Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’-NOT!

BLUE WILD INDIGO

Baptisia australis

Hello everyone! I bought this Baptisia labeled ‘Lunar Eclipse’ from the Green Street Market in Clinton in 2017. There were several pots of ‘Lunar Eclipse’ flowering but they were pretty pricy so I settled for one in a smaller pot that wasn’t flowering. The label clearly says Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’ which has beautiful bi-color flowers. It flowered a little for the first time last year but they were NOT like ‘Lunar Eclipse’. I thought maybe the flowers were whacky their first year so I still had hope for this year. I didn’t want to admit it was incorrectly labeled from the grower that supplies Green Street Market.

 

While still very impressive, it just feels weird waiting for something to happen and not getting what you expect.

 

Instead of being cultivar Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’, it is actually Baptisia australis commonly known as Blue False Indigo or Blue Wild Indigo. Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’ was a combination of many species. Since the label is incorrect I don’t know if this is just the species or a different cultivar. SO, what can I do? I have to go back to this plant’s page and change the whole thing. At least the mystery is solved and I am also happy for that.

I am not complaining that much because it is a very beautiful plant but it isn’t what I paid for. I told the owner of the Green Street Market about it a couple of weeks ago. Of course, I didn’t expect a refund or anything because I have had the plant since 2017. It isn’t her fault the grower labeled them wrong and I did take a risk in paying a lesser cost for plants that weren’t flowering in the first place. You just never know and that is part of gardening…

I still have a lot of photos taken over the past couple of weeks, but they are mainly out of date now. So, this next week I will probably take more and HOPEFULLY make another post or two. I am STILL working on plant pages, updating and adding new ones. It is always a work in progress just like life.

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

Echinopsis mirabilis-Flower of Prayer

Echinopsis mirabilis on March 30, 2019.

Hello folks! I wanted to make a post highlighting the Echinopsis mirabilis whos common name is the Flower of Prayer. The past few days has been an exciting time for this plant. I brought it home from Lowe’s on March 29 because I thought it was really neat. It is a very dark green, almost black which was one of the things I found very interesting.

 

There were several wooly looking appendages sticking out of it and an old flower stem. Well, of course, I had to bring it home.

 

Echinopsis mirabilis with a new flower stem on 5-5-19, #566-23.

On May 5 I noticed it was about to flower. WOW! I got pretty excited! This was going to be a whole new experience!

 

Echinopsis mirabilis on 5-15-19, #572-1.

I almost forgot all about it until May 15 when I took the above photo. I thought neat this was going to be for this plant to flower.

 

Echinopsis mirabilis on 5-18-19, #574-5.

It was getting about time and even more exciting on May 18…

Then…

 

Echinopsis mirabilis on 5-19-19, #575-2.

On Sunday afternoon I went to check and it looked like this…

 

Hmmm… I had forgotten one important thing. It flowers at night and only lasts for one night.

 

On the bright side, there is another one starting to grow. I am wondering if all those other fuzzy appendages are past flowers or where new flowers will be.

The sad thing is that this species is monocarpic and will die after it is finished flowering at some point. The good news is that the flowers are self-fertile and produce 100’s of viable seeds. That would be really interesting if their seeds came up.

I will be watching this plant like a hawk during the day and like an owl at night when the next bud starts to open! I will NOT miss it the second time. 🙂

New Plants Update

Achillea tomentosa ‘LoGrow™ Goldie’ on 5-16-19, #573-2.

Hello everyone! I hope everyone is doing well. I haven’t posted since April 28, so I thought I better make an appearance so you know I am still alive and well. I have been busy doing this and that because there is always plenty to do. The grass is growing nonstop now.

I wanted to share my new plants with you. I haven’t brought home very many yet and I haven’t even started on the south side of the house. I am waiting for the re-seeding annuals to come up and so far there is no sign. The Jewels of Opar are coming up but the Denver Daisy has been a no show. The Celosia ‘Cramer’s Amazon and ‘Brocade Marigolds SHOULD be coming up.

