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Famous gardens and flower shows around the world

amsterdam conservatory
This time of year as I am cooped up in the house waiting for things to thaw out I plan for the next season. I usually spend way to much time pouring over seed catalogs and garden books, making notes and lists of additions and subtractions – what to dig and what to divide, what to plant and where.
Inspiration is always a big part of my garden planning and there are so so many amazing gardens and flower festivals around the world to energize my creative side. Even if I can’t manage to visit them all in person – it makes a lovely afternoon to sit with a cup of tea and surf the web to a few exotic locales with fantastic gardens.

Flower festivals:
Istanbul tulip festival –  http://www.turkeytravelplanner.com/go/Istanbul/Sights/tulip_fest.html
Brussels’ Flower Carpet – http://www.flowercarpet.be/
Luoyang peony festival, China – http://china-journeys.com/attractions/events/luoyang-peony-festival

Festival of the Flowers, Medellin – http://www.colombia.travel/en/international-tourist/sightseeing-what-to-do/history-and-tradition/fairs-and-festivals/august/the-medellin-flower-fair
Rose Festival of Morocco – http://www.lonelyplanet.com/morocco/travel-tips-and-articles/77152
Saffron Festival, Castilla-La Mancha – http://countrybred.com/countrybred/saffron-festival-of-consuegra-spain/
Rose Festival in Bulgaria – http://www.rose-festival.com/
Flower Festival of Lazio – http://www.ilmiolazio.it/en-US/grandieventiemanifestazioni/Pages/infioratagenzano.aspx
Summer Solstice Day in Latvia – http://www.latvia.travel/en/janis-day-celebrations
National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C. – http://www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/
Mimosa Festival in Saint-Tropez – http://www.azuralive.com/2012/02/french-riviera-mimosa-festivals-.html
Skagit Valley Tulip Festival – http://www.tulipfestival.org/
Hiroshima Flower Festival – http://en.japantravel.com/view/hiroshima-flower-festival

Garden shows:
RHS Chelsea Flower show – http://www.rhs.org.uk/Shows-Events/RHS-Chelsea-Flower-Show/2014
Toronto Flower and Garden Show

Philadelphia Flower Show

The Melbourne international flower and garden show – http://melbflowershow.com.au/
Chiang Mai Flower Festival – http://www.tatnews.org/chiang-mai-flower-festival-2014/
Singapore Garden Festival – https://www.singaporegardenfestival.com/

Bundesgartenschau in Germany –  http://bundesgartenschau.de/buga-iga/

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show – http://www.rhs.org.uk/Shows-Events/RHS-Hampton-Court-Palace-Flower-Show/2014

Famous gardens of the world:

The Garden of Cosmic Speculation, Dumfries, Scotland, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Garden of Cosmic Speculation,http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/news-garden-cosmic-speculation
Sans Souci, Potsdam, Germany – www.spsg.de
Keukenhof Gardens, The Netherlands http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keukenhof
Jardim Botânico de Curitiba, Brazil http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Botanical Garden of Curitiba, https://plus.google.com/112194255718842357473/about?gl=us&hl=en
Yuyuan Garden, China http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yu_Garden
Shalimar Garden, Pakistan, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shalimar_Gardens,_Lahore
Het Loo Palace, Apeldorn
The Imperial Summer Palace, Beijing
Sissinghurst Castle, Kent
Ryoan-ji Temple, Kyoto
Issidan, Ryogen-in Temple, Kyoto
Alice Springs Desert Park, Australia
Tofuku-ji Temple Garden, Kyoto
Monticello, USA
Villa d’Este, Tivoli
The Majorelle, Marrakech
Villa Adriana, Tivoli
Villa Lante, Bagnaia
The Alhambra and Generalife, Genada
Chateau Villandry, The Loire Valley
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney
The Lion Grove, Suzhou
Las Pozas, Xilitla
The Floating Gardens, Xochimilco, Mexico City
Jal Mahal, Jaipur
The Sitta Garden, Sydney
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Cape Town
The Monsoon Palace Gardens, Deeg
Claude Monet’s Garden, Giverny
Lotusland, Montecito, Santa Barbara, CA
Taj Mahal and the Mehtab Bagh, Agra
The Huntington Botanic Garden, San Marino CA
The Humble Administrator’s Garden, Suzhou
Rousham Park, Oxfordshire
The Arctic Alpine Botanic Gardens, Tromsø
The Grand Palace, Bangkok
Pura Taman Ayun, Mengwi, Bali

Tips on pruning

spring buds
Now is the time to prune many trees and shrubs but some plants prefer summer pruning so be sure to do your research before cutting.

