They came as a set of 25 unnamed bulbs from White Flower Farm. I grew aster 'Nova Anglie' from seed 24 years ago, and if the woodchuck does not get it, it provides armloads of flowers in September. Rudbeckia, zebra grass and perilla in the autumn garden. I like the planting to be full - no mulch visible.
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I had the pleasure of touring several Hudson River estates after settling my daughter for her senior year at college. Beatrix Farrand was one of the first women landscape designers, whose work defined the American taste in gardens through the first half of the 20th century. She championed the use of perennial plants instead of annual bedding, using color harmony, bloom sequence and texture to create beautiful herbaceous borders. Bellefield is one of the earliest examples of her private work - a small walled garden with long flower borders that show single color combinations from pink to blue, purple and white.
Seeing the garden in late August, I was struck by the white border, because it showcased a beautiful combination of white phlox and the flowers of Hosta plantaginea. I have many hostas in my own garden, and appreciate them for their strong, lush foliage in a myriad of colors and patterns. There are more than 58 varieties of hostas that have evolved from Hosta plantaginea. They all bloom in August and are prized for their lovely pure white flowers and strong, sweet fragrance. They need ample sun to bloom, and the flowers open in the late afternoon instead of early morning like most hostas.
Some of the most well-know culitvars of H. Since hostas are members of the Liliacea family, they produce funnel-shaped blooms on scapes that arise from the center of the plant. Like day lilies, individual flowers last for only one day. The plant may produce ten or more scapes with up to 50 flowers per stem, so the bloom time can last of weeks. By planting different cultivars, you can have hosta flowers in your shade garden from May until frost. Most of us are unimpressed with the lanky scapes and violet blooms of common green hostas.
But hosta flowers can range in color from deep purple to white infused with pink. Others feature unusual flower scape forms, almost resembling scepters, like those of the 'Blue Dolphin' hosta. One of the latest hybridizing trends has been to create branched flowers, as seen in this example created by Tony Avent of Plant Delights nursery. So as you plan future gardens, give some thought to including hostas purely for their floral display. They can make magnificent additions to your landscape! Highfield Hall and Gardens is the magnificently restored estate of the Beebe family, with a dramatic history and a vibrant present-day existence.
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It offers something for everyone — the gardener, history buff, antique collector, art lover, theater fan and nature lover. Highfield Hall was one of the early summer mansions built on the Cape, and is one of the few remaining examples of Stick-style Queen Anne architecture in the Northeast.
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It was one of two mansions built on nearly acres by the James Beebe family, which gathered on the Cape for the summers and entertained in grand fashion. When the last Beebe family member died, the estate was sold and used for a variety of purposes by subsequent owners — from health resort to religious retreat to hotel. In , the estate was purchased by DeWitt TerHeun, a great patron of the theater and opera, who created a theater on the grounds for college students.
From the late s to , Highfield was abandoned and suffered two decades of neglect and vandalishm. In , a demolition permit was filed by the owners, which propelled a group of Falmouth citizens to organize to save the mansion. Finally, in , the Town of Falmouth took Highfield Hall and 6 acres by eminent domain, and authorized the non-profit grout to renovate and operate the property. In , the first stage of restoration was completed, and Highfield was opened to the public. For the garden afficianado, Highfield Hall provides two formal gardens, a labyrinth, as well as walking paths through a rhododendron dell, heritage beech plantings and nearly acres of woodlands.
When Highfield Hall was built, there were far fewer trees on the property than there are today, since wood was the main source of building materials and heat.
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To design their property, the Beebes enlisted renowned landscape designer Ernest Bowditch, and later Frederick Law Olmstead. The Beebes were passionate about their plantings, and many of their favorite beech trees remain on the property. Two formal gardens were part of the original plan. The West Garden, originally a cutting garden, supplied fresh flowers for the house all season long. Franklin Beebe was often found in this garden, tending his favorite flower, the carnation.
Today, this garden is planted with shade and sun-loving perennials, from hostas to daylilies, rudbeckia, sedums and scabiosa. The Sunken Garden was restored in according to a design by noted landscape preservationist Lucinda Brockway.
