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Posts Tagged ‘Maroon flowers’

Here we are in the last week of August, many of us and our children are getting ready to go back to school. The garden often is neglect now because we are busy with othr things occupying our time. late summer is a time of changing palettes in the garden, from the spring and early summer colors to the richer and often nuanced tones. One plant which is ever changing in color is one of the stars of the garden right now,that plant is the known ‘Autumn Joy’ Sedum(Sedum xAutumn Joy‘).

Sedum 'Autumn joy' is an ever changing palette of colors.

Sedum x 'Autumn joy' is an ever changing palette of colors.

‘Autumn Joy’ Sedum is one of the more common plants you will see in gardens  because it is very useful and easily propagated. It is a cross of two closely related species; telephium from Europe and spectabile (which supplied the pollen) which originates in China and Korea. These two species and several other similar more woody type, large leaved Sedums are now reclassified as the species Hylotelephium.

Sedum 'Autumn Joy' with its massive flower heads reday to burst open at Finnerty Gardens.

Sedum 'Autumn Joy' with its massive flower heads reday to burst open at Finnerty Gardens.

The meeting of telephium and spectabile occured at Georg Arrends(1863-1952) nursery at Wuppertal Germany near Cologne. Arrends was one of the formost perennial plant breeders of all time. He  introduced many new improved Bergenias, Asters, Campanulas and especially Astilbes. Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ was originally called ‘Herbstfreude’ and it can be argued it is probably Arrends most popular and well known introduction of all. It was likely to have been presented to the garden trade in the late 1940s or early 1950s. It is hard to find a public garden which does not include these plants and from there many home gardens grow it as well.

The same border at Finnerty Gardens with 'Autumn Joy' Sedum in bloom.

The same border at Finnerty Gardens with 'Autumn Joy' Sedum in bloom.

The cross of telephium and spectabile into Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ brought the best of the parents together. It improved the flower color by intensifying it, it also improved the overall flower head which is now massive. The othe improvement was in making the stems more strong and less likely to flop. These are all characteristics which endear this plant to many professional gardeners who love it for its long season of bloom and overall beauty throughout the year. The color palette and texture of the plant is also easily incorporated into many garden designs.

In spring the beautiful jade green leaves of 'Autunm Joy' sedum is an attractive addition to the garden.

In spring the beautiful jade green leaves of 'Autunm Joy' sedum is an attractive addition to the garden.

Many of the reasons Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ is used so much is its incredible versatility in where it can be planted and how it is used in the garden. This plant takes any kind of soil but prefers leaner, light sandy soil. Give it slightly less than an average amount of water, this will keep the stems more firm and the plant more compact.. The one thing they do not like is being in excessively wet soil for a long time as this causes rot. Full sun is the best although it tolerates light shade especially in very dry, hot climates. If the flower heads start getting smaller it is probably is time to divide the plant and this can be done at any time of the year easily, dig it up and pull it apart.If you want to keep the blooms divide in the spring or fall. Cuttings are also very easy to take and root.

Here Sedum 'autumn Joy' is seen in a border with Echinacea, Verbena, blue Lobelia and frothy Gaura in the corner.

Here Sedum 'autumn Joy' is seen in a border with Echinacea, Verbena, blue Lobelia and frothy Gaura in the corner.

‘Autumn Joy’ Sedum can be used for late summer color in sunny borders, perennial borders, as specimens or accents and for mass plantings. It also works very well in seasonal containers for patio or other places for a long lasting show of color. Sedums naturally look good with grasses, Rudbeckias, Asters and other later season plants. The flowers blend in nicely and the leaves have a cooling effect in the garden. As the flowers age their color deepens. Often these plants are left standing in the garden in the winter as the spent flowers stand up well to rains and even snow and the rustic shade of the spent plant is seen as attractive.

This clump of Sedum 'Autumn Joy is in a long border in Sidney which has Miscanthus, Rudbeckia, Lavenders and Asters.

This clump of Sedum 'Autumn Joy is in a long border in Sidney which has Miscanthus, Rudbeckia, Lavenders and Asters.

‘Autumn Joy’ Sedum grows in zones 3 through 10 (-40c and f). This is a compact plant growing no more than 60cm(2ft.) high and by the same wide. These are fairly long lived plants and will give you pleasure many years.  They make good cut flowers and are long lasting, they also are excellent in dried arrangements. They are a good source of honey for butterflies and bees late in the year.

