Eryngium ‘Big Blue’ is the sea holly that was stolen from the street garden back in May. This is what it would look like now. Look at that blue!
I took this photo while visiting the garden/s of Paul Zammit and Uli Havermann. The sea holly grows in the front “yard” (the yard is all garden) where it is sunny and the soil looks to be quite free draining.
Their backyard is a whole other world entirely — a beautiful terracotta-filled world that I did not want to leave. Someday I hope to get through the millions of photos I took and post a few here.
Here’s another snap from their garden for a taste.
Some friends and I drove out of town yesterday to visit two farm-sized gardens. I took about a thousand photos, and yet of all of the images I could have picked to show today, I chose this one of the tiniest dianthus I have ever seen in my life. I might be on a bit of a dianthus kick. I did buy three different types this spring.
I spotted the single flower, smaller than half an inch, hidden deep among a field of mid-sized grasses and common field plants. How I noticed it — a needle in a giant haystack — is beyond me. My trusty copy of National Audobon Society’s “Field Guide to Wildflowers, Eastern Region” indicates that this plant, Deptford Pink (Dianthus armeria) is not a native to North American but was brought over from Europe. The common name is a reference to Deptford, England, where it was once found in abundance.
When I wrote about the Morelle de Balbis (Solanum sisymbrifolium) last it was on April 30, 2010 when the seedling was still living in the greenhouse. It had just begun to produce its thorns and I was beginning to get a glimpse into what I’d signed on for.
It is now July 1 and the plant has been living outdoors in soil for just over a month or so. When it came time to plant, I decided to grow it in a large pot, rather than in the ground. The final mature growth of this thorny Tomato Family plant is estimated to come in at around 5′ tall. I had a feeling it was going to be fairly treacherous to grow. Planting it into a garden bed meant there would be a greater chance of scratching myself on the thorns. I am not a particularly graceful person. I bash into door frames fairly regularly. I live in small spaces and I garden in cramped quarters, which means I regularly come into close contact with plants whether I want to or not. As the Morelle de Balbis grows it becomes more and more apparent that this is not a plant I want rubbing up against my skin.
Shortly after planting. I used straw mulch to help lock in moisture and keep weed seeds from sprouting.
I did not have any room left in the big pots on my roof, so I decided to plant it in a container in “the new space.” Oh, didn’t I tell you? There is a FOURTH garden this year. The fourth is a yard share, located through a secret door in the back garden of friend. One of my goals for this year was to get a bigger garden space. And when it didn’t happen through the City allotment garden network, a friend stepped up and asked me to join their space. I am so grateful.
With other gardeners in the space, I had to be especially mindful of this plant’s placement. As a part of the garden’s revamp in the spring, we decided to make use of a sunny spot along a fence by lining up large recycling bins for container growing. I planted the Morelle de Balbis in the furthest bin along the fence where I hoped it would receive minimal contact.
About a month after planting. The Morelle de Balbis is in the centre and is flanked by two determinate tomato plants: ‘Black Seaman’ and ‘Whippersnapper.’ All are under-planted with different varieties of basil.
There are several pansies and violas that claim to be black, but when it comes down to it they are purple, more or less. Ever since Mr. Brown Thumb posted about his not exactly black, black viola, I have been meaning to pull out a photo of Viola cornuta ‘Black Magic’, the blackest flower I have ever seen. It lives! The black viola lives! The colour in my photo above is pretty true to life — there’s no Photoshop trickery at work here. In fact, I’d say it looks a little more purple in this light than it does on the average day. From afar it has a smoky softness about it.
I bought a single pot of it this year, and only one pot because boy did it break the bank. I’ve complained about the “Not 99 Cent Pansy” before, however this plant, this single, solitary plant, ran about $7.99.
But it was worth it. I’ve had it for over a month now and I look at it fondly every day.
One of my pal Barry’s hardy opuntia plants was flowering today and I was lucky enough to be there to catch it. And with my new lens in tow. Iiieeeeee…….
This plant comes with a fun story — Barry got it free from the compost bin of a gardener that was throwing it out.
I just happen to have a new, and free hardy opuntia myself. It was a gift from a gardener we visited last week. He just plucked a paddle from the parent plant and stuck it in a roll of newspaper for the ride home. When I got back I laid the cutting on the surface of a pot filled with sandy soil. Eventually the plant will root itself and I’ll have a new plant that I can break up and give away to friends that visit my garden.
Most plants are easy to propagate and in my experience gardeners are generous people who are always eager to share a bit of their wealth with those that show interest. For that reason alone I have no idea why some people feel the need to steal plants from gardens.