Bluestone catalog came - help me cut down my list

Karolina11(6b Central PA)December 7, 2012

So the Bluestone Perennials catalog came and my list of wants from it came out bigger than expected. I hate ordering from them because the plants are smaller than anywhere else I have ordered, they are more expensive than elsewhere, and the coir pots are a hassle to deal with. However, they seem to have varieties I cannot find anywhere else.

Thus, can anyone give me feedback on the following? I have clay soil that is on the slight acidic side. Better substitution suggestions are welcome!

Achillea Ptarmica - Ballerina (supposed to be a miniature of Angel's Breath). Particularly interested on whether it needs staking.

Anemone Prince Henry - I like the deeper color of it. Does it bloom for as long as some of the other colored varieties such as Honorine Jobert?

Armeria Bloodstone

Astrantia Buckland

Aster novae-angliae - Alma Potschke

Aster novi-belgii - Crimson Brocade

Aster oblongifolius October Skies

Astilbe Visions

Catananche caerulea Major

Campanula coch. Bavarian Blue

Campanula glomerata Alba

Campanula persifolia Alba

Campanula persifolia New Giant

Cimicifuga Raemosa

Coreopsis Desert Coal

Delphinium Magic Fontains series - Dark Blue Dark Bee, Lavender, Sky Blue, White Dark Bee

Delphinum New Millenium Series - Black Eyed Angels, Pink Punch, Purple Passion

Echinops bannaticus Blue Glow

Geum Double Bloody Mary (killed one last year, hope it was because I planted it in the coir pot)

Geum Totally Tangerine

Papaver nudicaule Flamenco

Phlox paniculata Dodo Hanbury Forbes

Primula vulgaris Belarina series (Belarina Cream, Nectarine, Pink Ice)

Salvia Plumosa

Salvia New Dimension Series - Blue

Sedum telephium Red Cauli

Any I should definitely keep or definitely get rid of?

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

catalog came and my list of wants from it came out bigger than expected.

==>> oh pshaw.. who are you kidding..

when was the last time.. the list came out smaller than you expected ...

i suspect you live down the road from that river.. de nile ... lol ..

who am i to suggest that any are not good enough .. lol ..


    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 4:34PM
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Karolina11(6b Central PA)

Too true Ken. Does anyone on this forum ever run out plants to want?
Haven't even opened the David Austin catalog - I am in trouble after that one.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 5:01PM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

A lot of this depends on what you are trying to optimize. Some on the list I'd expect to be available locally. Some are easily grown from seeds. Some are thugs. Some are difficult.

Bluestone doesn't tend to have the latest and greatest. In the past I've used them a lot for grasses and shrubs since both tend to only be available around here in larger sizes for much larger money.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 7:21PM
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Karolina11(6b Central PA)

Mad Gallica, you make good points. I am sure the phlox and some of the campunala's can be found locally. I will start emailing my local nurseries to see if they think they will have it. Also, do you know if any of these can be grown from seed and flower in the first year? That would definitely save on the expense.

However, I would like to know whether I shouldn't bother with a particular variety. I went through a catalog and based on photos and the little information, I decided I liked these so would like to know if anyone grows them and enjoys them or whether they're duds. Length of bloom, the need for staking, and winter hardiness are important to me.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 7:58PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

Does anyone on this forum ever run out plants to want?

==>> i used to run out of money.. lllooonnnggg before i ran out of plants i 'wanted' ....

if any are blue.. i would not base the decision on catalog pix ... and rely only on sight ... in person

too many allegedly blue plants.. seem to never quite be as blue as they appear in pictures .. except for 40 seconds at dusk.. when the sky turns pink.. and then 'appear blue' ... only to be some shade of purple at all other times ..

and dont get me wrong.. they can be sublime in purple.. just dont keep telling me they are blue ...


    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 8:26PM
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I've had October Sky aster for several years and just love it. It is easy to grow from cuttings and seeds around just a tiny bit. The color is gorgeous.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 8:58PM
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hostaholic2 z 4, MN

I also love aster, October Skies. Campanula New Giant has been disappointing in my garden, not a heavy bloomer, seems to need frequent division to keep it blooming and it tends to flop for me. It will be leaving to make room for other plants. It may be that my soil is to rich for it. I would love to hear if someones has had better results with it and under what conditions.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 11:21PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I removed all the Armeria I had. They just didn't look good enough of the time for me.

