Sunday Dinner: Harmony

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“That is where my dearest

and brightest dreams have ranged —

to hear for the duration of a heartbeat

the universe and the totality of life

in its mysterious, innate harmony.”

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Hermann Hesse

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“Peace is more than the absence of war.

Peace is accord.

Harmony.”

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Laini Taylor

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“If there is righteousness in the heart,

there will be beauty in the character.
If there is beauty in the character,

there will be harmony in the home.
If there is harmony in the home,

there will be order in the nations.
When there is order in the nations,

there will peace in the world.”

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Confucius

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“Digressions are part of harmony, deviations too.”

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Dejan Stojanovic

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“Instead of railing against hate, we focus on love;

instead of judging the angry,

we offer them our peaceful presence;

instead of warning against a dystopian future,

we provide a hopeful vision.”

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Gudjon Bergmann

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“The happy man needs nothing and no one.

Not that he holds himself aloof,

for indeed he is in harmony

with everything and everyone;

everything is “in him”;

nothing can happen to him.

The same may also be said

for the contemplative person;

he needs himself alone; he lacks nothing.”

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Josef Pieper

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“Out of clutter, find simplicity.”

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Albert Einstein

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2019

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“Through our eyes,

the universe is perceiving itself.

Through our ears,

the universe is listening to its harmonies.

We are the witnesses

through which the universe

becomes conscious of its glory, of its magnificence.”

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Alan Wilson Watts

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Fabulous Friday: In Bloom

Foxglove

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This time of year we linger along the drive, admiring the garden in bloom.  Stately Iris stand tall, their long bloom stalks clothed in fragrant blues and golds and purples and whites.

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The Siberian Iris bloomed yesterday… literally.  In the early morning there was a single bud unfolding.  By mid-day, there was a bouquet of intense blue.  The garden is unfolding so quickly this week that if you stand still for more than a few breaths, it has changed before your wondering eyes.

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Siberian Iris, a gift from a gardening friend.

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Imagine my surprise to notice the plump, unmistakable buds of an Amaryllis emerging from the Earth on Monday.

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Amaryllis, Hippeastrum SA ‘Graffiti’

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We enjoy Amaryllis in winter, when little else will bloom.  They comfort us through the dull wet days of February from their pot on the dining table.

And then, I like to plant the bulbs out into the perennial beds in March, and hope to see them again sometime, if they survive.  So it was that I planted out a half dozen bulbs the spring before last.  And I never remembered to dig them and bring them in last fall… a seasonal casualty of letting myself become distracted, perhaps…

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And the Amaryllis “Graffitti’ survived our very long, cold winter, rewarding our neglect with these beautiful blooms, this first week of May.  Sometimes unlikely pleasures feel the most satisfying.

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Azalea, some of the few buds left to us by the hungry deer, this spring.

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When you come to think of it, flowers erupting from plants frozen and dormant just a few weeks ago is a rather unlikely prospect.  After all they’ve been through, they’d be forgiven for sulking a bit and basking in this new-found warmth before performing.

But no, they are eager to get on with it!  Our garden woodies and perennials live to bloom, and then perhaps to set seeds.  We are all interested in the next generation, now, aren’t we?

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Mountain Laurel, one of our native shrubs

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Or is it just the pleasure of hosting bees and hummingbirds that motivates these outrageous blooms?  There is nothing particularly shy about an Amaryllis, or an Iris.   And for this, we are grateful as we celebrate their season of bloom.

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Iris, ‘Stairway to Heaven’ (reblooming)

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And so we linger as we come and go on our daily errands.  And we find reason to wander in the garden, watering, trimming, planting; and dreaming of the many weeks of beauty still ahead as spring relaxes into summer.

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2018

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For the Daily Post’s
Weekly Photo Challenge:  Unlikely

Fabulous Friday:  Happiness is contagious… Let’s infect one another!

Winter’s Encore

April 5, 2016 ferns 001

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Lest we forget that coastal Virginia has not yet become tropical, winter returned for an encore early this morning.  Wind whipped out of the north most of the day.  At least we didn’t see snow when the sun rose this morning.

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Balmy days in March lulled us into believing the promises of springtime.  Dogwoods opened as though it were mid-April already.  Wisteria blankets the trees along country roads, and Azalea shrubs have burst into bright Easter egg colors.

