This past weekend Toronto hosted garden bloggers from around the world. For me, the Garden Bloggers Fling was a wonderful opportunity to meet some many of the bloggers I feel I know well, but have never actually met.
The final event of the three day Fling was a buffet dinner held at the Toronto Botanical Garden. As well as great food and good company, there were marvellous plant combinations to be seen in the gardens. Here are a few highlights:
Blue Star, Amsonia tabernaemontana var. salicifolia + Salvia x sylvestris 'May Night'
+ False Indigo, Baptisia 'Purple Smoke' + Salvia nemerosa 'Amethyst'
Salvia x sylvestris 'May Night' has deep violet-blue flowers. This medium sized Salvia tolerates heat and humidity and is drought tolerant once established. Cut back the plant hard after it blooms to rejuvenate the foliage and encourage a second round of flowers. Full sun. Normal, sandy and clay soil are all fine for this plant. It can also tolerate anything from moist to dry conditions once established. Height 45-60 cm (18-23 inches), Spread: 45-60 cm (18-23 inches). USDA Zones: 3-9
False Indigo, Baptisia 'Purple Smoke' is a recent introduction from the North Carolina Botanical Garden. This plant forms a nice upright mound of bright green foliage. Smoky-blue flowers are carried on dark green stems mid-spring. Normal, sandy and clay soil are all fine for this plant. It can also tolerate anything from moist to dry conditions once established. Divide plants every 4 to 5 years. Height: 100-135 cm ( 39-53 inches), Spread: 75-90 cm (29-35 inches). USDA Zones: 4-9.
Masterwart, Astrantia major 'Roma' has wonderful pink starry flowers. This perennial likes moist conditions in sun or part shade. Sandy or clay soil is best. Remove spent flowers to encourage more buds and to prevent it from self-seeding everywhere. Height: 60-70 cm (23-27 inches), Spread: 45-50 cm (18-20 inches). USDA Zones: 3-9.
I love the height and architecture of this plant.
Amsonia ciliata 'Spring Sky'
Perennial Sage, Salvia 'Madeline' was bred and introduced by Piet Oudolf. This sage has violet-blue flowers with a white lip. It will grow in a range of soil types and is drought tolerant once established. Height:70-85 cm (27-33 inches), Spread: 45-60 cm (18-23 inches). USDA Zones: 4-9.
Phlomis tuberosa 'Amazone' is a recent introduction to North America, so the bad news is that this particular cultivar may be a little hard to track down and find. When not in flower this plant makes a large mound of coarse green leaves. Flower shoot skyward on these incredible reddish colored stems. Once finished flowering the spent flowers continue to add architectural interest well into winter. Normal or sandy soil that is on the dry side is best for this plant. Full sun. Height: 90-120 cm (35-47 inches), Spread: 45-60 cm (18-23 inches). USDA Zones: 2-9.
Peony lactiflora 'Krinkled White' + False Indigo, Baptisia 'Purple Smoke' in the distance
Perennial Sage, Salvia nemerosa 'Amethyst' has tall spikes of rosy-purple flowers mid-spring. Full sun and well drained soil. Height: (12-30 inches), Spread: (24-36 inches). USDA Zones: 5-11.
Purple Smoke Bush + Astrantia + Allium
Purple Smoke Bush, Cotinus is a shrub that left to its own devises can grow into a tree. It can reach a height of 12 feet and can spread to 12 feet. It requires full sun and can be grown in a variety of soils. USDA Zones: 4-9.
I have never grown these, but believe them to be Stars of Persia, Allium christophii.
Stars of Persia, Allium christophii are a bulbous perennial. They have grey-green leaves and a flowerhead with star-shaped flowers that have a slight metallic sheen. Flower heads dry well. Full sun in rich, well-drained soil. Height : 45-60 cm (18-24 inches), Spacing 15-22 cm ( 6-9 inches) USDA Zones: 4-9.
False Indigo, Baptisia (Specific yellow colored cultivar unknown) + the tall pink spires of Phlomis tuberosa 'Amazone' + blue colored Baptisia australis (on the left).
Some yellow cultivars of Baptisia you might want to consider: Baptisia 'Solar Flare', Baptisia 'Carolina Moonlight' and Baptisia 'Lemon Meringue'.)
Unknown peony cultivar. Quite likely Peony lactiflora 'Sarah Bernhardt'
Unknown single white Peony.
Unknown variety of Catmint. Here are two cultivars you may want to consider:
Blue Catmint, Nepeta racemosa 'Walker's Low' is a long blooming perennial (if regularly deadheaded) that has a mounded, bushy habit. It has grey-green foliage and blue flowers. Full sun. Height: 60-90 cm (23-35 inches), Spread: 75-90 cm ( 29-35 inches). USDA Zones: 3-9.
Nepeta x faassenii 'Blue Wonder' is a bit more compact. Height: 30-45 cm (12-18 inches), Spread: 38-45 cm (15-18 inches). USDA Zones 3-9.
Catmint, Nepeta + Salvia x sylvestris 'May Night'
Many thanks to the Fling Committee: Helen Battersby, her sister Sarah Battersby, Lorraine Flanigan, and Veronica Silva. Thanks also to all the bus captains and other volunteers who worked so hard to make this year's Garden Bloggers Fling so much fun!
To see some other Fling highlights check out the Garden Blogger's Fling Facebook page.
Many apologies, I am well behind on returning visits.
I promise to catch up with everyone in the next few days.