So, here are the new plants since the last post, in alphabetical order…

The top photo is the Achillea tomentosa (Wooly Yarrow). The tag says the cultivar is ‘LoGrow™ Goldie’. I don’t know where the “LoGrow™” is trademarked from but the cultivar ‘Goldie’ has been around for a few years. When I checked to see if the species name was still “accepted”, I ran into a little difficulty. Ummm…

If you want to get down to the nitty-gritty of it, there “were” five Achillea tomentosa with different authors abbreviations. All are synonyms of other species now. Achillea tomentosa Friv. ex Nyman=Achillea coarctata Poir., Achillea tomentosa Fraas ex Nyman=Achillea holosericea Sm., Achillea tomentosa L.=Achillea millefolium L., Achillea tomentosa Pursh=Achillea millefolium var. occidentalis DC.=Achillea millefolium L., Achillea tomentosa Pall. ex Ledeb.=Achillea leptophylla M.Bieb. (Actually, there are two different Achillea leptophylla. Achillea leptophylla K.Koch. ex Nyman=Achillea crithmifolia Waldst. & Kit.). All the authors who named and wrote the descriptions we all describing different plants with the same name. 

So, what is the species of this plant anyway? I did image searches online of the possibilities and many of the photos look the same with the same type of leaves and flowers. Yes, some were different, but nothing really conclusive. No database or website other than Plants of the World Online mentions anything about the name Achillea tomentosa now being a synonym. It must have been a recent change. Looks like another email to Rafael Goverts from Kew is in order… Watch him tell me the change isn’t definite yet. I agree if there are more than one scientific names of the same plant the mystery should be solved. After all, Achillea millefolium has 133 synonyms and that number will probably grow.

ANYWAY! This plant I brought home from Wagler’s Greenhouse on May 1. The plant labeled Achillea tomentosa ‘LoGrow™ Goldie’, is supposed to grow to ONLY 6-8″ tall. That is smaller than “Goldie’, ‘King Edward’ or ‘Arura’ which are also popular cultivars of Achillea tomentosa.

Moving right along…

 

Alworthia ‘Black Gem’ after I brought it home on 5-9-19, #570-1.

I had been working on planters for a friend so I “had to” go to the four local greenhouses on more than one occasion. Wagler’s has a few succulents but Mast’s and Wildwood have more. Sometimes I find something new at Mast’s but Wildwood normally has the best selection. Wildwood Greenhouse is smaller than the other three but their plants are AWESOME. Well, I suppose I shouldn’t rate one higher than the rest because all their plants are of high quality. Business was booming the first couple of times I went to the greenhouses, but I did get to visit with Mr. Yoder at Wildwood at length on the 8th and 9th. We talked plants in general. Anyway, one of the succulents I picked up was this nice x Alworthia ‘Black Gem’ which was unlabeled. I posted the photo on a Facebook group and was told it looked like x Alworthia ‘Black Gem’. I looked it up on Llifle and Google and decided the member was right or close enough to give it a name. x Alworthia ‘Black Gem’ is an intergeneric cross between Aloe speciosa and Haworthia cymbiformis. Interestingly, one website used the term bigeneric which was a new one for me but bigeneric and intergeneric mean the same thing. Maybe they couldn’t think of the word intergeneric. I like the thick dark green leaves.

 

Aptenia cordifolia/Mesembryanthemum cordifolium f. variegata after I brought it home on 5-1-19, #564-2.

Walking through back greenhouse at Wagler’s I noticed this neat plant with a flower that looked similar to an Ice plant. There were A LOT of them but they were all unlabeled. I asked Mrs. Wagler what it was and she said it was an Ice Plant. Hmmm… When I think of an Ice plant I think of Delosperma cooperi which I have grown several times. “This is no Ice Plant”, I thought to myself. So, I brought it home mainly to figure it out.

 

By the time I arrived home to take photos the flower was closed up. It was pretty neat how the flower just kind of sticks out of the end of the plant.