More Joyous Links for Autumn:

How to grow this plant: http://www.perennials.com/seeplant.html?item=1.485.340

From Dave’s Garden many people give their opions on growing this plant: http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/51498/

A thorough article on the species Hylotelephium:   http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/2619/

Check out my post relating to Georg Arrends and Astilbes: https://namethatplant.wordpress.com/2009/07/06/my-fine-feathered-friends-are-atilbes/

Hope to see you here again soon….

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I always like it when I find a plant which is versatile, can be used in many ways and has an unusual or desire color…what more could a plant lover want? I also like to find beautiful plants which can  live in a wide range of climates, be they very cold or very hot. So plants I first encountered in parks or botanical gardens while others I have been introduced to in nurseries where some clever person realized what a wonderful plant it was. This plant i was introduced to because I had to learn to grow it at a former job as a grower in a nursery. Knautia macedonica (Crimson Scabious) is a plant which has great qualities for a plant and adds long period of color into the  garden.

Knautia macedonica has an unusual deeply colored flower which blooms for months over the summer into late fall.

Knautia macedonica has an unusual deeply colored flower which blooms for months over the summer into late fall.

As you might have guessed Knautia macedonica comes from Eastern Europe near the Mediterranean and Black Seas, more specifically the former Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Albania and south eastern Romania. In the past this plant was used  to relieve skin roughness and was used as a treatment for dermatitis in the Balkans. Knautias are closely related to Scabiosa and at one time where classified as being from the same family, therefore the common name of Crimson Scabious. They both come from the Dipsacaceae family which also includes over 350 species which grow mostly in Europe, Asia , Africa and Australia.

Crimson Scabious blooms from June until late in the year.

Crimson Scabious blooms from June until late in the year.

There are several species of Knautia other than Knautia macedonica which are good garden plants and also bloom for a long period. Knautia is named after German doctor and botanist Christoph Knaut (1638-94),.He was born and lived in Halle where he published ‘Flora’ (Compendium Botanicum sive Methodus plantarum genuina) in 1687 with his brother Christian. In ‘Flora’ he described 17 different classes of plants. Carl von Linné( Linnaeus) later studied this work when developing the plant classification system we all know and use today.

Knautia macedonica produce masses of small flowers on wiry stems.

Knautia macedonica produce masses of small flowers on wiry stems.

Crimson Scabious is native to limestone scrub lands and grass meadows where the soil can be poor and scant rain falls during the long growing season.  The attractive basal leaves often have a greyish color and dry up during its period of bloom, at that time its blossom stems can easily be seen weaving through other plants and popping out to create interesting color combinations. The crimson color starts out with an almost blackish tone (like Chocolate Cosmos) and takes on a bluish hue as it ages, I have found it is a hard color to photograph.

The powerful red color of Knautia macedonica changes as the flower ages and takes on a bluish tinge.

The powerful red color of Knautia macedonica changes as the flower ages and takes on a bluish tinge.

Crimson Scabious is a plant which can grow in a variety of situations, this is because it a very easy plant to grow. You will need well drained soil which is rich in nutrients, full sun for the best possible blossoms and some dead-heading to keep the plant tidy. I think this is a plant for the middle of the border as it gets quite big and can flop if it is not staked  or cut back. It looks good weaving through strong foliage such as irises, Daylillies or grasses and can be used to cover areas of early bulbs which will have died down by late may and June.

Knautia macedonica may have small flowers...but... they have big impact in the garden.

Knautia macedonica may have small flowers...but... they have big impact in the garden.

Knautia macedonica grows to at least 1m(3ft) tall and by the same wide. There is now a shorter form(‘Mars Midget’) which you can easily grow from seed. There are also a seed color form (‘Melton Pastels’) which give a range of colors from from pinks through lavenders and the traditional red.

If you like intense colors, Crimson Scabious is a must for your garden!

If you like intense colors, Crimson Scabious is a must for your garden!

Although Knautia macedonica is listed as tolerating temperatures down to zone 5 -20c(-4f) it can be pushed much lower in a drier site to the low zone 3(-30c or -20f)It is sucessfully grown in prairie gardens in Saskatchewan. This plant will give you months of pleasure not only in the garden but also in a vase as they make a excellent cut flower which needs no special treatment. Butterflies will come to your garden more often as well.

From bud through to seed-head Knautia macedonica is an intriguing plant.

From bud through to seed-head Knautia macedonica is an intriguing plant.

Knowing Knautia macedonica:

A prairie gardeners experience with Crimson Scabious: http://em.ca/garden/per_knautia_macedonica_mars_midget.html

Martha says…: http://www.marthastewart.com/plant/knautia-macedonica

Growing it in the pacific northwest: http://www.paghat.com/knautia.html

Same time, same place……next week?

