April 24 Update

A few of the plants on the front porch on 4-22-19, #561-9.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all doing well. I took most of the photos for this post on April 20 then more on April 22. I did manage to get the plants on the front porch but the cactus are still in the house. Many of the perennials are growing very fast now but some are still slow because of lingering cool temperatures. The Hosta have been slow except for a few such as the Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ and H. Potomac Pride’. I will have to take new photos of the Hosta and make a separate update for the Heuchera and Hosta. I am planning a garden this year but the wind and then more rain has delayed that plan. I am also planning on extending the bed on the north side of the house… I want to add another Xanthosoma and find another Leococasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’. Of course, the larger Colocasia esculenta will also go in the north bed. Well, maybe I need to make the bed even larger than planned. I also moved the Alocasia outside but they aren’t exactly photo ready yet. 🙂

I met a new friend and fellow plant collector and we will be trading a few plants. No telling what I might wind up with but it will be very good!


Achillea ‘Moondust’ on 4-20-19, #560-1.

The Achillea ‘Moondust’ is well on its way to having a great summer. This is only the second cultivar of Achillea I have bought. The other was a selection of Achillea millefolium called ‘Strawberry Seduction’ which I purchased from Lowe’s in Greenville, Mississippi in 2012. I brought it to Missouri with me in 2013 but it fizzled out in 2014.


Achillea ‘Moondust’ on 4-22-19, #561-2.

Two days after the previous photo was taken, the Achillea ‘Moondust’ it has two buds…


Achillea millefolium on 4-20-19, #560-2.

The Achillea millefolium have been amusing plants (plural because I have SEVERAL clumps now). I have been calling this a Fern-Leaf Yarrow, but that common name belongs to the Achillea filipendulina (which has yellow flowers). The common names for the Achillea millefolium include Milfoil, Yarrow or Common Yarrow, Allheal, Thousand-Leaf, Bloodwort, Carpenter’s Grass, Cammock, Green Arrow, Sneezeweed, Nosebleed, Green Adder’s Mouth, Soldier’s Woundwort, Dog Daisy, Old-Man’s-Pepper and probably more. What is amusing to me is the way it travels by underground roots to where it would rather be. I initially brought two clumps with me when I moved back here from Mississippi in 2013. A friend of mine gave me quite a few plants from her yard that she had for MANY years. She said another gardening friend had given a start to her and she didn’t know the cultivar name. She just started yanking up plants because they had spread way out into her yard. Since I had several to experiment with, I put them here and there in both full sun and shady areas. The plants in too much shade just kind of fizzled out but the two mostly sun thrived. I brought two clumps with me when I came back here and put them in the bed on the south side of the house. In 2014 I moved one to the front of the chicken house and one on the north side of the house. I also put a few along the basement steps (in full sun). The one in front of the chicken house has just done so-so and that is where I thought it would spread the most. But, not so. It only did well there for a couple of years then the clump became smaller and has even tried moving around the corner. The plants along the basement steps, in full sun, only lasted a couple of years then they didn’t return one spring. On the north side of the house, where they received the least amount of sun, they have done much better and multiplied. I took one of the larger clumps and put them in front of the barn last spring in full sun. One clump on the north side of the house is only a couple of feet from the foundation and seems to like it there even though it is in the shade. The clump I moved to the barn was the traveler… It moved about 3 feet from where I initially planted it in three years to get to more sun. It has also left behind 4-5 offspring, two of which popped up this spring next to the steps. The other 2 or 3 are still in the shadier part of the bed. Supposedly, according to some, the Achillea millefolium will spread like wildfire but I haven’t had that problem. The native Achillea millefolium on one part of the Katy Trail nearby has flourished beyond comprehension. Here on the farm, I guess the cows have kept in check because there aren’t that many. You can see Achillea millefolium on a lot of back roads as well, sometimes in very large colonies. There are several nice cultivars available in several colors and sizes that do not spread.


Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’ on 4-20-19, #560-3.

A few patches of the Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’ are beginning to flower while some are still in bud. I really like this cultivar even though they spread like their life depends on it. Well, I guess their life does depend on it, huh? I originally brought the Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’ home from Lowe’s in 2010 when I was living at the mansion in Leland, Mississippi. They multiply to form a thick mat so some of the plants need to be removed every year or so to avoid crown rot. They root easily so you can put them here and there. They have fairly shallow roots so they make a nice living mulch.


Astilbe cv. ‘?’ on 4-20-19, #560-4.

The Astilbe are getting with it now. They aren’t among the first perennials to emerge in the spring, but they are close behind them. Once they start they grow nonstop until they reach their size. The one in the above photo, Astilbe cv. ‘?’, is the one I brought home with the wrong label. I checked over the plant quality in many pots and didn’t notice it was mislabeled until I brought it home. GEEZ! It is a smaller plant so it is likely Astilbe ‘Visions’ or ‘Rheinland’. I guess I should take measurements of the mature height with and without the flowers so I can give ita proper name besides ‘?’…


Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ on 4-20-19, #460-5.

No mistaking this is an Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ because it has the correct label. 🙂 This cultivar is somewhat taller than the other one and has dark leaves and red flowers. Astilbe are great in a shady area and prefer somewhat moist soil and they both like it on the north side of the house. Some cultivars grow to around 30″ or taller.


Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’ ? on 4-20-19, #560-6.

The Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’ wannabe has grown A LOT since I took the last photos on April 7.  I had to make a decision to move this plant to the southeast corner bed because it shades the Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ too much. At least I think so although the Phlomis wasn’t complaining. ANYWAY, Saturday afternoon I took the shovel and stuck it in all the way around the clump to loosen the soil… Ummm… Baptisia has deep taproots and doesn’t like to be disturbed so I was going to be very careful to get as much soil and as deep as I could. It would not budge! I thought I was going to break the shovel handle. So, I decided I would move the Phlomis to the southeast corner bed instead. It was not happy about that decision… I will write about that down farther… So, for now, I guess the Baptisia stays put.


Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’ on 4-22-19, #561-4.

On April 22, only two days after the previous photo was taken, the Baptisia wannabe ‘Lunar Eclipse’ has MANY buds… Now I have to watch it closely!


Cydonia sp. on 4-20-19, #560-7.

The Quince has more flowers on it this year than I have ever seen before. Maybe it will bear fruit. 🙂 This probably the most annoying shrub, besides the Crap Myrtle, on the farm. Well, I suppose that depends on how you look at it. I don’t trim it very often and it has spread into the patch of Iris next to it which I am not happy about. Other trees like to hide in it and there is also some Poison Ivy in it. My grandparents planted it here so it has been around for a long time. I have noticed other Quince’s around town that are also LOADED!


Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ on 4-20-19, #560-27.

Like I mentioned earlier, I had to make a decision about moving the Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ since I couldn’t budge the Baptisia…


Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ roots on 4-20-19, #560-28.

I looked it over pretty good and thought, “Hmmm… I can make two out of it.” It actually had two tap roots, which were growing crooked because the soil was so hard.


Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ on 4-20-19, #560-31.

After I replanted them and gave them a good soaking I continued taking more photos. Then I thought how I didn’t like the same plants in more than one location, even though they are within a few feet of each other. After all, I had just put the Hosta ‘Guacamole’ back together again for the same reason. I have to keep comparing the two plants and take two photos instead of one.


Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ on 4-22-19, #561-13.

So, on the 22nd, I put them back together again. It wasn’t very happy I had dug it up and moved it in the first place let alone completely disturbing its roots. It will be in more sun where it is now, which is supposed to be OK. I will just have to keep an eye on it. GEEZ! It probably thinks I have flipped!