Anyway, I went to my computer later and typed in “variegated Ice Plant” and came up with the name Aptenia cordifolia “Variegata”. Which would be written correctly as Aptenia cordifolia f. variegata. Unfortunately, Plants of the World Online says Aptenia cordifolia is ONCE AGAIN is a synonym of Mesembryanthemum cordifolium. Ummm… Botanists agreed this species was Aptenia cordifolia when the name was changed by Martin Heinrich Gustav Schwantes in Gartenflora in 1928. The genus Aptenia was named in 1925 but the species were returned to the Mesembryanthemum genus in 2007. Then in 2009, several authors proposed this move be reversed. So far, no luck. I am hopeful, though,

 

On May 6 I was finally able to get a photo of the flower. Like members of other Mesembryanthemum and Delosperma genera, the flowers of “Aptenia cordifolia” are only open during the day and close up in the late afternoon. The common name “Ice Plant” belongs to Delosperma cooperi. Aptenia cordifolia is the Heart-Leaved Ice Plant and Dew Plant *among others). The common name for Mesembryanthemum cordifolium is Baby Sun Rose. To make it a little more confusing, there is a hybrid cultivar floating around by Proven Winners called ‘Mezoo Trailing Red’ and they call it a Livingstone Daisy. It is likely a hybrid between Aptenia cordata x Aptenia haeckeliana, I mean Mesembryanthemum cordifolium x M. haeckeliana. The hybrids are found in the wild and produce red flowers while the true, whatever you call it, produce bright magenta-rose (pinkish) flowers. I could get into the synonyms of Platythyra/Aptenia/Mesembryanthemum haeckeliana but this is not about that plant. 🙂 In the wild, the hybrid is even more invasive than the true species.

All of the local greenhouses had many combination hanging baskets with these plants in them. I used them when I did the planters for a friend as well.

 

Callisia reptans (Bolivian Jew) on 5-19-19, #575-1.

I also had to have this neat little plant. I look at the label and it was a Bolivian Jew and the species name was Callisia navicularis. I was pretty happy when Plants of the World Online said that was a legit and accepted name! BUT, when I was talking to a friend and sent him a photo, he promptly said it was a Callisia reptans. I said, “WHAT!?!?!” I hadn’t looked online myself yet to make sure of that but he immediately knew that a Bolivian Jew was a Callisia reptans and not what the label said. I checked for myself and sure enough, he was right. I met this guy through a Facebook group and he knows a lot about plants!

 

Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ after I brought it home on 5-8-19, #569-1.

Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ has been on my wishlist for a long time, so when I saw several at Muddy Creek Greenhouse on May 8 I didn’t hesitate to bring one home. I have grown both Colocasia ‘Tea Cup’ and Bikini Tini’ when I lived at the mansion in Mississippi but haven’t since I have been back in Missouri. Many believe Colocasia ‘Tea Cup’ is the same as ‘Coffee Cups’. Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ was discovered in the wild by Indonesian botanist Gregory Hambali and brought to the US by aroid specialist Alan Galloway.

 

I put it in the ground on the right side of the steps on the north side of the house. Two Achillea millefolium came up in this spot but I haven’t moved them yet. I just put the Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ behind them. Hmmm… Two different species with completely different moisture requirements in the same spot. How’s that for garden planning? The Achillea are MUCH taller now but C. ‘Coffee Cups’ can grow 5-6′ tall.

Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ and ‘Tea Cup’ are commonly advertised as a cultivar of Colocasia esculenta. In my opinion, and other growers of the ears, that is nearly impossible. It has many characteristics of Colocasia fontanesii including the dark petioles and smaller olive-green leaves. Colocasia ‘Black Stem’, which I have also grown in the past, is a Colocasia fontanesii.

 

Wagler’s also had a lot of very nice Gazinia so I had to bring one home for the northeast corner bed. I haven’t grown any of these for a few years but I always liked them. Their flowers start folding up in the late afternoon and open in the morning. GEEZ! I take most of my photos in the late afternoon!

