Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Native Fall Color at Longwood Gardens

Posted in Fall, Fall Color, garden to visit, green gardening, native plants, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2016 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

 

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A view across the lake of the color in Peirce’s Woods, an area of native plants.

We have been having one of the most beautiful falls that I can remember.  Every day is bright and sunny, between 50 and 60 degrees F (10 to 15.6 degrees C) except when we have just the right amount of rain. The fall color on trees, shrubs, vines, and perennials is spectacular.  I am blessed to live in an area where I can enjoy one of nature’s most majestic shows just by walking outside my door.  So I decided to post photos for gardeners in the US and abroad who don’t experience this amazing prelude to winter.

Nursery News:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

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Taxodium distichum

Bald cypress, Taxodium distichum, native to PA.

All but two of these photos were taken during a visit to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, US, on November 2.  Every plant is native to the US and most to Pennsylvania (PA), which is part of the mid-Atlantic.  A similar color riot is still going on today, November 12, in my own PA garden.

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Pitcher plants, Saracenia, native to PA, even the planters near Peirce’s Woods are filled with natives. 

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Hydrangea quercifolia

One of my top five shrubs: oakleaf hydrangea, H. quercifolia, and fall color is a big part of that along with gorgeous flowers, tropical-looking leaves, peeling cinnamon bark, and its status as a native albeit slightly south of PA.

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Hydrangea quercifolia

The words “jewel-like color” were made for oakleaf hydrangea. 

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Cornus florida

Flowering dogwood, Cornus florida, native to PA, one of the best small trees for fall color not to mention spectacular flowers and fruit as well as a unique and elegant habit.  This is a young specimen.

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Aesculus parviflora

Bottlebrush buckeye, Aesculus parviflora, a PA native with beautiful flowers in the late spring.  Great for creating a grove in dense shade and dry soil.

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Fothergilla gardenii

Fothergilla, F. gardenii, native just south of PA, provides a mix of oranges, reds, and yellows that lasts a long time.  In the spring it sports lovely fragrant flowers.

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Looking across the lake towards Peirce’s Woods, the red tree to the left of center is a red maple, Acer rubrum, and the smaller peachy tree to the right is sourwood, Oxydendrum arboreum.
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Acer rubrum
Red maple is a shade tree native to PA.  It colors early so I was surprised to find it still stealing the show.  Here is a view from the other side looking down at the lake.
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Oxydendrum arboreum
Sourwood, also known as dead man’s fingers due to the unusual habit of its flowers, is a smaller flowering tree native to PA with many ornamental attributes including unbelievable fall color.
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Taxodium distichum 'Prarie Sentinel'‘Prairie Sentinel’ pond cypress, Taxodium ascendens, has a more upright habit than its cousin the bald cypress and is native just south of PA.
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Acer saccharum
For all-round large shade tree, I would nominate the sugar maple, Acer saccharum, native to PA.  Photos don’t do its color justice, and large specimens have a habit that is purely regal.  This one is a youngster.
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Calycanthus 'Hartlage Wine'

I had to throw in this photo from Carolyn’s Shade Gardens of ‘Hartlage Wine’ allspice, Calycanthus raulstonii.  Top five shrubs again with absolutely gorgeous, bright yellow fall color; long-lasting, exquisite, large red flowers; and big, shiny, smooth blue-green leaves.  It is a native hybrid.

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Also from Carolyn’s Shade Gardens, another favorite tree native to PA, yellowwood, Cladrastis kentukea.

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Carolyn

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Nursery Happenings: You can sign up to receive catalogues and emails about nursery events by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.  Please indicate if you will be shopping at the nursery or are mail order only.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 6b/7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

Mini Hostas Make Excellent Groundcovers

Posted in groundcover, hosta, How to, landscape design, miniature hosta, my garden, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2016 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Mini Hosta Rock Garden

Part of my mini hosta rock garden in June of 2015.  Be sure to see it when you visit Carolyn’s Shade Gardens—it is one of the highlights of the garden right now!

When it begins to warm up (finally!), the weeds are not far behind, and customers start asking for groundcovers.  If garden beds are filled with plants, there is no bare soil on which weeds can germinate, and garden maintenance is greatly reduced.  Covering bare ground can be accomplished economically by choosing plants that spread rather than form clumps.  Spreading mini (and small) hostas are perfect for this task, but which ones work?  Here is your answer:

Nursery News:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

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Hosta Kiwi Golden Thimble

‘Kiwi Golden Thimble’ rapidly produces an adorable mound of golden leaves.