*On April 24 it has forgiven me and looks MUCH better.


Salvia nemorosa ‘New Dimensions Blue’ on 4-20-19, #560-32.

The Salvia nemorosa ‘New Dimensions Blue’ continues to do well. These are a great Salvia is you need a plant that stays pretty compact. This is our third season together and it has always done well. It will start budding shortly.


Salvia pratensis ‘Midnight Model’ on 4-20-19, #560-33.

I was very glad to see the Salvia pratensis ‘Midnight Model’ survived the winter. This will be our second season and it is already getting off to a good start. One plant is larger than the other, but the smaller one flowered first. 🙂 At one point last summer the smaller one almost fizzled out but it came back to life and survived the winter. This Salvia has the neatest flowers which you can see if you go to its page. Salvia pratensis ‘Midnight Model’ is part of the FASHIONISTAâ„¢ Collection introduced by Walters Gardens. Maybe I can find another one so there will be three. I used to only buy one of each plant, but last year I started buying at least three to make a bigger group. That’s OK as long as I plant them all together. 🙂


Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ on 4-22-19, #561-15.

The Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ (or ‘May Night’) has really taken off this spring! Last year, if you remember, it took a vacation and barely did anything. It stayed small and barely flowered. I am glad its vacation is over! This will be our seventh season and is one of the first perennials I panted here in 2013. It has been in this same spot.


Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’ on 4-20-19, #560-36.

The Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’ is growing really well now and


Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’ buds on 4-20-19 #560-37.

It appears to have a few buds already!


Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’ on 4-20-19, #560-38.

Even the stem with more yellow variegation has returned. Maybe I can take a cutting this year.


Sedum kamtschaticum on 4-20-19, #560-39.

The Sedam kamtschaticum is also doing very good. Last year it sprawled out and the stems touching the soil rooted. That’s good so now the clump will be bigger. 🙂


Tradescantia fluminensis flower on 4-20-19, #560-40.

When I took the plants to the front porch on April 20, I noticed the Tradescantia fluminensis had a flower. NICE. It did pretty well over the winter. Hmmm… I don’t have a page for this plant yet.


Zantedeschia aethiopica on 4-22-19, #561-16.

The Zantedeschia aethiopica (Calla) bulbs had started sprouting but the bulbs had sunk deeper into the soil. So, I gave the pot some fresh potting soil and re-planted the bulbs. They are a bit more crowded than recommended if you plant them in the ground but this is a pot… The top 1/4 of the bulbs need to be above the soil but that didn’t out so well. There is a big cluster in the center and when I watered most became covered with potting soil. Hmmm… They didn’t flower last year, so I am hoping for blooms. Hmmm… I don’t have a page for the Calla either and I have had them since 2017! How could that be? 🙂

I had to do some repotting and take a few cuttings when I moved the plants outside which can be expected when they have been inside.

I took photos of the Hosta on April 20, but some are growing so fast the photos are out of date. So, I will take photos again and do a separate Heuchera and Hosta update. Of course, there will be a cactus update once I move them back outside.

Until next time, be safe and stay positive and GET DIRTY!


April 7 & 10 Update

Achillea ‘Moondust’

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well and excited. Excited that spring seems to have finally sprung. I started mowing the yard(s) a few days ago and hopefully, I can till the garden this week. I see the rain is now out of the forecast. Saturday night weather radar showed a thunderstorm heading our way but somehow it never came. Then all the rain forecasted for the week was kind of removed. I was talking to a friend from Mississippi and she said they have had A LOT of rain and more to come. You just never know. It seems some times of the year the weather is hard to predict.

The plants inside want out BAD but I told them later this week lows in the 30’s are predicted. Most of them smiled like they were saying they wouldn’t mind. Others had a different opinion which was kind of like mine. They decided to take a vote and strangely enough, it was unanimous they go outside now. I had to veto… Hmmm… Is it possible to veto a vote? Is that legal? They said the grass is green and growing and so are the plants outside already. I told them they may be coming up but only some were growing good. The overnight lows are still cool so most of the perennials are just sitting there waiting for warmer temperatures. I told the cactus that sometimes cooler temperatures can scar them. Well, they didn’t especially like that idea so they agreed to stay inside, for now, would be OK.

The above photo is the Achillea ‘Moondust’ I bought last spring. It hadn’t appeared yet when I took photos on March 30. I thought it may have not made it through the winter so I was glad to see it.


Achillea millefolium by the barn…

All the Achillea millefolium in the beds are up and running as is the one I put in front of the barn last summer. I am sure the “wild” Achillea millefolium are up as well but I haven’t checked.


Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’…

All the Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’ are going nuts now. I see they are starting to bud, too.


The unknown Astilbe cultivar…

The Astilbe have come up this past week. I never did figure out the cultivar name of the one brought home from Lowe’s in 2013. I had checked several pots to find the one I wanted, but when I came home I saw it had a wrong label in the pot. It was for a completely different plant…


Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’…

The Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ I brought home last spring has also come up this past week. NICE! Grammarly thinks it should be called final…


Wanna be Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’…

The Baptisia labeled ‘Lunar Eclipse’ I brought home from the garden center in Clinton in 2017 is growing well. There were two sizes available and the plants in the larger pots were blooming but very expensive The smaller pots were still not cheap but agreeable. However, they weren’t flowering and they didn’t until last year. The flowers were all blue instead of the color of ‘Lunar Eclipse’. While it is true their flowers do turn blue, they start out yellow. It is possible I missed the yellow phase but I highly doubt it. When I make a trip to the garden center within a few weeks I will take a photo of the flowers and show the owner. I know it isn’t her fault but she may be interested to know. I am somewhat acquainted with the breeder, too.


Cylindropuntia imbricata (Tree Cholla)…

The Cylindropuntia imbricata (Tree Cholla) hasn’t started doing anything weird yet. I had to pull out some chickweed in the planter and she was nice this time. Normally she bites! This plant reminds me of the Delaware hens when I gather eggs. I do not put my hands under the Delaware hens when they are on the nest and I do my best not to touch this cactus. Both are very grabby.


Echinacea purpurea cv. ‘?’…

The Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower), whatever cultivar they may be, are doing quite well. I have a notion to dig some of the wild species up and plant them on the farm. I know where I can privately dig three species. 🙂


Heuchera ‘Lime Ricky’…

The Heuchera ‘Lime Ricky’ is all aglow and already brightening up its southeast area of the shade bed. It seems a lit stunted so I will need to check the soil under its roots. Darn moles!


Heuchera ‘Obsidian’…

I am glad to see the Heuchera ‘Obsidian’ getting off to a good start. Last year as it was starting to look good, the deer sampled its leaves. It didn’t do well all summer after that. So far, no deer have nibbled anything this spring yet.


Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’…

The Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ is doing amazingly well. I am glad it’s happy.


Heuchera ‘Venus’…

The Heuchera ‘Venus’ is doing AWESOMELY well but she is complaining about bulbs growing in her space. I found a lot of small bulbs growing in this area when I dug this bed in 2017. I removed as many as I could see then replanted them later. Some of the bulbs were so small I guess I missed them. I attempted to identify the bulbs once they flowered again but I still haven’t decided what they are.


Hosta ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’…

The Hosta, for the most part, are slowly coming to life. They have come up but they haven’t made up their mind to get up and go. Kind of like I am when I need to get out of bed in the morning. I guess it is because low’s have still been fairly cool so the soil has remained cool for the most part.

