14 August 2016

In the Spotlight: Bobo Hydrangea (hydrangea paniculata Bobo)

Continuing my feature on hydrangeas that are hardy in zone 3 gardens and have proven themselves worthy of your garden.  Here's Bobo Hydrangea.

Bobo Hydrangea is a paniculata, meaning it has elongated clusters of flowers (a panicle).  It is dwarf and hardy with abundant flowers.

Height: 30 - 36 inches
Width: 36 - 48 inches
Spacing: 48 - 60 inches
Blooms: summer to autumn
Exposure:  part sun to sun

Flowers borne in elongated clusters, start white and turn pink in the autumn.  The bush is literally covered top to bottom in blooms.  Blooms on new wood.  Reliable bloomer.

Soil:  good loam, moderate moisture, well-drained.

Hardy zones 3 - 8

The flowers are upright on strong stems, with panicles continuing to lengthen through the growing season.  

Bobo Hydrangea is a show-stopper.  It was awarded the 2010 Gold FLORALL Medal for best novelty plant.

13 August 2016

In the Spotlight: Bombshell Hydrangea (hydrangea paniculata Bombshell)

Bombshell Hydrangea (hydrangea paniculata Bombshell)  Discovered in May 2003 in the Netherlands.  

Paniculata hydrangea meaning it grows flowers in pyramid shaped clusters known as panicles.  Bombshell Hydrangea is aptly named because the numerous panicles of white blooms seem to explode from the bush.  It is said to have more flowers per plant than any other paniculata hydrangea.  (though Bobo gives it a challenge).  Each flower within the cluster is a star shape and is sterile.  The fertile flowers are not noticeable within the cluster.

Bombshell hydrangea is a dwarf shrub reaching heights of 2-3 feet and widths of 3-4 feet.  Well-branched.  It is a long-blooming shrub, flowering from July through September.  No drooping.  Flowers are white maturing slowly to a rosy pink before turning brown. Leaves are dark green, ovate and serrated, about 2 1/2 inches long.  Leaves are yellow with a purplish tinge in the fall.  Flowers persist somewhat through winter.

Hardy to zone 3, -40 C or -40 F.

Exposure:  part sun to full sun.

Soil:  moist, well-drained.  Add compost to the hole before planting.  Mulch planted hydrangea to retain moisture and keep weeds at bay.

Blooms on new wood.  It may take a couple years to come into its own but will then provide a nice showing of blooms.  No pruning necessary.

11 August 2016

Brilliant Days of Summer Blooms

The colours of summer blooms are vibrant and pop in the garden, well most of them anyway.  There are a few muted tones in the campanula and some delphiniums and hollyhocks but then there are those that are sizzling hot, just like summer days.  Echinacea, for instance, consists of many cultivars that are brilliant shades of yellow, orange and pink.  As spring begets summer, summer soon begets fall and often the flowers of August continue to bloom right through September.  Some just linger on the stem, drying in place.  They liven the garden landscape wherever they are found.

 Echinacea Hot Papaya (coneflower)

 Echinacea Pow Wow Wild Berry (coneflower)

Delphinium 'Guinevere'

Echinacea 'Cantaloupe' (coneflower)

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Endless Summer'

Osteospermum 'Blue Eyed Beauty' (annual African daisy)

Veronicastrum virginicum (Culver's Root) cultivar unknown

Veronica spicata 'Royal Candles' (Dwarf spike speedwell)

 Alcea rosea (Hollyhock) - cultivar unknown

Larkspur (Delphinium) - cultivar unknown

Lychnis (Maltese Cross)

Rosa 'Campfire' (Campfire Rose)

Rudbeckia ' Cherokee Sunset' (gloriosa daisy)

Veronica spicata (possibly Red Fox)

Campanula 'Light Blue Clips' (bellflower)



 Alcea rosea (Hollyhock) cultivar unknown

Trollius 'Orange Globe' (globeflower) 

Digitalis 'Dalmation Purple' (foxglove)

Digitalis 'Dalmation Peach' (foxglove)

Alcea rosea 'Queeny Purple' (Hollyhock )

Phlox and Monarda (bee balm)

Hydrangea macrophylla (mop head) (possibly 'Endless Summer')  photo by SWM

#Augustblooms  #zone3summerflowers 


09 August 2016

My World Tuesday

It has been a rainy summer here in the Edmonton region and I am not complaining one bit.  It's so much nicer to work outside when it's cooler.  You simply dress for it.

Today's photo is that of raindrops upon the expired blossom of my passionflower vine (right) and the vine itself (left).  I admit to being totally enamoured with this vine, have been for years in fact.  I've had it a year now and it has had an incredible succession of blooms this summer.  Something tells me it is enjoying our rainy season too.

From my little corner of the world, cheers!