 

Gasteria ‘Little Warty’ after I brought it home on 5-8-19, #569-2.

When I was out at Wildwood Greenhouse for the second time, I picked up one of the Gasteria ‘Little Warty’. It was unlabeled but I knew what it was from previous research about the Gasteria species. It is a cross between Gasteria batesiana x Gasteria ‘Old Man Silver’ from the Australian hybridizer David Cumming. Gasteria species seem to be easy to grow and are worth giving a try if you haven’t. They prefer light shade to shade over full sun so they also do well inside.

 

Haworthiopsis limifolia (Fairy Washboard) on 5-9-19, #570-3.

Wildwood Greenhouse had several of these Haworthiopsis limifolia (Fairy Washboard) which were also unlabeled. This species was first named Haworthia limifolia by Hermann Wilhelm Rudolf Marloth in 1910 then changed to Haworthiopsis limifolia by Gordon Douglas Rowley in 2013. A distinguishing feature of Haworthia species is their “two-lipped” flowers. After further research, three separate genera were discovered within the Haworthia genus. Now we have Haworthia, Haworthiopsis, and Tulista all with “two-lipped” flowers. Hmmm…

 

Sidalcea Hybrid (Miniature Hollyhock) on 5-19-19, #575-2.

Wagler’s had several unlabeled pots of these plants with nice HUGE dark green leaves that were unlabeled. Again, I had to ask what they were. Mrs. Wagler said they were Miniature Hollyhocks (Sidalcea Hybrid). I am not necessarily a Hollyhock fan because I had a friend, now deceased, who had them growing all along his garage. They spread A LOT over the years so I have been hesitant. I thought since these were miniatures they might do well between the basement steps and back porch so I brought one home. I planted it but I keep forgetting about it when I am taking photos. Hopefully, it won’t have pink flowers…

I think that’s it for the new plants this year so far. I didn’t find any new Hosta to bring home for myself but I did find three for a friend (the one I did the planters for). They are all different than mine so I can take photos of his. 🙂

Now I have to work on an update. I have to show you what the Echinopsis mirabilis is doing and photos of the Baptisia that was labeled ‘Lunar Eclipse’. It is LOADED with flowers this year but it is definitely NOT a ‘Lunar Eclipse’. Of course, the Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ is always photo worthy and hasn’t even slowed down.

Until next time, be safe and stay positive!

 

 

 

 

 

NEW PLANTS-APRIL 27…

Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ on 4-27-19, #563-6.

Hello folks! I hope this post finds you well. Spring is the time of year us gardeners get itchy fingers and the only cure is to get out hands in the dirt. And, of course, the only treatment for a plantaholic is more plants. Every year I think about doing something a little different with the north side of the house. The problem is space. The “Elephant Ears” do very well on the north side of the house, much better than anywhere else. That leads to a complicated problem with only two ways to solve it. For now, I am going to extend the bed farther away from the house even with the gutter on one end and curving it slightly to meet the area next to the steps. As I mentioned earlier, the larger Xanthosoma robustum rhizome rotted but I still have an offset from it. I am also getting a Xanthosoma sagittifolium from a fellow plant collector. The Xanthosoma grow wider than the Colocasia so they take up a lot of space. Then,  of course, there was the wanting another Leucocasia (Syn. Colocasia) gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’. But, there were the two VERY LARGE Colocasia esculenta that I have grown on the north side of the house for several years. The two multiplied, as Colocasia esculenta do, but I will still only put two of the largest on the north side of the house. I already ran out of room before I started…

 

My son, Nathan, and his friend, Chris, are here now and Nathan said they would help out on the farm doing whatever I needed them to do. Umm… Chris seems more eager to help than Nathan so I explained to him what I wanted to do with the bed. A few days ago, while I was taking a nap in the afternoon, they started. I heard them talking outside so I got up to see what they were doing. I walked out the door and probably had a very blank look on my face. He completely misunderstood and dug one strip from the end of the gutter to the other side of the bed instead of digging everywhere there were no plants. The strip he dug was crooked, which he pointed out. I reminded him again what the idea was and he said he thought I wanted to dig a ditch. GEEZ!!!! A DITCH! Needless to say, they have yet to finish their project so I guess I will do it myself as initially planned. Then when I am finished I will hear them say, “We were going to do that…”

