Sunday, August 31, 2014

Feature Perennial: Echinacea Cheyenne Spirit-Multi Colored Blooms Mid-Summer Until Fall

Echinacea Cheyenne Spirit


I have discovered a new hybrid Coneflower, Echinacea Cheyenne Spirit with spectacular blooms from mid-summer to early fall.  Winner of the highly regarded Fleuroselect Gold Medal and All-American Selection Awards of 2013,  Echinacea Cheyenne Spirit features slightly fragrant daisy-like blooms in vivid shades of orange, red, rosy-red, yellow, purple and cream surrounding a large brown cone all on the same plant! Besides guessing which color each bloom is going to be, the large colorful petals on this pollinator are just lovely in my late summer garden and are an attraction for butterflies.

Echinacea Cheyenne Spirit


'Cheyenne Spirit' is hardy in USDA zones 4-10 and prefers full sun and moderate watering in a well-drained soil.  Once established watering needs are less and the plant is more drought tolerant. Besides being drought tolerant this perennial is also cold hardy, disease resistant, heat tolerant, humidity tolerant and pest resistant. This herbaceous perennial has a mature size of 24-30" tall by 18-24" wide and displays a full upright habit. Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit' is ideal for sunny borders, mass plantings, massing in cottage gardens and cut flowers. Companion plants include Ornamental Grasses, Rudbeckia and Perovskia.

Echinacea Cheyenne Spirit


As an added bonus Echinacea Cheyenne Spirit's stronger stems have shown in test gardens not to topple over with heavy rain like some of the other Echinacea varieties.  Blooms are constant and deadheading is not necessary; however, regularly removing faded blooms will promote continued flowering.  Besides being attractive to butterflies Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit' is also "deer resistant".

I am testing this beautiful perennial in my gardens this summer and am happy with the results so far. If you are looking for some late summer color try Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit' in your garden!

As Always...Happy Gardening!



Author: Lee@A Guide To Northeastern Gardening, Copyright 2014. All rights reserved




Friday, August 15, 2014

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-Up August 2014: Late Summer Garden

August Garden
Welcome to another Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and Foliage Follow-Up.  The dog days of summer have arrived with temperatures in the 80's and little rain.  This is typical for August before the cooler days of autumn arrive and there have not been many days in the upper 80's and 90's like in previous years, which has made for a pleasant summer.  But wait...that is not the end of the story.  On August 13th we had the highest recorded rainfall in 500 years here on Long Island...13.25 inches in one day with the first 9 inches within a couple of hours.  The long period of drought is over and the gardens are doing well displaying their late summer color.  Come take a walk with me to see what is blooming in the month of August.
Echinecea 'Magnus'

One of the newest arrivals in my garden is Echinecea.  I have always admired this plant for its late summer blooms and have found a place for it along side some fountain grasses in the front entrance where I can enjoy its beauty.
Platycodon (Balloon Flower)
Balloon Flower (Platycodon) is now in full bloom and such a fun perennial. Once again I eyed a friend holding the puffy blue balloon-like flowers in her hand investigating their unusual appearance.  This particular variety fades into little tan puffs that can be popped like plastic bubble wrap at the end of the summer.  One of my favorites, Playtcodon continues to supply much amusement in the garden!
Oriental Lilly (Lillium 'Stargazer')
Around the corner by the pool is Lillium 'Stargazer' which is always a hit with its bright pink spotted blooms, dense orange pollen and fragrance.  They have just about completed blooming for the season but you can still see this one in full display.
August Garden with Dwarf Butterfly Bush 'Lo & Behold Blue Chip'

The Dwarf Butterfly Bush (Buddleia Lo & Behold 'Blue Chip') is showing its deep purple fragrant blooms after coming back from a harsh winter.  The bees and butterflies are enjoying the flowers and so am I!
Hydrangea 'Tardivia'
The harsh winter also affected the hydrangea for this season, The 'Endless Summer' and 'Nikko Blue' suffered severe die back but have grown new foliage and will be back in bloom for next year.  To the rescue is my tree Hydrangea 'Tardivia' with its beautiful elongated fragrant white blooms that are opening in time for August and September.
Daylily 'Stella D Oro'
Constantly reliable throughout the entire summer and into fall is ever-blooming Daylily 'Stella D Oro' which you can see here with its bright golden-yellow blooms.  It brings color to many parts of the garden and draws many pollen loving insects.
Heuchera 'Caramel' in front of Japanese Garden Juniper
Here is Heuchera 'Caramel' in front of Japanese Garden Juniper.  This variety of Coral Bell grows to approximately twelve inches in diameter resembling a miniature hosta  with unusual orange-yellow foliage that lasts all summer and into fall.
Oriental Lilly (Lillium 'Cassablanca')
Here is Lillium 'Cassablanca' which is near the end of its bloom time but still displaying  lovely pure white fragrant flowers with deep crimson pollen....
Hemerocallis 'Sammy Russell' (Daylily)
along with the blooms of Daylily 'Sammy Russell' alongside the pool for some late summer color.
Salvia 'May Night'
In the perennial border the tall stalks of 'May Night' Salvia tower over the rest of the garden displaying their bright deep purple blooms.   The blooms are an attraction for dragonflies as you saw in last month's Bloom Day post and are now are a food source for butterflies and other creatures.
Double Knock Out Rose Pink
The Double Knock Out Roses have been filled with abundant blooms all summer with new buds opening each day...  
Crape Myrtle 'Sioux'
and yes...it is Crape Myrtle season with continuous mildly fragrant blooms from July until  fall just when the earlier summer blooms are fading. 
Sedum 'Brilliant' against Mugo Pine
Seen here is Sedum 'Brilliant' which will display deep pink blooms from the end of August into September, fading into straw colored seed heads for fall.  For now I am enjoying the show of light green clusters on succulent foliage before the blooms.
Foliage Combo:  Sedum 'Brilliant', Mugo Pine and Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar

