Friday, May 19, 2017

Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost'

Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost' is a very attractive perennial for shade.  The heart-shaped leaves are mostly a silvery-white, but with green veins.  It's eye-catching.  I think it's not gaudy, but probably too bright for some.  The small, bright-blue flowers come in May.  They are pretty, but bloom is usually not very dense.  The plant forms a mound about 2 feet wide fairly quickly, but does not seem to exceed that.  When in flower, it reaches 2 feet tall.  It disappears in winter.  Brunnera macrophylla is native to the Caucasus, Georgia & Turkey in forests & on grassy slopes.  The common name is Siberian Bugloss.  Brunnera macrophylla is better in part shade than deep shade.  It needs moderate water in summer & tolerates some wetness in winter.  Use it in a shaded perennial border, or between shrubs under trees.

Friday, May 5, 2017

VanDusen Botanical Garden

All photos were taken in August 2014

There is a lot to see at VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver BC.  It's a more traditional botanical garden than the UBC Botanical Garden in Vancouver, or the Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle, which are more forested & informal.  VanDusen Botanical Garden reminds me of botanical gardens in New York & London.  The RHS Garden at Wisley comes to mind.  There is a beautiful visitor center, plant collections from Asia, the southern hemisphere including Chile, Australia & New Zealand, the Mediterranean, eastern North America, redwoods & other conifers including members of the cypress family, also lindens, maples, ashes, mountain ashes & rhododendrons.  The diversity of plants is quite amazing.  The are also interesting features including 5 lakes, a meditation garden, an Elizabethan maze, a tiny farm with vegetables, bees & medicinal plants. a formal rose garden, a rock garden, a fragrance garden & even more.  It's really quite a beautiful, diverse & interesting place, well worth a visit when you are in Vancouver.  The garden opened in 1975 & has had plenty of time to grow impressively.  It covers 55 acres (22 hectares) & is open every day of the year, except Christmas Day.