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Ferns unfold their delicate fronds and tender perennials have tentatively opened their first new leaves of the season.  Our roses have produced their first flush of tiny flower buds.

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We were thrilled to discover our figs survived this winter past, new leaves and tiny fruits bursting from last year’s wood.  But that may all change over night.

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What is this sadistic weather roller coaster that has hi-jacked the jet stream?  Why the Arctic blast after weeks of sunny warmth?

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We started early this morning bringing plants back in to the relative warmth of our garage.  I went out, before the coffee was made, to investigate what had sent our wind chimes beneath the deck madly ringing.  It was a chair blown over, hitting them on the way down.  Brrr!

The wind chill had returned us to February, and we began bringing in those pots and baskets still sheltering under the deck.  Despite the blazing sun, today brought relentless wind and cold .

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It was after five when we finally covered those tender pots we couldn’t move, stretched large bags over a few tender shrubs, and agreed we had made our best efforts.

Will it freeze here tonight?  We’ll know by morning.  Then we’ll enjoy a few more days of warmth before the freezing cold returns this weekend.

Our frost free date here in Zone 7 remains April 15.  While it may be unusual to have wintery cold so deep into April, we have to remember it can happen.  April snow  rarely falls in our area, but flurries greeted neighbors to our north and west this morning.

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It may look like spring in our garden, but winter is making an encore this week.  We trust that those leaves and flowers unfolding now will survive her frosty touch.

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Woodland Gnome 2016

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Silent Sunday: Early Bird

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“We went down into the silent garden.

Dawn is the time when nothing breathes,

the hour of silence. Everything is transfixed,

only the light moves.”

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Leonora Carrington

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“Veil after veil of thin dusky gauze is lifted,

and by degrees the forms and colours of things

are restored to them, and we watch

the dawn remaking the world in its antique pattern.”


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Oscar Wilde

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“When you arise in the morning,

think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive-

– to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love”

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Marcus Aurelius

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“It’s a new day.

Yesterday’s failure is redeemed at the sunrise”
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Todd Stocker

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In response to The Daily Posts’s Weekly Photo Challenge:  Early Bird

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2015

Associations

Oakleaf Hydrangea shares a pot with Japanese painted fern.  Vinca and Mayapples carpet the ground under Camellia shrubs and Deciduous trees.

Oakleaf Hydrangea shares a pot with Japanese painted fern. Vinca, English ivy, and Mayapples carpet the ground under Camellia shrubs and deciduous trees.

Just as we  structure our lives by our associations with friends, family, and business colleagues; so plants also form useful relationships with other plants.

Azaleas prefer to grow under deciduous trees.

Azaleas prefer to grow under deciduous trees.

Our human associations are based on things we have in common with others.  We may form friendships based on shared interests, or spend time with members of our biological family.

We may enjoy the company of others in our profession, or with those who share our passion for music, for tennis, or for gardening.

Coleus, creeping Jenny, and sedum love the hot sun they enjoy in this pot near the house.

Coleus, Creeping Jenny, and Sedum love the hot sun they enjoy in this pot near the house.

When planning pots, beds, borders, and landscapes, we generally plan in terms of groups, or associations, of plants.

Something like Lego blocks, or notes in a chord; certain plants go well together.

Artemesia and Vinca can tolerate the drypoor soil and bright sunshine on this slopinge beside the house.

Artemesia and Vinca can tolerate the dry, poor soil and bright sunshine on this slope beside the house.

These associations must first take into account shared needs for a certain amount of light and  moisture.

It is wise to also consider what sort of soil is best for a grouping of plants, and what temperatures they need for best growth.

A newly enlarged bed featuring English shrub roses also hosts herbs, bulbs, annuals, and perennial geranium.

A newly enlarged bed featuring English shrub roses also hosts herbs, bulbs, annual Ageratum,  sage, Rudbeckia, and perennial Geranium.  All enjoy partial to full sun, enriched soil,  and can tolerate heat.

Beyond these basic considerations for what plants have in common, we look towards how their differences may compliment one another.

Vining plants, like Clematis, which will grow up a trellis, may share a pot with a bushy or trailing plant to shade their roots.

Clematis, "Belle of Woking" grows on a trellis suspended above a large pot.  Caladiums were just planted in the pot, along with fern, to shade the roots of the Clematis.

