Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Yearly theme at Keukenhof Garden

Every year the folks at Keukenhof Gardens have a specific theme and 2012 is "Poland - Heart of Europe". They then plant an area with over 50,000 bulbs and create a mosaic in bulbs.

The mosaic shows a portrait of Chopin, born in Poland. The mosaic has a size of 12 by 20 meters and is planted with 50,000 bulbs. As you can see the bulbs are planted quite close together.

Chopin Mosaic

Eric and Guus
Go to the web site for Keukenhof (find the link in previous post) and you can see some neat You Tube videos, one in particular shows them planting the bulbs.

It's a big place, so walking it can be pretty exhausting. Eric and Guus needed to take a break as you can see.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Crown imperial or Kaiser's Crown (Fritillaria imperialis)

 If you've never seen these growing you would think this to be the craziest spring bulb out there. It looks like something from a more tropical land. I snapped these photos at he Keukenhof Gardens In Holland. Remember to plant them as soon as you get them, don't leave them in the car, they smell pretty strong.

Fritillaria imperialis is a native of the Nochiya region in the Middle East, which lies at the heart of the geographical region known as Kurdistan that overlaps where the borders of Iran, Iraq and Turkey meet. Due to the way that the bulb is formed, with the stem emerging from a depression, it is best to plant it on its side, to prevent water causing rot at the top of the bulb.Fritillaria imperialis requires full sun for best growth, and sandy, well-drained soil for permanence. After flowering and complete drying of the leaves, the stems should be cut off just above the ground.  While the native form is orange in color, reds and yellows have been brought through cultivation, but are not as hardy.

Frittalaria Aurora

It's Time to Plants Bulbs for Spring

Just a reminder that now is the time to plant those bulbs that we love to see blooming in Spring. Pictured are several varieties of Alliums.
Allium Purple Sensation
Allium sphaerocephalon (drumsticks)
Allium Ivory Queen

Allium Giganteum and Christophii
Allium Giganteum

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Village of Arlington Heights may lose all ash trees to emerald ash borer

Not a very encouraging thing, it reminds me of when I was young and they tore down all the elms in Chicago. The streets were lined from one end of the block to the other with tree limbs. It looks like it is happening again.

"In the next five years, Arlington Heights officials predict the village could lose all of its ash trees to the emerald ash borer – leaving it without one-third of its trees.
In neighborhoods like Greenbrier, Burr Oak and Northgate, where the ash population tops 60 percent of the total trees, that could mean a lot of bare streets."
The question now is what do we plant next, will the town I live in have a plan? More to come.

Monday, October 10, 2011

New Blends for Fall 2011

Blend Hot Tamale
Blend Burning Embers
Blend Davis Did It
Blend Most Admired
We have added 4 new blends to our "Blends and Mixtures" for Fall 2011, they are 'Burning Embers', Hot Tamale', 'Most Admired' and 'Davis Did It'. Four great tulips blends with some different shapes and styles. 'Davis Did It' is this years "Designer Behind the Blend", put together by Jim Davis using the lily flowering 'Maggie Daley' tulip.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Tall Bearded Iris Showing Off

Iris 'Firebreather'
Iris 'War Chief' center view
Iris 'War Chief'
Two of my most anticipated Tall Bearded Iris have bloomed in the garden. 'War Chief' and 'Firebreather', both of these I planted last year for their names and color. I loved the bright orange color I had seen in photos of 'Firebreather, and it did not disappoint, great color, lots of flowers. 'War Cheif' starts out a little on the purpley side but matures to an almost chocolate wine red, with orange beards and a center that looks like it is on fire when you look straight down on it. I can't wait to head out to Breezeway Iris Gardens and Hornbaker Gardens to see their Iris' in the fields. I'm always looking for seasonally unique, different or showy colors in the garden and I think these to fall into these categories.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Fall 2011 Early Blooming Iris'

Absolute Joy (SDB)
Cat's Eye (SDB)
Circus Dragon (SDB)
Fission Chips (MDB)
We at DeVroomen, have updated our Dwarf Bearded Iris program for Fall 2011 and if you are not familiar with the Dwarf Bearded Iris let me fill you in on why these should be in your garden or part of your grower program.

