Four examples of how to bring cut flowers from your garden inside and present them in simple but beautiful arrangements. Tips and techniques for vases.
Canada 150 special
In late summer, the aristocratic purple-leaved cimicifugas are in heavy bud and the first Japanese anemones are just beginning to flower.
Enjoy the singular culinary delight of growing an ancient fruit – sweet, voluptuous and totally decadent figs (Ficus carica cvs.). How to grow figs in pots.
Cooler zones are already beginning to get subtle hints that autumn is coming. Flowers for late summer include spotted Joe Pye weed and common rose mallow.
Hydrangeas are one of the most loved and widely planted flowering shrubs in Canada. Stephen grows the smooth hydrangea and the panicle hydrangea.
Tall perennials are beautiful and useful for dramatic accents, focal points and floral screens. Several species of foxtail lilies produce flowering spikes.
Canadian classics: Manitoba’s Frederick Philip Grove, British Columbia’s Martin Allerdale Grainger, Ontario’s Anna Brownell Jameson, Nova Scotia’s Thomas Chandler Haliburton
You may not recognize the name, but you may have seen bunchberries hiking through a Canadian forest in late spring (small, upward-facing white flowers).
In 1990, blue false indigo (Baptisia australis) was considered a rare plant, but by 2010 the Perennial Plant Association named it Perennial of the Year.
Flowering plants that simultaneously bear blooms of three different colours – tricoloured plants – Campfire rose, ‘Genpei’ Japanese spirea, Carnaval weigela
The widely planted Norway maple (Acer platanoides) is native from Scandinavia to Turkey, but imported to Canada and now an invasive species.
Stephen Westcott-Gratton enjoys a large, robust mayapple colony and maidenhair ferns in his woodland-style front garden 100 kilometres north of Toronto.
Catharine Parr Traill, Canada’s first popular chronicler of native flora and fauna, published Canadian Wild Flowers book with hand-painted images in 1868.
The prairie crocus (or “pasqueflower”) often blooms with sumptuous cup-shaped lavender-purple flowers before the last traces of winter snow have melted.
Appreciating native plants in Stephen Westcott-Gratton’s garden: Jack-in-the-pulpit and trilliums. They take years to bloom, but are worth the wait.
The colour spectrum of my garden widened dramatically as the first rhododendrons began to flower in various shades of white, pink, orange, red and magenta.
Canada 150 tulips mimic the colours of the Canadian flag. The bulbs were bred to produce white flowers with central red “flames” or vertical streaks.
These days, you’re likely to find more than just grass growing in many Canadian lawns. Beautiful spring flower bulbs create a floriferous lawn.
Stephen Westcott-Gratton enjoys two native Canadian flowers that appear in early spring – bloodroot and hepatica.
First flowers of spring: In Stephen Westcott-Gratton’s garden in south-central Ontario, minor bulbs of early spring are in flower, as are the hellebores.