Friday, July 28, 2006

Birthday Plants

I don't like birthdays, so when things took an ugly turn in my daily life i made myself unavaliable for any type of birthday celebration. However by the time the 14th arrived I was feeling better and let myself be taken out to dinner. Then on the 15th I went to three of my favorite nurseries for some window shopping, which of course never works.
First I gave in to some shade plants and as time went by I forgot my garden is shady and purchase a few full sun plants. It's amazing how my mind can justify the taking of the plants home. They are Just for cut flowers and to be keep in pots in the sunny spots of the garden I told myself.

I came home with the following plants:

Bear's Breeches (Acanthus)
I am not sure which type I have, but I think is Acanthus Mollis Spinosa. The leaves at least seem to resemble it very much. The nursery people said it likes well drained soil, needs about 3 to 4 ours of sun a day a day and it doesn't like soil that is too wet.
Here is a picture on Summer Beauty

Cimifuga "Brunette"
This plant likes shade and damp poor soil, so I figure It would be great for my garden. It is supposed to have 6-7' tall flower spikes blooming in October

Ligularia Dentata
This plant took my breath away. I was still telling myself at this point that I was just making a pile of my favorite plants and that I was probably not going to buy any of them.
It is now in my garden and i've moved it around quite a few times trying to find the perfect spot. Just two days ago I found out that slugs cant' resiste the taste of ligularia, so it is now in a pot on the patio and away from the garden soil. At night I take a light and inspect the plant for slugs. After inspecting each leave of the ligularia I wonder among the other plants until ive done a nice killing. All this wile drinking ice cold beer. I like taking a few zips then putting it in the freezer so it says cold. I've never forgotten a beer in the freezer. I've left white wine there in the past though.

Cardinal flower
I've contemplated this plant in central park many times, but the fact that it is highly poisonous kept me away from it. It is now getting ready to bloom in my garden.

Ligularia "The Rocket" This plant is now dead and I will be taking it back to the nursery sometime soon. The shop had two of them left and they were not looking too perkey, but they were so beautiful that I let myself get convinced the plant would be ok.

A few hours in the nursery and I knew I had to buy something, but could not make up my mind as to which ones to take. It was getting stressful as it always does when I know I should not buy plants, but they are already in the shopping cart.
It was my birthday and I did not want to be stressed, so I took them all to the register to do my picking at the last minute. On my way I walked past one plant which was just too stunning to pass.

Rudbeckia Herbstone (Autumn Sun) . This is a Black-eyed Susan, which grows 5 to 8 feet tall. It has glossy green deeply cut leaves with loose clusters of bright yellow petals around green cones. It blooms mid to late summer, so of course it was in bloom and after reading that it attracts butterflies I added it my pile.

At the register I found out that annuals were 50 percent off. That just sent my head on a spin. I had to go to the annuals section.

There I found:
Tibouchina Urvilleana (Brazilian Beauty), which is a 2-3 feet tall plant with purple flowers that blooms until frost arrives. It likes full to half sun and moist, fertile soil, so i figure It will do ok at home.

Scuttelaria Costaricana
(An everblooming Cenrtral American shrub)
A plant from back home, which I never saw before. It was in bloom. Red plumes with yellow throats, which look like fireworks according to the lable. I could not see the resemblance, but I loved it eitherway. It grows 1-2 feet tall, likes full or part sun and it can be kept indoors during the winter. I just keep it moderately moist and I can't let it go below 60 degrees

Then I found something tall with gorgeous red dented leaves. Just some sort of tropical plant with no name. Something in the Coleus family I think.

Once in the sun section I went delirious. There were Rudbeckia Fulgida (Goldstrumm black eyed susans)

Russian sage, which I always, always wanted.

This plants weren't annuals, but I was too tired of fighting my instinct not to buy anything, so i picked the following plants:

Liatris Spiacata, which is the best flowers for vases, not to mention the fact that butterfiles love them.

Marsh Milkweed or Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa), whis is one of the few native plants with bright orange flowers that I just can't stop looking at when in bloom. It needs to be transplanted carefully into dry, preferably sandy soil, which I don't have. The label says it a great nectar source for butterflies and it can handle partial sun, so I added it to my pile.

Japanese Painted Fern
Ok, this one I got the following day while shopping for pots for my new plants. I tried to sneak it into the house unnoticed as I was already a little embarrased by the view of my patio after all my purchases. It didn't work, but the fern is now in my garden next to the Boston ferns, already growing there.

Monday, July 10, 2006

The plansts in my garden

This is a long post, which I don't really expect anyone to read. Is more my way of doing away with thousands of notes on the plants I have and how to take care of them. I will always be adding or deleting the plants that come or depart my garden.

Anise Hyssop - Agastache "Blue Fortune"
Thursday, May 25, 2006
I hope Agastache "Blue Fortune," is as hardy as the tag says it is. Last night i butchered the poor plant into 3 new plants and destroyed most of its root system. Plants make me do that to them. I see them and I can picture them growing into many more plants. It was past 1 am and i kept walking past the plant while cleaning the house in preparations for the weekend.
Expensive plants are supposed to be worth the money because they haven't been stressed and therefore will adapt better to the garden I remember reading in many gardening books. However I find that most plants (weather cheap or expensive) have been fed and exposed to light untill they are ready to bloom and then shipped to the stores for sale in small containers (veal comes to mind.) So finally I stopped in front of the pot and took the plant out of it. It was 100 percent roots, so I took the hacksaw, which happened to be near me and a box cutter. First I cut in half, then i noticed one of the halves was still too crowed, so i made a third cut. The result was 3 new plants with flower buds and very small amount or roots. Then I got stressed out because I only want what is best for the plants, but many times I wonder if I really know what is best.

Bear's Breeches (Acanthus)
Not sure which type I have, but it likes well drained soil and needs about 3 to 4 ours of sun a day. It doesn't like soil that is too wet.
Bee Balm or Oswego - Monarda didyma
Bergamot - Monarda Dimyma
Bleeding Heart- Dicentra
Nanho Putple Butterfly Bush
Royal Red Butterfly Bush
- Nepata cataria
Climatis Ramona
Clematis Festoon Bonanza
Day Lily - Hemerocallis fulva
False Spiraea - Astilbe
Foxglove - Digitalis
Geranium Cranesbill Johnson's Blue
Grape Hyacinth
Lady in Red
Oakleaf hydrangea
Hydrangea - Oak Leaf Hydrangea
Arabian Jasmine and Sambac "maid of Orleans"
Night Blooming Jasmine
Cestrum Nocturnum (Raat Ki Rani)
Lamb's Ears’s_ears.htm
Ligularia "The Rocket"

Lilac Syringa Vulgaris
Lily of the Valley (CanadaMayflower) - Maianthemum canadese
Lupins - Lupinus perennis
Wild Geranium
Morning Glory
Purple Cone Flower - Echinacea purpurea
purple loosestrife
Strawberry - Fragaria Vesca
Shasta Daisy
Red Fox Spike Speedwell
Trumpet Honeysuckle - Lonicera Semperverens
Trumpet Vine
Tulip Tree
Veronicastrum Virginicum "Fascination"
I have the lilac and the pink versions
Sun conditions: Full Sun
Hardiness: Zone 4
Origin: Holland.
Flowers: dense spikes of lilac-rose flowers from July to September
Height: 40"
Spacing: 36'
Full Sun shows a picture of the pink version.

Wild Violets - family Violaceae
Yarrow Achillea millefolium (asteraceae)

Pictures of the garden in June