So, yesterday I decided to go to the greenhouses to see what they had available. I was going to go to Wagler’s but I needed to go to Wildwood first to see if he had another Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’. If you remember, in 2017  I found one there but the rhizome rotted a month before time to plant it in 2018. So, I ordered a “bulb” (as they called it) from a seller on Ebay. When it arrived it looked like a white sweet potato and it turned out to be the Xanthosoma robustum

ANYWAY! Wildwood did have several Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ plants, which were formerly Colocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’. They were actually Leucocasia gigantea in the first place. Being that phylogenetic testing proved they were more closely related to Alocasia than Colocasia, the Leucocasia genus was revived and the Leucocasia gigantea is there all by its lonesome. Of course, the label still says Colocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’. I think I am getting a brainache… So, of course, I picked one out to bring home.

 

Colocasia esculenta ‘Distant Memory’ (PPAF) on 4-27-19, #563-2.

When most people think of an Elephant Ear, it is usually the Colocasia esculenta that comes to mind. Over the years I have grown several different species and cultivars and would like to start doing that again. I have a wish list with several but they are unavailable locally so I would have to order. I did find a black-leaved cultivar at Wildwood labeled Colocasia ‘Distant Memory’. It was released by Walters Gardens in memory of Harriet Walters who they say was the lifeblood of the family business. Photos on their website show a plant with very dark and puckered leaves but the leaves on the plants I saw at Wildwood are not puckered. Maybe that will come with age. I have grown Colocasia esculenta ‘Black Magic’ a few times in the past so this new version will be a new experience. The label says they grow 4-4 1/2′ tall and prefer at least 4 hours of sun. I know from experience the more light they are in the better the leaf color. I think I will probably put this plant on the left side of the porch where it will get plenty of light and attention.

You can read about it on the Walters Gardens website by clicking HERE.

I looked at the other plants at Wildwood in their front greenhouse and drooled over some of their succulents but I did not even dare pick up a single pot. They also had some very nice Veronica which tempted me… They had some VERY NICE pots of Monarda didyma ‘Cherry Pops’ like I bought from them last year, but I refrained…

Then I ventured to the second greenhouse… The back left-hand corner is where they usually have their selection of Hosta. They had several nice cultivars I didn’t have including several VERY NICE Hosta ‘Humpback Whale’ and the prices weren’t bad at $8.00 per pot. But, I took only $20 because I had a limit…

The truth is, I had already spotted several pots of a plant I thought I would NEVER see available and I HAD to bring one home.

 

Houttuynia cordata ‘Chameleon’ after I brought it home 4-27-19, #563-3.

Houttuynia cordata ‘Chameleon‘!!! I was given several of these by a friend, Mary Botler, when I lived at the mansion in Leland, Mississippi. She gave me the start in 2010 and by the time I left in February 2013 they had spread quite a bit. Personally, I thought they were a very delightful plant and you just never knew where they would pop up. The scent of the leaves kind of reminded me of fish lemon pepper. While Plants of the World Online continue to include Houttuynia cordata as the only species in the genus, there are two chemotypes. POWO says the Japanese type has an orange scent and the Chinese type has a scent resembling coriander. Hmmm…

Common names for this plant include Bishop’s Weed, Fish Mint, Fish Leaf, Rainbow Plant, Chameleon Plant, Heart Leaf, Fist Wort, and Chinese Lizard’s Tail. It is used in cooking, as a salad, as well as herbal medicine. You can read more online about this plant on the Wikipedia page HERE, visit my page about it by clicking on its name (above). I have several links included on its page for further reading. The Wikipedia lists another species, but POWO says it is a synonym of H. cordata. There are several cultivars also available.

