First perennial purchases this season

rouge21_gw(5)May 8, 2014

Hello GW friends.

A couple of weeks ago on a very cold Saturday morning I unexpectedly came across some good specimens of Angelica Gigas (see picture below). (Because of their biennial tendency I would need to also plant some AG seeds to get flowers each season?)

Today I picked up

- 2 Allium "Millenium"

- 2 Assarum Splendens ("Wild Ginger")

- 2 Helianthus "Sunshine Daydream"

I think all of these purchases were because of your positive postings re these plants. Thank you.

What perennials have you acquired the past couple of weeks?

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Campanula UK Z8

Ho, angelica gigas - a tremendous plant, imo. What are you growing it with? (It looks terrific with calamagrostis and crocosmia (especially a really good red such as Hellfire). Or knautia macedonica and stipa tenuissima.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 4:35PM
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I just bought 2 sweet potato vines. I bought them for the ornamental leaves look, but as I was reading up on it, I see that it says they are perennials. That's interesting because in most landscapes that I see around town, they would usually be disposed of later in the season for new landscaping. I didn't realize it is perennial.

I also recently got bee balm, lycoris, crinums, and peonies. Eagerly awaiting all of them to grow and bloom, since I have not been familiar with any of them, even at a neighbor's house or arboretum, other than I may have seen them but just thought, "oh what a pretty flower".

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 4:42PM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

Ummmm......I've been on a bit of a roll, even though I swore I wasn't going to buy a lot this year. Brought back tons of plants from my mom's garden, started seedlings, and my order with about 80 plants hasn't arrived yet. YIKES!! I have some work to do! LOL!! Not sure what I'm thinking heading out to one of my favorite nurseries this weekend, but after all, it IS Mother's Day!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 4:53PM
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Campanula UK Z8

Trollius x cultorum, Salvia Wendy's Wish Geums Hetterton Primrose, Bell Bank, Geranium macrorhizum 'White Ness' and a white phaeum.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 4:55PM
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Heuchera/coral bells 'Galaxy' & Hakonechloa/Japanese forest grass 'Naomi' so far. The heuchera is a stunning strawberry red/pink. The grass is a variegated green & yellow.

Half my winter sown containers are sprouted so I'll have dozens of new penstemon/beardtongue, dianthus/carnation, lupine, Shasta 'Crazy Daisy,' Maltese cross & columbine plants to fill the empty spots in my garden beds this year.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 6:04PM
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I was not going to plant anything new this spring due to multiple oversea trips planned for the summer. But here are my new additions after a trip to the garden center last weekend. I can't help it.......... Most of the purchases were inspired by all of you here after seeing beautiful pictures (and I still have a long wish list.....)

2 Purple fountain grass (annual for my zone but love the tall, purple grass)
1 lilac bloomerang (3 G)
1 hydrangea incrediball (5 G)

Several daylilies for the back yard corner garden where rabbits will leave them alone
2 Daylily Ruffled Ruby

Several Hostas and Heucheras for pots on the patio as I am running out of spots to plant in the ground:

Montana aureomarginata
Touch of Class
Godoness Gracious
Blue Hawaii (my 2nd one)

Heuchera Berry Smoothie, also in pot with the hostas gang

I think that's it for this season.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 10:28PM
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Hi Rouge.

Got some half-price perennials at Mori's, in Niagara-on-the-Lake, in April.

Among the few that really were worth buying was a fern-leaf peony ('Itoba'). It's now doing well in the ground.