The basic goal of pruning is to increase the health and productivity of the plant, to shape it to a pleasing form or to control growth and size.

A note on aesthetics – try to follow a natural line, we have all seen bad haircuts on plants so when in doubt leave it to its natural growth habit, chances are it will work itself into a lovely form all on it’s own. If you do decide to prune be sure to step back between cuts and re-access the look before continuing. And remember friends don’t let friends hack their landscape.

Basic tips
Before you begin:
– Make sure it is the right time of year to prune this particular plant
– Prune on a dry day to minimize damage
– Be sure to use sterilized pruners to keep from spreading disease

Technique:
– Make clean cuts with sharp tools as jagged edges can damage the plant.
– Cut at a 45 degree angle and don’t leave a flat surface that can collect water.
– Cut smaller branches1/4 inch above the point where branches connect or directly above a bud point, not in the middle of the branch. Angle cuts with the pointy end closest to the last bud point to encourage growth in that direction.
– Cut larger branches parallel to the remaining branch or trunk and be sure to leave the branch collar (the bulge at the base of the branch) intact as it is key to the healing of the cut.

As you begin
– Stand back and envision the shape you want to achieve.
– First take off dead or diseased branches.
– Remove overgrown and small weak branches to increase light and air flow.
– Trim branches that cross and rub against each other.
– Don’t remove more that 1/3 of the plant (exceptions are roses and grasses).

When to prune

Winter or early Spring pruning:
Typically, summer and fall flowering plants bloom on new growth so they need to be pruned early in order to encourage the growth that will then produce more blooms.
We have had weird wether this year so an overall timing is difficult to gauge –  a rule of thumb is that you want to prune before buds swell on the plants.
Many roses
Sambucus – elderberry
Corylus – Filbert
Kiwi
Wisteria
Crabapple
Bittersweet
Ornamental grasses
Fruit trees especially apples and pears are generally pruned in the winter but some people prefer to prune the stone crops – cherries, apricots, plums and peaches later in the season.

Later season pruning:
Spring flowering plants are pruned directly after they finish blooming. The goal is to encourage new growth now because these plants need the spring growth to develop into old wood over the season in order to bloom again next year.
Camellia
Ceanothus
Cistus
Witch hazel
Honeysuckle
Pussy Willow
Forsythia
Jasmine
Some roses
Passionflower

If in doubt you can attend a pruning workshop with friends of trees:
http://friendsoftrees.org/blog/2012/01/25/winter-pruning-workshops-with-portland-fruit-tree-project/

Special notes on pruning roses:
Prune all shrub-style roses; hybrids teas, floribundas, and grandifloras. Cut back to aprox 20 inches tall, cut out any dead wood and thin weak growth, trim out limbs that cross one another and cause rubbing, prune remaining branches just above an eye (dormant leaf axel) facing away from the middle of the bush.

Climbing and rambling varieties should be shaped to fit the existing spot, start by cutting out dead wood and thin weak growth or limbs that cross one another and cause rubbing. Then envision the line you want the rose to take and trim accordingly to encourage growth. Remember that any cut you make will encourage a branch to from from the next lowest eye and so growth will move in that direction.

Have fun and wear gloves and protective clothing!

Latin basics!

I don’t speak Latin and the prospect of learning isn’t exactly on my to do list. But, a little bit of Latin can go a long way to help understand plants, especially as you are searching for the perfect addition to your garden.

The modern naming of plants is based on a system developed by Carl Linnaeus in 1773. His system used latin and botanical terminology and the language persists today. It can be overwhelming to look at an extensive name rambling on and right off the end of those little plant tags. But, once you get a basic understanding you can appreciate all those flowery descriptives for the great information they convey and the beauty of how plants have been organized into recognizable groups.

This amazing system names everything with a series of identifiers, classifications and descriptions. For the purposes of plant shopping you will primarily be focused on the genus, species and a few subcategories. You will be able to get an idea of where the plants natural habitat is, what the growing habit is like, what color its flowers will be and so on.