You can read more about mini hostas in these posts:

2016 Mouse Ears Hosta Update

Top 5 Favorite Little Hostas

The Mice Have Multiplied Again

New Miniature and Small Hostas for 2014, Part 2

New Miniature and Small Hostas for 2014, Part 1

New Mice for 2014

2013 New Miniature and Small Hostas

Miniature (& Small) Hostas

I LOVE Mice

Beyond Mice

Hostas Containers and Companions

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Hosta 'Twist of Lime'

‘Twist of Lime’ with its blue-green edge is a very fast grower and a favorite of my customers.

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.Hosta Little Wonder

‘Little Wonder’ has colorful leaves and a very dense growth habit.

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Hosta Lemon Lime
‘Lemon Lime’ is an outstanding groundcover hosta.
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Hosta Blue Mouse Ears

‘Blue Mouse Ears’ is the only mouse ears hosta that I would use as a groundcover because it is so vigorous.

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Hosta Green with Envy

‘Green with Envy’ is practically jumping out of my strawberry pot as it tries to expand.

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Hosta Rock Prince

‘Rock Prince’ filled in this whole area between the stones very quickly.

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Hosta Baby Bunting

‘Baby Bunting’s’ tiny leaves make a very fine-textured groundcover.

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Hosta Lemon Delight

‘Lemon Delight’ makes an excellent dense cover, and the wavy leaf edges provide a feeling of movement.

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Hosta Dragon Tails

Of course any mini, if planted en mass, provides groundcover, here ‘Dragon Tails’.

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Carolyn

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Nursery Happenings: You can sign up to receive catalogues and emails about nursery events by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 6b/7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

Snowdrops in Snow Caves

Posted in bulbs for shade, snowdrops, Uncategorized, winter, winter interest with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2016 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Galanthus 'Spindlestone Surprise'

‘Spindlestone Surprise’, a rare yellow snowdrop peaks out from its cave.

In my last post, I talked about our unseasonably warm weather, and we are back to that today.  But in between we had the blizzard of 2016, which dumped 30″ (76.2 cm) of snow on Carolyn’s Shade Gardens accompanied by high winds.  Even with several days of 50 degree F (10 C) weather, the ground is covered and piles of drifted snow are everywhere not to mention the sticks and debris.

Nursery News:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

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Galanthus 'Godfrey Owen' elwesii

‘Godfrey Owen’ looks gorgeous in the snow.

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Luckily, I covered many of my blooming clumps with plastic boxes before the snow began.  The uncovered flowering plants were damaged by the snow, but the covered groups look pristine.    When I pulled off the boxes, the snowdrops underneath were left in a roofless snow cave.  They looked so beautiful, I wanted to share them with you.

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Galanthus 'Godfrey Owen' elwesii

I can’t get enough of ‘Godfrey Owen’.

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Galanthus 'Daphne's Scissors' elwesii

‘Daphne’s Scissors’ with uncharacteristic green tips this year.

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Galanthus 'Wendy's Gold' plicatus

Another beautiful yellow, ‘Wendy’s Gold’.

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Gaalnthus 'Magnet'

‘Magnet’ has been blooming for so long it is starting to go by.

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Galanthus 'Richard Ayres'

A vigorous double, ‘Richard Ayres’ .

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Galanthus 'Kite' elwesii

‘Kite’ today, eleven days after the storm, with the snow melted down quite a bit.

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Galanthus 'Kite' elwesii

‘Kite’ with very long outer segments and an X-shaped inner mark.

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Galanthus 'Trumps'

‘Trumps’, one of the most sought after snowdrops.

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Galanthus 'Spindlestone Surprise'

I couldn’t resist another shot of ‘Spindlestone Surprise’.

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It seems fitting that the beauty of snowdrops is increased by snow.

Carolyn

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Nursery Happenings: You can sign up to receive catalogues and emails about nursery events by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 6b/7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

Do You Need A New Plant?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 4, 2015 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

img001Click on the image to enlarge.  Drawing by Joseph Tychonievich at Arrowhead Alpines.

