Masterpiece Landscaping Blog

May 18, 2011

GARDEN TOUR AND PLANT SALE: May 26-27 and May 28

Filed under: Uncategorized — glenn @ 7:22 pm

Garden tour and perennials for sale from two classic landscape gardens featured
in the St Paul Pioneer Press, Mpls Star/Trib and Upper Midwest Garden magazines.

You will see the plants available for sale in their idealized settings.
Perennials include
sun and shade GROUND COVERS (Canadian and European ginger, Iris
cristata, Lysimachia
‘aurea’, Sedum ‘communis’,sweet woodruff);
WOODLAND PLANTS (Brunnera, Celandine poppy, Jack-in-the pulpit,
Jacob’s ladder, maiden hair fern, Mayapple, sensitive fern); and
SPECIALTY PERENNIALS (Angelica ‘gigas’; Aquilegia spp, Aruncus, Euphorbia
‘polychroma’, Japanese painted fern); even some CONIFER
SEEDLINGS to name a few and more…

TAKE NOTE THURSDAY 5/26 and FRIDAY 5/27 the sale will be in SE Mpls by the U of
M campus
at Sonny Schneiderhan’s garden
1219 8th St SE
Minneapolis, MN (just 4 blks north of Dinkytown U of M Campus)

THURSDAY MAY 26 at 11am to 5pm FRIDAY MAY 27 at 11am to 5pm

on SATURDAY 5/28 the sale will be in Minnetonka:

SATURDAY MAY 28 at 11am to 5pm
at Glenn Ray’s garden
14624 Woodhill Terrace
Minnetonka, MN
(just west of intersection of 494 and Hwy 7)



May 8, 2011

The Significance of May 10 in our Minnesota Gardens

Filed under: battling the Minnesota climate — glenn @ 10:53 pm

This has been a difficult Spring thus far…..wet, cold, windy, following a long, long, Winter….thawless until midMarch.

So what  does May 10 have to do with the complaining?

May 10 is the average date of the last frost of the cold season in the Twin City, Minnesota area….How is that for good news!

Keep in mind that October 10 is the average date of the first frost of the coming cold season each year.

Experts outside of the political world are forecasting we are entering a 60-70 year cooling period.

All of my more adult life I have been rooting for a horticultural climate zone 5 for where I live……just west of Minneapolis.    In my lifetime we made it from zone 4 to almost 5 with the inner cities themselves both zone 5 for about a decade, the ideal garden environment in my view.

Let’s hope it doesn’t get any worse.   It’s hard to love your countryside when only the tamarack, alder  and box elder  are the trees of choice.

May 3, 2011

A Report on Spring 2011

Filed under: battling the Minnesota climate,Bulbs,Plant health — glenn @ 10:54 pm

May first is the normal time for Leonard Messel or Dr. Merrill Magnolias to begin blooming in my landscape garden.   Normal meaning over the past thirty years.   Normal meaning this year….despite the relatively miserable Spring….more accurate ……the absent Spring  thus far.

Dutch bulbs have done well.   At last my Siberian Squill have weeded enough to cover masses of space with the most beautiful blue matching any in the world.   For you beginning your landscape garden world, keep note that it does take about ten years for these masses tobecome  large enough to make a powerful floral statement….for about a week to ten days.   Those with only half day sun bloom a few days behind those in the open.  

There will be a down side when the foliage sinesces…in about two or three weeks.  Don’t fret and do not cut the foliage back after bloom.   Any of these minor….or major …..Dutch bulbs need their greenery after bloom to restore the bulb with energy to produce another display next season.  It’s a good time to fertilize with a fertilizer a bit higher ratio  in phosporous.

The yellowing Siberian Squill (also called Scilla) foliage will last about a week, often less, but will disappear without your interference.   Squill will spread throughout any area in which the soil is exposed and not under water.  

Snowdrops are earliest bulb bloomers in my grounds.   Winter aconite would show second, but not this year.   They were a no show.   I have trouble keeping them for any length of time.  Perhaps artificial watering is a problem.

Remember all Narcissus are  immune from rodent munchings.  Unfortunately the  color selection isn’t very broad.  Hyacinths with their exceptional fragrance aren’t particularly bothered by rabbits in my grounds.   Crocus and tulips are another matter.

Some years ago I was planting some crocus at a client’s garden.   I had several dozen crocus in an open box on the bed of my pick up truck, which was in sight from where I was planting crocus.  

I happened to look up just in time to see two squirrels  leaving the truck bed looking very pleased with themselve…..and I immediately guessed why.   They had ripped into the webbed bags containing the crocus.   About ten of the  fifty were gone and some remains were apparent what had happened.

Some seasons I had the viscious purple crocus bloom at the same time as the swaths of scilla…..and exceptional sight, but a few years later the crocus had disappeared.

Puschkinias bloom at the same time as Siberian Squill and Chionodoxa….and they all have been in great display during this past verycold week and are still blooming.

The evergreen groundcover, Pachysandra terminalis, is also in bloom now.   In masses one can pick up their sweet fragrance on the warmer spring days……   The dwarf Frittilarias are also blooming.

Most cookie cutter landscapes don’t use many if any of the countless new evergreen varieties on the market these day.   As their new foliar buds swell the colors, usually a lighter and sometimes a brighter shade than the more mature foliage, make them appear to be in bloom as well.

So many of this year’s more mature conifers look crappy even if they did survive without severe damage from last winter’s onslaughts.   I have lost two Hetz Junipers, one Tendergreen Juniper and one deGroot’s Arborvitae all of which were leveled by the November 13, 2010 wet and heavy 24-30 inch snowfall.   Two Woodward Arborvitaes were crushed and one mature Techny broke in half.   The storm damaged twenty or more other major plantings…..destroying an Indian Summer crapapple, ripped a major branch off an unknown named  pure white blooming cultivar…..and ravaged my White Pine.

Well, there is always tomorrow, if the sun will decide to appear…..and  my white rockcress opened up today.  What a white.   I have four or five beds of this unfailing white flowering groundcover, Arabis caucasica.   Last Spring all beds were in bloom for a day short of a month.