Hoping the Helenium Mariachi ⢠Fuego survives.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 10:37PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

I got a Isomeris arbora AKA bladder pod, spanish lavender, Stachys lavandulifolifolius, Cretan rock lettuce AKA Petromarula pinnata, Acacia pendula "Weeping Acacia", Stipa barbata"Silver Feather Grass", Nassella laevissima, Penstemon pseudospectabilis, yellow Penstemon pinofolius, Penstemon cardinalis, scutelaria resinosa, salvia repens, salvia Gregii San antonio, â¦â¦I forget, I am tired.. Oh yea, Sldago little lemon, Agave ovatifolias,⦠I need to just plain STOP going to the nurseryâ¦.Syrian oregano, Russian oregano, Nierembergia 'Starry eyes', Uraguayan Fire Cracker Plant, Wavey Cloak Fern,

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 12:02AM
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campanula wrote: Ho, angelica gigas - a tremendous plant, imo.

It is in part because of your opinion expressed earlier this winter that it was on my to buy list. Thank you.

Should it be the case that these gigas i have purchased will flower this season?

Anything I can do now to get flowering next summer given it is a biennial? Would sowing seeds do it?

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 6:27AM
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Campanula UK Z8

Seeds, for sure....but you may well find that it will survive, like the biennial foxgloves, for an extra year or more....but yep, once it sets seeds in late summer (for me), it is on its way out. It may well survive for a couple of years without ripening seed (which, if you are waiting on the seeds is annoying since packet seed has nearly always become unviable) Whilst you are about it, have a look at a more perennial angelica - the common old sylvestris 'Vicar's Mead' or 'Ebony'.....which, along with deep, deep purple foliage, will also bloom with a rich dusky pink flower head....and is more reliably perennial than gigas. I myself have my eyes on A.ursina which can grow to an outstanding 14foot (but I am a fool for umbellifers and garden in umbel central (Norfolk Broad wetlands).

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 7:26AM
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gigas reseeds with abandon. If you get a plant this year you should definitely have blooms next late summer.
MY new plants for this year are>>Astilbe amber moon, Epimedium spritzer, arisaema tortuosum and flavum, Hellebore pennys pink, syneilesis x hybrid, gentian true blue, geranium magnificum rosemoor, and anemone hortensis (extra petals) Does anyone grow or know anything about this last one?

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 7:44AM
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Sometimes things that "reseed with abandon" in a place with a long frost-free season might not have time to form seed in a shorter length frost-free season. So I think rouge will just have to see how things go for the angelica.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 8:37AM
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'vivian' for someone who wasn't going to purchase any perennials this season I am impressed ;).

(The lilac once thought of as revolutionary, "Bloomerang" blooms only sporadically after the initial spring outburst).

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 10:05AM
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I know Rouge. For the lilac, I actually read your feedback from a while ago but decided to get one even though it may not be a strong rebloomer. It fits into the space and theme and I love lilac smell as it reminds me of the happy memories as a child in China where my parents used to grow them.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 5:25PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Spent one wet cold morning shopping nurseries about three weeks ago and haven't planted even half of them yet. Nothing exotic at all. Bought a few natives at NEWFS...

Phlox divaricata 'Sherwood Purple'.
2 Blueberry bushes

Another couple of stops and brought homeâ¦

Basket of Gold
Phlox subulata 'Red Wings'
2 Aquilegia
2 Anthemis
2 Aubrieta
Strawberry Plants

Haven't seen you for awhile, Rouge, glad you're back. :-)

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 9:47AM
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Thanks "PM2" for the hello. As with everyone, real life does get in the way of hobbies. And this past winter was so depressing but I am getting more excited each day seeing plant after plant poke through the cold soil; very little winter kill for me (so far).

Those bb bushes are a cool purchase.

What are your plans for them?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 10:32AM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

I also was one who was not going to buy anything (much) this year, and I've been good - haven't gone to a single nursery yet. But God help me I was foolish enough to keep opening those darn emails from Bluestone and others that keep poppingup in my inbox!

But not too much damage done. Some more geranium biokovo to add to an edging of a bed, a hydrangea Bombshell, and sigh, yet another variegated hosta, like I don't have enough. This time it was Brother Stefan who caught me at a week moment.

Oh, and I just remembered - a climbing Eden rose should be arriving soon. I have very little sun and absolutely no where for this rose to climb... why did I buy it...?