Clematis, “Belle of Woking” grows on a trellis suspended above a large pot. Caladiums were just planted in the pot, along with fern, to shade the roots of the Clematis.

An indeterminate tomato plant filling a tomato cage benefits from shorter basil and marigold plants at its base which shade the soil and repel certain insects and predators.

Just as a composer relies on certain chords and phrases to compose a melody, so a gardener benefits from a repertoire of plant associations to construct a garden.

German Iris grow with Lavender, a shrub rose, bulbs, and other perennials.

German Iris grow with Lavender, a shrub rose, bulbs, and other perennials.

And these associations are peculiar to the gardener and the environment of a particular garden.

The associations depend on which plants a gardener enjoys, the style and mood of the garden, and the growing conditions with which a gardener must work.

German Iris in a different bed with roses.

German Iris in a different bed with roses.

Most of us gardeners are drawn to particular plants.   I visited with a woman a few weeks ago who loves boxwood shrubs.  A fellow blogger has a garden full of day lilies, which he hybridizes.

Azaleas and Hostas in my parents' garden.  They enjoy both of these plants and plant them in abundance.

Azaleas and Hostas in my parents’ garden. They enjoy both of these plants and plant them in abundance.

Some gardeners go to great lengths to grow tomatoes or squash each year, and others want a shady garden full of Hostas and ferns.

Hosta, Lady Fern, and Mahonia shrubs in my parents' garden

Hosta, Lady Fern, and Mahonia shrubs in my parents’ garden.  A newly planted Begonia semperflorens completes the association.

Personally, I love every species and color of Iris.

Iris germanica "Rock Star" reblooms in late summer

Iris germanica “Rock Star” reblooms in late summer

And I collect English roses, and always want a summer garden full of delicious herbs. And I absolutely want something in bloom in the garden each and every day of the year.

Living in a forest, these obsessions are not always compatible with reality.

Re[blooming Iris cultivars "Rosalie Figge" and "immortality"

Re-blooming Iris cultivars “Rosalie Figge” and “Immortality”

As I plan what will grow in borders, beds, and pots throughout the gardening year, I have learned to rely on certain plants, and combinations of plants, which I know from experience will grow together successfully.

Relying on perennials as much as possible, and on plants I can keep through the winter; simplifies the process of moving from one season into the next.

Perennials, once established, gradually spread to fill a bed reliably year after year.

Perennials, once established, gradually spread to fill a bed reliably year after year.  Because their season of bloom is short lived, different plants lend interest at different points throughout the season.

But there is still shopping to be done in spring and fall.  Knowing which associations of plants one wishes to recreate each year helps organize the process.

For example, German re-blooming Iris, Iris germanica,  thrive in the sunny areas of this garden.  They are drought tolerant, don’t mind our Virginia summers, and are not bothered by deer.

Perennial Columbine, which also seeds itself, growing here with a newly planted Coleus.

Perennial Columbine, which also seeds itself, growing here with a newly planted Coleus.

They are absolutely lovely for the few weeks each year of bloom.  Whether in bloom or not, German Iris are always a presence in the garden since their signature sword like leaves persist through most of the year.

I like growing Iris near roses.  They have similiar needs for light and feeding, and they look good together.

Iris grow here with Dusty Miller, culinary Sage, Allyssum, and

Iris grow here with Dusty Miller, culinary Sage, Basil, Alyssum, and onions.  the red onions are an experiment in keeping deer away from annuals planted in the bed.

Wandering through a garden in Warm Springs, Virginia, I found  a brilliant combination of Iris,day lily, and daffodils planted together.

The growing day lily and Iris foliage hid the daffodil’s leaves when the flowers were finished.  Iris bloom soon after the daffodils, and then day lily carries the planting on into the heat of summer.

I now grow Iris and daffodils together in some sunny areas of the garden.  And I add Columbine  to the  mix, along with sun tolerant ferns.

Iris coming into bloom in a bed where daffodils have recently faded.  Columbine will bloom next.  Various ferns grow in the shadow of a Dogwood tree behind the iris.

Iris “Stairway to Heaven”  coming into bloom in a bed where daffodils have recently faded. Columbine will bloom next. Various ferns grow in the shadow of a Dogwood tree behind the iris.

By early summer, the canopy of shrubs and trees has grown in enough to shade the ferns, and the daffodils and Iris have already enjoyed many weeks of strong sun when they most needed it.

