The rose garden in June
If you go along to visit Joe's garden this coming Sunday, and you happen to mention that you read all about the Open Garden and Plant Sale in support of the Canadian Cancer Society on a blog, don't be surprised if he doesn't know quite how to respond.
Computers and the internet may have revolutionized the way we do things, but in Joe's quiet life centred around home, garden and family, the World Wide Web has had little or no impact.
Don't be put off if Joe seems a bit quiet and reserved. He's just a little shy. Let him see that you share his passion for plants, and the next thing you know, he will be giving you a full guided tour.
On our most recent visit, we actually got to see the inner sanctum (A.K.A. the garage) where thousands of plant tags are neatly organized and held in stacks with tight rubber bands.
Rosa 'Red Fairy': Polyantha rose. Red flowers with a very light fragrance. Height: 45-75 cm Spread: up to 105 cm. This rose has a short, bushy, compact and spreading habit making it a good groundcover rose. I also have this rose in my own garden and can say from personal experience that it is a pretty tough little rose.
These are Joe's roses in the month of June. ( If you missed the previous post, here is a link: Joe's Garden Part 1).
'John Davis' Explorer Rose: Height: 2.0- 2.5 m, Spread 1.2 m -1.5 m. This rose has a trailing growth habit and has been used here as a climber here. Blooms are held in clusters and have a light, spicy fragrance. Resistant to black spot and powdery mildew. It will even survive in USDA Zone 3.
I told Joe that everyone would want to know what he does to get his roses looking this beautiful.
"Oh, I don't do anything special... For years I always talked to my plants each morning before I would go to work."
"Really? That's it? You talk to your plants," I replied more than a little crestfallen. I was hoping for some big, important tip on growing roses.
Joe is however, not one who likes to disappoint. He paused and then added hopefully, "Well, I do put a little manure into the hole when I plant them... and I also add a little mushroom compost around the base of my roses each spring."
Now, when I sat down to write this post and began to think over his answer to my question, I realized that the truly noteworthy response didn't come from me pressing him for rose growing tips. The core of his success with roses, and in plants in general, comes not from any liberal application of compost, leaf mold or fertilizer, they help for sure, but what it really comes from is the love and attention he lavishes on his garden.
Yes, Joe is a man who talks to his plants!
'John Davis' Explorer Rose in June
'John Davis' Explorer Rose in June
Similar view, but in July.
Sorry again, we couldn't find an identification for this rose.
It looks like a David Austin rose of some kind...
Welcome to July in Joe's garden!
Most of the roses are now resting, but there are still lots of plants in flower...
Echinacea 'Hot Papaya': is a vivid orange and has a pompom head with drooping circle of petals. Full sun. Height: 60-90 cm, Spread: 60-90 cm. This plants likes to be well watered to get established and then is quite drought tolerant. Average garden soil. USDA Zones 4-9
Hosta 'Sunshine Glory' left and an unidentified hosta on the right.
You'll note from the pictures that Joe uses a lot of hostas at the front of his borders. It seems to keep them looking neat and tidy all summer long.
Echinacea 'Southern Belle': has magenta pompom flowers. Full sun. Height: 50- 90 cm, Spread: 50- 75 cm. Does equally well in moist or dry soil. Normal, sandy or clay soils are fine. Attractive to butterflies. USDA Zones 4-9
Sometime ago, I swore off some of these new and often weird looking varieties of Echinacea, but I have to say that this variety looked positively stunning when we were there.
Joe has many, many varieties of Phlox. This one wasn't labeled when we dropped in, but hopefully it will be labeled for next Sunday's open house.
Phlox paniculata 'Peppermint Twist': Height: 35-45 cm Spread: 30-40 cm. Full sun. Does equally well in moist or dry soil. Normal, sandy or clay soils are fine. Attractive to butterflies. USDA Zones 4-9
Possibly Phlox paniculata 'Blue Paradise'?
These flowers heads were HUGE and a bit bluer than my picture shows them to be. If they are identified at the open house this coming Sunday, I will come back and update the post.
Echinacea 'Sunset': has large, lightly fragrant flowers. Full sun. Height: 50- 75 cm, Spread: 45-50 cm. Does equally well in moist or dry soil. Normal, sandy or clay soils are fine. Remove faded flowers to encourage the plant to continue to bloom all summer. USDA Zones 4-9
As you can see, the pathways become quite crowded in July.
An annual Poppy.
Annual poppy close-up.
In the front garden, Joe pointed out a robin's nest that hidden in a shrub not much taller than I am. The low nest made taking pictures of these babies a snap.
This is an odd color combination (cool mauve, warm peach, pink and shocking lime green) that I would never have guessed would work, but it is does in a weird and interesting way.
The light mauve flower sneaking into my shot from the right are annual Larkspur, the peach foliage is some unknown Heuchera, the pale pink rose is the 'Fairy' and the light mauve flower is annual Candytuft that has self-seeded itself into every nook and cranny.
Annual Candytuft, Iberis Umbellata: Height 30-40 cm. Full sun. Flowers range from white to pink and mauve. Annual Candytuft flowers within a couple of months from seed. It is taller and less compact than its perennial cousin.
Now, Joe has probably never seen the two blog posts I have done on his garden.
Nor has he read all the nice things you have had to say in the comments.
So I have decided to print out all the comments and take them over for him to read. I think he will be deeply touched to hear just how much you appreciate his labor of love.
More information and links:
Details for Joe's Open Garden and Plant Sale in support for the Canadian Cancer Society
Date: Sunday, July 27th 2014
Place: 65 Austin Drive, Brampton Ontario
Time: 9 am -5 pm
Hosts: Joe and Cathy Covello
Directions: Exit the 401 at Hurontario Street and travel north to Steeles Ave. Turn right (East) onto Steeles Ave and watch for Hartford Trail on your right. Turn right onto Hartford Trail and then take the first right onto Appleton Trail. At the end of Appleton Trail turn right onto Austin Drive. Drive to the end on to of Austin Drive. Joe's house will be the one with balloons and plants for sale on your right!)