8th Oct, 2009

AUTUMNAL PLANTS

persicaria 1This is one of the stars of the autumnal garden. It’s called Fleeceflower  (Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Firetail’ and what a beauty it is.  It’s been quietly blooming away for weeks now but as other things die off and containers get moved, it comes into its own.

The past week has  been the horticultural version of the fast lane. There’ve been so many social events my feet hurt right up to the knees from standing around in ridiculous shoes.  If you want to have a look, go to Mark Disero’s terrific web site Gardens Toronto. He hits all the events, schmoozes like crazy and gets really good shots of us all.  I’ve seldom seen anyone work so hard.

I gave a wee talk at  the Toronto-Parkdale Horticultural society’s 175th anniversary party the other night. David Miller is looking soooo much happier (thinner, handsomer, cheerier all around) since he decided to step aside. And Ontario’s David Onley is an amazing guy. It was a great evening and hats off to The Hort.

I’ll have a column in the Globe and Mail‘s Style Section this Saturday. Alas it will be the last for this season.  It features Martin Wade’s garden. I’ve done a series on Designer and Landscape Architect’s gardens. It’s been really interesting for me because the owners featured know and love plants (not plant material).  A lot of the work I do as a garden designer is fixing up other people’s dreadful mistakes.  Bad planting really makes people unhappy and all the most beautiful hardscaping in the world won’t fix it.  None of these talented people fall into that category.

I’ll be on a couple of things this weekend. CBC’s Definitely Not the Opera has a piece around 2:15 on Saturday afternoon about community gardens. Nick Purdon zapped over here at the crack of dawn today and it will be on around 2:15.  CBC

And on Sunday a.m. I’ll be on Fresh Air, at 7:30 which is not my favourite time of day for speaking but Mary Ito is always such a pleasure to work with, I’ll just down the coffee and go.

On a show I did in Vancouver today I mentioned two websites people should have a look at:   The Native Plant Society of British Columbia a treasure trove of information about native plants of the west coast, and nurseries that sell native plants. The other is a great nursery which will ship across the country:  Thimble Farms Nursery on Salt Spring Island.  Their catalogue sets me to salivating.  As does Lost Horizons.    Both these catalogues have no pictures, you have to do a little work if you want to find pictures but absolutely worthwhile when you see what they have to offer.

If I survive all of this I’ll be back to blogging very soon. I’m also in the throes of working on my next e-letter so if you haven’t signed up already please do so. Just push the button, I’ll get the message.  It’s a stunningly gorgeous time of the year and we are installing gardens, moving plants and still feeling like there’s a lot left to this season.


Responses

My particular autumn delight is the combination of white Japanese Anemones next to a pink ballerina rose shrub (sorry, don’t know proper Latin names), both of which bloom bravely on. It almost makes the winter’s approach bearable. Almost.

This is a great combo. Now listen here Ms. Aligor you must learn how to speak botanical Latin.
You can travel anywhere with it.

M

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