The Hosta ‘Abique Drinking Gourd’ came up and now is thinking about it. She is wondering if it is safe to unfurl or if there is still an “F” around the corner.


Hosta ‘Blue Angel’…

Hmmm… I don’t know what to think about the supposed-to-be Hosta ‘Blue Angel’. It is going to be weird! It is supposed to be a fairly large Hosta but it remained so small last summer. Here it is, leaves unfurling, while all the other Hosta’s leaves are still tucked up. I am not a Hosta expert and probably need to brush up on Hosta terminology. With larger Hosta, the clump spreads over time and the “new plants” are spread out somewhat. With this plant, as with the H. ‘Blue Mouse Ears’, the cluster is fairly compact with lots of shoots in a small area. That is one reason I believe this plant is not a Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ at all.


Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’…

As you can see with this miniature Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’, the cluster is tight and tidy. Ummm… You know what I mean. 🙂


Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’…

The Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’ pretty much looks like it did a week ago.


Hosta ‘Empress Wu’…

The Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ has taken off like it is being paid. I think she really wants to dazzle us this summer and show us what she’s made of. Supposed to be the world’s largest Hosta but I would say there are a few grow equally as large or close such as Hosta ‘Gentle Giant’, ‘Big John’, ‘Sagae’, and so on. It really depends on which website you look at. This will be this Hosta ‘Empress Wu’s’ third summer here so she still a couple of years to reach maturity.

*Several days have passed since the above photo was taken on April 7. It is easy to notice how much it grows because it is next to the side entrance of the house. It seems like it grows a couple of inches every day.


Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’…

Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’ is doing better. It felt rejected because I thought it had fallen into a collapsed mole tunnel. It wondered why I didn’t dig into the soil and look for it if I was concerned. Hmmm… Now, what do you say about something like that? I told it I wasn’t really sure what happened at the time and then later I did realize I was looking in the wrong spot. I also reminded it that I DID scrape off the top inch or so of the soil when I found it was OK. Three of the Hosta somehow got covered with more soil and this was one of them.


Hosta ‘Guacamole’…

I put the Hosta ‘Guacamole’ #1 and 2 back together again as I was taking photos. Now, that’s better… I like keeping the Hosta cultivars together even if I divide. I moved one part of it last spring to fill the vacancy left behind by Hosta ‘Rainforest Sunrise’. Now I need to find another variegated Hosta for that spot.


Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’…

One of the Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’ clumps took off a little faster than the other two and it has spread a little. NICE!


Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’…

The Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’ in the previous photo is on the right side of the above photo. There is another group in the top center, and the other is where my finger is pointing. At least I can get them all in the same photo.


Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’…

The Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’ has REALLY done well and its clump has grown to a massive size! Even the moles seem to be scared of it!


Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’…

This Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ I put here last spring will someday be very impressive. One of the most popular of the larger Hosta, it will grow to above 2′ tall x about 4-5′ wide within a few years.


Hosta sieboldiana ‘Elegans’…

I have no clue what is going on with the Hosta sieboldiana ‘Elegans’. It almost appears its roots have been pushed up from freezing and thawing. I need to have a closer look and perhaps bury is a little deeper. Maybe put some soil on top of it… Maybe a mole pushed it up.


Hosta ‘Whirlwind’…

I had to uncover the Hosta ‘Whirlwind’ because it is one that somehow had o much soil on top of it. I think they all need somewhat elevated in this particular bed.


Nepeta x faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’…

The Nepeta x faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint) is looking awesomely well. It has not spread hardly at all but it will grow into a nice mound around 30″ in diameter.


Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’…

The Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ is looking good! I trimmed the old stems and leaves so it could get more sun and look much better. I am hoping for flowers!


Salvia nemorosa ‘New Dimensions Blue’…

Salvia nemorosa ‘New Dimensions Blue’ is back again for another round. There is a Red Clover that is invading its space… Hard to remove the Red Clover because it has a tough root system and it is growing right in the Salvia!


Salvia pratensis ‘Midnight Model’…

I am really glad to see the Salvia pratensis ‘Midnight Model’ this spring. I really liked its unique flowers.


Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’/’May Night’…

The Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ or ‘May Night’ is really looking good. It took somewhat of a vacation from flowering last summer so hopefully it will get with the program this year. It is getting off to a very good start!


Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’…

All of the Sedum are looking better every day. I am especially keeping an eye on the Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’. I am curious why this variegated variety is referred to as a cultivar instead of a variety. Even the way I phrased that makes no sense. Is it a natural mutation or manmade? The International Crassulaceae Network lists a Phedimus kamtschaticus variegatus, which in a roundabout way, is this plant.


Sedum kamtschaticum

The Sedum kamtschaticum is looking very good as it always does. Maybe this will be the year I can tell if it is Sedum kamtschaticum or the subspecies Sedum kamtschaticum subsp. ellacombianum. The latter is pretty likely because it a good sized growing plant with fairly large leaves. Of course, there is no “official” subspecies by that name now on POWO and it isn’t even listed as a synonym. Of course, this may be the year the botanists, horticulturalists, etc. decide to break up the Sedum genus AGAIN. In that case, it would probably be Phedimus kamtschaticus or Phedimus kamtschaticus subsp. ellacombianum. Whoops! Maybe Phedimus aizoon. Hmmm… Maybe… I think I better stop because there are a lot of “if’s” involved and a lot of decisions to be made by the folks who are trying to sort through all the thousands of multiple species. They are doing their best.

There are several genera of plants with hundreds of species representing annuals, perennials, trees shrubs, and succulents (i.e. 1,986 species of Euphorbia). Currently, there are 545 accepted species of Sedum which are mainly succulent plants. While most share something in common, or they wouldn’t be in the genus, there are many species that separate them from the rest. Over the years, many groups of Sedum have been moved to other genera only to have them put back again (Phedimus, Hylotelephium, Rhodiola, Orostachys and so on).


Sedum spurium cv. ?…

The Sedum spurium ‘?’ is looking good despite its border wall has collapsed. I need to fix that right away.


Sedum spurium ‘John Creech’…

The Sedum spurium John Creech’ is off to a rambunctious start. I think it is going to just pick up where it left off and continue invading in neighbors territory.


Sempervivum ‘Killer’…

The Sempervivum ‘Killer’ hasn’t changed much since the last time I took photos…


Stachys byzantina

The Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ears) are looking great! They really seem to like this spot in the southeast corner bed.


Stellaria media (Chickweed)…

It may sound funny, but this is the first year in my life I have noticed the Chickweed (Stellaria media) flowering so much. Normally, I barely even get a glimpse early in the morning and just a few buds or spent flowers. This year they are flowering up a storm everywhere. Ummm… There is A LOT!

So many of us look at Chickweed as a real pain in the neck. The flower beds are LOADED this time of the year. Chickweed is both edible and nutritious and can be included in salads. Chickweed is also used as a herbal remedy.

Chickweed belongs to the Caryophyllaceae Family along with 93 other genera including Dianthus and Gypsophila. The genus Stellaria contains 181 species.


Xanthosoma robustum rhizome…

The Xanthosoma robustum, which I have been calling Xanthosoma sagittifolium, has a problem. The rhizome has been fine all winter and then I noticed the old one and one offset has rotted.


Xanthosoma robustum rhizome…

Thank goodness there is still one good offset.



It has taken a few days to finish this post. I finally finished mowing the first round of grass on Monday. Just in time to start over again. 🙂 Tis the season… I took a few more photos on Wednesday (the 10th).