    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 4:25PM
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shadeyplace wrote: MY new plants for this year are>>Astilbe amber moon

I plan to get this same Astilbe. Its description mentions better heat tolerance.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 12:51AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Rouge, I understand, it amazes me how spring is like a tonic, after such a long depressing winter. :-)

I am changing over from mostly perennials to more shrubs in the back of one of my borders. I also want to produce more food and the red fall foliage of blueberry bushes is an extra.

Dee, I think that was actually very clever to order a climbing rose. If you have a lot of shade, sometimes a climber can get higher and gain more sun than other plants. You just have to give it something to climb on. :-) Eden is a very pretty rose too! I added six more roses this year replacing some perennials I pulled out and they are all starting to push out leaves. I've given them my sunniest spots. I hope they will bloom this year, they started from Bareroot. [I had to capitalize because the GW spellcheck kept changing that to barefoot. (g)] I added one climber, 'Aloha'.

I had about six varieties of Astilbe and IâÂÂm down to one. I have a pretty dry garden in places, due to a lot of tree roots and theyâÂÂve just disappeared over the years. I like the name of that Astilbe. :-)

I forgot, I also bought a native Aster, 'Bluebird'.

This post was edited by prairiemoon2 on Sun, May 11, 14 at 5:06

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 5:03AM
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Campanula UK Z8

Oh well, I am obviously on a roll here (and ho yes, those non-buying promises were on my lips all winter) since impatience got the better of me and 3 mertensia are on their way, along with aforementioned phlox, a trio of Salvias (Mulberry Jam, Wendy's Wish, Christine Yeo), 2 strobilanthes atropurpurea/attenuata, a helianthus Lemon Queen (for which this very forum must assume responsibility) 3 trollius,and Adelaide d'Orleans, a sempervirens rose.

My excuse was a broken PC keeping me offline for a couple of weeks (although the allotment looks good) resulting in purely imaginary savings. The sheer relief of connectivity obviously expressed itself in one of those Paypal moments (where your finger is prodding buttons faster than the speed of (responsible) thought.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 5:45AM
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campanula nwrote: a helianthus Lemon Queen (for which this very forum must assume responsibility)

I have no problem accepting part of this "responsibility"! It is a great fall flower. I probably posted this same pic but if not here is a stand of mine, about 5 feet in height, from last season (September 9th specifically)

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 7:41AM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

Yes , Campaunula. I had the same goal of conservative thriftiness. I even prefaced it with "NO GARDENING THIS SPRING!". I should know now that any time I make that oath , that I am in trouble and the when the log jam breaks, I am on the inevitable tear and then the trouble ensues. I have WAY to many little guys that need nursing through what appears is a worsening soon to be EXCEPTIONAL drought. We are down to 1/4 of our water cistern that supplies 100% of our needs. I am looking at 4 months of hot weather and zilch for agua. I am collecting the all grey water from sinks and that is what is keeping my little ones alive ay this point. You will hear this lament from me like a tired broken record through the summer.Sorry in advance.

Meanwhile I am reading "The Children"s Blizzard" about horrendous storm after years of horrendous weather in the northern plains of 1880. Maybe that will keep me grateful. I better shut my mouth and hand carry my water out to my tomatoes and cow peas. They are the lucky ones this morning. We are still not Texas Hot yet so that is good.
OOps I just deleted something I meant too add onto another thread ⦠sorry

This post was edited by wantonamara on Sun, May 11, 14 at 17:17

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 11:44AM
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I went out yesterday and told myself "I'm only getting herbs... I'm only getting herbs... I'm only getting herbs" (this also includes chili peppers). I forgot how much I love Alexander's Nursery and Farm in Whitmore Lake, MI and how much they have (variety and quantities). 2 hours later I not only stocked up on herbs (even got some new ones to me - sweet woodruff, epazote and a curry plant, albeit ornamental) but also made a killing on perennials - they had $0.99 perennials in like 2 - 3" cells). I got glove thistles, feverfew, liatris, baloon flower, coreopsis, and a few more! I also have some yarrow, clematis, gaura and, again, more... So much for "just herbs"