Linking up with:  http://ourworldtuesdaymeme.blogspot.ca
#rainydayphotography  #passionflower  #yeggardens

07 August 2016

In the Spotlight: Incrediball Hydrangea Arborescens (hydrangea arborescens incrediball)

Incrediball® Hydrangea arborescens 'Abetwo' 

Incrediball hydrangea is an improved Annabelle hydrangea.  It looks almost identical but the stems are extremely sturdy and won't flop over like the Annabelle hydrangea.

Very hardy, zones 3-8
Height:  4 - 5 feet
Width:  4 - 5 feet (space 4 to 6 feet apart)
Blooms:  early summer to fall
Dimension of blooms:  as much as 12" across
Foliage:  dark green, serrated edges
Growth habit:  mounded
Soil:  moist, well-drained

Incrediball blooms on new wood and benefits from pruning in early spring.  Flowers open green, turn white before maturing to green again.  

This would be my choice for a white mophead hydrangea as it is sturdy enough to hold the blooms erect while providing masses of balls of white clustered flowers.  It is similar in height and width to Annabelle as well.

06 August 2016

In the Spotlight: Invincibelle Spirit II: the Pink Annabelle

Introduced as the first pink Annabelle type hydrangea in 2009 by Proven Winners, Invincibelle Spirit is a pink mophead that is hardy in zone 3 gardens. Seven years later, Proven Winners now has an improved sturdy pink mop head called Invincibelle Spirit II.  They've improved on the stalks, making them strong enough to stand up to rain storms and remain upright, even while carrying the large pink ball-shaped clusters of blooms.  The florets are a dark pink-red, open to a dark pink and fade to a jade green in time for autumn.  Dark green foliage covers the stems of this rounded shrub.

It is a reliable bloomer, blooming early summer through fall, even reblooming. 

Plant where it gets at least 6 hours of sun a day. Fewer hours in a hot climate is ok but this hydrangea does require sun to promote strong growth and vigorous blooming.  Mulch with 2-3 inches of shredded bark mulch to keep the roots cool and the soil moist.  

It may take a few years for this variety to fully establish but you'll be rewarded for your patience with a healthy vigorous pink mophead hydrangea.  

In the spring, cut back by about 1/3.  This will help make strong sturdy stems to support the blooms.  

Hardy to -40 C or -40 F.  Zones 3-9

Height:  3-4 feet
Width: 3-5 feet
Most soil conditions as long as it's moist. Soil and water ph does not affect bloom colour.

$1 from the sale of each plant is donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

02 August 2016

Transforming Edmonton a Tree at a Time - the Effort Towards Green Neighbourhoods

While the city continues to plant new trees on boulevards, the city council has put forth new bylaws to protect existing trees and to give guidelines for the planting of new trees on newly developed spaces.  

Edmonton Alberta has the largest stretch of urban parkland in the country.  I've heard rumours that the size of our river valley parks areas rivals that of Central Park in New York.  The city has put forth new requirements for new housing developments as it applies to landscaping, namely the preservation of existing trees, wherever possible.  It also has put into place minimum requirements for the landscaping of new housing projects wherein the developer or home owner will be required to plant a specific number of plants, depending on the zone and size of the property.  For example, if your new home is sited on property that is less than 10 metres wide, you will be required to plant one deciduous tree with a 50 mm calliper, one coniferous tree and 4 shrubs of specified sizes.  Existing trees on the site will be counted towards the minimum requirement.  Site plans for new houses must now include existing trees if applicable, quantity and size of existing and new trees and seed/sod or other ground cover.  

I know you may be thinking "what business is it of theirs?" While this may seem controlling, it is good news for the preservation of existing trees and to maintain a landscape of urban trees.  Citizens were given the opportunity to provide their input via surveys before this was finalized in council.  With the passing of this initiative into bylaw, measures are now in place to conserve and continuously add to the greening of our city. 


#yeg  #greenneighbourhoods  #Edmontonbylaws

01 August 2016

The Gardens of Smeltzer House (1920)

Maurice Smeltzer settled into this home in November of 1892.  The homestead at the time was comprised  of 480 acres.  In 1899 Maurice married a descedent of Robbie Burns, the Scottish poet, a Miss Eliza Pithie.  Their son Frank lived here until 1976 at which time Strathcona County purchased the property.  It was designated a visual arts centre in 1985.  Pottery classes, art shows and other visual arts programs are held here regularly.  In 1985 Smeltzer House was designated a Registered Historic Resource by the Minister of Alberta Culture.

Smeltzer House is enroute to work and I always admire what I can see of the gardens.  For the last few months I have wanted to go explore the grounds so the other day I turned into the parking lot to explore the gardens and the heritage of Smeltzer House.

In addition to a pottery studio, the grounds also have a gazebo which is available to rent for events.  At the time I was there a banner was strung up at the entrance announcing an upcoming wedding.  

I've included a link should you be interested in any of the programs Smeltzer House has to offer.  Pottery seems like an interesting craft to try.


#Strathconacounty  #SmeltzerHouse  #ArtsinSherwoodPark  #SherwoodPark


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