Foliage is important in the garden as well.  Here is a combo of Sedum in front of the medium green of Mugo Pine and blue-green of Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar with a touch of variegated liriope in the backdrop to the right.  Below is the foliage of the Rependens Yew that I could not pass by without taking a macro with the new lens.
Foliage of Taxus 'Rependens'  (Low Spreading Yew)

I hope you enjoyed the walk through my August gardens.  It has been said that "the best way to create a garden is to begin with your heart" and since gardening is my true passion I must agree.  Please visit our hostesses Carol at May Dreams Gardens for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and Pam at Digging for Foliage Follow-Up.   I am also linking up to Creative Country Mom's new Home Sweet Garden Party. Thank you so much for visiting and if you leave a note I will know you dropped by to say hello and I will be sure to visit you as well!  

As Always...Happy Gardening!


Author: Lee@A Guide To Northeastern Gardening, Copyright 2014. All rights reserved



Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Gardens of Aruba: A Look Beyond Part III-Flora and Fauna

The 33 kilometer long (20 mile) desert island of Aruba is located in the Dutch Caribbean approximately 1600 kilometers (900 miles) west of the Lesser Antilles in the southern Caribbean Sea and 27 kilometers (17 miles) off the coast of Venezuela.   It is the home to numerous species of cacti, tropical blooms and wildlife.  Coined as "One Happy Island". Aruba has much to offer for the garden enthusiast.  Come take a look beyond at some of the tropical flora and fauna the island has to offer.
Aruba Iguana
Iguanas are native to the Island ranging in a multitude of colors and sizes. They actually don't mind being photographed as long as you keep an adequate distance.


Tropical Azalea
Aruba is the home to many tropical blooms including tropical Azalea, Allamanda and Ixora (Jungle Geranium). Many of these flowering plants are evergreen and bloom continuously with the constant year-round 80 to 90 degree temperatures.
Allamanda cathartica 'Sunee' (Dwarf Allamanda )
 Ixora coccinea Yellow(Jungle Geranium)
 Ixora coccinea Pink (Jungle Geranium)
Also, beautiful Bird of Paradise can be found at some of the resorts on the Island.

Strelitzia (Bird of Paradise)


Island Dove
The doves are so accustomed to visitors at the resorts and will walk right up to you. It is  difficult photographing birds at home so this was a pleasure to be able to get some close-ups.

Agave
Agave can be seen throughout the island in an assortment of colors and sizes and can make quite a statement with its wonderful foliage and large four foot tall stature.


Island Berry


Tropical Bloom


 Ixora coccinea (Jungle Geranium)


Mother Dove and Baby

I especially enjoyed photographing this mother Dove and her baby and was even able to get a glimpse of her feeding her young.

Palm with Croton


Hummingbird Host Tree Orange Geiger (Cordia sebestena) 

This trip provided a rare treat.  I have been wanting to get up close and personal with hummingbirds for years and have tried to lure them with bright red blooms and a hummingbird feeder at my home on Long Island. When a friend and photographer brought me to this hummingbird location on the island I was thrilled to not only see several varieties of these creatures but also to photograph them.  While photography of these rapidly moving birds is almost impossible I was able to capture a few shots.


Brown Hummingbird


Hummingbird Ruby-topaz (Chrysolampis mosquitus) and Hummingbird Blue-tailed Emerald (Chlorostilbon mellisugus)

After research I was able to identify some of the varieties of hummingbird (hopefully) and believe the tree they were being drawn to is Orange Geiger (Cordia sebestena) which is hardy in zones 10 to 11.


Queen Emma lily (Crinum pedunculatum)

Coconut Palm

   Island Dove
Barrel Cactus and Aloe Vera

I hope you enjoyed Aruba's tropical blooms and fauna. For more gardens of Aruba visit Gardens of Aruba and Gardens of Aruba Part II. Now back to the gardens of Long Island!


 As Always...Happy Gardening!


