" To plant trees is to give body and life to one's dreams of a better world " Russell Page

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

May 2012 bring us only happyness and joy! ( and good weather , little pests, good soil, nice earthworms, no backpains, perfect seeds, please, please no oidium on roses... am I beeing unreasonable?)

Happy New Year to all of you !!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Another year is hurrying to its end.... Merry Christmas to all near and far!!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

On my Xmas list

Dear all,
The countdoun for Christmas has begun ans the wishlists get longer and longer...

 But I simply could not skip this little known beauty... It looks quite like a Philadelphus, but the blooms are much silkier, somehow more translucent. And it grows to a little and compact tree ( some 3 m)suitable even for small gardens , but does it quite slowly and in a poised manner. Its name is Eucryphia. A plant originary from Australia and Chile , the Chilean species beeing more hardy. It does not tolerate harsh colds, but still resists up to - 15º C in a sheltered spot and with fresh and acid soil, like the Camelias & Co. Cherry on the cake, the flowers are fragrant, and the leves are shiny and  small, quite lovely by themselves.  There are several species and some hybrids but if this gem has a default, it is not very easy to find at the nurseryes. As usual the only ones I could find , are in the UK, so whoever falls under its spell has to order it from abroad...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Camellia Yuletide - this year's first blooms

Yuletide's satin red flowers with golden anthers always arrive punctual for Christmas. It is one of my favourite Camellias, it's balanced shape, perfect small and shiny leaves and the blooms not too heavy. And a very reliable bloomer... which ads a bright colour sparkle to a relatively calm season

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Dark Queens and Black Knights II - colour combinations

Lately I have thought about the difficulties of marrying black blooms with other plants. Indeed if a little black dress goes with everything in fashion, in the garden things are quite a bit more difficult.
So here are a few combinations, to fuel our taste for adding some black mistery to our borders and pots... 

Tulips Black Parrot , Shirley, Helleborus Niger, Convallaria M.

Cosmos bipinnatus Chocolate, Stipa Tenuissima , dutch Iris combination

Daylilly Dusk Trug, Iris Crinoline, Hollyhock Black Magic, Cosmos Daydream, Begonia Evening Glow

Heuchera Chocolate Ruffles, Rudbeckia Cherry Brandy, Daylilly Jungle Beauty

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Dark Queens and Black Knights

 The quest for Black Flowers started when I came across the Black Garden in the Jardin de l'Alchymiste near Avignon. There they have a quite interresting "room" all dedicated to the colour black - all planted with glossy Aeoniums. This was the starting point of my inquiery into the realm of black plants - and indeed I was quite surprised of how many there are by now.
Obviously the petals embrace shades ranging from dark purple to chocolate or ink blue, since nature abhores absolute blackness, but on the whole the result is pretty amazing.
To make it short, I have scribbled one of my many whish lists. I've called it the "Dark Queens and Black Knights" list of black velvety blooms and leafs. They are a touch pretentious - I admit, since all black robes remind of exquisite soirèes and maybe they are not very easy to marry in the garden, nevertheless they emanate a great deal of sophistication .

 The Black Garden "l'Oeuvre au Noir" at the Jardin de l'Alchymiste

The Black Bulbs and spring flowers:

 Tulips : Queen of Night and Black Parrot

 Fritillaria Persica and Meleagris

 Black Pansies, Helleborus Niger, Iris Black Knight, Camelia "Dark Rider"

The Summer Blooms:

 Dahlias Black Jack and Arabian Night
 Hemerocallis Jungle Beauty
 Hollyhock Black Magic
 Iris Black Swan
Aquillegia Black Barlow

Cosmos Chocolate 

The Black Leaves:
Ajuga Reptans
 Heuchera Chocolate Ruffles
 Coleus Black Dragon
 Sambucus Niger
Clematis Recta purpurea

 Ophiopogon Planiscapus Niger ( maybe the blackest of all)

The Edible Blacks:
 Basilicum Black Opal
 Chilli Black Pearl
 Italian Kale - Cavolo Nero Toscano
 Black Cabbage

To be honest I could have gone one and one in my quest for dark plants...  There are inky petunias , Nasturziums called Black Velvet, poppyies and many more of them out there, but I prefer to quit here with two book titles for those who want to dive into the dark realm of plants.
Since we have a LBD in our closet to make us feel chic, why not try something dark in the garden too?