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 4:00PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

We went to the last day of the RBG plant sale this morning - which was my first plant shopping expedition of the season. I don't need much so just got a couple of things. I have become very fond of single peonies, so am most happy about adding 'The Moor' and 'Red Red Rose'. It's hard to tell from pictures exactly what the red will actually look like so I hope these ones will be suitable :-) I have a bit of shopping to do to replace a few things that didn't make it through the winter but I'm going to wait a week or two to be sure of the final list...!

Rouge - I didn't know you were interested in wild ginger - I have lots if you need any more.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 5:47PM
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Campanula UK Z8

Oh c'mon - 99cents each simply does not count - they are practically free, right?
And anyway, 'herbs' can mean anything remotely vegetative in my that's you off the hook, David.
Oh dear, babying plants along - trouble ahead. I rarely have trouble germinating them.....but nursing baby plantlets throughout summer and autumn when I am stretched beyond sanity, gardening in 3 wildly separate gardens, usually means high rates of attrition.
I was looking around the greenhouse feeling glum because evidence of plant fails are everywhere - all those 'empty' pots and last chance hopefuls. Only after a tizzy of frantic seed sowing did I remember that the empty staging was because I had put everything into the ground where they stand at least some chance of survival. As soon as they hit the soil, it is like saying cheerio to demanding offspring - a huge sigh of relief since they are officially on their own - literally, out of sight, out of mind. Dunno about you, Wanton, but high levels of stress from plant care can only be resolved by GETTING MORE. True, there is some dire cognitive dissonance going on here which just seems to cause any shreds of sense to evaporate like raindrops on a Texan tin roof.
Oh yes Rouge - you are to blame. I had sworn off rudbeckias and sunflowers because my sandy allotment soil requires unceasing irrigation. We are not allowed hoses at my allotment and the taps are at the furthest end from my late summer borders (right next to the dry scree beds - yet another planning failure) meaning endless trudging back and forth with cans.....but I couldn't help myself . I tell myself that I am simply maintaining stock beds for when I finally beat back the brambles along the stream bank at the woods.
Obviously, we don't get the epic droughts of the American south west....but hosepipe bans and water metering are a constant in semi-arid east anglia - we carry on watering the garden as normal but adopt European standards of cleanliness - that is, not very much at all - we all have lots of 'french baths' (liberal use of cologne) and get used to being filthy.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 6:03PM
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woodyoak wrote: I didn't know you were interested in wild ginger - I have lots if you need any more.

Of course thanks for the offer 'woody'.

The 2 WG I bought are my first. I am always on the look out for interesting ground cover that more than just tolerate shade and are well behaved.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 7:25PM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

I did it again. I had really, really said I wasn't going to go crazy this spring buying plants and started so many seeds indoors over the winter to squelch the urge. Turns out my little seedlings didn't tame my wreckless abandon for buying plants. I had already brought back a bunch of annuals from NC where it seems plant material is so much less expensive than New England. My 4 clematis arrived and at least I know where they're going, which unfortunately isn't usually the case.

Well, since it was Mother's Day, I had an excuse to buy more plants. After 3 nursery visits I came back with 6 white bleeding heart that I massed in a shady area, 'Valentine' bleeding heart, trout lily, a light pink primrose, 2 iris cristata, 3 more epimedium (of which I need another like I need a hole in the head!), another anemonella 'Betty Blake' to add to that collection, twin leaf, a May Apple, 'Little Lanterns' columbine which I thought was too cute to pass up, and pink-flowered glaucidium.

In the meantime a viburnum arrived by mail and I'm expecting the shipment of many perennials (80) I ordered by mail order this winter.
It's a very good thing my birthday and Mother's Day both fall in May and then Christmas for an excuse for mail order!

