Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Queen of the Astilbe

I am a bit of an astilbe nut .. I have different ones dotted all over the gardens .. a few out front and loads out back.
It is hard to zone in on one, but .. I do have a favourite I wait to see this time of year .. Ostrich Plume !
This astilbe is rather unique in its form .. an arching flower head that slowly emerges from tight pink pearls to soft open flowers.
There are two classifications that pop up "thunbergii" and "straussenfeder" ... and I have to admit I am not sure which of these is what I have .. but I have a beauty !
For some reason this year , my photographs are not as good as they should be .. but you get the idea.
That beautiful arch they have and the colour .. Gracie if you read this .. I am shocked about how much PINK I really do have in my garden !
It can't help but catch your eye no matter where you are in the shade garden.

Another graceful late bloomer is Flamingo ... yes also in the pink .. but a light shade and delicate looking.
Also with the arching habit , though not as pronounced as Ostrich ...

My first astilbe picks when I started were Montgomery (beautiful red and gorgeous foliage no matter what the conditions) .. these are over 12 years old !
They look a little more pink since they have gone through their bloom cycle earlier on ... but they have been with me forever .. you have to love that right ? .. No fuss , no bother .. just great consistency!

You can have astilbe that will bloom from Spring to Fall ... just do a little research and you will find how to do it .. they really are the work horses of the garden.
Now for just some pictures ... what amazes me is how they start like little pearls and bloom to such pretty frothy flowers !
This is Amethyst
Colourflash Lime starting out next to Chocolate Joe Pye weed
Astilbe Pumila Chinensis  full size .. and this year I am trying out some dwarf sized ones.
Even though this looks pink it is "Peach Blossom"
Beauiful pink one set off against Chocoholic bugbane
Dramatic white against it's own dark foliage and Korean Wax Bells lighter green foliage.
Large white patch contrasting with the red of Montgomery Red astilbe.

Finally the BIGGEST astilbe of them all ? ... nahhhhh !
Goatsbeard is sometimes described as that to people who don't know this plant .. but really ? it does look like a giant astilbe doesn't it ?
I can't imagine my garden without astilbe and lots of them !!


Gatsbys Gardens said...

I love astilbe also and have several, but after last summer I don't know how long they will exist in my garden. They really fried in the heat no matter how much water.


Shirley said...

I too am a lover of astillbe. Even when not in bloom, their foliage is beautiful. One of my favourites is the little Sprite. Diminutive in size but certainly not in flower power.

Anonymous said...

Your astillbe is gorgeous Joy. My white ones are lovely but my pink ones are on the smaller size this yera.

Nadezda said...

Joy, you have wonderful collection of astilbe! I love very much this one 'Amethyst', such unusual color. Will try to buy it for my collection as well!(as I've bought brunella after you've shown it)

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Oh my gosh Eileen girl! having such a pretty plant fry like that is such a shame .. maybe last year was the worst of it ?

Shirley you are so right about the foliage .. so pretty too even after the flower is done.. I have Sprite some where .. just not sure now where now ? LOL

Hello Linda girl : ) white astilbe seem to shine don't they ? ,, each colour has characteristics of it's own .. I find the lighter the flower .. the lighter the foliage .. yet that rule was broken several times last year! haha

Nadezda girl hello there : )
Thank you so much! Amethyst was planted a few years ago mistakenly behind ostrich .. so I have to try and lift it from there so it can be seen better .. I am too happy to recommend plants ! : )

Jennifer said...

I need to do better by my astilbe. These all look so incredible Joy!

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Thanks Jennifer girl .. I just seem to be lucky with them? .. now the red colour-flash ones are coming to life in the front .. I better get some pictures of them before they fade out and are done. I have some "dwarf" ones that are smiling a bit now too .. there are so many types of astilbe now it is hard to go wrong ? LOL


All that pink? It's because great minds think alike. :) I love that sweet Ostrich Plume variety. Wowzers. Actually they're all quite striking and remind me of fireworks. I've had trouble growing them here because my soil gets so dang dry in summer. There is a variety with red and green foliage that I'd like to try someday. Maybe I will... Great post!

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Gracie ... I have loads of PINK in my garden and I think it must have been your influence girl! LOL
I love ostrich astilbe .. my fav .. I think I know which one you are thinking of .. I have it .. it is called Color Flash Astilbe .. it comes in "red" which is the red and green foliage and "Lime" which has fantastic lime colored foliage and PINK flower heads .. I love them both too!