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There are colors we all want and have been written and dreamed about in the garden world. The purest, darkest black is always being searched for, pure blues are also being dreamed of in its various forms, even green in flowers create envy from those who long for that.  Some colors are few and always a shock or surprise when seen, Maroon is one such color especially when it is matched with the Peony. Delavay’s Tree Peony(Paeonia delavayi stops you to marvel at the depth and purity of the color maroon.

Delavay's Tree Peony - Paeonia delavayi

Delavay's Tree Peony - Paeonia delavayi

(Father)Père Jean Marie Delavay(1834-1895) was a remarkable man who introduced an incredible number of new plants, the count is at least 1500. the 1500 new plants was from over 200,000 specimens  which he carefully collected and documented. Even more amazing is that he did this all by himself with no help from others to carry his supplies and equipment through the many mountainous areas he travelled.  Jean Marie Delavay was sent by the Foreign Missions of Paris to China in 1867 and was first posted at Hui-chou in Canton. While posted there he collected plant samples  from as far away as Yunnan which were sent back to Great Britain by way of  Henry Fletcher Hance who was an important botanist.

Paeonia delavayi was first described in 1892 from a sample collected by Père Jean Marie Delavay.

Paeonia delavayi was first described in 1892 from a sample collected by Père Jean Marie Delavay.

In 1881 he returned to France and met the Père Armand David who convinced him to send future plant samples to the Museum of Natural History in Paris where Adrien Franchet would classify his collections. Père Delavay returned to China and spent his remaining time primarily in Yunnan where in 1888 he contracted bubonic plague which forced him to return to France in 1891 for treatment.  His final trip to China in 1894 was his last, he died in there on the last day of 1895.

Finnerty Gardens show stopper Paeonia delavayi is profusely blooming right now.

Finnerty Gardens show stopper Paeonia delavayi is profusely blooming right now.

Delavay’s Tree Peony is the most widely distributed of the woody Peony species. Paeonia delavayi is found mainly in north Yunnan into south-west Sichuan and Xizang(Tibet). The first sample was described by Franchet in 1892 from Delavay’s samples and notes. It was reintroduced by Gregor Nikolacvich Potanin in 1904 and was often called Paeonia potanini until the taxonomy of Peony species was sorted out. None the less it was recognized to be a spectacular plant well worth inclusion in gardens.

Not only is the maroon color eye catching, so are the leaves of Delavays Tree Peony.

Not only is the maroon color eye catching, so are the leaves of Delavays Tree Peony.

Paeonia delavayi is a plant which is pleasing in leaf and flower. The leaves emerge with red tints and as they expand take on a more blueish cast. The size of the plant overall is large but because the leaves are deeply cut the overall feeling is delicate. The flowers are up to 10.5cm(4in.) wide and have a deep and intense coloring which standout from the foliage. There are several color forms known, best  is  ‘lutea’ which is yellow, white through coppery peach have been found but are not commonly seen here. I recently stumbled upon several of the yellow (‘Lutea’)  form growing in the back of a condominium complex which I am doing a garden design for, what a treat!

The Yellow form of Paeonia delavayi has a more delicate feeling.

The Yellow form of Paeonia delavayi has a more delicate feeling.

Delavay’s Tree Peony is not difficult to grow if you give it what it needs. It like a rich humus soil which is free draining. They will tolerate chalky soils better than other Peonies.  Paeonia delavayi grows well in full sun to dappled shade, I have seen it bloom in quite shady spots. All Peonies hate to have their roots disturbed so make sure that you want it to stay where you plant it.  It should get a servingn of mulch every spring.

Young plants of Paeonia delavayi are said to have more nodding flowers as their woody stems are not so well developed.

Young plants of Paeonia delavayi are said to have more nodding flowers as their woody stems are not so well developed.

Delavay’s Tree Peony take up a fairly large area, they grow 1.5m(5ft) tal and are a simalar width. They can be planted as specimens or in groups and fit well into a woodland garden. Paeonia delavayi come from open forests and grasslands at high altitudes and can take cold temperature well without damage, the one thing which can do harm is late frosts on their early emerging foliage. They are listed as zone 6(-18c or-5f) through 9.

Paeonia delavayi are easily grown form seed but you need time and patience before seeing you first flowers.

Paeonia delavayi are easily grown form seed but you need time and patience before seeing you first flowers.

Maroon colored notes:

Jean Marie Delavay: http://www.plantexplorers.com/explorers/biographies/french-missionaries/pere-jean-marie-delavay.htm

The Paeonia delavayi complex: http://hua.huh.harvard.edu/china/novon/hong85-4.htm

Seed germination information: http://www.plantexplorers.com/vandusen/product_info.php/products_id/782

Museum of Natural History in Paris: http://www.mnhn.fr/museum/foffice/transverse/transverse/accueil.xsp?cl=en

See you soon at this same place and time….