PM2 and I are meeting next weekend for a really great plant sale. PM2, please help me contain myself! LOL! Unfortunately I've already made a rather loooong list for plants to buy there.

THAT will be the last plant purchases........famous last words.........

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 9:58PM
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river_crossroads z8b Central Louisiana

Rouge, howâÂÂs your Hibiscus âÂÂBlue River II' ? Isn't that the one that you wrote about a while back?

My new one is Hibiscus âÂÂTerriâÂÂs Pink,â a sterile hibiscus hybrid or âÂÂchance seedlingâ originally from the Houston area that has been sold for several years, I think. Related to Confederate Rose but starts blooming much earlier. Hardy to z7. Tropical hibiscus is hardy only to z9. Rose mallow is hardy but invasive in this area. All reportedly attract butterflies.

Link for info only, I got a free plant locally at a meeting.
Hibiscus 'Terri's Pink'

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 1:11AM
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gyr_falcon(Sunset 23 USDA 9)

We purchase new plants year round here, but here are my most recent:

--Red Birds in a Tree (Scrophularia macrantha) Trying two of these for the first time.
--Sisyrinchium striatum 'Aunt May'
--Cuphea ignea
--Salvia 'Amistad'
--Alstroemeria 7 large ones in yellows, reds, oranges and purples.
--Lavender Trumpet Vine (Clytostoma callistegioides )

herb garden refreshers: thyme, 3 types of oregano, marjoram (one of my favorites!), Thai basil, chives, rosemary and two 6" basil plants (they were less expensive than purchasing the same amount of cut basil for a meatball recipe).

Arctostaphylos densiflora 'Howard McMinn' (shrub)

On the shopping list: Variegated thyme, Gaura Rosy Jane and a large white, Rudbeckia 'Indian Summer' & Denver Daisy, garden lobelia, agastache, and...

...whatever it was I determined would be perfect for a troublesome tiny strip bed, but cannot remember what that was now. Phooey. Hope I remember soon!

edit to add: Lobelia excelsa First try for this one, too. I'm sure there are more I have forgotten, though.

This post was edited by Gyr_Falcon on Mon, May 12, 14 at 1:34

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 1:30AM
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Thanks for the support, Campanula - I told myself the same thing. "Herb".... "Herbaceous".... I mean its practically the same thing! And for 99cents I would have been a fool to pass that up (especially because it afforded me the justification that, because I saved money on the little ones, I could get a new clematis, purple elephants ears and, a little uncharacteristically of me, a bunch of annuals, too).
thyme2dig - those are THE famous last words. I bought a bunch of things at the MSU plant sale and said "no more". Well, three nurseries more later and one more to go.... Is there a support group for this sort of thing?
Your massed bleeding heart sounds beautiful. I have two BHs in the garden (one "classic" looking one whose name I don't know and one "Golden") and I love them. I was just thinking I wish I had a spot I could group several of them. I remember last year someone, I'm almost possitive it was Karin_MT, posted a picture of a white flower garden and I believe there was a white bleeding heart - it really made me want not only a white BH but a white flower garden, too. Good thing there are so many options at all these nurseries ;)

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 5:58AM
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We purchase new plants year round here,

Of course so different than is the case in my chilly, snowy zone 4.

Lucky you 'Gyr'. Or would you like to have some discernible downtime for your garden; I am just trying to imagine what it would be like to be able to garden all year.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 8:28AM
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river_crossroads wrote: howâÂÂs your Hibiscus âÂÂBlue River II' ? Isn't that the one that you wrote about a while back?

Wow good memory 'rc'!

It is my partner that wants a pure white flowering hibiscus. It seems that BRII is the one to get but these hardy hibiscus wont be available in our area for purchase for several more weeks.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 8:36AM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

-Doug, I would be interested in hearing how your A. splendens does. As you know, mine died out. I may have to give it another try and put it in a warmer/better draining site.