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The gardens are maintained by volunteers. The outer beds feature peonies and re-blooming daylilies. This exhibit features more than contemprorary Japanese prints by established and emerging artists. Despite the high temperatures and lack of rainfall, my midsummer garden is exploding with blooms, from shrubby hydrangeas and viburnums to dainty geraniums and bold day lilies.
The pastel pinks, violets and blues of June have been transformed into sunny bright yellows, rich golds, oranges and deep reds, with a big dose of white from Annabelle hydrangeas that appear in every corner of the garden. Here are a few highlights:. The native deciduous azalea prunifolium, started from a rooted cutting, is now a sturdy 3 foot tall shrub. This unknown variety of helenium received from a friend has been cheering up the perennial bed for 15 years.
A chartreuse form of feverfew has self-seeded throughout the garden, and its miniature flowers bloom for weeks. Clematis Huldine has outgrown its trellis and is spreading on the ground and scrambling up the wall of the garage. The earliest gardens, relatively modest gardens, were created for Cardinal Wolsey, but it was under the auspices of Henry VIII that today's ground plan largely took shape. Henry VIII was not much interested in beautiful flowers - he was more keen on the sport that took place in the Deer Park and Tiltyard, the scene of jousting competitions.
The gardens were formalized in the baroque manner under William and Mary and subsequent changes were made as years of royals gardened on the property. Today's gardens may not be true to one particular era, but they are stately and awe inspiring.
Even if your own garden is a small plot, you can learn from the lovely plant combinations, the cultural practices in the vegetable and herb garden, and appreciate the beauty and pageantry of the garden and palace. The walled formal rose garden is punctuated with beautiful statuary and was in full bloom in September. Ornate Victorian-style bedding gardens decorate the Fountain Garden, a strolling garden that original showcased 13 magnificent fountains and clipped yews. She had an orangery built to house her orange and lemon trees and cactuses. The recreation that is seen today has all of the original plant varieties, statues and hedges that were installed by William III.
Hampton Court is easily accessible from London by train. You can also visit the palace by Thames riverboat - just like the court members and royalty of centuries past.
The color blue is overwhelmingly chosen as the most popular color by both men and women, so it is no wonder that we are drawn to blue flowers. Blue is a soothing color that evokes feelings of calm, trust, honesty and loyalty. Blue flowers add a touch of tranquility and cool elegance to the garden. They make excellent bedfellows in the garden, blending and complementing other hues. Since they are less prevalent than white, pink and yellow flowers, blue flowers appeal to all gardeners.
Here are some of my favorite blue perennials for Zone gardens:. Blue flowers are particularly rare in autumn, and the deep indigo-blue flowers of Monkshood punctuate the oranges and golds of this season. Also known as False Indigo, this late emerging, statuesque perennial with spires of pea-like flowers and handsome blue-green foliage is a focal point in the perennial bed.
Spring Containers at Longwood Gardens
Perennial geraniums with their delicately cut foliage and low spreading habit are beautiful companions to tall, upright perennials, roses and shrubs. One of the earliest flowers to bloom in spring, pulmonaria sports showy, lance-shaped leaves with silver spots, and deep blue flowers that change to violet and rose as they age. Spires of brilliant blue, trumpet-shaped flowers on a perennial that gently seeds itself in the garden. A charming little plant, Dwarf Crested Iris is easy to grow, pest-free, and provides amethyst-blue flowers for the shade garden.
This catmint sports compact mounds of aromatic gray-green foliage with lavender-blue flowers. Introduced by our own Garden in the Woods, this Woodland Phlox forms a meandering groundcover with violet-blue, fragrant flowers. With irresistible balloon-like buds that open to bright-blue, five lobed flowers, Balloon Flower is a late-emerging perennial that blooms in late summer. Ondra, which features 52 ways to grow a perennial garden with just five plants. The book was beautifully designed and illustrated, so I just had to bring it home for a closer look.
Nancy Ondra wrote this guide to simple gardening primarily for novice gardeners. And with a small variety of plants, the maintenance is much easier. It is a shaded circular bed in the loop of my driveway, with a gazing globe as its focal point. The five perennials are hellebores, astilbes, cinnamon ferns, hostas, and fringed bleeding hearts — low maintenance shade plants that provide four-season interest.