Some pics from my zone 3 garden in early July 2014

ostrich(3a AB)July 10, 2014

Hello everyone,

It has been a tough spring for gardening, but here we are! Finally things are blooming and catching. I would just like to share a few photos from my back yard from the last week or so. The other flowering perennials and shrubs had better start to bloom soon!!! :-)

Finally, the Karl Rosenfeld peonies are blooming! Gorgeous colour indeed. The Hope for Humanity Rose was just planted this year. Poor thing has been attacked by powdery mildew and rose slugs already... sigh!

My Incrediball hydrangeas are doing extremely well. They are now full of flower buds. These creeping phlox were just planted last year. They are doing great too!

This is my "secret garden" - the Snow in Summer have gone nuts and I love it!!! Together with the other yellow blooms, and the purple colours from the lupines and (soon to bloom liatris Kobold) this is my peaceful garden:

Oh my goodness, the Geranium Roxanne and Lamium Purple Dragon decided to start world domination this year!!! They have gone GIGANTIC and are still growing bigger!!! They are gobbling up the surrounding perennials and even shrubs!!! I need to do something about them... :-)

It's been a great year for the Dianthus and the Bumble Bee irises which I planted last year.

I just love this Butter and Sugar Siberian Iris - so subtle and elegant...

Then look at this attention seeking Batik iris!

I am now waiting patiently for the many hydrangeas to bloom. I think that Incrediball will win first, followed by Quick Fire.... Vanilla Strawberry has been growing vigorously but no sign of flowers yet.... Pinky Winky and Pee Gee are both doing great but no flower buds yet. Can't wait to see them bloom!

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Very nice garden are growing a number of plants I have tried in my own garden that either didn't thrive or survive our winters. That one higher zone must do the trick.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 9:48AM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

Nice pics! I want some of that Dianthus!

Also love your fence the person that built it knew what they were doing. It is so rare to find a properly built fence.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 10:33AM
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ostrich(3a AB)

Thanks, Donna and SCG!

Donna, which ones did not do well in you zone? I am convinced that I have some micro-climate thing going on even in my city yard. In one corner, I can grow sambucus Black Lace (my fave!) which comes back year after year. In another location, the supposedly hardy things did not even make it through winter!!

SCG, I know nothing about fences!!! How did you tell that it was done right please? I am curious to learn.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 11:08AM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

Ostrich, I happen to be a journeyman carpenter. :) First and foremost there are no sags in the middle of each 'panel' or section. This is due to them using 2x6 rather than 2x4's for the top and bottom rail. Then they added a 2x6 mid rail and they added an 'knee brace' to decrease the span on the top rail. More expensive but proper. How old is the fence? I'd like to see a full pic of the gate. I see some potential issues but can't comment with out seeing it all.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 11:27AM
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Might I add that it's very refreshing to see someone that didn't opt for a shiny plastic fence :)

I too have been able to grow things I was told would be questionable. Donna, if there's something you really like and haven't had success, maybe do a "micro zone search" in your yard and try again. :)

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 12:19PM
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Of the ones in your pictures, I have grown these plants:

Creeping phlox
Rozanne geranium
Dianthus (some varieties)
"Batik" Iris

Some survived one or two winters but weren't long lived. I have spent enough money on dud plants to not want to take further risk with pushing the zones, and I'm not one to coddle them either. ;)

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 3:32PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

Looks great, Ostrich! I like your use of colour and shape.

I'm feeling a little paranoid about my fence now. I just removed a wooden fence and need to check if its replacement qualifies as shiny or plastic. ;)

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 9:12PM
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ostrich(3a AB)

Thanks, northspruce! We have such a tough climate here so blooms are unreliable and short-lived. I am trying to take advantage of the colours, shapes and textures of foliage as much as I can to make up for the lack of reliable blooms here!!!

SCG, what can you NOT do? Your talent is endless!!! I had no idea about these fences.... basically, there is some kind of regulation around this neighbourhood, so that all of the fences must be pretty much the same style. That said, those brackets were not installed by most people here on their interior fences as they cost extra and most did not want to pay for them. Anyway, I am going to show you another shot later.... I am scared to find out what you may tell me though! :-)

Donna, I planted three of these Brunneras last year - only this one survived! The other two were in a different location and many perennials there did not survive the past winter. The Geranium Rozanne just grows like a weed around my yard!!! It's absolutely amazing - it's that "micro-climate" thing again! Yes, like nutsaboutflowers said, go and find the "micro-climate" in your yard! LOL Mine is in the northeast corner where EVERYTHING does well. Even some heucheras which didn't look so hardy have done very well there. OK, now that I said it, I probably have jinxed myself already.... LOL!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 12:29AM
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ostrich(3a AB)


Per your request, here's a photo of the fence from a distance. Please note that since my yard does slope down slightly from the house, and that the fence goes with the grade of the yard, it is not completely horizontal or straight all the way across:

Now, do you see any potential issue there please? I am scared to hear but I want to find out too,....

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 12:44AM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

haha it was just the gate I wanted to see LOL the fence looks great and I am glad you spent the money to do it right...most don't and is part of the reason why they look horrible in a few years.

Great looking yard. Wish I would have looked after my grass last fall and this past spring.


    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 9:11AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Nicely manicured garden you have! Agree, great fence!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 12:56AM
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ostrich, you have developed a very nice yard and have a good eye for color and placement of your plants ... job very well done!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 11:49AM
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ostrich(3a AB)

konrad and Terrance, thanks so much! I get so much information and inspiration from my fellow Far North Gardeners here that I guess I am doing OK so far in my new zone 3 yard! Thanks!