-Susan, nice haul! You have some great nurseries around to carry those gems. Did you find some of those at Nettie's?

It is a bit dangerous working at a nursery, especially since I have been allowed* to order more plants this year. If this next order goes thru I will snag an Anemone leveillei and a bronze form of Rodgersia podophylla ;-)

So far I have brought home:
Ginkgo 'Mariken'
Thuja 'Whipcord'- mini
'Peek-a-Blue' Perovskia
Hosta 'Praying Hands' (I don't even care much for hostas...)
Geum 'Alabama Slammer'

*been allowed*- I may have snuck a few items on an order while the manager was away from his computer too ;-D

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 1:23PM
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gyr_falcon(Sunset 23 USDA 9)

Rouge, I am so used to gardening all year, it would send me into a deep depression to be separated from my plants for a season. I would probably try growing trees and shrubs in every bright corner of the house interior and have the kitchen counter covered with orchids, and it still would not be enough. Even when I am inside, more often than not, I can be caught staring out the window.

Oh, CMK----a Ginkgo 'Mariken' That one has been on my wishlist for a few years. I look at the price and haven't pulled the trigger yet, but one day...

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 3:22PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Rouge - I was just scanning quickly earlier and missed the specifics on the wild ginger you bought.... What I have here is the ordinary wild ginger. I did try that A. splendens but it promptly died out for me (although is was not in the best of locations so it may do better for you.) I like the ordinary one as I think it looks the most natural under the trees.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 5:42PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

I have been so good up until now, I've just bought 6 more thyme plants, the ones I have in containers are hanging in but I use so much of this herb that I have to watch I don't kill the plants outright.
Next week heading to the mainland with DD to hit a couple of Nurseries, Phoenix Perennials for the more unusual and hard to find and WIG a fabulous succulent garden center. It's going to be hard not going overboard or maybe I can just put it down to the devil made me do it :).
This time we're taking the car, maybe the truck, in the past these trips I've only been able to bring back what I could pack in my little black box on wheels, being a ferry walk-on.
CMK, while I'm over there I'll look for that little Ginkgo 'Mariken'. I have just the place for it.


    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 6:46PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

-Gry & Annette, too bad you both didn't live closer...I could hook you up with one and give a bit of a discount ;-)

I'm a bit dismayed that the first leaves on my Mariken got hit by a frost (we got ours from Iseli- in OR, which is warmer than us). Looks like more leaves are poking out, but it will be awhile before it is fully leafed out...

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 9:00PM
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gyr_falcon(Sunset 23 USDA 9)

Thanks for the kind thought, CMK, but if I was actually able to acquire every plant on my wish list I could possible open the patio door---but be unable to penetrate the jungle.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 11:35AM
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'christin' wrote: Hosta 'Praying Hands' (I don't even care much for hostas...)

Interesting how that works isn't it? Only a plantaholic would buy plants that they didnt really like!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 12:03PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

-Doug, lol. I'm a bit worried about myself when you put it like that. Almost expect to find my family members, co-workers, etc sitting down to an intervention.

Christin, you are a Plantaholic. The first step is admitting it..... LOL.

It reached a new level...last night I actually dreamed about plants! My subconscious even came up with a good idea for plant placement. ;-D

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 1:04PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Christin, interventions don't work, how do I know this... LOL


    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 1:14PM
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Ispahan Zone6a Chicago

I lucked out today at my local independent garden center. I am always disappointed at the assortment of hardy geraniums offered for sale locally. No one seems to go further than 'Rozanne', 'Biokovo' and 'New Hampshire Purple'. Mind you, all of these are very nice plants, but my geranium-obsessed heart wants more and more⦠I find the local lack of geraniums all the more disturbing since a massive evaluation/trial of hardy geraniums was/is based at Chicago Botanic Garden.