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When I was very small my mother started to teach me about gardening, she gave me a small spot in the garden and we planted a Rose. We then found pieces of other plants to add to it such as Sedum , Chives and Violets. Later I would bring things which I had been given by neighbors  or had found that had been thrown out. One such plant which I brought back that someone had pitched out was some pieces of Common Iris (Iris x germanica) which we quickly found a place in the garden for. To this day it’s purple flowers bloom and we have many times split the clump and given parts away.

A Great Example of the Unique Colors Found in Iris x germanica Flowers.

A Great Example of the Unique Colors Found in Iris x germanica Flowers.

I always have loved the unique colors and blend of colors found in Common Bearded Iris, and that they are anything but common. Where else will you find browns and rusts in blooms which are beautiful and yet intriguing at the same time. Iris x germainca have the widest range of colors of any plant known and this has created a vast group of admirers and breeders who are always striving to create the ‘blackest of blacks’ or the ‘bluest of blues’  or what ever they are trying to do in the color world.

Is This the 'Bluest of Blue' Common Iris, I Don't Know.

Is This the 'Bluest of Blue' Common Iris, I Don't Know.

The name Iris comes from the Greek goddess Iris who was the ‘rainbow goddess’ who was the messenger between the gods and  mortal men.  Purple Iris plants where at one time where placed over the graves of  women to help guide the goddess to help her guide the dead on there journey through the underworld and across the River Styx.  The origins of Common Bearded Iris is lost, the best guess is that it is a natural hybrid which originated in the Eastern Mediterranean where many Iris species grow wild.

 A Very Dark Purple Dwarf Variety of Common Bearded Iris.

A Very Dark Purple Dwarf Variety of Common Bearded Iris.

All Iris and members of the Iris family have flowers that are in parts of three. Iris have very complex flowers, composed of: the ‘falls’ which hang down, the ‘standard’ which are the large upper portions, the ‘styles’ which are nestled inside the styles, and the beard which is at the top of the falls and is the rough textured often brightly colored guide for the pollinators to hang onto so they can find the nectar.

This Pure White Iris x germanica Shows Off It's Yellow Beard.

This Pure White Iris x germanica Shows Off It's Yellow Beard.Common

Iris x germanica have been great inspiration for artists, who is not familiar with the painting of Van Gogh and Monet’s Irises?  Monets’ garden Giverny is one of the most famous in the world and a part of it’s charm is the Iris which you can see every spring.  Iris were also a popular theme rendered in art during  Medieval, Renasciance,  Art Nouveau, Arts and Crafts and Art Deco movements.

Delicate Shades of Iris x germanica Pink Would Inspire Any Artist.

Delicate Shades of Iris x germanica Pink Would Inspire Any Artist.

Growing Common Bearded Iris is easy. They are very cold hardy, taking -40(zone 3a)  with snow cover.   They thrive on any soil which is not to rich and is well drained, Bone meal can be added at the time of planting. When blooms become fewer it’s time to divide the clump and give some away (every 3 to 5 years). Iris prefer a drier climate with a period of drought after they bloom. They need their thick rhizomes to be planted on the surface  to prevent rot. Good air circulation is important to keep any disease such as leaf blight  or rust from attacking the leaves. One other problem is slugs which will eat the leaves in the spring, to help avoid this problem keep the area clear of debris where the slugs can hide.  The leaves can be clipped to keep them looking tidy.

Blue Iris x germanica Growing at My Sisters' House.

Blue Iris x germanica Growing at My Sisters' House.

There are many famous collections and gardens dedicated to Iris x germanica collections. Presby Memorial Iris Gardens has a collection of over 10,000 varieties which range from the newest to the historically significant. Iris breeders and sellers such as Schreiner’s Iris Gardens open their display gardens to the public to visit and view the latest varieties for sale. The Royal Horticulture Society(RHS) has regular trail beds open for public viewing and publish results of their findings.

A Beautiful Common Bearded Iris with 'Stitching or Plicata' Around it's Edges.

A Beautiful Common Bearded Iris with 'Stitching or Plicata' Around it's Edges.

Learn More About Iris x germanica:

Iris flower structure:  http://www.backyardnature.net/fl_iris.htm

AIS, American Iris Society is a wonderful site with great links: http://www.irises.org/index.htm

Presby Memorial iris Garden is in Upper Montclair, New jersey:  http://www.presbyirisgardens.org/

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