The Toadies

With the coming of fall comes a great opportunity to plant something different in the garden.Tricytis or Japanese Toad-lily fits the bill.This is a unique easy plant for shady areas.It prefers a rich moist soil and grows between two and three feet blooming from September thru October. You want to plant this sweety where it can be seen up close. I’ve been growing Tricytis for a number of years and never had anything go wrong with it. There are a number of varieties available today.The one pictured here is Tricytis hirta. Tricytis Empress,Trojan,Hatatogisa and aureo-marginata which has gold leaf margins are also available.

In the Nursery

We have a beautiful magnolia from Japan available in the nursery. Magnolia sieboldii grows to 25′ and 10′ plus wide.The white fragrant flowers are downward facing and can reach 4 inches wide. The foliage turns a nice golden yellow in the fall.This is a perfect tree for the small garden in full sun or part shade. One of my personal favorites.

Spring Bulbs

One of the joys of spring is the anticipation of bulbs bursting forth from the ground.We are all familiar with daffodils and tulips but what about this little gem,Fritillaria meleagris or Snake’s Head Lily. Fritillaria is native to Europe commonly found growing in grasslands in damp soils. These plants flower from March thru May and grow between 15cm to 40cm in height. A real treat come March.

A Stroll thru the Garden

I find wandering in the garden on Sunday afternoons very peaceful. Being in the nursery trade, this time of year can be a blur and if we don’t watch it we can miss some of the great plants blooming in our garden. Today I was walking about and I noticed this great Hellebore in bloom. Helleborus argutifolius or Corsican Hellebore was stunning with it’s apple-green flowers. Of all the Hellebores available this variety has to be one of my favorites. Great flower colour from march to May and then you can enjoy it’s grey-green foliage with it’s saw toothed edges the rest of the year. The only maintenance this plant receives is a trimming of the flowers once there done blooming, easy peasy. This plant grows 18-24″ tall by 24″ wide in shade to semi shade in well drained loamy soil, a true specimen.

Fall has arrived on the West Coast

You know fall has arrived when nerine bowdenii is in bloom. N. bowdenii is the hardiest of the nerines, growing in my garden now for the last three years. They are South African bulbs planted for there very late display of colour. A little to pink for some gardeners but I like them as they signal the passing of summer. My garden is zone 7 so for any gardens below that you would have to grow in containers and overwinter.You can divide the bulbs February thru March