Imagine my surprise today when, while looking at potted hellebores, I saw several specimens of Geranium phaeum 'Margaret Wilson'! The variegated foliage was almost electric and blinding, and the plants were in peak bloom. Very full plants with multiple crowns completely filling the pots. Naturally, I snapped up four of them!

I also found a couple of very full pots of Geranium maculatum 'Espresso', so snatched those up as well.

I am becoming pickier now that my garden is filling out, so my impulse buys are becoming few and far between.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 11:01PM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

I get most of my plants by wintersowing, but I did purchase four blueberry bushes, four elderberry bushes, several types of raspberries, and some strawberry plants. Unlike the folks out west, we are having an unusually wet spring. It's rained so much, I haven't been able to plant much. I'm hoping my strawberries don't die before I get them in the ground. My seedlings should be OK, but I want them to have plenty of time to get roots established before the hot weather hits. I pray for clear skies the next two weekends.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 7:17AM
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but my geranium-obsessed heart wants more and more

ispahan, I saw this geranium last week "Southcombe Double". Do you have any experience with it?

(I didn't purchase it as like you virgin garden space is very much at a premium in my yard).

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 7:41AM
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Ispahan Zone6a Chicago

Oh my, Rouge, had I seen that at my local nursery, I would have left with at least one of them in my cart! But, like I said before, I am a bit geranium obsessed, lol!

That said, I have never grown or seen 'Southcombe Double'. It is said to be a fairly small, weakish grower for a Geranium x oxonianum type and is also sterile. Both of these could be beneficial for people with limited space who might get overwhelmed (literally) by the more rambunctious oxonianum cultivars.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 10:03AM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

I grow (or have grown) 'Southcombe Double' for the past five years or so.

I can attest to ispahan's comment that it is weak. The first year or two was fine. The blooms are incredibly small. Second year I noticed that not all of the blooms came out double. I don't think it was thought was that the conditions weren't right (sort of like how double daylilies put out singles when it is too hot, etc).

I moved a couple years ago and can say with certainty that it does not appreciate anything less than ideal conditions!

Overall, I'm not too impressed by it. Sorry :-(

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 11:18AM
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No need to apologize CMK! As mentioned many times it is so worthwhile getting real life reviews of plants...good and bad.

I didn't buy it. (In fact it is not usual for me anymore to make a 'spur of the moment' purchase of a plant.)

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 11:28AM
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Ispahan Zone6a Chicago

AWESOME info, CMK! Please don't ever apologize for sharing first-hand information! It looks like 'Southcombe Double' will probably be a geranium to avoid in the future...

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 6:30PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

Well, glad my negative review was helpful ;-)

OT but...the only double geranium I like has been G. himalayense 'Plenum'. It is a bit floppy, but boy is it floriferous! I let the blossoms tumble over the rocks lining my pathway.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 10:21PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Christin, tell me a little bit about Ligularia 'Dragon's Breath' and 'Dragon's Wings' I think Phoenix Perennials carry these. Here's the spot I was thinking it might look nice in front of that rock pinnacle in the back corner, excuse the overgrowth of fern some of it is coming out, just haven't had time to get at it.
This spot has lots of light, no direct sun, it does get a little on the warm side in the summer because there's a fibreglass roof over it, no problem keeping the soil damp tho. Annette

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 4:57PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

-Annette, I think it would look nice there. 'Dragon's Breath' is a przewalskii, so will have those slender spires of flowers.

I have a plain przewalskii. DB's foliage is much more finely cut...reminds me of a lace leaf Japanese maple. I'm not sure if it will continue with this trait as it matures, but the young foliage seems even a bit curly/contorted.

I took a quick look and it seems 'Dragon's Wings' is the bigger version of the two. Not sure if it varies in any other way...

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 10:06PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Thanks Christin, I thought it might look nice there too, my want list and must have list seem to be growing by leaps and bounds :).


    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 10:45PM
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