I have been down with the flu for a few weeks so the blog and everything else has suffered.  I have been saving the illustration above for just such an occasion.  I received it as a postcard in February 2013 from Arrowhead Alpines, a wonderful retail and mail order nursery in Fowlerville, Michigan, specializing in rare and unusual plants.  They have a huge selection of uncommon perennials, woodland wildflowers, ferns, rare alpines, dwarf conifers, and out-of-the-ordinary trees and shrubs.  They are also very nice people.  If you can’t find what you are looking for at your local nursery, Arrowhead is the place to go.  Click here for their website/catalogue. 

The print is kind of small, so click on the image to enlarge it.  I especially like the part about ripping out the lawn and the recommendation of miniature hostas :-).  No matter how many times I follow the arrows through the options, it makes me laugh.  How could the answer to “Do you need a new plant?” be anything but yes!

Nursery News:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

Carolyn

Nursery Happenings:   You can sign up to receive notifications of catalogues, sales, and events at the nursery by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

Camden (Maine) Garden Tour 2014: Part 4

Posted in Garden Tour, landscape design, Maine, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 13, 2014 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Nursery News:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

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Camden Garden Tour Messler 7-17-2014 2-38-20 PMThe newly built Arts and Crafts style house at the final garden on the tour is reached via a long drive ending in an elaborate stone bridge and pond.

This post is the fourth in a series of posts on the Camden House and Garden Tour put on annually in mid-July by the Camden Garden Club.  To read the first three posts, click here, here, and here.  Next year’s tour is on July 16, 2015, and will consist of historic houses in Camden.

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Camden Garden Tour Messler 7-17-2014 1-58-43 PMThe entrance walk crosses a large stone slab that acts as a bridge over a boulder strewn stream.

The final garden that I am profiling surrounds a new over-the-top Arts and Crafts style house built half way up Mt. Battie overlooking Camden Harbor.  We were transported up a steep drive to the property in chauffeur-driven golf carts, passing through extensive plantings surrounding large boulders.  At the top, a beautiful stone bridge brings visitors to the impressive front entrance.  I will let the photos and captions tell the rest of the story:

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Camden Garden Tour Messler 7-17-2014 1-58-54 PM.

Camden Garden Tour Messler 7-17-2014 1-59-13 PMThe entrance path

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Camden Garden Tour Messler 7-17-2014 1-59-20 PM

An elegant planter on the entrance walk.

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Camden Garden Tour Messler 7-17-2014 1-59-35 PMA man made stream runs along the front of the house under the entrance path.

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Camden Garden Tour Messler 7-17-2014 2-24-20 PM

The stream ends in this pool. Behind it you can see the stone bridge and above that the guest house.

Although we were not allowed to take photos inside the house, I did take some shots from the master bedroom balcony:

Camden Garden Tour Messler 7-17-2014 2-11-12 PM

Hillside perennial garden with native woods in the background.

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Camden Garden Tour Messler 7-17-2014 2-11-02 PM

Looking down from the balcony onto the pool area.

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Camden Garden Tour Messler 7-17-2014 2-12-01 PM

View of Camden Harbor from the master bedroom.

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Camden Garden Tour Messler 7-17-2014 2-17-44 PM

Stone path leading around to the back of the house.

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Camden Garden Tour Messler 7-17-2014 2-16-05 PM

The tour brochure states that “the garden encompasses more than 5,000 trees and plants”, and every one of them was perfect, no brown leaves, no spent flowers, no unhappy plants.

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Camden Garden Tour Messler 7-17-2014 2-20-57 PM

Looking up from the lawn area to the perennial gardens on the back side of the house.

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Camden Garden Tour Messler 7-17-2014 2-19-41 PM

Everything about this property was massive, including the stairs from the lawn to the back terrace.

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Camden Garden Tour Messler 7-17-2014 2-10-49 PM

Another gorgeous view from the back terrace.

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Lobelia 'Fan Scarlet'

A plant that caught my eye ‘Fan Scarlet’ lobelia.

Just like everything else, the pool was over the top so I thought you would like to see a few shots:

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Camden Garden Tour Messler 7-17-2014 2-23-42 PM.

Camden Garden Tour Messler 7-17-2014 2-30-28 PM

Granite boulders were incorporated into the design.

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Camden Garden Tour Messler 7-17-2014 2-22-40 PM.