Anyway, it is nothing uncommon in the spring for…


Of course, this is a tulip. When I moved to the farm after grandpa passed away in April 1981, there was an old tulip bed in front of the house. One spring after they flowered I decided to move the tulips next to the garden fence so they wouldn’t be in the middle of the front yard. Although I managed to get most of them, there were MANY that I couldn’t find… The stem kept going and going but there were no bulbs. Evening though I was very determined and I had dug down quite a ways, there were several bulbs I could not find because they had gone so deep. That was in the early 1980’s and still, after around 35 years they are STILL coming up in the middle of the front yard.


Then on Monday, I saw this one in a completely different location. It has come up about 20 feet from where I planted them along the fence and a good 30 feet from where the bed in the front yard was. Ironically, none of the bulbs I planted long ago along the fence have come up since I have been back here. This is weird… Where did this tulip come from. Makes me wonder how deep its bulb is… Yeah, I am going to see if I can find it.


I am not 100% sure, but I think I possibly planted this one from grandmas old bed.


While I was mowing I also noticed the old maple tree is LOADED with flowers. I thought this tree was about dead a few years ago, but it keeps on going. This spring it has completely come to life like nobodies business!


A few years ago, when I thought it was going to die, it started oozing more sap from way up in the trunk. It started losing leaves and I thought it was a goner for sure. It was late blooming and leafing out the next spring.


This photo doesn’t show it well, but most of the trunk is completely black from the sap.

OH, LOOK AT THOSE ORBS! I always take two photos of everything in case one is messed up. Hmmm… The orbs are in both photos in exactly the same spot. Some claim the orbs are from dust, but it was very windy today when I was taking photos. Wouldn’t you think the “dust orbs” would have moved or even been absent in the second photo since it was so windy? 🙂


I was waiting for the wind to die down enough to get a few shots of the flowers… The flowers of this maple are a lot different than the others.


I have tried on numerous occasions to start new trees from the seed. Even from the one with purple leaves. The trees get a few inches tall then die…


The Grape Hyacinths (Muscari armeniacum) are as common around here as grass. I think they are pretty neat and I try and mow around them in the yard. Even the ones I mow off are flowering again in a few days. If I dig their bulb up in the flower beds, I just stick them back in the dirt.


Another common sight in my yard, and maybe yours, too… Some of the clumps are smaller than others and some have an oniony smell and others don’t. I have experimented a little and mowed around them to see what happens. There is a HUGE group down by the lagoon like the one in the above photo and these do smell like onions. They are one of nearly 1,000 Allium species (POWO currently says 977, which is almost 1,000). I have not ventured to try and find out the species name.


These little Daffodils in front of the chicken house are really neat. I think mom and dad ordered these from Publisher’s Clearing House and I planted them here.


A couple of them have white tepals with yellow coronas…


The rest have very pale creamy yellow coronas


There is plenty of Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule) growing here and there…


As well as its cousin the Dead Nettle (Lamium purpurea).


The Common Blue Violet (Viola sororia) is starting to flower. There are plenty of them, too.


I always like their flowers!

I can start moving plants to the front and back porch next week. If we get another cold front I will have to move them back inside.

That’s it for this post. Until next time, be safe and stay positive. Now it is time to GET DIRTY!

New Rain Gauge, New Plants, Sparrows Evicted…

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well. The grass is really greening up and the trees are budding out nicely. We had rain and thunderstorms this weekend and there 2″ in the new rain gauge. Ah, yes… A new rain gauge. The old one broke so I looked online and locally and was shocked at how much a new one costs. There are all sizes and types adorned with this and that that I wasn’t interested in. I just wanted something simple that I could attach to the railing on the back porch. I found some cheap enough on Ebay so I bought one for $2.42 with free shipping. It arrived in a box from Lowe’s and was definitely shipped by Lowe’s. Inside the box was even a receipt from Lowe’s. I thought that was somewhat strange because I didn’t buy it from Lowe’s. Anyway, it is simply a glass tube that holds 5″ of rain with a piece of flimsy metal holding the tube in place that attaches with a couple of screws to the railing. It will serve the purpose and if it breaks I haven’t lost that much.


I had to go to Lowe’s on Friday because I needed a new light for the elevator at church. The elevator at church is, um, very old. If I am not mistaken, this elevator was installed in the early 1980’s and those lights are original A while back one of the fluorescent lights in the elevator burned out.


Luckily, Lynn Wilson found one in his garage with the same type of plug. We both knew then if the other light burned out we wouldn’t be so fortunate. Well, a couple of weeks ago the other light burned out. I looked locally and online and couldn’t find one with the same type of plug. The bulb in the old light cannot be removed and the whole fixture needs replaced. The writing on the fixture says GE Light Stick… Just imagine. These lights are about 40 years old and they just now burned out.


The bulb is actually glued to the fixture. Anyway, Lowe’s and Menards didn’t have any with that type of plug either. So, I wound up buying one locally and I will have to cut and splice the wires.

Of course, while I was a Lowe’s I had to go check out the plant department. I mainly wanted to see if there was any new cactus. It is just an addiction that can only be helped with more plants. Do I need more? No. It is kind of eating when you aren’t really hungry or going to bed when you aren’t sleepy. OK, so maybe that isn’t in the same category for most people. 🙂

Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, Lowe’s did have cactus… The rack was in the garden center where morning low temps are still pretty cool. I wonder if they move them inside for the night… Anyway, I hadn’t been to Lowe’s for quite a while so I have no idea how long they have had these cactus. Their soil was actually and surprisingly dry which is a good thing. Maybe they have an employee that knows not to water them when it is cool. Well, maybe that is a long shot…

I couldn’t take photos of the new plants until the next day because it was dark when we arrived back home. I started my plant name research on Plants of the World Online right away. Unfortunately, the Llifle (Encyclopedia of Living Forms) website was not working. Then, the next day POWO wasn’t working either… Three days later they are both working again. GEEZ! Their plant pages aren’t all ready so I have included a link with each one for you to check them out on Llifle if you choose.

Introducing, in alphabetical order, the new members of the Belmont Rooster collection…

Echinopsis mirabilisFLOWER OF PRAYER

ek-in-OP-sis  mih-RAB-ih-liss

Echinopsis mirabilis

I thought this Echinopsis mirabilis was a strange looking creature that needed a new home. I think the very dark green color and its odd fuzzy appendages are what caught my eye right off. In a world of cactus where so many look alike, this one is definitely weird.

The label says this cactus is a Setiechinopsis mirabilis. HOWEVER, this species was named Echinopsis mirabilis by Carlo Luigi Spegazzini in 1905 (Echinopsis mirabilis Speg.). Curt Backeberg and “ex-author” Th. de Haas attempted to rename this plant in 1940 as Setiechinopsis mirabilis (Speg.) Backeb. ex de Haas. Well, it is back to Echinopsis mirabilis again.

The common name for this cactus is Flower of Prayer. Llifle and Cactus-Art both say the same thing about this cactus (and most all cactus, succulents, etc.) because I think the same guy did both websites. ANYWAY, he says Echinopsis mirabilis is “much underrated in cultivation, perhaps because it is so easy to grow, notwithstanding this, it is one of the most fascinating and showy species.”


When you buy a plant there is only so much a small stick-on label can tell you. This plant actually has more in common with some Cereus species than species in the Echinopsis genus. The flowers open at night and for only one night. The flowers are self-fertile and supposedly produce “hundreds” of seeds per fruit whether they have been pollinated or not. BUT… this silly plant is strangely monocarpic which means it will die sometime after flowering. Fortunately, it will produce several flowers in succession. The fuzzy appendages will apparently lead to more flowers. The one coming out of the top is from an old flower and the dried seed pod is hanging off the end. They flower in ther second year and the plants seldom grow to more than about 6″ tall. This one will be interesting to watch for sure. Click HERE if you would like to see the flowers on Llifle.


