September 2009


Here are a few shots of more perennials that are blooming in the Alberta Perennial Trials at the Calgary Zoo this week. It just goes to show that colour in the garden doesn’t have to end when summer is over. Even when we finally get frost (possibly this weekend), these plants will still be blooming!

Chrysanthemum 'Tiger Tail'

Chrysanthemum 'Tiger Tail'

 

Echinacea 'White Swan'

Echinacea 'White Swan'

 

Echinacea 'Rubin's Glow'

Echinacea 'Rubin's Glow'

 

Solidago 'Little Lemon'

Solidago 'Little Lemon'

 

Buddleia davidii 'Black Knight'

Buddleia davidii 'Black Knight'

 

© Alberta Perennial Trials, 2010  

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Fall has officially begun, but it certainly doesn’t feel like it in Alberta. The temperature in Calgary today was 33 degrees! Despite the temperatures, many of the fall blooming plants are at their best right now.  Here are a few pictures from the perennial trial garden at the Calgary Zoo this week.

   

Anemone 'Party Dress'

Anemone 'Party Dress'

 

Anemone 'September Charm'

Anemone 'September Charm'

 

Aster 'Sapphire'

Aster 'Sapphire'

 

Hemerocallis 'First Knight' and Sedum 'Maestro'

Hemerocallis 'First Knight' and Sedum 'Maestro'

 

Arctanthemum 'Red Chimo'

Arctanthemum 'Red Chimo'

 

Hydrangea paniculata 'Green Spire'

Hydrangea paniculata 'Green Spire'

 

© Alberta Perennial Trials, 2010  

On Thursday I drove up to Olds and Edmonton to see the other two Alberta Perennial Trial garden sites. It was a beautiful,  sunny and warm day. I am very grateful to my friend (and volunteer in the trial garden) Anne, who accompanied me on the trip!

Daniel Chappell and Wendy Daley at Olds College gave us a great tour of the perennial trial garden and the other gardens and greenhouses at Olds College. The gardens are beautiful and their containers are stunning! It was the first day of classes, so it was fun to see all the new students trying to find their way around. It was also great to see Jillian and Glen who worked at the zoo this past summer and are back at college now.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t a great day to take pictures; it was a bit too sunny and windy. I took some, especially of the plants that are doing better at these sites than at the Calgary Zoo site, but the quality of the images isn’t great.

Alberta Perennial Trials - Olds College site

Alberta Perennial Trials - Olds College site

The Heliopsis ‘Tuscan Sun’ was flowering prolifically in the Olds garden. I am very hopeful that this new dwarf false sunflower from Proven Winners will be successful. It will be a great alternative for smaller gardens.

Heliopsis 'Tuscan Sun'

Heliopsis 'Tuscan Sun'

Leucanthemum ‘Broadway Lights’ was also much more floriferous at both the Olds and Edmonton sites. This may be because it was planted a little later at the Calgary site. It has been a visitor favourite, for good reason!

Leucanthemum 'Broadway Lights' - Olds College

Leucanthemum 'Broadway Lights' - Olds

 We haven’t seen Phygelius ‘Passionate’ blooming yet in Calgary, so it was exciting to see these interesting flowers in Edmonton.

Phygelius 'Passionate'

Phygelius 'Passionate'

  
Echinacea ‘Double Delight’ was certainly blooming delightfully in Edmonton.

Echinacea 'Double Delight'

Echinacea 'Double Delight'

Many thanks to our wonderful site representative in Edmonton, Jane Huggan, for showing us around the Alberta Perennial Trial garden at Muttart. 

Muttart Conservatory

Muttart Conservatory

© Alberta Perennial Trials, 2010

We have had three weeks of hot and sunny weather in Alberta. The trial garden at the Calgary Zoo was actually too wet for a while due to some irrigation problems. The plants, and the weeds, loved the combination of hot sun and plenty of water. Thanks to the wonderful help of our many volunteers, the weeds are now almost under control.  With the fantastic weather there are many perennials in full bloom in the gardens.

There are four Trophytaker daylilies currently in the trials, all planted in 2008. Hemerocallis ‘Apricot Sparkles’ is a deep apricot-yellow lily-shaped daylily. It is reported to be everblooming, from May to frost. This year it began blooming in mid-summer, but this is only its second year in the garden and next year it may have a longer bloom period.

Hemerocallis 'Apricot Sparkles'
Hemerocallis ‘Apricot Sparkles’

 

Hemerocallis ‘Strawberry Candy’ is another Trophytaker daylily sporting coral pink flowers with a strawberry-red eye.  It is a repeat bloomer, flowering from mid to late summer.

Hemerocallis 'Strawberry Candy'

Hemerocallis 'Strawberry Candy' in the rain

The other two Trophytaker daylilies in the trials are H. ‘Rooten Tooten Red’ (which is blooming, but I haven’t caught it in time to take a good picture) and H. ‘Final Touch’, which is just about to bloom. I will try to get a good picture of each in the next few days.  

 Hemerocallis ‘First Knight’, is in the final year of the trials and will graduate this year with flying colours. It  has large creamy yellow blooms with ruffled gold edges. 

Hemerocallis 'First Knight'

Hemerocallis 'First Knight'

 

Our three Buddleia davidii ‘Black Knight’, which were planted last year, are in bloom now. The flowers of this cultivar of butterfly bush are a gorgeous dark purple with an orange centre. These are zone 5 plants, so it was a pleasant surprise that all three plants survived the winter, and an even greater surprise that they have bloomed.

Buddleia davidii 'Black Knight'

Buddleia davidii 'Black Knight'

Remember the new shasta daisy, Leucanthemum ‘Broadway Lights’ I talked about a couple of weeks ago? The flower that was such a pretty pale yellow did indeed fade to white. The same plant now has several flowers in various shades from yellow to vanilla to white. Each individual flower appears to be very long-lived.

Leucanthemum 'Broadway Lights'

Leucanthemum 'Broadway Lights'

 Oenothera ‘Lemon Drop’ is a new introduction from Proven Winners. The plants started off a bit straggly-looking, but they have filled in nicely and have been blooming cheerfully for most of the summer. This is zone 5 plant as well, but I am hoping for another pleasant surprise!

Oenothera 'Lemon Drop'

Oenothera 'Lemon Drop'

This week I will be visiting the other two Alberta Perennial Trial sites in Olds and Edmonton. I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures!

© Alberta Perennial Trials, 2010