This month Northumberland Master Gardeners would like to share pictures of their gardens. There is a lot of interest among members to naturalize their gardens by adding native wildflowers. This helps the environment by creating diverse habitat for wildlife and pollinators.
Kathleen Bakzur shares a photo of the native plant, Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea), that she purchased from Paul LaPorte of Ephemeral Ark, after his presentation in May at our Technical Update held in conjunction with the the Warkworth Lilac Festival. Due to Paul’s excellent talk, Kathleen has introduced quite a few native plants to the delight of bees, butterflies and birds. He may not look it, but the Green Man is pleased as well.
Lori Groves has sent along a number of photos of beneficial Pollinators visiting her garden, Thinnid wasps (Myzinum quinquecinctum) and friends on Rattlesnake Master (Eryngium yuccifolium) with Wild Strawberry (Fragaria vesca) in background, Goldenrod Crab Spider (Misumena vatia) on Stiff Goldenrod (Solidago rigida), Reticulated Net-winged Beetle (Calopteron reticulatum) on Wild Plum (Prunus americana), and Lori gardening with the Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta).
Victor Frieberg sent along a picture of his Agapanthus (African Lily), an exotic looking perennial that is easy to grow and disease free. They like 6 to 8 hours of sun and moist, fertile, well drained soil. They are hardy in zone 8 to 11, some can be grown in zone 7. You will have to pot it up and take it indoors and treat it like a houseplant for the winter if you live in Ontario.
Christine Westbrook has sent along a picture of her Lillium “StarGazer”. It is in the group of Oriental lilies known for their fragrant perfume. They bloom mid to late summer. They are easy to grow and do best in full sunlight.
Laura Johnson has been converting her inherited landscape into a habitat for local pollinators and it has had fun doing it. She sent along a photo of Iris versicolor, the native Blue Flag Iris known by various names, Harlequin Blueflag, Northern Blue Flag and Large Blue Iris. It grows 2 to 3 feet tall. The flowers may be various shades of purple, but are always decorated with yellow on the falls. It is showy native wildflower that enjoys sun or part shade and moist growing conditions. It is easy to grow in most gardens and spreads by self seding and extension of its rhizomes. Paul Battilana has sent along a picture of his Teddy Bear Sunflower (Helianthus annuus “Teddy Bear). The fluffy, bright yellow sunflower grows about 12 inches tall. It has fluffy, double petaled blooms measuring about 5 to 6 inches across. The flowers are beloved by bees and are easy to grow from seed. Plant in full sun. The plants tend to be bushy so give them 18 to 24 inches of space.
By accident, Carol Anderson is growing Sicillian long zucchini (cucuzza longa). It is a common vegetable in Sicily. The vines can grow 2 feet a day, the fruits are straight, sometimes with a slight curve and can grow 10 inches per day. The squash can be cooked like any other summer squash and it does taste like the zucchini you are used to. It has a beautiful white flower which buzzes with pollinators.