Euphorbia mammillaris-Corncob Cactus, ETC.

yoo-FOR-bee-uh  mam-mil-LAIR-iss

Euphorbia mammillaris

This is a Euphorbia mammillaris who’s many common names all include the word “Corncob”. It was named and described as such by our friend Carl von Linnaeus in the first edition of Species Plantarum in 1753. Typical of all or most of the 1,986 species in the Euphorbia genus (currently), it has a milky latex sap. I have grown several succulents in the genus and all have been interesting companions. Llifle says, “It is a short-stemmed dioecious shrublet producing a dense cluster.”


This species has 7-17 ribs with hexagonal tubercles in vertical rows resembling an ear of corn. It also has a few spines.


I like the small leaves and there are remnants of its small yellow flowers. To read more about the Euphorbia mammillaris on Llifle, click HERE.


Ferocactus wislizeni-FISHHOOK BARREL

fer-oh-KAK-tus  wis-LIZ-en-ee

Ferocactus wislizeni

This is the Ferocactus wislizeni (Ferocactus wislizeni (Engelm.) Britton & Rose) commonly known as the Fishhook Barrel Cactus. It was named and described as such by Nathaniel Lord Britton and Joseph Nelson Rose in Cactaceae in 1922. It was first named Echinocactus wislizeni by Georg (George) Engelmann in 1848. The International Plant Names Index (IPNI) says Engelmann’s description was published in Wislizeni Tour North Mexico 96 but gave no date. I looked the name up on the Tropicos website and it says Friedrich Adolph Wislizenus was the “in author” and the description was published in Memoir of a Tour to Northern Mexico in 1848. The tour was connected with Col. Doniphan’s Expedition in 1846 and 1847.


Anyway… This plant had a ridiculous “strawflower” hot-glued to the top of it. I was fortunate to be able to find the others without the strawflower. I was able to snip off most of it. I had a similar Fish Hook Cactus several years ago that died not long after I brought it home. I had been looking for a replacement because I really like the HUGE recurved spines.

This plant is very small but in the wild they grow HUGE and are very long-lived (up to 130 years). They have a tendency to lean south toward the equator which apparently led to one of its common names, Compass Barrel Cactus.

Llifle (and Cactus-Art) have a lengthy description about this plant which you can view by clicking HERE. The species is “variable” and this plant is very small so it will change somewhat with age.


Gymnocalycium saglionis-GIANT CHIN CACTUS

jim-no-kal-LISS-ee-um  SAG-lee-oh-nis

Gymnocalycium saglionis

Hmmm… Giant Chin Cactus? That is an odd name for the Gymnocalycium saglionis. The label says Gymnocalycium saglione but when I looked the name up on POWO I saw it was spelled incorrectly. Gymnocalycium saglionis (F.Cels) Britton and Rose was named and described as such by Nathaniel Lord Britton and Joseph Nelson Rose in Cactaceae in 1922. It was first named Echinocactus saglionis by François Cels in Portefeuille des Horticulteurs in 1847.


Since this plant is small, it has 1-3 nearly straight central spines depending on where you look, and 7-8 recurved radial spines. Llifle says the species has 1-3 central spines and 10-15 radial spines. The felted areoles sit on top of strangely large and globose looking tubercles. The apex is spineless on this plant but that could change. The subspecies Gymnocalycium saglionis subsp. tilcarense has longer spines and larger tubercles than the species. I haven’t seen the species in person, but my plant appears to have large tubercles and fairly long spines. So, it could possibly be the subspecies.

The plant can grow fairly large and grows abundantly in protected habitats in Argentina. To read more about this cactus on Llifle, click HERE.


Parodia magnifica-BALLOON OR BALL CACTUS

par-ROH-dee-uh  mag-NIH-fee-kuh

Parodia magnifica

This neat little cactus kind of sorta reminds me of the two Parodia lenninghausii already in my collection. As with them, the label had the incorrect genus name, Notocactus. Parodia magnifica (F.Ritter) F.H.Brandt is the correct and accepted name for this species of cactus. It was named and described as such by Fred Hermann Brandt in Kakteen Orchideen Rundschau in 1982.  It was first named Eriocactus magnificus F.Ritter by Friedrich Ritter in Succulenta (Netherlands) in 1966. The name Notocactus magnificus was given to this species by Hans Krainz and ex author Nigel Paul Taylor in Cactus and Succulent Journal of Great Britain in 1980 (Notocactus magnificus (F.Ritter) Krainz ex. N.P.Taylor).


It’s eleven ribs seem much more prominent than Parodia lenninghausii and its thin spines aren’t quite as long. It doesn’t really make you want to reach out and pet it as much although it is still fairly soft to the touch. I like how the wooly areoles show up well all along the ribs with the contrasting yellow spines. Very nice looking plant.

Llifle says, “This species grows in hilly grassland and on walls between cracks in the rocks or in the shade of larger growing plants in deciduous forest. It grows in one of the most temperate regions of the countries with warm and cool seasons and weather can become very cold during the winter nights, often it will fall to just above freezing without harming the plants as it is also very dry. The soil there is well drained and has a fairly high organic content, derived from the decomposition of other plants.” It has a small fragmented range in Brazil (Rio Grande do Sul) Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina. Click HERE to read more about this plant on Llifle.


I finally cleaned out the Martin house and gave the sparrows their eviction notice. Susie is patiently waiting for a few of them to get into a squabble and forget she is there. I kind of felt sorry for the sparrows over the winter when it was cold so I let them use the house. Soon the Martins will arrive so the sparrows will have to find other accommodations.


They aren’t very happy about the situation… I wonder what they are plotting.



I took a nap in the afternoon and woke up to my son Nathan and his friend Chris on the back porch. Once again, they have done some rearranging… I reminded them that the cactus go in that spot and the table will have to go back on the front porch. They found an old percolator in the basement and had to try it out. I have been alone for a while and “certain things” go in “certain places” and “certain places” have “certain things” there. The kitchen has been rearranged and I often have to go look for “certain things”. I explain to Nathan where “certain things” go and he asks why do they belong there. My answer is simply “because they just do.” 🙂

They have been here for a few weeks now and it has been OK for the most part. Their sleep schedule is worse than mine, though. Basically, they have none at the moment. At first, I had to get used to someone being up and sometimes in the kitchen in the wee hours in the morning if I needed a snack. Old habits are hard to break especially if you enjoy those old habits. I have been told to lead by example. GEEZ!!!

That is about all I have to talk about now.

OH, WAIT A MINUTE! There is one more thing I almost forgot!

A few days ago I noticed this little shoe sitting on the floor of the back porch. I had never seen it before so I asked Nathan and Chris if they had noticed it. They said they did but we all just left it there. It was odd to me because It reminded me of another shoe I had found several years ago in the strangest place. I was on a ladder at the mansion in Mississipi cleaning a light fixture. The fixture was hanging from a chain next to the stairs across from the dining room. The shoe was on top of the light. I left it there hoping that someone would find it after I left and also find it odd. I don’t remember the color but this shoe definitely reminded me of it. Hmmm… Makes me wonder where this shoe came from on the back porch. Could it be?