First, there are 2 classifications, Miniature Dwarf and Standard Dwarf. The difference is simple, miniatures are up to 8" tall and standards or 8" to 16". Miniatures are the earliest to bloom with the standards blooming slightly later. My standards in the garden are blooming right now, and I'm loving it. I first noticed the dwarf iris when I was at the trial garden at Wisley Garden.

Raindance Returns (SDB, Rebloomer)
The new additions are Absolute Joy (SDB), Cat's Eye (SDB), Circus Dragon (SDB),  Fission Chips (MDB) and Raindance Returns (SDB, Rebloomer).

Iris  Candy Apple (SDB) we had to keep in the program from last year, it fills out our color pallette so nicely.

Candy Apple (SDB)
Let me know if you have a favorite, either one of our's or one of your own.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

My Trial Garden Early Winners and Losers

Echinacea 'Tomato Soup'
Well many perennials have started poking their heads out of the ground, yet alas some have not. One of the early losers is my Echinacea 'tomato soup'. Planted in the spring of 2009, I was surprised and delighted to see it come back with vigor in 2010. Yesterday I have determined that it has not returned to see 2011. It was planted in a dry, sunny spot in the garden where it should have thrived. I am not entirely disappointed, since the color of this although nice when first open, faded quickly. This is the best photo I had since it didn't grow all that well. Echinacea 'hot papaya on the other hand looks to be doing wonderfully, planted in the spring of 2010, I can't wait to see those blooms.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Kaufmanniana Tulips Starting to Bloom

Passed by a customer planting the other day and their Kaufmanniana 'Guiseppe Verdi' tulips were in full bloom. Pretty dramatic don't you think? Especially when no other tulips are really blooming yet. Sorry about the photo quality, used my phone cam.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Things are starting to bloom!

 Well it's April 10th and it is supposed to hit 88 degrees today . So things are blooming in my garden. Chinodoxa, Crocus, Hellebores, Tulips, Daffodils and Scilla have popped open. A few pictures from the garden attached.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Hellebores 2

As I was going through photos I came across two Hellebores pics. I was hoping someone could identify them. Any one have any suggestions?

Monday, March 14, 2011


Many of my friends and clients urged me to blog about the wonderful Hellebores we had in our booth at the MidAm show, so finally here it is. The most interesting thing, I soon found out, was how much I didn't know about Hellebores. I had three plants that I carried from show to show that were in bloom the whole time. That's right, January thru February and they were blooming. The variety was 'Pink Frost' from the Gold Collection. At one point I explained to someone how wonderful it was that even though the flower petals had fallen it still looked like it had a flower on it. Well here's what I found out, "The flowers have five "petals" (actually sepals) surrounding a ring of small, cup-like nectaries (petals modified to hold nectar). The sepals do not fall as petals would, but remain on the plant, sometimes for many months." to quote wikipedia.

Sometimes referred to as 'Christmas Rose' or 'Lenten Rose', hellebores are the stars of the late winter/early spring garden. Plants generally bloom between December and March in cultivation, though some begin earlier, and others continue into April and May, particularly in gardens with colder spring climates. Nearly every garden has a spot for hellebores, and the plants will thrive in many different environments. Still, they remain unknown to many gardeners despite their toughness, beauty, hardiness, and wonderful habit of blooming in winter when most other plants remain dormant. I used this description from the website since the publisher describes it so perfectly.

These photos taken March 11th are of Hellebores 'Pink Frost'. I love the more upright flowers, the deep rich leaf color and reddish stems. I should mention that they are in a minimally heated greenhouse.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Weather In Chicago

I have finally come out of hibernation to post a quick blog.

They have a saying in Chicago, "if you don't like the weather wait 5 minutes and it will change". This may be a 16 day difference but it's certainly not unusual around here. The snow photo was taken after we received 22" on Feb. 2nd in one snowfall, the second was taken on a 60 degree day Feb. 18th.