards:

DOMA Ruled Unconstitutional

Prop 8 Ruled Unconstitutional

May love continue to win.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Summer Travels 2013 - Part 1: A Vertical Garden at the Dussmann-Haus in Berlin, Germany

Dussmann das KulturKaufhaus ("Dussmann the Culture Department Store") is a building in central Berlin that mainly contains a large German-language book store which also sells CDs, DVDs, and vinyl, as well as a somewhat smaller English-language book shop. Since 2012, the building's central atrium contains one of French botanist Patrick Blanc's famous vertical gardens. Arranged in three panels spanning three floors, the mur végétal is supposedly planted with 157 largely tropical species of foliage plants.

 Looking straight ahead at the wall

A more detailed sideview

The third panel

I am generally more impressed with Blanc's outdoor installations in temperate climates, not only since they evince an even greater skill in choosing the right plants than the indoor or tropical designs using mainly rainforest species well adapted to an epiphytic life but also because they tend to be more flowery. Nonetheless, I thought this was quite elegant.

Monday, June 24, 2013


Coinciding with my arrival here in Malaysia, the  Floria 2013 Flower and Garden Festival is taking place this week - until June 30 - in Putrajaya. You can find all the information at the official website here:

Putrajaya FLORIA

Hopefully I will be able to make it out there sometime this week as well, despite the acrid haze we are having right now.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The First of the New Roses

The very first bloom opened on one of the antique roses I planted last summer. This is Rosa 'Alfred Colomb', a Hybrid Perpetual bred in France and first introduced in 1865.

The flower is every bit as deeply colored and fragrant as expected, albeit a bit small. Hopefully if the plant keeps growing well future blooms will be bigger.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Bounteous Blooms

Lots of things are in bloom at the moment, perhaps more than at any other point in the year, and new plants join the show almost  every day. Here is just a selection of some of the stars, beginning with the latest irises to begin blooming.

Another variety of bearded iris

Another Siberian iris (Iris sibirica) cultivar; I think I somewhat prefer this one, despite its smaller, paler flowers and the foliage that can get messy later in the season; there is something rather elegant about its rush-like appearance.

Field gladiolus (Gladiolus italicus)

Herbaceous peonies (Paeonia lactiflora cv.)

Helianthemum 'Rhodanthe Carneum'

Virginia spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana)

Amsonia tabernaemontana

Variegated large periwinkle (Vinca major)

Rosa multiflora

One kind of sweet william (Dianthus barbatus)...

... and another

Weigela florida cv.

For some reason the blues, purples, and pinks are particularly dominant at this time of year, though I do not feel as though I veer particularly towards those colors when buying plants.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

More Planting and More Flowers

Yesterday afternoon between thunderstorms I managed to get a bevy of new plants into the ground. Most of of them I had bought the day before during a trip to Bordine's, one of the larger local garden centers, and then there was the rest of that flat of snapdragons I started setting out a week ago. So in total I planted the following:

1 Phlox subulata 'Candy Stripe' (White-and-pink striped creeping phlox)
1 Phlox subulata cv. (Deep pink creeping phlox)
1 Phlox x hybrida 'Paparazzi Lavender' (Phlox)
1 Phlox stolonifera 'Home Fires' (Woodland creeping phlox)
1 Scabiosa columbaria ssp. ochroleuca (Yellow pincushion flower)
1 Aster novae-angliae 'Purple Dome' (New England aster)
1 Buddleja x weyeriana 'Golden Glow' (Yellow butterfly bush)
1 Anthemis tinctoria 'Sauce Hollandaise' (Dyer's chamomile)
1 Linaria purpurea (Purple toadflax)
1 Semiaquilegia ecalcarata (False columbine)
1 Mazus reptans (Creeping mazus)
1 Achillea millefolium 'Appleblossom' (Pink yarrow)
1 Dianthus knappii (Yellow dianthus)
1 Dianthus amurensis 'Siberian Blues' (Amur pink)
1 Cymbalaria muralis (Kenilworth ivy)
1 Cyrtomium falcatum (Japanese holly fern)
1 Iris 'What Again' (Dwarf bearded iris)
1 Nepeta x faasenii 'Blue Wonder' (Catmint)
1 Yucca filamentosa 'Ivory Tower' (Yucca)
16 Antirrhinum majus 'Rocket Mix' (Snapdragon)

As for flowers blooming in the garden, two more irises joined the show, as well as a few other things:

Yet another bearded iris

Iris sibirica cv.

Hybrid Scotch broom, perhaps Cytisus 'Lena'?

Oxeye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)

The daisies are particularly abundant this year; I am going to have to thin them out quite a bit after they have flowered or they will completely take over the backyard. For now, though, they make a nice show.