Many country gardeners, especially in the Piedmont of Virginia, grow perennial low growing Phlox around their Iris bed.

In springtime, you’ll see wide expanses of pink, white, and lavender Phlox blooming around island beds of Iris.  These plants thrive in full sun, and take very little care.

Iris with Lavender "Otto Quast"

Iris with Lavender “Otto Quast”

I also plant Lavandula stoechas “Otto Quast”  at the base of both roses and Iris.  This Spanish Lavender, with finely cut foliage, sports abundant large blooms at the same time the Iris bloom in late April to early May.  L. “Otto Quast” has a long season of bloom, over many weeks in late spring and early summer.

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It isn’t destroyed by rain and humidity as some other Lavenders are in our Virginia summers.  The brilliant purple blooms work well with the colors of the Iris blossoms and English roses.  This evergreen Lavender looks good at the front of a bed whether in bloom or not.

Another hardy association is Lamb’s Ears, Stachys byzantina, with roses, Dianthus, and Echinacea.  A drought tolerant full sun perennial, Lamb’s Ears are disliked by deer.

Lamb's Ears

Lamb’s Ears with Dianthus, Dusty Miller, and Violas under shrub roses.

They divide easily in spring and display stunning silvery foliage through most of the year.  Their purple blooms in early summer are quite beautiful and attract many nectar loving insects.  I’ve spread these throughout sunny areas of the garden.

One way to bring unity to a garden is to repeat plants and associations of plants from one area to the next.

Even with a tremendous variety of genus, species, and cultivars of plants throughout the garden, narrowing the selections to repeat colors and forms again and again weaves the many individuals into a patterned tapestry which feels harmonious.

Autumn Fern cover this hillside along with other ferns, Creeping Genny, Ivy and Hellebores.

Autumn Fern cover this hillside along with other ferns, Creeping Genny, Ivy and Hellebores.  Daffodil foliage is left behind from the recently faded flowers.

I have incorporated Iris into at least six different planting areas.  In all of those areas, they are paired with a silver foliage plant such as Lamb’s Ears, Lavender, Dusty Miller, or Artemesia.

In most of those areas, they are growing near an English rose shrub.   Silver foliage, with white or purple blooms nearby, also weave throughout the summer beds.

White Dianthus often grows with Dusty Miller, purple or tricolor sage,  and grey Winter Thyme.  These reliable plants look beautiful together, and help extend the season over many months.

Newly planted white Dianthus and Winter Thyme will grow into a silvery border for this bed, edged in slate.

Newly planted white Dianthus and Winter Thyme will grow into a silvery border for this bed, edged in slate.

Shade associations are built around various species of ferns, Hellebores, Heuchera, Begonias, Coleus, Caladiums, and Fuchsias.

The Fuchsias and Begonias must be grown in pots out of reach of the deer, or in hanging baskets.

Fuschia with Impatiens in a basket

Fuschia with Impatiens in a basket

After discovering that Impatiens, which I’ve always grown in abundance in shady areas, are simply deer candy; they are reserved for hanging baskets well away from where deer can reach.

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They always complement ferns, and grow well at the base of cane Begonias.

I also like to plant cane Begonias with Caladiums to hide their leggy stalks.

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This season I’ve added garlic cloves, chives,  and onion starts to many associations in the garden because their aroma repels deer.  There are green garlic plants growing out of potted arrangements on the front patio.

There are also a large number of scented geraniums in flowerbeds and pots for the same reason.

Scented geranium, culinary Sage, garlic

Scented Geranium, culinary Sage, garlic, Viola, and Coleus grow with the Brugmansia start. 

I’m experimenting with a mixture of scented geraniums, zonal geraniums, and ivy geraniums.  The scented geranium will the the fragrant “thriller” in the pot, growing the largest with striking foliage.

The zonal geraniums will give a punch of color as they fill out the middle of the pot.  The ivy geranium will spill down over the edges of the pot as the “spiller.”

When shopping for plants this spring, try to think about buying “associations” of plants rather than just choosing individuals for some quality which strikes you.

Coleus with Sedum

Coleus with Sedum and bulb foliage.

Remember to analyze a plant in terms of what it needs to perform well, what it will give you or do for you,  and how it will blend into the garden as a whole.

Remember to buy in multiples.  In most cases, it is better to buy several of the same plant, and then use the plant again and again to weave a sense of unity through a given space.

