Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well and getting dirty! I am glad I was asked to help with the bed in front of the church steps. Well, maybe it was kind of my fault in a way that it needed re-planted in the first place. There has been Malva sylvestris (French Hollyhock) growing in the front bed and a couple of daylilies for several years. Two falls ago, after the “F”, I was asked to clean out the bed but I explained I usually do it in the spring (in my own beds). This spring, before I had a chance to do it, someone else did (not to mention names) and they pulled everything up instead of cutting the dead stems. Then “he” asked if I would go with “him” to the greenhouse and find some plants to put in the bed. Well, I needed a good reason to go to the greenhouses, as if I needed a reason at all. So, we made plans and went on Wednesday (the 12th). I took “him” to all four but we just brought back plants from three. I had a few ideas in my head before we went from what I knew was available at Wildwood. We stopped at Wagler’s first but I didn’t see anything that caught my eye. Mrs. Wagler wasn’t there so we didn’t get a chance to visit. Kind of late in the season anyway. Then we went to Wildwood… So, I had this image in my head with what we initially bought from Wildwood, but I wanted to go to Muddy Creek to see what they had. They were almost completely sold out but I found two plants that completely rearranged my initial plan. Then we stopped at Masts and I decided the Purple Fountain Grass would look good on both ends of the bed. Once we came back to the church and I laid all the pots out, I decided we needed more plants. Everything we bought first went on one side so I needed more plants to duplicate the same thing on the other side. 🙂 To be quite honest, the Coleus were not part of the plan but they somehow made their way to the counter and to the church…
From left to right… 1 Purple Fountain Grass, 3 Rudbeckia hirta ‘Becky Cinnamon Bicolor’, 3 Gazinia ‘Arizona Apricot’, 1 Dracaena indivisa (Spikes), 3 Rudbeckia hirta ‘Cherry Brandy, 1 Veronica longifolia ‘Very Van Gogh’, another Dracaena, 1 Achillea ‘Sassy Summer Silver’, another Dracaena, another Veronica longifolia ‘Very Van Gogh, another Dracaena, 3 more Rudbeckia ‘Cherry Brandy… WAIT A MINUTE… Something is weird. Skip the last Dracaena and put here. Then 3 more Gaillardia, umm, ‘Arizona Apricot’, 3 more Rudbeckia ‘Becky Cinnamon Bicolor’, 3 more, no, 1 Purple Fountain Grass. Then, of course, the Coleus, three somewhere in the middle when it is an odd number. OH CRAP! I need another one, or maybe just take cuttings from them all and put them here and there. Hmmm… Now maybe some mulch would be a good idea. 🙂
While we were at Wildwood and Muddy Creek, I saw I needed to go back… So, on Thursday the 13th, I decided I would take them some plants as a good reason to go. I potted up a few Coleus argentea var. spicata ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ and Jewels of Opar (Talinum paniculatum) from the south bed both of them (since I have thousands to spare). I had promised the owners of Muddy Creek some Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip (Bugleweed) so I took them as well…
Well, what can I say? I had been wanting an Achillea ‘Moonshine’ for many years but Achillea just isn’t something you often see at the local garden centers and greenhouses. In fact, Muddy Creek didn’t have these Achillea ‘Sassy Summer Silver’ when I went before. I picked up one for the church then went back and brought one home the next day. It will go in the south bed and it will grow 26-30″ tall.
The flowers are very interesting with very tight, coarse, stiff, almost hard clusters. Zooming in or getting closer made it a little too blurry but I’ll get a good one later. 🙂
There is no species name on the label, but the leaves look similar to Achillea tomentosa. I checked online, and a few websites say it is Achillea millefolium ‘Sassy Summer Silver’. Ummm… The leaves are NOT Achillea millefolium leaves! So, I went to the source and sent Andrew Jager from Walters Gardens an email. He says Achillea ‘Sassy Summer Silver’ is a complex hybrid with multiple species in the background. One of the parents is Achillea ‘Moonshine’ and the other “unnamed” cultivar is also a complex hybrid. He also said one of the unifying species for the Sassy Summer Series is Achillea sibirica*. He went on to say he could not confirm there was any Achillea tomentosa… Other members of the Sassy Summer Collection have lemon yellow, red, pink, and orange flowers.
From previous research for the Achillea ‘Moondust’ page, which is a “chance” seedling from Achillea ‘Moonshine’ (which is open-pollinated), it is believed Achillea ‘Moonshine’s’ parents are Achillea clypeolata and A. taygetea (in a roundabout way). Achillea ‘Moonshine’ was introduced by Alan Bloom in the 1950’s.
*Ummm… According to Plants of the World Online, Achillea sibirica is NOW a synonym of Achillea alpina. GEEZ!