Now I am finished. Until next time, be safe, stay positive, take a deep breath of spring air (if you are where it is spring).

Sunday Discovery

Hosta ‘Whirlwind’ on 3-4-19, #556-7.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all doing well. I am normally a very patient guy, but my impatience got the best of me. This time it was a good thing. This afternoon (Sunday) I decided to take the camera, get the hand trowel, and go searching for the Hosta that hadn’t come up on the 7th and 10th. Guess what? I found them!

I first went to the spot where the Hosta ‘Whirlwind was supposed to be. I put the trowel in the soil past where it should have been and raised the soil a little. Then, using my fingers, gently scraped off the top a little. I didn’t want to accidentally break off any sprouts that may be just emerging. Low and behold, I found Hosta ‘Whirlwind’ starting to come up. Perhaps with the freezing and thawing throughout the winter, the roots had gone deeper which delayed it coming up.


Hosta ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’ on 3-24-19, #556-2.

I went to where the label of the Hosta ‘Abique Drinking Gourd was and dug down a little in the soil behind it. I found nothing. I thought that was a little weird. So, I removed the leaves in front of the label and found it. GEEZ! I usually put the labels in front of the Hosta not behind them! Well, I suppose I must have forgotten about that even though I bought it in 2017. There are three Hosta planted the same distance from the old fish pool, so after finding this one, I have an idea where the other two are now…


Hosta ‘Guacamole” #2 on 3-24-19, #556-4.

I went to the spot where I thought I put the Hosta ‘Guacamole’ #2 last spring and removed the leaves and some of the soil. AH HA! I found it! Now I can move it back with the other Hosta ‘Guacamole’ so I won’t have them in two spots.


Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’ on 3-24-19, #556-3.

Then I moved to where the Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’ was supposed to be. Remember the last post I showed a photo of a hole where I thought it should have been? Ummm… Behind the label? So, I removed the leaves in front of the label and found the remains of an old flower stem… I removed some of the soil and found Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’.

There is still a vacant spot where the Hosta ‘Rainforest Sunrise’ was planted in 2017. It did not come back up last spring so I should find a replacement for that area. There needs to be four Hosta about the same size along the old goldfish pool.

I also found no trace of the Hosta ‘Red October’.

Then I moved to the bed where the Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’ and H. ‘Blue Angel’ has already come up to see if I could find the Hosta Krossa Regal’.


Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’ on 3-24-19, #556-5.

I removed a lot of leaves in the area where the 3-4 Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’ were supposed to be. I had moved them to this area in 2017 and also divided the clump. I ran my fingers through the soil a little and found two sprouts. I didn’t look for any of the others yet because I know now they will be peeking through any time if they survived. Since this one survived, there is no reason to think the others haven’t.

Then I went to check on the Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’.


Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ on 3-24-19, #556-6.

I knew finding the Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ may be a little tricky because the label disappeared. After removing a bunch of leaves and running my fingers through the soil I finally found it!

So now all the Hosta except ‘Red October’ are accounted for. WHEW! That makes 12 cultivars…

Then I went to the bed behind the old foundation (along where the back porch of my grandparent’s house used to be).


Echinacea purpurea on 3-24-19, #556-1.

The Echinacea purpurea (Purple Cone Flower) have started coming up now. I planted several in this bed as well as one in the southeast corner bed by the house. They are all coming up now.


Sedum kamtschaticum on 3-24-19, #556-9.

I took a better look at the Sedum kamtschaticum in the bed and saw how much it has spread. It has been here for several years but never spread this much before. Last year it sprawled out quite a bit and the stems took root where they were touching the soil. NICE! As always, there is a lot of Chickweed and Lamium amplexicaule (Henbit) coming up in this bed.


Sempervivum ‘Killer’

While I was at it I decided to replant the Sempervivum ‘Killer’. The older plants had died since they flowered last spring and left behind a mass of dead leaves and roots. Since they are monocarpic, they literally flower themselves to death. The plant in the center on the left side of the photo may be the remains of one that flowered than hadn’t completely died yet. They were in the center of the planter but I moved them closer to the east side. Now there are 15.

The Cylindropuntia imbricata (Tree Cholla) is getting bigger so working in this planter is a bit tricky. It stuck me a couple of times when I was removing the Sempervivum even though I was being careful. I may just have to move it somewhere else.


Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant) and Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ on 3-24-19, #556-8.

I removed the leaves from the corner where the Obedient Plant are to see how much they have spread. I think they must spread over the winter under the leaves that blow into the corner. To think it all started with only one plant in 2017…

That’s it for now. Until next time, be safe and stay positive. I am happy now that I can start getting my fingers in the dirt again.

Hosta ‘Empress Wu’, The Crocus, and Monarda

Achillea millefolium in front of the chicken house.

Hello everyone. I hope this post finds you well. I checked on other perennials Sunday afternoon to see if any more had sprouted. Not much has changed because the evening temperatures have still been cool.

While I was at it, I took a photo of the Achillea millefolium in front of the chicken house. It is very strange how much different they grow in certain areas. I think I will do an exclusive post about the species later.


Crocus sp.

It was great to see the Crocus I mentioned in the last post is up and flowering. It would be good to find out the species of this Crocus but I would REALLY like to know where they came from…


Crocus sp.

According to Plants of the World Online by Kew, there are 245 accepted species in the Crocus genus. Plants of the World Online is a very good website for plant names now, but their distribution maps are strange. They say Crocus species are native to Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Austria, Baleares, Bulgaria, Corse, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, East Aegean Is., France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Kriti, Krym, Lebanon-Syria, Libya, Morocco, North Caucasus, Pakistan, Palestine, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sardegna, Sicilia, Spain, Switzerland, Tadzhikistan, Transcaucasus, Turkey, Turkey, Turkey-in-Europe, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Xinjiang, Yugoslavia.

It also says they were introduced to Arkansas, Belgium, Connecticut, Great Britain, Ireland, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Netherlands, New York, Ontario, Oregon, Utah, West Himalaya. Hmmm… With the THOUSANDS of bulbs sold every year, how can that even be possible? There have to be millions growing in much of the United States. Raise your hand if you have seen Crocus in your state (both hands if you have some in your yard)… 🙂

I’m not complaining because I am sure it is a lot of work to manage a website like Plants of the World Online. They have done a GREAT job!


Cylindropuntia imbricata...

The Cylindropuntia imbricata (Tree Cholla) has gotten its green color back. Now it will start doing weird things with itself. This cactus is really neat and for several months it will be doing something different every time I take photos… It keeps us entertained.


Hosta ‘Empress Wu’.

Finally, Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ is sprouting! GEEZ! I always start checking the Hosta at the beginning of March. There are always a few that have already started coming up. I have no idea when they first begin because I don’t check on them in February. I get pretty anxious because some don’t appear as soon making me wonder if they have survived the winter. The size of their “sprouts” is also variable… Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’ sprouts are always large in comparison to the other Hosta I have grown. The above photo shows how tiny the sprouts of Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ are and it is supposedly the largest Hosta in the world…

Even though the Hosta are coming up, lingering cool temperatures will keep them from growing. They can sit like this for WEEKS! Continually freezing and thawing can have an adverse effect on Hosta. It is better for the ground to stay frozen, which you can prolong with a good layer of mulch that won’t blow off.


Monarda didyma ‘Cherry Pops’.

I was really surprised to see the Monarda didyma ‘Cherry Pops’ with new growth. I had to carefully examine the old stem to make certain the leaves were really coming from it. Sure enough, at least one of the two has survived the winter. The other one didn’t have new growth yet.