Genus – A genus is the larger umbrella grouping of plants with similar characteristics, think “generic”. These plants will usually have a common ancestor. Genera (plural) will be made up of many species of individual plants that are closely related but distinct from other plants within the genera. An example is Acer which is the genus for all maple trees. The genus name will appear with a capital on a plant tag.

Species – The species designation usually covers plants that are similar enough to interbreed and produce fertile offspring. The species name is a descriptor of the plants character and will appear in italic. Some examples are: Color – purpurea for purple. Shape – contorta for contorted. Origin or habitat – chinensis for of China. Taxonomists love to name plants for whoever “discovered” them. Meaning the first botanist who came across the plant so lewisii means: first collected by Meriwether Lewis.

There are several ways to further describe the many different plants and how they fit into their family tree:

Variety – When a plant is found in the wild with a small variation on the norm it is designated as a variety – pinus radiata var. binata.

Subspecies – A subspecies is a more significant natural mutation – A negundo subsp. mexicanum

Cultivar – Variations that are produced by breeders selection of naturally occurring variations are called cultivars – H.niger ‘Potters Wheel’. These names will appear in apostrophe.

Hybrid – A hybrid is created when two species are bred – Helleborus x nigercors, cross between H.niger and H.argutifolius.

Here is a list of some of the most common Latin descriptors to help you learn more about a plant you are considering to add to your garden:

Geographical
australis – southern
borealis – northern
canadensis – of the new world
orientalis – eastern
occidentalis – western

Growing Habit
alta – tall
compacta – compact
cyclops – enormous
divaricata – spreading
edulis – edible
elata – tall
elegans – slender
excelsa – tall
granda – large, showy
grandiflora – large flowered
helix – twisting
minor – small
nanus – dwarf
patens – spreading, open formed
procumbens – trailing
reptans – creeping
repens – a creeper
sempervirens – evergreen
scandens – a climber
titanus – gigantic

Descriptor
angustifolia – narrow leaved
aquifolia – sharp leaved
arborea – treelike
barbata – barbed or bearded
blanda – mild, pleasant
campanulata – bell shaped
centifolia – many leaved
conica – cone shaped
contorta – twisted
cordata – heart shaped
cordifolia – with heart shaped leaves
cristata – creasted
flore plena – with double flowers
floribunda – flowering freely
foetida – strong smelling
fragrans – fragrant
lanata – woolly
latifolia – broad leaved
lignea – woody
lobata – lobed
mollis – soft
maculata – spotted
microphylla – small leaved
mollis – soft,fuzzy
moschata – musk scented
multiflora – many flowered
nana – dwarf
orbicularis – disc shaped
nutans – nodding
officinalis – medicinal
parviflora – small leaved
pendula – weeping, hanging
pilosa – shaggy
pinnata – feather shaped
plena – full, double
plumosa – feathery
prostrata – prostrate
pumilo – small, dwarf
punctata – dotted
quinquefolia – with 5 leaflets
rotundifolia – round leaved
rugosa – wrinkled
simplex – undivided
speciosa – showy
spikata – spiked
tenula – thin
tomentisa – hairy
viscaria – with sticky stems

Color
alba – white
atropurpurea – dark purple-red
aurea – gold
azurea – sky blue
caerulea – blue
candida – white
cardinalis – red
cinerea – light grey
citrina – yellow
coccinea – scarlet red
concolor – of one color
glauca – grey-white
lactiflora – white flowered
lutea – yellow-orange
nigra – black
purpurea – purple
sanguinea – red

Habitat
alpinus – alpine
ammophilus – likes sandy places
arenaria – of sandy places
campestris – of the fields
monticolus – found growing wild in the mountains
nivalis – growing near snow, white
salinus – tolerates salty conditions
sylvatica – growing in woodlands
uliginosa – of marshy places

Romantic descriptors
autumnalis – of autumn
aquilegia – dove like
citriodorus – lemon scented
circaea – enchanters nightshade
eximia – distinguished
eringeron – soon growing old
regalis – regal
senicio – the old man
mimulus – little monkey
nymphea – old witch

For further reading look for “The Romance of Plant Life”, Interesting descriptions
of the Strange and curious in the plant world. Printed in1907.

 
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