 

Houttuynia cordata ‘Chameleon’ on 4-27-19, #563-4.

One interesting thing about this plant was the color of the leaves. Some are a colorful combination of chartreuse and dark green and some with some having reddish highlights.

 

Houttuynia cordata ‘Chameleon’ on 4-27-19, 563-5.

Other leaves were a solid dark green and sometimes on the same plant. No two leaves are alike. The color of the leaves also varies by degrees of light which also changes throughout the season.

I was very happy to have found this plant locally. It is supposed to be hardy in USDA zones 4-10 so hopefully, it will thrive. Actually, I am not sure how well I want it to thrive because this plant can become invasive. I have grown many perennials that are supposed to be cold hardy here that have done well during the summer but didn’t return the next spring. So, we shall see…

I only had $21 in cash and some change and I didn’t know how much the Houttuynia was. It had been with the Hosta which were $8.00 a pot. If it were $8.00 I was going to have to put something back. Amish only take cash or checks here because they have no electricity and no debit card readers. When I was checking out, he said, “Let me see. How much are those?” I told him I didn’t know but they were with the Hosta that are $8.00. The total came to $21.14. 🙂

After I left Wildwood I went to Mast’s Greenhouse to check on the Hosta. I mainly went to see if they had Hosta like the Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ I brought home last year. As I have mentioned several times, the Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ is NOT a ‘Blue Angel’. I was hoping to find pots that were correctly labeled. While they did have several Hosta available, the only pot like the one I bought was apparently one left over from last year… Incorrectly labeled. I was going to quiz Mr. Mast about where they get their Hosta but there were a lot of people there and he was very busy. They did have several nice Hosta including a gold-leaved cultivar but it looked very similar to Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’ which I already have. If I am going to buy another gold-leaved Hosta, it has to be different than what I already have.

So,  I headed back to town to go to Wagler’s on the other side of town. Just to look to see what was available. That’s why I stopped at the bank to withdraw another $20.00.

 

Centaurea sp. on 4-27-19, #563-1.

Wagler’s was also very busy so I went through their second door unnoticed. Normally, we visit a little but she was busy with customers at the counter. So, I ventured through one greenhouse then to another, then back up to another to get to the greenhouse with the perennials. The plants all looked very good. Once again, even at Waglers, the selection of Coleus was almost nothing. In the past I have planted Coleus between the Colocasia in the north bed, but last year I grew none. GEEZ! What is life without Coleus? Anyway, in the greenhouse with the perennials, the bright yellow flower on the Centaurea caught my eye. I walked past them then returned. Along the front of the table were pots with handwritten labels that said Centaurea red and some that said Centaurea purple. The pot with the yellow flowers had no labels. I also noticed the leaves of the yellow flowered plants were different and they had reddish colored main stems. I picked up one of each anyway. GEEZ! For the northeast corner bed or perhaps the southeast corner bed.

 

Salvia coerulea ‘Black and Blue’ on 4-27-19, #563-7.

I walked around the perennial greenhouse more and saw some NICE peach colored Foxglove which I decided to pass. Then I spotted several nice pots of Salvia labeled Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’. Salvia ‘Black and Blue’ have been on my wishlist for MANY years so I had to pick out three. Salvia guaranitica is a synonym of Salvia coerulea now… Well, it has been for many years but the industry still labels them as Salvia guaranitica.

By the time I was finished browsing, the crowd had thinned out somewhat. I went to the counter and a lady had come and was asking her daughter or granddaughter (GEEZ!) about “Voodoo” plants. She told her there were a few pots that “Lonnie” brought last year under the table that hadn’t come up yet. The girl brought up a pot and Mrs. Wagler asked me something about it coming up. I stuck my finger in the pot and told her the bulb was sprouting. Then, she told the lady I was the one that brought the other Bromeliads. Come to find out, this lady was the one who brought Mrs. Wagler all the other Bromeliads last year from Florida. I had noticed the Bromeliads late last summer when I took plants to her and they were looking very good. So far, she has only been able to get one start from one of them.