PREVIOUSLY, when I made the planters for a friend, I used three Veronica spicata ‘Royal Candles’ I found at Muddy Creek. This time, they had Veronica ‘Very Van Gogh’ and no ‘Royal Candles’. So, I picked out one for the church and then went back AGAIN and got another one. Of course, when I went back the next day I decided to bring one home which I will also try in the south bed. According to the internet, it is a cultivar of Veronica longiflolia, and according to POWO, it is a current and accepted species. 🙂 Of course, it could be a “complex” hybrid and the internet is wrong. Didn’t that happen before? OH, NO! Veronica ‘Very Van Gogh’ is also an introduction of Walters Gardens. I just noticed that or I could have quizzed Andrew about it, too… OK, when he replies to my last reply, I will reply about this one.
Veronica ‘Very Van Gogh’ grows 18-20″ tall x 20-24″ wide. I have grown several Veronica cultivars but I have difficulty getting to return the following year.
While I was waiting for someone to show up at Muddy Creek, I noticed A LOT of this xMangave ‘Pineapple Express’ in a greenhouse by themselves. I have always wanted to try an xMangave or Manfreda, so this was my chance. Most of the plants they had had longer leaves, but I selected one that was wider and more compact. xMangave is a cross between Agave and Manfreda. xMangave ‘Pineapple Express’ is the result of a cross between xMangave ‘Bloodspot’ and xMangave ‘Jaguar’. Ummm… It was also introduced by Walters Gardens as part of their Mad About Mangave Collection.
I checked with Plants of the World Online, and they said xMangave is a synonym of Agave… Of course, so is the genus Manfreda. So, according to them, this would be an Agave ‘Pineapple Express’. So, should I mention to Andrew that Walters Gardens Mad About Mangave Collection is all screwed up? Somehow I think my next reply to him won’t be met with much enthusiasm… Well, you have to admit, the plant in the above photo does look like an Agave…
OK, so let’s be sensible… Agave species and cultivars always have solid or striped leaves, right? All but a few of the Manfreda species and cultivars I have seen have “spotted” leaves with a few being solid green. Some have very wavy leaves and some of their leaves are fairly narrow and they are spineless. Manfreda also differs from Agave in being herbaceous AND bulbous as is the genus Polianthes and Prochnyanthes. POWO says Polianthes and Prochnyanthes are also synonyms of Agave now.
As it turns out, testing has revealed that Manfreda, Polianthes, and Prochnyanthes are Agave… It’s complicated. Most of the species from the three genera have retained their species names while a few were already synonymous with other Agave species. Now, what do you think of that? I learn something every day!
While back at Wildwood…
Mr. Yoder and I always talk A LOT about plants in a serious way. He is trying to learn the scientific names. 🙂 He gets A LOT of succulents from a distributor of ChickCharms which specializes in Sempervivum. I really like Sempervivum but there are SOOOOO many cultivars that are exactly the same and have the same parents. It is REALLY whacky! To make it worse, many plants are often mislabeled and customers and employees of garden centers can’t tell the difference. Wildwood had several Sempervivum labeled ‘Berry Bomb’ that are actually ChickCharms cultivar called ‘Cosmic Candy’. ‘Cosmic Candy’ is a cultivar of or a hybrid involving Sempervivum arachnoideum that have all the hairs. S. arachnoideum is commonly known as the Cobweb Houseleek.
The Sempervivum arachnoideum are typically green with the cobwebs and the rosettes are fairly smaller and tight. Sempervivum arachnoideum subsp. tomentosum have broader and more open rosettes and have the reddish color in the spring and early summer. More than likely, ‘Cosmic Candy’ is a hybrid of the cobwebs would be longer instead of just looking a bit hairy. Maybe they will get longer with time. We shall see. It is a very beautiful Semp!
He has quite a collection of Tradescantia species and he said he would like to have them all. I gave him the species names and he admires how the leaves are so different on some plants. He is really intrigued with the Tradescantia fluminensis var. variegata and how some of their leaves are pure white, striped, and even solid green on the same plant and sometimes on the same stem. I brought this Tradescantia zebrina home because the plant(s) I have leaves with more refined stripes while this one is less refined, more streaked. Weird… I still need to take him a pot of Tradescantia sillamontana (White Gossamer Plant). Last time I was there I took him several Tradescantia pallida (Purple Heart) cuttings and a pot of Billbergia nutans.
While I was at Wildwood before, I noticed several pots of Calla Lily sitting on the floor next to the counter. I looked them over but I didn’t bring any home. We got to talking about them and he said he grew them from seed he found in one of his catalogs. He planted, even outside, and they came up, but he said they don’t look right. Although the tag in the pot says Zantedeschia aethiopica, he said it was just a generic tag he found from a supplier. Strange, though, the photo on the tag shows a Calla with green leaves and white flowers. Ummm… Zantedeschia aethiopica have spotted leaves. This plant’s leaves are more heart-shaped (cordate) while my Zantedeschia aethiopica stand straight up and has more… Anyway, he gave me a pot to see what I could do with it. I put it in a different pot with different soil so we shall see what happens.
Well, I think that is it for this post. I still have more photos I have taken over the past week to post. This week went by so fast and I can’t hardly believe it is Saturday ALREADY! I started out the week attempting to write a post a day with the photos I took every day but that didn’t happen. GEEZ! Maybe I can do better this coming week…
Until then… Be safe and stay positive! Don’t forget to be thankful and GET DIRTY!