This past week I planted 16 Nicotania plants, in three colors, throughout three nearby beds beside the butterfly garden.

Newly planted annuals

Newly planted annuals:  Cayenne pepper, Marigold, Nicotania and Bronze Fennel grow against a back drop of Iris foliage.

A dozen Cayenne pepper plants went into the same beds, along with 16 white marigolds, a dozen cherry Zinnias, four Bronze Fennel, and three Dill plants.

This area is already planted with perennial Echinacea, Monarda, Salvias, Lavenders,  culinary Sage, Rosemary, and lots of Iris.

Geraniums

Three different types of Geraniums with Coleus, Garlic and Sedum.  Seeds for annual vines are planted at the back of the pot.

More Zinnias are sprouting and will be planted within the next few weeks, when I add multiple varieties of Basil.

These plants have similiar needs for full sun, drainage, and nutrients.  Most are distasteful to the deer, and so offer some protection to the shrub roses planted among them.

The variety works because the same plants are repeated again and again in associations throughout the space.

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The last consideration when planning associations of plants is color.  Within a particular genus, and even species, there is frequently a choice of color in both flowers and foliage from which to select.

Although flower color is important, I am far more interested in the form and color of foliage when choosing plants.

Foliage is far more of a presence in the garden than flowers both for its relative mass, and for its longevity throughout the season.

Newly planted Canna "Australis" with burgundy foliage will grow behind Colocasia "China Pink" with bright red stems and light green foliage.

Newly planted Canna “Australis” with burgundy foliage will grow behind Colocasia “Pink China” with bright red stems and light green foliage.

Some plants, like Coleus, Heuchera, and Hosta are grown primarily for their foliage.  The flowers are incidental for most of the season, and may even be systematically removed .

These bright plants always draw attention to themselves and set the mood of an area in the  garden.

Perennial Ajuga serves as a ground cover around Iris, Heuchera, and at the base of a tea rose.

Perennial Ajuga serves as a ground cover around Iris and other perennials.

Whether you prefer peaceful, monochromatic gardens or bold dramatic ones, the size, form, and color of foliage sets the tone.

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It is generally easy to select for color of both flowers and foliage within any given genus or species of plant.  Culinary sage alone may be had in golden, tricolor, purple, silver, or  green.

Popular flowering annuals like Petunias and Calabrachoas  come in an overwhelming number of stunning shades and patterns.  New hybrids of patterned leaf Heucheras and Coleus are introduced each season.

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All of the many choices of plants for a temperate garden, such as we have in much of the United States, makes it both endlessly interesting and almost overwhelming to select and arrange plants for each season.

Planning for repeating associations of plants, and selecting plants based on specific criteria, helps bring structure and cohesion to the planning process.

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I always approach the garden in the spirit of experimentation.  I want to know what works well,and what doesn’t.

Repeating associations which work well, season after season, still allows for changing things up with different cultivars of old favorites.

The more plants you come to know personally, through growing them, the more interesting and effective these associations of plants become.

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2013-2014

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Springtime Azaleas

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When I was a child, we would make a point of going out to see the Azaleas each April.  When I was very little, we visited the Duke gardens.  Later, living in Richmond, we visited the Joseph Bryan Park, planted in 1952 with thousands of Azaleas.

Sometimes we would visit the Norfolk Botanical Gardens for the NATO Azalea Festival to see their breathtaking displays of flower covered shrubs.

Indica hybrid "Formosa" days before opening.

Indica hybrid Azalea, “Formosa” days before opening.

Better than Christmas lights, Azalea gardens draw millions of visitors to wander the shady lanes amid vibrant blossoms in every shade of pink, salmon, red, purple, lilac, white, and even native varieties blooming in yellows and orange.

Huge bumblebees move lazily from blossom to blossom, drunk on nectar, and completely harmless to those visitors who keep a respectful distance.

Birds swoop from branch to branch, tree to tree, enjoying the spectacle and fragrance of the flowers as they feast on the many nectar loving insects buzzing around them.

hidden cat

North America has its own native Rhododendron species, many of which have been hybridized.  But the most commonly planted Azaleas in the Southeastern United States are actually hybrids of Asian species.

The first of these Asian species were imported through Charleston, SC, in the mid-Nineteenth century, from Japan.

Originally planted at The Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, near Charleston, hybrids of these original imported selections have spread throughout our region.