In the last post in this series, I intend (if I have enough good photos) to show you some of the non-garden sights in the Camden-Rockport area and recommend a few wonderful restaurants.

Carolyn

Nursery Happenings: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is closed for the summer and will reopen in early September.  If you are within visiting distance of the nursery and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

Season’s Greetings from CSG

Posted in Uncategorized on December 22, 2013 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

carriage house at Carolyn's Shade Gardens

As 2013 comes to an end,

I want to wish my readers all over the world

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas,

and Happy New Year

from Carolyn’s Shade Gardens

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Nursery Happenings: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 6b. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

Fall at Brandywine Cottage

Posted in books, Fall, Fall Color, garden to visit, landscape design, Shade Gardening, Uncategorized with tags , , , on October 14, 2013 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

David Culp's Garden Fall 2013-013.

I recently had the privilege of visiting Brandywine Cottage, the house and gardens of horticulturalist and author David Culp.  I have toured these extraordinary gardens many times over the last 20 years, but always in the winter and spring as David and I share a passion for (or should I say obsession with) snowdrops and hellebores.  The arrival of a special shipment of snowdrops from England gave me an excuse to make the trip and experience Brandywine Cottage in October.

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David Culp's Garden Fall 2013Looking down on the gardens from the driveway.

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Among his other accomplishments, David Culp is the author of The Layered Garden: Design Lessons for Year-Round Beauty from Brandywine Cottage (Timber Press 2012).  The Layered Garden recently received the 2013 Gold Award from the Garden Writers Association for Best Overall Book.  For more information on this wonderful book detailing David’s approach to garden design, his passion for plants, and the development of Brandywine Cottage over the last 20 years, click here.

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David Culp's Garden Fall 2013-001the front entrance

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Fall is a difficult time to view a garden in southeastern Pennsylvania.  The leaves are falling off all the huge trees, obscuring the beds and detracting from the perfection we can achieve in spring.  The wonderful plants that might provide some lovely close up shots are eaten by insects, browned by drought, and beaten down by torrential rain.  However, a well-designed garden like Brandywine Cottage highlights the subtle beauty of fall.  It  was still a pleasure to visit even on an overcast and dreary day with more heavy rains threatening.  I hope you enjoy your virtual trip through this special place.

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David Culp's Garden Fall 2013-002A courtyard by the front entrance is shaded by a giant Norway spruce whose roots make an interesting pattern in the gravel.

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David Culp's Garden Fall 2013-003.

Edgeeworthia chrysanthaDavid has several edgeworthias thriving in full shade.

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David Culp's Garden Fall 2013-005.

David Culp's Garden Fall 2013-006.

David Culp's Garden Fall 2013-007.

David Culp's Garden Fall 2013-008.

David Culp's Garden Fall 2013-009The vegetable garden with its white picket fence is on the left and the largest perennial border is on the right.

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David Culp's Garden Fall 2013-010large perennial border

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David Culp's Garden Fall 2013-011vegetable garden

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David Culp's Garden Fall 2013-012.

David Culp's Garden Fall 2013-014.

David Culp's Garden Fall 2013-015.

David Culp's Garden Fall 2013-019Narrow paths crisscross the hillside above the house which is filled with shade plants, including hundreds of hellebores.

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David Culp's Garden Fall 2013-017An opening through the trees allows a view from the hillside towards the gardens below.

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Carolyn

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Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 6b. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Nursery Happenings: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is closed for the winter.  Look for the 2014 Snowdrop Catalogue in early January.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens Note Cards

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on September 29, 2013 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

Stylophorum diphyllum & Mertensia virginicaVirginia bluebells and Celandine poppies in the Carolyn’s Shade Gardens woodland.

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We are halfway through the fall nursery season with several exciting events yet to come.  Shrubs and trees are available for purchase, and the order deadline has been extended to Wednesday, October 2, at 9 am.  For the shrub brochure, click here.  My husband Michael’s Low Maintenance Gardening seminars on October 4 and 6 are available for registration now.  For all the details, click here.  We will have open shopping hours this Saturday, October 5, from 10 am to 2 pm.  Fall is the best time to plant so I hope you will take advantage of this opportunity to fill out your fall garden.

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Chanticleer Teacup GardenThe Teacup Garden at Chanticleer, Wayne, Pennsylvania.