It is only mid-March so we have a ways to go before some of the perennials and re-seeding annuals will come up. The grass is greening up now which is a good sign.


I started this post on Sunday but I wanted to wait until today (Monday) to finish to see if the Crous flowers would be open. Sure enough, they were. There aren’t many, but they are still pretty neat.


You never know what will pop up, even when you have been at the same place for many years.

That’s it for now. Of course, I will keep checking on what else will be coming up. Probably every day or so. It is such an anxious time of the year!

Until next time, be safe and stay positive. I think it is plenty warm enough now to get really dirty!

Signs of Spring

Achillea millefolium on 3-10-19, #552-1.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well. I took a few photos of the first perennials and bulbs coming up on March 7 and 10. Some have started coming up while others are a little slower. This winter has not been near as cold and we did have snow off and on which was different than last year. It makes a big difference as to what comes up and when. The constant cold spells and followed by warmer temps and thawing in between can cause some problems for some perennials. Even older well-established perennials can rot during winters like this one if not in a well-draining location.

The above photo shows new growth on the clump of Achillea millefolium closest to the house (o the north side) The one farther away from the house has not started coming up. I haven’t checked the one in front of the chicken house or by the barn. I haven’t noticed if the “wild” Achillea millefolium has started to come up or not. 2019 is our 8th anniversary.

Some of the Hosta has started coming up in the shade beds, but Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ on the north side of the house is showing no sign. Hopefully, this is because the soil is still too cold in this spot.

I am going alphabetical order with the photos…

Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’ on 3-7-19, #551-1.

The Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’ (Bugleweed) under some remaining snow on March 7 is green and sending out new growth. 2019 is our 9th anniversary.


Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’ on 3-10-19, #552-2.

The colony that is by a Chinese Elm is still looking brown…


Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’ on 3-10-19, #552-3.

The Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’ is starting to emerge from its winters sleep in the southwest corner bed. I need to keep a watchful eye on this one when its bugs start to open to see if it is really a ‘Lunar Eclipse’. I think someone goofed and put the wrong labels in the pots. The flowers on ‘Lunar Eclipse’ change color and I could have missed the “yellow” phase. I still think something is whacky though.


Heuchera ‘Lime Ricky’ on 3-7-19, #551-2.

All of the Heuchera (Coral Bells) are growing new leaves now. They don’t usually completely disappear over the winter even though they are dormant. Above, Heuchera ‘Lime Ricky’ is getting ready to strut its stuff again in 2019. It was definitely a top performer last summer even though the Japanese Beetles stripped its shade.


Heuchera ‘Obsidian’ on 3-7-19, #551-3.

Heuchera ‘Obsidian’ struggled a little last summer but hopefully 2019 will be better. Maybe a little of ‘The Good Stuff’ is in order. This plant was nibbled on last spring but I am hoping it will escape that fate this year.


Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ on 3-7-19, #551-4.

I AM THANKFUL for the Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ continuing to do well after I almost lost it a couple of years ago. I moved it only a few feet from where it was to a new bed and it perked up. I really like this cultivar. We are celebrating our fifth annversary.


Heuchera ‘Venus’ on 3-7-19, #551-5.

Heuchera ‘Venus’ made it through the winter very well and appears to have started growing before the others. Maybe it is getting off to a good start for an AWESOME 2019. 🙂

If Heuchera ‘Southern Comfort’ returns it will be a miracle. It struggled last spring so I moved it to a new location. It continued to struggle and remained small although it was growing new leaves. It basically fizzled out by the end of the summer. BUT, you never know…


Geranium sanguineum on 3-10-19, #552-4.

The Geranium sanguineum (Bloody Cranesbill) has had a few green leaves all winter. I wanted to move a few of these here and there last spring but didn’t. I think it would do better in a better-draining location. Sometimes it does very well here but sometimes not. To damp and crowded seems to cause a bit of a crown rot issue. They have survived here since dad relocated them from the “other house” in 1996. I planted them first in 1981 when I lived I “the other house” after grandpa died. Maybe this spring I can spread them around a little more. I guess this is the 38th anniversary of when I first bought the Geranium sanguineum from Bluestone Perennials in 1981.


Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ on 3-7-19, #551-6.

To be or not to be, that is the question… I bought this Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ from Mast’s Greenhouse last June 7th but it remained very small. That was very strange since this cultivar is supposed to get big. I am not sure if it was mislabeled or if the company they bought it from used a growth retardant to keep them small. Maybe they didn’t want to put them in a bigger pot. That would be weird since it is a Hosta and it seems they would have put them in larger pots in the first place (since ‘Blue Angel’ is a large Hosta). You just never know… I will see what happens this year… If it remains small I will have to figure out what cultivar it is.


Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ on 3-10-19, #552-5.

Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ is getting off to a good start although it is looked like this most of the winter. It is kind of weird and seems to like a good part of its, umm, clump above ground. I put it deeper last spring after it got going, and then again later I think and here it is like this again… GEEZ! This is my first miniature Hosta so maybe this is normal for them. I don’t know… The roots have not heaved up because it is firmly in the ground. Weird… I am just thankful it survived two winters doing the same thing.


Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’ on 3-7-19, #551-7.

Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’ is getting ready to start its second year. This is a very delightful gold-leaved Hosta that always brightens up the area. NICE!


Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’ on 3-7-19, #551-8.

Hmmm… There appears to be a hole where Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’ is supposed to be… What kind of a deal is this? Did it rot? Maybe it fell into a mole run… I will have to check in a few days.


Hosta ‘Guacamole’ on 3-10-19, #552-6.

One of the Hosta ‘Guacamole’ is just barely beginning to emerge while the other hasn’t even started. Hopefully, they will both come up so I can put them back together again. This is our 5th anniversary.


Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’ on 3-7-19, #551-9.

The always AWESOME Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’ is up and ready to rumble. When this Hosta starts coming up and temperatures cooperate, there is nothing that can stop it. It takes off and starts growing like crazy. This is quite a beautiful large dark green leaved Hosta that I really like. This may be our 10th annversary.


Hosta sieboldiana ‘Elegans’ on 3-7-19, #551-10.

The Hosta sieboldiana ‘Elegans’ is just beginning to come up. Its clump is pretty large but only 1-2 sprouts have come up so far. This multiple award winner is always beautiful and one of the reasons I like Hosta so much. This is our 10th anniversary.

Hosta’s ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’, ‘Empress Wu’, ‘Kossa Regal’, ‘Red October’, ‘Sum and Substance’, and ‘Whirlwind’ have not appeared yet… ‘Empress Wu’ was coming up last March 3 when I took photos. ‘Abique Drinking Gourd’, ‘Krossa Regal’, and ‘Red October’ take a little longer. ‘Sum and Substance’ and Whirlwind’ were new in 2018 so I am not sure when they normally wake up.


Lycoris squamigera on 3-10-19, #552-8.

The Lycoris squamigera (Ressurection Lily, Surprise Lily) are up and beginning to give their spring display of green leaves. After the leaves die the bulbs will lie dormant then flower around the first part of August from their dormant bulbs. I thought they were Amaryllis belladonna for many years because they look and behave very similar. Both are members of the Amaryllis family Amaryllidaceae. These have not been flowering very well for several years and no doubt have been here since at least the 1960’s. Oh yeah, it also shares the name Naked Ladies with several other members in the family.


Lysimachia nummularia ‘Goldilocks’ on 3-7-19, #551-11.