I've avoided Anemones because I had heard they were on the invasive side and I try to seriously avoid that because I don't have enough energy to be yanking things out if they get out of hand.

I've wanted that 'Visions' Astilbe, but my garden has been so dry for the past few years and the Astilbes just don't do as well any more without a lot of watering.

I've grown the Delphinium New Millenium and really enjoyed them. They did peter out and have no idea why.

I have't had much luck with Geums and I've found their bloom period to be short. Maybe it's just me?

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 3:39PM
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Karolina11(6b Central PA)

October Skies stays, Campanula New Giant goes.

Prairiemoon, about the Armeria, do you mean they don't bloom long enough or is the foliage ratty looking constantly too? As for the Delphinium, did you have to stake them? I am getting excited for those so I hope they don't need staking! Also, thanks for the tips on the anemone, might be putting that one in a pot and sinking it.

Thanks everyone!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 8:07PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA


I had my armeria in my front bed, next to the front walk, so we would be looking at it all winter and very early spring with foliage that was brown and ugly, not disappearing. After bloom, the foliage looks fine during the growing season. And it is a short spring bloom period.

I've never grown anemone, so I'm not sure if it is the root system that travels or if they reseed too abundantly or both. I added a link below to one reference to their invasiveness from someone who has grown them.

I started the Delphinium Millenium from seed and grew them on. They were gorgeous, but definitely would not leave them without staking them. Any wind will bend them over and risk snapping the bloom stalks. They are not easy to start from seed, because they have a low germination rate, so buying starts is the easiest way to go. They came back for me maybe 3 years? If I were younger and had the time, I would have these in the garden all the time.

Here is a link that might be useful: Non Rated invasive companion plants

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 9:29AM
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I grow several cultivars of armeria as edgers (not Bloodstone however)and really like them. They bloom a long time for me and the foliage looks good all summer long.

I also grow sedum Red Cauli. It has great red stems and nice flower color. However, for me it is not as robust as some other sedums. Slow to increase and absolutely demands sharp drainage & full sun.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 8:28AM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

Don't grow that particular Armeria, but I am not a huge fan. They are floppy if not planted in sharp draining soil and always get overrun with weeds (which are near impossible to pluck out of there...)

I don't have that Astrantia cultivar, but I say thumbs up. I love all Astrantias ;-)

Campanula persifolia 'Alba' is a nice bellflower, but pretty common so I wouldn't personally special order it. Very easy from seed.

Campanula glomerata isn't rare either. Some have found it to be an invader. I haven't, but then again, mine is planted in a "difficult" spot. ;-)

Echinops has been kind of invasive here. Plus the seedlings arn't the easiest to dig out. Just my personal experience. Wouldn't plant it again...

I would skip the DBM Geum, or all Geums of the chiloense species. I've found they tend to resent wet winters and will live a couple years at best. Any of the coccineum, rivale, or triflorum species (or hybrids of...) do much better in areas that have wet winters/springs. Long lived so long as you divide every few years.

Delps are short lived for me. I am a lazy gardener and don't like to replant perennials often so don't grow them anymore for that reason ;-)

Ditto what felisa said about 'Red Cauli'. I have tried it twice. That thing has been ONE STEM for several years now- that thing barely makes an attempt to survive, let alone thrive.

That is about all I grow from your list...

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 4:14PM
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Karolina11(6b Central PA)

Wonderful! Love that photo Prairiemoon, that is worth staking!

Thank you for the tips on the geum, I have clay so that throws a few of these out. Also definitely thankful to save some money and look for the bellflowers locally.

Thanks so much everyone!

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 9:33PM
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I would personally get rid of the Achillea ptarmica Ballerina. This is an extremely aggressive species and you will have it everywhere. It is also very easily grown from seed. The Salvia New Dimension Blue is from seed and a first year bloomer. The Delphinium Magic Fountains series is seed grown and pretty common in most nurseries. With the exception of the New Giant, all of your Campanulas are from seed, and the Papaver n. Flamenco. All are fairly easy.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 12:52PM
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Magic Fountain Delphs are great. I have some that a friend grew from seed and 2 of the 3 have returned for 5 years. No staking required unless they are blooming when we have a heavy, heavy rain. Then, I shake off the flower heads and they right themselves. Even if they only lasted a couple of years, I think they are worth the trouble. The blue ones are really blue, too. You should get faster bloom from started plants instead of starting seeds.


    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 1:10PM
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