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However, the really exciting news is that Carolyn’s Shade Gardens note cards are finally available.  Customers who subscribe to this blog are always complimenting me on the photographs, and several organizations, including the New York Times, have purchased them.   Two years ago, I used my images to create a calendar, which was very well received.  Note cards have been on the project list since then, and I finally was able to set aside time to create them this fall.

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Tulipa 'Little Princess' & Sedum album‘Little Princess’ tulip and white stonecrop at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens.

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The note cards are blank on the inside and feature six of my original images, which all appear in this post.  They are 5″ by 7″ with a white border, and are printed on thick, satin card stock.  On the back of each card is a caption identifying the plant or location of the photo.  Each card comes with an envelope and is packaged in a crystal clear card sleeve.  The cards are available in sets of 6 for $20 or singly for $4.  They are perfect for birthday, sympathy, and thank you notes.  Plus the sets make great gifts for the upcoming holidays especially useful for hostess presents, last minute gifts, and for the friend who has everything.

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Galanthus 'Potter's Prelude'‘Potter’s Prelude’ fall-blooming snowdrops at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens.

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Local customers have several options for purchasing cards.  First, you can come to my nursery open hours this Saturday, October 5, from 10 am to 2 pm.  While shopping for cards, you can also look at the beautiful fall season plants and tour the gardens.  Second, to ensure availability, you can pre-order the cards for pick up during the open hours this Saturday or at another time that is convenient for you.  Just send an email to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net with the number of sets and/or a list of single cards using the captions from this post and your proposed pick up date.  Third, you can have cards mailed to you per the instructions below.

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DSCN0351The Peony Garden, Winterthur, Delaware.

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If you are not local or just want the cards mailed, you can send an email to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net with the number of sets and/or single cards desired.  I will email back with the amount owed, which will include shipping by USPS Priority Mail starting at $6 for orders that fit in a small priority padded envelope (about four sets).  At some point I hope to set up a PayPal option but am not there yet.  I will ship the cards outside the US but would have to price the shipping individually for each order based on actual cost.

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Callicarpa dichotoma 'Early Amethyst' at Carolyn's Shade Gardens‘Early Amethyst’ beautyberry at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens.

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It is great to be able to make my photographs available in a more lasting and useful format.  And I am so happy with the professional quality of these cards.

Carolyn

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Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 6b. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Nursery Happenings: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens will have open shopping hours on Saturday, October 5, from 10 am to 2 pm.  Shrub and tree orders are due by Wednesday, October 2, at 9 am.  For details, click here.  Low Maintenance Gardening Seminars are available for registration by clicking here.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

What’s New at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on September 14, 2012 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

American sycamore, Platinus occidentalis (all photos courtesy of our wonderful tenant Cynthia)

You may have noticed that Carolyn’s Shade Gardens, the blog and the plant nursery, has been unusually quiet lately.  That’s because we have been in shock.  In August, a freak storm snapped the top off of our gigantic, over 100-year-old American sycamore and sent it crashing down on our historic carriage house.  Those of you who have been here know that the carriage house is my place of business.  There is also an apartment upstairs, and my garage, where the cashier’s table normally sits at open houses, is attached to the side.

The sycamore on top of the carriage house

Four branches the size of normal trees came crashing through the roof into the two bedrooms, a storage area, and the garage while the trunk fell on the roof itself.  Thankfully no one was hurt,  and our tenant wasn’t home.



 

The tree cut up and removed from the roof.

We are also very thankful to Chris Lepping of Lepping Landscape & Tree Service in Collegeville, PA.  The tree fell on Sunday evening at 6 pm, and on Monday morning at 8:00 am Chris was in our driveway with a bucket truck to assess the situation. He and his crew were able to remove the tree with no further damage.  Chris said it was the most dangerous tree removal he has done in over 20 years of business.

The part of the tree that was left standing towered over the carriage house.

We are also very happy that we opted for a relatively expensive Chubb Insurance “masterpiece” homeowners policy.  A Chubb remediation team was there on Sunday night at 11:30 pm  to keep the torrential rains from flooding the building.  Chubb has worked closely with us to expedite repairs and has not questioned the expenses being incurred to fix the extensive damage.

 

Sadly, the tree had to come down.  It was my favorite tree on the whole property, which has some pretty amazing trees, and the only American sycamore.  All the other “sycamores” are London planetrees.