Azalea, "Delaware White"

Azalea, “Delaware White”

Known as the “Indica Hybrids,”  these impressive shrubs may grow to 10′-12′ tall and wide when growing in moist, rich soil in partial sun.

Azaleas species and cultivars, members of the sprawling Rhododendron genus, prefer the acidic soil found in the shade of pine and oak trees.

An understory shrub, they brighten the landscape for several weeks each spring with their bright flowers.

Azalea, "Formosa"

Azalea, “Formosa”

Extremely popular in home gardens, most Azaleas in the nursery trade are evergreen.  Our native species are deciduous, and so not so popular in residential gardens.

Azaleas, once properly planted, practically take care of themselves.  Although many people prune them to keep them in bounds as a foundation planting, they are happiest when left alone to grow into their full potential.

chimanera

They grow best when  mulched with pine needles or with bark, and don’t need fertilizer so long as the soil is rich.  The mulch is important in our southern summers, because Azaleas prefer moist soil and are very shallow rooted.

Azaleas are abundant and affordable at garden centers and big-box stores each spring.  Often times available for only $2-$3 per gallon sized pot, they are a great value because they grow quickly with decent care.

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Plant new Azalea shrubs a little “high.”  That is, dig the whole wider than the root ball by several inches, but no deeper.  Amend the planting hole with good compost and set the root ball so it is perhaps an inch higher than the surrounding soil.

Gently pull the roots on the surface of the side of the root ball  out from the mass, and gently break up the roots at the bottom of the root ball to encourage their growth out into the surrounding soil.

This is very important.  If you plant the azalea without pulling the surface roots away from the ball, they may continue to grow in the shape of the pot, eventually “girdling” or choking the  plant.  Unless the roots grow out into the surrounding garden soil, they may not be able to absorb adequate moisture and the plant will fail to thrive.

( How do I know this?  From digging up dying  newly planted Azaleas in mid-summer and finding their roots never grew out away from the original rootball.)

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Place the Azalea into the planting hole, backfill with compost mixed with the native soil.  Then mound more compost and soil to make a small rounded “hill” around the root ball, bringing the new soil flush with the top of the roots.  Finally, mulch with at least 2″ of pine straw or bark mulch.

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Water each bush in well, so the roots are saturated.  Continue to water new Azaleas every 3-4 days for the next several months.

They appreciate moist soil, and need help until the roots grow and the plant is established.

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Most people buy their Azaleas in April or May, when they are in bloom; which is absolutely the worst time of year to plant for the health of the shrub.

The best time to plant in Coastal Virginia would be October or November, if you are able to find the cultivars you wish to plant.

There are so many choices of cultivar.  Although I love the huge flowers and great stature of the Indica Hybrids, there are many beautiful shrubs with smaller flowers which stay under 4′ high at maturity.

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Newer hybrids, called “Encore Azaleas,” promise two or more seasons of bloom each year.

I filled a garden with Azaleas a few years ago.  Fenced, shaded by mature trees, the Azaleas grew rapidly and re-created the Norfolk Botanical gardens, in miniature, in my yard.

I loved the winding pine straw covered paths between walls of color each spring.

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This garden was once heavily planted in Azaleas.  The stubs remain, trying valiantly to hang onto life.  As areas around our neighborhood are developed, and the forests cut, the deer have to find somewhere to go.

And they come here.  And eat.  And eat. Azaleas are a deer delicacy.  We have blooming Azaleas, but the shrubs are misshapen and top heavy.

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Our neighbor started many Azaleas from cuttings taken in Norfolk years and years ago.  Her huge beautiful shrubs fill the front garden.  It remains a mystery why the deer have allowed that to happen in her garden, but not in ours….

In another week or so the flowers will fade and fall for another year.  Fresh green leaves will continue to grow, clothing the shrubs in bright green for another season.

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As the Azaleas fade, the larger Rhododendron shrubs, with their still larger flowers in shades of purple, pink, and white will unfold, extending the color for an additional few weeks.

Azaleas form the backdrop to many happy memories for those of us who grew up in this region of the United States.

Family trips to the park, family picnics among the Azaleas, beautiful yards around our homes, Azalea Festivals and parades have all enlivened our springtime celebrations across the years.  These easy to grow shrubs continue to bring beauty and joy to those who grow them.

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Photos by Woodland Gnome

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