SCG, I just took a pic of the gate - will upload that later today. Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 6:33PM
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ostrich(3a AB)

Hi SCG, here's a photo of the gate:

How is it???

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 1:26AM
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ostrich(3a AB)

I took more photos from my yard today - hope you like them!

Look at this Campanula Dickson's Gold - it is doing well in my yard and I just love this very striking colour combination!

Finally, the lychnis from my parents' yard is blooming! YAY! I love the contrast between its flowers and the ninebark:

Finally, I got to "show off" my Sambucus Black Lace - despite not being a zone 3 plant, this thing has come back at least 2 seasons now and it is going strong! I just love its foliage - my compensatory plant for not being able to grow Japanese Maple here in Calgary!!! Sigh...

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 1:32AM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Watch out for that lychnis - you may be including it in the "I wish i hadn't" thread! LOL But it's so pretty - such a vibrant pink. The lamium in the bottom pic is another that has been going nuts in my beds.

Love your Black Lace - i've been tempted but haven't succumbed yet! I have 'Sutherland's Gold', and it's about 10' tall now! I thought it was supposed to be a shrub....

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 9:02AM
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Looks good; you have a nice variety of plants. A couple of suggestions from my own yard: a dark leafed bugbane (i.e.Hillside Dark Beauty) and a bronze leafed Rodgersia ...they are fully hardy and are not over-planted.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 10:16AM
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ostrich(3a AB)

Hi marcia, thanks for the tip! I will watch out for that lychnis!!! I saw that in my parents' yard in BC and it was in a shaded and moist area, so it was tiny. Therefore, I dug it up and flew it back with me LOL. A year later, it's now this huge clump! My parents could not believe it LOL!!! I guess I may not believe it later either.... ROTFLOL!

As for the Black Lace, please try it. It's so worth it! Even though we had such a rough winter this past year, it still came back from the base and is now over 3 feet tall. It's just a lovely thing.

Donna, thank you! I actually have a Bugbane Chocoholic and is doing quite well. However, it has been "eaten alive" by that 3 feet tall Geranium Rozanne!!!!!!!!! LOL! That Geranium acts like it's on steroid or something and so I probably will need to move that poor Bugbane elsewhere next year so it will be more visible....

As for the Rodgersia, I am so happy to hear that it's hardy here! I actually saw that for the very first time just recently in the Botanical Garden in Newfoundland and I was very impressed by it. However, when I looked it up online, it was listed as a zone 5 plant. So I was disappointed. However, I am pleased to hear that it's really a hardy plant! Donna, do you have a photo of that please? I would love to see yours! Thanks so much.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 9:10PM
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north53 Z1b MB(zone 1b Canada)

I admire a well maintained tidy garden like yours, Ostrich.
But I lack self restraint when it comes to planting. I can never achieve space between the plants. My SIL said my yard looks like a jungle, and she didn't mean it in a nice way.
Lately I've been planting more hostas, but even they are now getting crowded looking.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 10:40PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Marie, i have the same problem. My gardens tend to get really wild. Do you have any pictures of yours? I'd love to see them!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 10:46PM
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Mine is Rodgersia podophylla, not sure if it's hardier than R. pinnata. I've had it for at least ten years. It is a low maintenance plant; I have never divided it. It starts off in the Spring with more bronze and greens up later on.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 11:32PM
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ostrich(3a AB)

DONNA! I LOVE YOUR RODGERSIA!!!!!!!!! I need to go and get some....... it's GORGEOUS! Thanks for the photo and the full name. I will go and find it!!! :-)

north53, I have been told that I crowd my plants too much too. I just cannot wait for them to get big! LOL! Also, I do like the crowded, lush look, since it will cover up the dirt then and no mulching will be required! LOL! Seriously, I dislike it when people put a plant here, and a plant there, with tons of space in between. I guess if it gets really crowded, I will just have to pull something out! LOL!

Ooooh, and that "crowded hostas" look - I love love love that look! I would love to achieve that some day. I don't have a hosta garden but I would love to have one. Anyway, please do show us some pics!


    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 12:20AM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)


Thanks for the pic of the gate. I do have an issue with it that is easily fixed. We can email of pm if you would like.

Talking about crowded, well, that is my mish-mash style. I have a hard time paying $40 for a big plant when the little ones are $7. Example I just got a 'sum and substance' hosta, should go 36" tall by 60" wide ( is 10" by 10" now) it has been in the ground 2 days and I am already wondering what to plant around this huge unused place....ugg...

Hosta's are the rate I acquire I should have 40 by next year, assuming I keep up my exponential rate of hosta PAD.

I love the way you folks can plan and place plants. I buy on a whim and plant on the wind....


    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 12:46AM
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My gardening style is haphazard at best. Tried to find a picture showing the maximum amount of colours clashing and I think I succeeded:

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 11:44AM
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ostrich(3a AB)

Donna, that is truly GORGEOUS!!!

Are your hydrangeas already blooming? Mine are just forming buds... so slow this year!

Now I have learned that hydrangeas look so lovely with lilies I must add lilies to my already crowded beds!! :-)

Thanks, Donna!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 12:32PM
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That one is from last year. My garden is slow too...the peonies are just finishing up now! And, the buds are just forming on my hydrangea as well.

The Oriental lilies don't really thrive here but I like them so they replenished every couple of years; daylilies and Asiatic lilies would be a surer bet.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 2:20PM
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ostrich(3a AB)

Thanks for the tip, Donna! To be honest with you, I am so ignorant that I didn't know that there are oriental and Asiatic lilies - I need to look them up! Thank you.

SCG - I sent you a PM through your signature here yesterday. Hope you got my message!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 12:37AM
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