 


Finally, we are very thankful that my brother, Nick Walker, is a contractor with the capability to fix all the damage to our historic carriage house.  His business, Cottage Industries in Wayne, PA, specializes in renovating old homes like ours and has won the Historic Preservation Award from the Radnor (PA) Historical Society.  Nick and his crew are working hard to get Carolyn’s Shade Gardens back in business.

The trunk diameter was almost five feet.  We grow them big in the mid-Atlantic!

 

So what does all this mean to Carolyn’s Shade Gardens?  We are slightly behind in starting our fall season but still have a full month of events planned.  The first fall open house is this Saturday, September 22, from 10 am to 3 pm.  We intend to do a shrub offer in late September or early October.  As we have in the previous two years, we will also be offering for preorder gorgeous Winter Jewels double hellebores (for photos click here) potted earlier this summer and waiting to find a home in your garden.  To receive details of all these events you must be on my customer email list  (see below).  Now if I can just get the dumpsters out of my sales area!!!!


I hope to see you this fall,

Carolyn

Nursery Happenings:  The first fall open house is this Saturday, September 22, from 10 am to 3 pm.  Customers on my customer email list should have received plant lists and photos already.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post.  You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information.  If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

 

Colorful Annuals for Shade Part Two

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on August 31, 2012 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

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This colorful window box faces east and receives a lot of morning light.

Last August I wrote a post about the annual containers at my family’s home in Maine (click on the link to read it). It turned out to be one of my most popular posts so I thought I would show you the 2012 containers. As I have mentioned before, this is the only gardening that I do around the house because I want to keep the beautiful native plant habitat in tact. I recently removed the existing perennial garden and replaced it with native hydrangeas (click here to read about that project).

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The containers consist of a set of window boxes and a large terra cotta pot by the front door. As you can see in the first of the two photos above, the window boxes are over the new hydrangea bed on the front or street side of the house. The location faces east and receives morning sun—it is not full shade. The second photo shows that the window boxes are directly below what is my kitchen window, which means that the plants have to be lower, no more than 12 to 18 inches. In container parlance that means fillers and spillers but no tall thrillers. The plants are viewed even more from inside so they have to look good from both sides.

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I like the crammed look for containers so mine always have lots of plants in them. Spilling out the sides of the two boxes are ‘Callie Orange’ million bells while white annual lobelia and ‘Midnight Lace’ sweet potato vine cascade out the middle. The fillers, which I also find thrilling, are the lime green coleus ‘Wasabi’ and the purple coleus ‘Spitfire’, two shorter varieties. Filling in between the coleus and the spillers are a medium purple petunia and a very dark purple verbena. Although the verbena is not visible in the photo because it was taking a break, it so beautiful that it is worth putting up with its intermittent bloom.

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The above two photos are of the large container by the front door also facing east and getting morning sun, although a little less because of the rhododendron. I usually use a color scheme in this container to compliment the eggplant-colored front door, and my go to plant for height is often purple fountain grass (see last year). This year I decided to use variegated shell ginger, Alpinia zerumbet ‘Variegata’, which I got as a member dividend from the Scott Arboretum. It has two foot long, feather like, yellow-streaked leaves and reaches six to eight feet. Unfortunately, though very healthy, it refused to grow higher than a foot and is plugging along happily behind the coleus. So no tall thriller here either!

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20120831-114216.jpgA close up of my new favorite coleus, the lovely and cleverly named ‘Fishnet Stockings’.

20120831-114722.jpgThis beautiful coleus called ‘Sedona’ does have the gorgeous orange red color of the Sedona area, but the iPad camera refused to capture it no matter what time of day, light conditions, or angle I chose.

I try to have the window boxes and the large pot echo each other so I use some of the same or similar plants. This larger container has a frilly underskirt of ‘Callie Orange’ million bells with a froth of ‘Midnight Lace’ sweet potato vine above it. I could choose taller coleus for this container so I used the intriguing ‘Fishnet Stockings’ and the colorful ‘Sedona’.

Perhaps I have given you some ideas for your own container plantings in 2013. I am sure some of these plants would work in shadier sites, but I am hesitant to recommend a plant for a condition in which I have not tried it.

Carolyn

Nursery Happenings: The nursery is closed until the fall and should be opening soon. If you are on my customer list, look for an email. Thanks for a great spring season!

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

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