The Lysimachia nummularia ‘Goldilocks’ (Creeping Jenny) is off to a good start for 2019 because it remained all winter. When winters are very cold like last year, it completely disappears. No telling where it is heading this summer since it didn’t die back over the winter. GEEZ! That’s OK because there are several bare spots I can stick it as well as move it around here and there. It makes a great groundcover and living mulch. 🙂 This is our 5th anniversry.


Nandina domestica on 3-10-19, #552-9.

The Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) has had a few green leaves all winter. I really love this shrub and I am very glad I bought it with me from Mississippi. Although it is a Japanese native that has become invasive in some areas. The Missouri Department of Conversation website says, “Many cultivars are available having more or less reddish leaves, smaller overall size, and so on. These are currently very popular in garden centers. We urge you to try a native-species alternative.” Hmmm… Heavenly Bamboo are evergreen in warmer climates. If you haven’t tried this shrub, I suggest you do. You will see why they are one of my favorites. It has been 11 years since I met the Nandina domestica.


Narcissus pseudonarcissus on 3-0-19, #552-10.

These Narcissus pseudonarcissus (Daffodile, etc.) have also been here on the farm since the 1960’s when my grandma, no doubt, planted them. There is a HUGE group of them beside the Lycoris squamigera. If these plants could talk I am sure they could tell you a lot about their history.


Nepeta x faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’ on 3-10-19, #552-11.

The Nepeta x faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint) is growing again and ready to have the old trimmed away. I really like this plant because it is about as care-free you can get. Thriving in the fill in the corner by the back of the house and back porch, it doesn’t get a lot of attention but still performs amazingly well. I have concluded ‘Walker’s Low’ is a cultivar of the hybrid Nepeta x faassenii instead of Nepeta racemosa because it doesn’t seem to spread by seed. The seeds are sterile so this cultivar stays in a tidy clump. If it were a cultivar of Nepeta racemosa, it would be spreading by seed as well. Well, I am making that point because some websites call it Nepeta racemosa ‘Walker’s Low’ (i.e. The Missouri Botanical Garden). One of the parents is N. racemosa… Ummm… One reliable website also says Nepeta faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’ which is also incorrect. It should be written with an “x” to say it is a hybrid… Strange how the Missouri Botanical Garden says it is a cultivar of N. racemosa then say it has to be propagated by division because the seeds are sterile… Just saying… This will be our 3rd summer.


Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ on 3-7-19, #551-12.

I uncovered the Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ last week to see how it was doing. I usually keep a big flower pot over it over the winter just in case. The leaves didn’t even turn all brown and crispy this winter. This is our 6th anniversary.


Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ on 3-7-19, #551-13.

I was glad to see new growth early again this year and I am always HOPEFUL it will flower. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. I thought surely it would flower last year since it got an early start but it didn’t. You just never know… I thought about switching places with it and the Baptisia, which I still might do. The Baptisia gets taller and somewhat pushy…


Physostegia virginiana on 3-7-19, #551-14.

The Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant) has been covered with leaves in the southeast corner of the old foundation. Leaves always blow in this corner so the Obedient Plant is well protected over the winter. It has spread quite a bit which is why I wanted it in this spot. It is one of “those areas” I wanted something to fill in the corner which makes mowing and trimming easier. Putting “invasive” plants in corners where they can fill in seems like a good idea to me and it works nicely. Only our 2nd anniversary.


Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ on 3-10-19, #552-12.

I really need to do some work on the Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’. I have them growing in various places and they all do OK. BUT, a couple of years ago I put a few in the northeast corner bed of the old foundation. It this spot they have gone completely bananananananas so they need to be spread out a little. There are also several Rudbeckia hirta (the wild species) in this location which has also done well. This is our 7th anniversary (from Walley Morse in Mississippi).


Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ on 3-10-19, #552-13.

The Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ (May Night’) is always jumping and raring to go and the first of the perennials to emerge. This plants clump has barely gotten larger since the spring of 2013… This is our 6th anniversary.


Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegata’ on 3-7-19, #551-15.

The Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegata’, like the other Sedum, are all aglow in their winter colors. Well, I suppose it isn’t really glowing, more like blushing. The lower leaves of the sedum fall off during the winter while the top leaves remain and turn a reddish color. I thankful Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegata’ survived the winter. Hopefully, the plant with the mostly white leaves will return so I can attempt to take a few cuttings. Such a joy when one of your plants “mutates” into something different. This is our 7th anniversary (I brought it from Mississippi).


Sedum kamtschaticum on 3-7-19, #551-16.

The Sedum kamtschaticum (Orange or Russian Stonecrop) that isn’t variegated sprawled out a bit last summer which led more plants. I really like the bigger chartreuse-green leaves on this Sedum. If it does well, maybe I can determine if it is the subspecies Sedum kamtschaticum subsp. ellacombeanum which is larger with bigger leaves. This is our 3rd anniversary although it seems much longer…


Sedum spurium on 3-7-19, #551-17.

I still haven’t decided if I should call this Sedum spurium the cultivar ‘Dragon’s Blood’ or not. It has always done well but it doesn’t appreciate being called ‘?’. There are other options besides ‘Dragon’s Blood’ which determining the cultivar somewhat difficult. ‘Dragon’s Blood’ has been popular for many years and since I bought it unlabeled from an Amish Greenhouse, it is pretty likely that is what it is. This could be our 4th anniversary.


Sedum spurium ‘John Creech’ on 3-7-19, #551-18.

The Sedum spurium ‘John Creech’ has really spread a lot since 2017 and it kind of getting out of its boundary. It tells me since it is a Sedum spurium it doesn’t have boundaries. I think we need a new contract specifically describing its limitations…


Sempervivum ‘Killer’ on 3-7-19, #551-19.

Last summer the Sempervivum ‘Killer’ amazed me with so many flowers! I had not had any Semps flower before, so I was pretty impressed. The problem is, Sempervivum are monocarpic which means the plant that flowers die… That has left a lot of dead plants in this cluster although there is a number of smaller pants that are taking their place. I just have to clean up the clump and make sure all the rosettes are in the soil. There are quite a few that are just laying on the surface of the soil. This is our 2nd anniversary.


Stachys byzantina on 3-10-19, #552-14.

I think there is only one remaining clump of the Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear). I am thankful it survived and has spread somewhat so I can relocate a few. This is our 6th anniversary.


Syringa sp. on 3-10-19, #552-7.

There are several Lilac (Syringa sp.) in “the other yard” that are very old. Heck, they were old and overgrown when I was a kid. There are different species of Lilac and they don’t all bud and flower at the same time. Only one is budding at the moment but the other two will soon follow. There was another one but it had Poison Ivy growing in it. I sprayed the Poison Ivy after a few years of trying other means to eradicate it. Next thing I knew, the whole Lilac bush was also dead…


Tulipa sp. on 3-10-19, #552-15.

The AWESOME cluster of red Tulips are up and soon will dazzle us with flowers. There was a big bed of tulip in the “other front yard” grandma had planted many years ago. when I moved to the farm in the 1980’s I dug what I could up and moved them along the fence by the garden (I also added more I bought). None of them are there now but there are always a few that come up in the old bed. They are still there because the bulbs are so deep I couldn’t find them.

I haven’t noticed the yellow Crocus in “the other yard” that magically came up last spring. Neither dad or I planted them and neither one of us had ever seen them before. That covers a 37 year period…

Well, that’s it for now. I hope your spring is filled with joy and happiness and you have a great summer ahead. I am so glad to see the grass beginning to turn green and the trees budding out. Time for some color! Time to GET DIRTY!

Until next time, be safe and stay positive.