Author: Lee@A Guide To Northeastern Gardening, Copyright 2014. All rights reserved

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day & Foliage Follow-Up July 2014-Summer Blooms!

July Garden

Welcome to my Long Island garden!  It is time for another Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and Foliage Follow-Up for the month of July. After a long winter and cool spring the summer temperatures have been in the mid to upper 80's with mostly sunny, dry days.  It is one of the best months of the gardening season to take in all that nature has to offer with majestic blooms and striking foliage.  For this month's meme I tried capturing the grounds through different eyes using various wide angle and macro lenses. Come along and take a walk with me as we tour my July garden.
Hemerocalis 'Pardon Me' Daylily 
First up close and personal is Daylily 'Pardon Me'.  Its orange-yellow buds burst into deep pink flowers that bloom in succession for several weeks. This winner has proven to be reliable after many years in the garden.
Sunny Perennial Border
In one of my favorite changing parts of the garden, the perennial border, you can see many more daylilies getting ready to bloom along with spikes of purple 'May Night' Salvia, two varieties of Astilbe and Lamb's Ear. There are also Platycodon (Balloon Flower) to the left which will bloom next month.   

Heuchera 'Caramel' (Coral Bell) Blooms 

Above is a close up of the delicate spikes of Heuchera 'Caramel'.  A friendly dragonfly (below) decides to stay and visit for a while on the bloom of a Salvia.  
Dragonfly Visitor with Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens
The water of the pool and multiple bird baths on the property invite these mysterious creatures to stay around and they love to land on the taller flower spikes in the garden. I have always had a fascination for dragonflies and they are very much welcomed here.
Patio Side Garden

Around the bend from the perennial border is my evergreen and perennial section with a Weeping Norway Spruce as the focal point along with Double Knock Out Roses, Nepeta, Sedum, Heuchera, Dwarf Fountain Grass, Juniperus 'Gold Lace and 'Blue Star'.  A row of 'Emerald Green' Arborvitae serve as a backdrop to the garden.

Back Shade Garden

Going towards the back of the property on the way to the pool is my shade area.  Nestled under the canopy of the 'Star' Magnolia are groupings of hosta, leucothoe, sweet flag, spreading yew and Japanese Forest Grass with Spirea 'Little Princess', Viburnum and Holly in the backdrop.  It is a hidden retreat that I can get lost in for hours at a time.
Heuchera 'Caramel'

Venturing into the shade garden further, you can view a close up of  Heuchera 'Caramel' with Hosta 'Patriot ' peeking behind it in the background.

Hosta 'Big Daddy' and 'Evergold' Sedge
Here are my 'Big Daddy' hosta with their majestic blue tinged foliage and white blooms against 'Evergold' Sedge, which stays evergreen all year round.

'Hosta 'Patriot' Flower Bud with Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens 
Getting up close to this 'Patriot' Hosta bloom you can see the detail of the flower bud as it unravels into a flower.
Foliage Combo:  Spirea, Leucothoe, Hosta and Astilbe 'Visions'
Getting deeper into the shade area is a view of 'Rainbow' Leucothoe in the backdrop with Hosta, Spirea 'Little Princess' and Astilbe 'Visions' Purple...
Astilbe 'Visions' Purple 
with a close up of the Astilbe blooms.
Sun Garden with Sedum 'Dragon's Blood'
As we move along the back of the property we come across the pool area and gardens.
Poolscape Gardens
Originating back in 1996, the pool gardens have grown into what you see here today. After Hurricane Sandy the Eastern White Pines that were behind the pool were destroyed  and the new Western Arborvitae planted just last year are filling in just fine. 
Backyard Perimeter Gardens
To the left of the pool area are more gardens wrapping around the side perimeter of the property.  The Plum tree in the center was planted three years ago and had a growing spurt this spring.
Spirea Double Play 'Big Bang' Bloom
Around to the front yard is a glimpse of one of my newest additions, Spirea Double Play 'Big Bang'. The blooms on this variety are huge in comparison with other spireas and the plants are now established after their first season and doing well.
Coreopsis 'Zagreb' 
Coreopsis 'Zagreb' in my front sunny area has a very long bloom time lasting from June until frost, making it an exceptional perennial.  Following around full circle we arrive back into the shade gardens where garden boy hides among the hosta and our tour comes to an end.
Hosta, Arborvitae, Spirea and Rhododendron Shade Garden
I hope you enjoyed the walk through my July gardens.  We got through the tour just in time as some well needed rain is starting to fall and replenish the gardens.  Please visit our hostesses Carol at May Dreams Gardens for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and Pam at Digging for Foliage Follow-Up.   I am also linking up to Creative Country Mom's new Home Sweet Garden Party. Thank you for the visit and if you leave a note I will know you dropped by to say hello and I will be sure to visit you as well!  

As Always...Happy Gardening!


Author: Lee@A Guide To Northeastern Gardening, Copyright 2014. All rights reserved


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