Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Dahlias - Display Planting in Dublin

A few years ago I enjoyed and reviewed on this blog the Dahlia show at the Chicago Botanic Garden. I really enjoyed the diversity which was shown there. Dalia's were always a flower that my mother loved to grow - but my father didn't like the digging up and replanting which is required for these tuberous-rooted tender perennials when growing in cold climate gardens. 
National Botanic Garden - Dublin, Sept 2015

None-the-less, these bright and colorful flowers bloom from midsummer to first frost, long after many other plants are fading away. The range in color and size is so large - flower shows or clustered plantings of Dahlias can really highlight the spectrum from giant 10-inch blooms to smaller pompons. As many varieties grow 4 to 5 feet tall, these plants can take a commanding place, a statement piece, in many gardens. 

On a recent tour of the National Botanic Garden outside Dublin, I was so pleased to see a large section of their Annual Bed dedicated to Dahlias. The outer beds were all daisies, the middle beds were mums and dahlias respectively . It was so nice to be able to not only see the blooms but also understand the slight differences in height, leaves, and structure of the plants.

I've captured shots of my favorite dahlias. I hope you enjoy too!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

DIY Pallet Container Garden - Large Version

Pallet Container Garden
A few weeks ago I posted about a DIY container garden I made from a pallet.  Then just a few weeks later I was at the Garfield Park Conservatory and saw this very large option, up-cycled pallets,  in their vegetable garden.  

Please do not attempt to put this design on a porch! This must weight a ton. Especially after the rain or a good watering. 

That said, if my yard had extremely poor soil, or I was growing a root crop, this would be in my yard most certainly!

Same basic considerations are used create this architectural element for the garden as in my smaller version. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

For the Love of Roses - Dublin Botanic Garden, Review

Rhapsody in Blue Rose
In a recent tour of the National Botanic Garden outside Dublin we walked through the Rose Garden. Virtually every botanic garden I have ever visited has a Rose Garden.  Roses are from China - a great export. The first "Rose Garden" occurred in the late 1700's in France. One avid (and wealth) gardener put in place a garden with over 250 rose varieties.  The Huntington Garden in California is the only the World Federation of Rose Societies Award of Garden Excellence recipient  rose garden that I've visited. 

I generally stroll through and think about how much love roses need - and how I've never been so lucky in my garden. Wild roses, no problem, but more typical roses never seem within my grasp. I enjoy the variety and the aroma! 

Little did I know that on this visit in Dublin, I would find my most favorite rose ever - that being the Rosacea Rosa Rhapsody in Blue - shown above. This picture makes it look a tad more pink.  The quest for the blue rose continues...

Dublin Botanic Garden - Rose Garden, Sept 2015
Take a look below for some of the great rose variety I saw.

Which will be your favorite?

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Wild Flowers of Ireland - Howth

On a day trip from Dublin, Ireland, I had the pleasure of taking the DART (train) to the town of Howth.  
Howth is a rocky headland or peninsula that extends into sea in north Dublin Bay. Much to my delight, it is an area of wild natural beauty supporting many wildflowers. Here is encountered gorse for the first time.  These pictures were taken in early September, 2015. We had a perfect day walking around. 

Howth has two distinct habitats sea cliffs and dry heaths.  From the train station there is a bus to the summit and then choice of two walking routes that meander around the cliff-side slopes above the sea. The day we visited there where people from many nations enjoying the blue skies and  colorful patchwork of flora and abundant bird life.  
I especially liked the blazing yellow gorse and vibrant purple heathers - the contrast with stones and grasses was beautiful. Gorse is a spiny evergreen prone to seaside dry condition. It was so abundant. No fragrance sadly. 

Howth Sea Cliff Path - Sept 2015
Gorse and Heather

Sunday, August 16, 2015

DIY Pallet Vertical Container Garden

Using pallets for something other than shipping platforms is fun and easy to do. I see lots of furniture and household items created from pallets. I have a posts on a few items I've created along these lines. This spring I wanted to make something for my garden - that being a pallet vertical garden.
Vertical Container Garden from Old Pallets

I created two planters this year, one which I placed in the shade near some hostas. Nothing tall seemed to want to grow here and I thought a little vertical interest would be a nice add. The second I put against a wall with lots of sunshine and perhaps too hot for other items. The latter was great for succulents :)

The pictures are from the shade pallet container garden - my first attempt. I also note some lessons learned that I incorporated into the second garden.

Here is my supply list:

- Wooden Pallet
- Additional wood (optional depending on the pallet) I used old wood flooring
- Heavy duty garbage bags (large)
- Hammer / Nails
- Staple Gun
- Old Coffee Sacks or Burlap Fabric
- Plastic milk jug or other beverage container
- Scissors or Knife
- Potting Soil
- Plants