Posts Tagged ‘Aconitum’

I was having a sort of blue day earlier when my camera battery died and I couldn’t find the charger or my other camera…..I think Steve has borrowed it. Very frustrating. So I walked around the gardens anyway looking at what was in bloom, and don’t you know it was mainly blue flowers! My garden & I were in sync. Although there weren’t many of them they were so very welcome indeed!

This fantastic plant is lighting up the front border!

This fantastic plant is lighting up the front border!

Gentiana x macaulayi ‘Kingfisher’ purchased a few years ago at Cady’s Falls Nursery in Morrisville, VT. There are more flowers on than ever and it has been in bloom for a few weeks already. This extended fall has been so great! Cady’s Falls is the nursery that all of us at Rocky Dale Gardens look forward to visiting every year. They grow most their plants on site from seed, cuttings, grafting, etc. And the selection can’t be beat!


Primula ‘Belarina Cobalt’ has sent up a surprise…and it is most welcome indeed! I am hoping it will be full of buds in the spring so I can dig it up for the spring primrose show at Tower Hill Botanical Gardens! I sent for this last spring from Sequim Rare Plants in Sequim, WA. I also ordered a few Primula auricula from them and they sent the biggest most beautiful plants. I highly recommend them.


Here we have another Gentian in the very small rock garden on the west side of the cabin. It bloomed in July and was the most glorious ever. I have moved this plant around so many times trying to find just the right spot for it and now I think I have. It has got a long tongue-twisting name…Gentiana septemfida var. lagodechiana…try saying that three time fast!IMG_3073

And lastly here is my lovely Aconitum x cammarum ‘Bicolor’. This photo doesn’t do it justice. It was huge and full of flowers while draping itself over an Azalea along the stream garden. this one also has never had so many flowers. I think the spring & early summer rains were so beneficial to the gardens along with the cooler temps all summer.

So after the garden stroll and a new knitting project getting cast on I’m feeling much less blue and quite a bit more jazzed about how well the gardens did this year. Time to start planning where to add a few more blue beauties.

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I thought I would take you on a tour of the gardens to show you what is either blooming now or looking great and giving the gardens color at this time of the summer when it seems like the gardens are really winding down and not looking all that inspiring. Fruit & foliage can take on brighter colors and beter texture now as they mature so don’t forget those.ImageLycoris squamigera or Nekkid Ladies is a hardy bulb to zone 5. It pops up seemingly out of nowhere and overnight! The long strap-like leaves emerge in the spring and die back by mid-summer.


Cyclamen hederifolium flowers are just popping up now. This one I brought back from my trip last year to Portland Oregon and the Seattle area. The flowers are pure white and the leaves will emerge soon with the prettiest silver markings and they will last through the winter! Hopefully I will get some seed to collect next year.


In the foreground is Gentiana septemfida, a fabulous late blooming Gentian and this is the best it has ever looked! The rains of spring & summer have really helped bring on blooms to many plants this year. In the background is a Talinum calycinum and pretty succulent-like plant that seeds gently around and flowers for a long time.


This is Campanula barbata that I grew from seed last year and it’s blooming for the third time this summer. Campanulas are so easy from seed and bloom very quickly after sowing…sometimes in the same year! The seed came from the NARGS annual seed exchange which I donate seed to every year and the selection on the list is fantastic! I look forward to ordering every year. I highly recommend all gardeners join the North American Rock Garden Society for the seed exchange alone…but go to local chapter meetings too where you’ll learn so much and not just about rock gardening. Find out more about it here…https://www.nargs.org/


Another Cyclamen this time it’s C. purpurescens. A summer blooming specie that I bought from friend John Lonsdale a few years ago when he was a speaker at the Berkshire NARGS chapter in Stockbridge, MA. He’s an excellent grower with a fantastic web site full of the best photos. Check it out here¬†http://www.edgewoodgardens.net/

ImageAnemonopsis macrophylla is one of the most beautiful late summer blooming perennials. The tall willowy stems hold blooms that are delicate looking but have lots of substance. They love good rich composty soil and I really should move them to a moister spot instead of under the large pine where the soil goes very dry. But they are doing well there and give me lots of seed every year.

ImageThe garden doesn’t just have to be about flowers! Here are the beautiful berries of the native wildflower Smilacina racemosa or False Solomon’s Seal. This great plant is all over the woods here and these were growing in this garden when I started gardening here so I left them in place and cleared all the other weeds, brambles & nettles out around them.

ImageHere is my favorite Astilbe! A. chinensis ‘Pumila’, a small groundcover type that blooms so late in the season, well after all other Astilbes have given up. It spreads slowly and blends with so many other plants in the garden that I’ve divided it many times and have it all over for that welcome color so late.

ImageMost Aconitums are in bloom now or will be soon. This Monkshood is A. X cammarum ‘Bicolor’. I moved it from a spot that was way too dry for it and now it’s doing so well! Aconitums are another perennial that is easy from seed. It just needs a bit of a winter chill for germination.

ImageWhat is redder than Cardinal Flower?? Lobelia cardinalis has got to be the reddest flower out there! I have this one planted next to the stream so it gets plenty of moisture all summer and winters a little on the drier side which it likes. I have two more plants waiting in the wings for a spot along the stream.

ImageNative shrub Clethra alnifolia ‘Ruby Spice’ is a fragrant late blooming addition to the woodland garden. If it got a little more sun it would probably flower more heavily, but I enjoy what flowers it gives me.

ImageWhile most ferns are taking a back seat at this time of year, this fern Dryopteris erythrosora ‘Brilliance’ is still front and center with the bright orangey fronds and the shinyness of the entire plant. It is a beauty and not very well known yet. All summer it keeps sending out new fronds with this coloration that fades to all green after a few weeks.

Well that’s what is still looking great in the gardens now. There are other things I haven’t shown like the Agastache foeniculum ‘Golden Jubilee’ that brightens up my small sunny border, or the many Hostas that dot the gardens and are in bloom now. But I hope this selection gives some ideas to what is still possible for the shady woodland garden to keep it colorful and pretty.

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