Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Swamp Rose

If ever there were two words that didn't go together, Swamp and Rose are the two.  But despite the images that come to mind when one hears those words - dank, humid, thorny - viewing this plant will quickly disperse them.
The Swamp Rose (rosa palustris) is a native American Rose which grows across the South and East in moist, swampy ground. It's graceful, arching and nearly thorn-less branches bring architectural beauty to the Garden at any time of year. And is especially beautiful weeping into a pond or stream. The Swamp Rose will tolerate dryer conditions, but not grow as large.

The Swamp rose will bloom in late Spring after many other species have finished. The flowers are often double and generally a vivid pink and heavily perfumed. This Species Rose is disease resistant and its Hardiness Zones are 5-8. With a spacing of  3ft.- 4ft. and a height of 4ft. - 5ft.

Redoute' painted this rose in the garden of Empress Josephine of France.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Pumpkin Seedlings!

So far so good! This variety is Big Max which can grow up to 100 lbs. I'm just hoping for a few good ones to carve. A great book on Pumpkins is The Compleat Squash A Passionate Grower's Guide to Pumpkins, Squashes and Gourds by Amy Goldman.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

It always seem like someone

is watching me. :)

At one of the local garden shows I was introduced to a plant called Doll's Eye (Actaea pachypoda). Creeping looking thing and we all know how much I like creepy :)

And I come to find out deadly. Since I do not have kids or dogs, and I always wear gloves that I wash after each use. I usually do not worry too much about deathly toxic plants or plants that make you ill....but I generally try to avoid them.

I would have done this with this one too if I would have known how toxic it is, but I was too distracted by how interesting it was. Here is a bit more information on the toxic properties:

It's a good thing the creepy-looking berries of this plant aren't enticing*, because consuming the fruit of a doll's eye plant (or white baneberry) could kill you. The berries contain cardiogenic toxins that can have an immediate sedative effect on cardiac muscle tissue. Ingestion of the berries can lead to cardiac arrest and death.

Yeah, I am a bit concerned now too. :)

I have one in the front garden area of the house where my friends kids play when they are over (all of them over the age of 7).....I am going to move it to the back of the yard, where very few people visit and make sure I let my friends know about it, just to be safe.

If it is anything like the Datura (Angel Trumpet) and Monkshood plants that used to be in my garden....it won't last long. I have not been able to get either one to like the northwest climate.

Either way, I would never recommend putting a toxic plant in your garden...because you just never know. For a quick run through some of the most toxic plants check out this site.

* I beg to differ on that point of the description...I think the fact that they are white berries that look like eyes is going to make the extra intersting to toddlers...although this is coming from a lady with no children, so I could be mistaken.