Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sisyrinchium striatum

The plant pictured here is a border staple in and around London in mid-May (which translates to about early June here, maybe later...maybe more like now). When I say a staple, I mean it's everywhere, every garden. I even found some out in back of the pub we stopped at for lunch between Sissinghurst & Great Dixter. I think it's Sisyrinchium striatum, a blue-eyed grass, closely related to the iris. We grow the garden version here that is actually blue, and I have seen wild ones in the fields in Henrietta, but they're so small they're very hard to find. I looked this one up in Armitage, and he says it's hardy to zone 4, so why have I never noticed it in an upstate New York garden or garden center? Anyone have any experience with this plant? I miss Anne Stonehocker. She would know.

It's very beautiful and stately, with cream-colored flowers on spires and spiky leaves. Here is it pictured in the Monocot Border at Wisley. (I know what you're asking yourself. "Jane, why don't YOU have a Monocot Border?" Well. Just how do you know I don't?) Look how great it is with the dark irises.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Images from the Odyssey

This year we visited Cornell's Bluegrass Lane, which was very interesting, I thought. Growers send their plants to be tested there under upstate New York conditions. Some plants are new to the market, others aren't.

I saw Coreopsis tripteris for the first time, tall tickseed. I'm not big on coreopsis and I've never actually kept one alive longer than one season, but this I love just for its structure. It's like a mini-bamboo.

Even though I am highly allergic to its milky white sap, I love spurge. Euphorbia of any kind. It makes me crazy when I see those giant orange-headed ones in England that we can's grow here. But what is this? E. griffithii! How has this plant escaped my attention? Must possess.

Hosta 'Invincible'. I love these gorgeous leaves. Like everything at BGL, this hosta is growing in full, hot, scorching sun. See what irrigation can do.

Dictamnus, photographed at Bakers' Acres (.net). Reenie was very very careful to warn us about the volatility of whatever it is that you can light on fire here, the fumes I guess, and warned us (Cheryl Wallace and myself, who were dead set on dictamnus this year for some reason) NOT to let any of the plant's parts, and especially the flowers, touch any of our parts, or anyone else's. Cheryl and I both almost immediately stuck our entire upper bodies in the plants. I got away OK; I ended up with what looked like four claw marks on my chest. They'll fade in a few months. Nothing on the face. I haven't heard from Cheryl...maybe she's hospitalized....


The other day I went out to photograph a garden. I didn't end up with too much, but driving home, very near my house, I came across this farm field completely covered in red poppies. "Gee," I thought, "too bad I don't have my camera..." Then I realized I actually DID have my camera and turned around. Duh.

It's a good thing I did, because two days later the field had been plowed and the poppies were all gone.

I've been thinking about the poppies a lot. How did they get there? Did someone plant them? Is it a war memorial? Did a bird drop just one seed in the exact right spot years ago?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Annual Flower Show, Syracuse

Submitted by the Men's Garden Club of Syracuse

Men's Garden Club of Syracuse, New York: Annual Flower Show; 7:00-10:45 AM-set up time, Saturday-Sunday, June 16-17, 2007, Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park, Syracuse, NY in the Banquet Room. Public entries welcome. For questions or further information, contact 420-6369.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Betties Ride Again

P6010083.JPG, originally uploaded by Jane Milliman.

Sunday Dean and I hosted our 4th annual Tree Peony Ride Party. We had a good group, good weather, good food, etc. Linwood looked fantastic. If you have never been to the Tree Peony Festival, well, it's too late for this year, but mark your calendar for next!

Monday, June 04, 2007

83rd. Annual Rose Show - June 16th.

From the Greater Rochester Rose Society:

If you have never been to a rose is your opportunity to do so. The Greater Rochester Rose Society will be staging its 83 rd annual rose show on Saturday, June 16th. This year it will be held at the Gates Town Hall, 1605 Buffalo Road, Gates, NY. The theme of the show is 'Headlining Roses'. It is free and open to the public from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM.
The show will feature hundreds of roses that grow well in this area, along with a rose arrangement section which is always popular with the public. An educational table will be set up and manned, and will offer information and literature on growing roses. If any non-member in the Rochester area wishes to exhibit any of their named roses, here is the opportunity to do so. You may even win a blue ribbon or possibly a keepsake trophy.
Show chairmen, Ron Sibs or Terry Brooks can be reached for further information at 227-3135 or

Or perhaps fish and chips?

P5210066.JPG, originally uploaded by Jane Milliman.

Back from England, and our group had a fantastic time, glorious weather, etc. I'll post more when I can. Despite walking about ten miles a day, I came back no lighter than when I left. I wonder why!