The lady from Florida said she was somewhere in Florida and this guy just started pulling off offsets from all these Bromeliads and giving them to her. She put them in her suitcase and brought them to Mrs. Wagler to see if she could have any luck getting offsets from them. I am not sure how many there are, but there are MANY and all are different.

When I went to pay for the six plants I had found, Mrs. Wagler quietly told me I didn’t owe her anything. 🙂 It is so great to be able to go to a greenhouse and not have to pay for plants. I am also grateful to be able to have a place to take plants that multiply where I can trade for plants I want.

I would like to start working on the north bed, but a thunderstorm is approaching. Rain is in the forecast all week. GEEZ!

I hope you are having a great and joyous spring. Be safe and stay positive.

Heuchera and Hosta Update

Heuchera ‘Lime Rickey’ on 4-23-19, #562-4.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well. The Heuchera and Hosta are all doing good for the most part. We have been having cool temps this week but nothing serious.  Some of the perennials are growing like weeds now while others are casually taking their time. If you grow several different Hosta cultivars from different size groups, you will find the larger cultivars grow at a much faster rate than the miniatures. At least that is the way it is here.

You can click on the names of the Heuchera and Hosta to visit their own pages.

The Heuchera ‘Lime Rickey’ in the above photo was a little off at first but it seems to be doing much better now.

 

Heuchera ‘Obsidian’ on 4-23-19, #562-5.

The Heuchera ‘Obsidian’ is being weird again this spring. I don’t understand how some plants can do great their first year and then go downhill after that. I dug it up, checked its roots, made sure there wasn’t a mole tunnel under it, amended the soil with cow manure, then put it back in the ground at the proper depth. So far it is still being weird!

Heuchera (Coral Bells) don’t have a lot of rules to keep them going. They need well-draining soil, kind of lose and loamy like most plants. They can go for short dry periods but they prefer consistently damp soil, but not to damp. During dry periods they like at least an inch of water per week or they begin to feel neglected. Although they don’t seem to mind Oxalis and Clover to a point, they consider most weedy companions as intruders. They don’t seem to like the pushy Chickweed or Lamium purpureum (Deadnettle) and always ask if I can remove them. Company is one thing, but enough is enough!

 

Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ on 4-23-19, #562-6.

The bigger Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ continues to do very well. The smaller plant next to this one is doing very well also. This plant handed me a “to-do list” reminding me to keep the Virginia Creeper (lower left corner) in check.

 

Heuchera ‘Venus’ on 4-23-19, #562-7.

The Heuchera ‘Venus’… They say a photo is worth a thousand words, but I can honestly tell you this Heuchera looks even better in person. It seems to like its Red Clover companion. That’s good because I can’t remove it. Its stem is right next to the Heuchera with much deeper roots. Heuchera ‘Venus’ is looking better than ever so I don’t think I need to bother it.

Heuchera always looks good this time of the year through most of May. Once the heat of summer sets in and the Japanese Beetles arrive… I have plenty of leaves for mulch that I am going to put on the shade bed, and maybe in the bed in the north side of the house. That will help keep the soil cool and retain some moisture.

Now for the Hosta…

 

Hosta ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’ on 4-23-19, #562-8.

The Hosta ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’ is taking its time making sure the coast is clear. She keeps reminding me how I couldn’t find her earlier because I was looking in the wrong place. Then she giggles so I know she is just kidding around. I was looking behind the label instead of in front of it… Anyway, the Hosta ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’ is alive and well. 🙂

 

Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ ? on 4-23-19, #562-9.

If this is a Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ I will really be surprised. It survived the winter and started leafing out faster than the rest of the Hosta. I have looked at its label several times to verify to myself, and to the plant, that it says Hosta ‘Blue Angel’. The label hasn’t changed and that is exactly what it says… This clump looks like a very nice and healthy miniature Hosta, which Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ is not… Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ grows to a mature size of 36″ tall. Its leaves also do not match Hosta ‘Blue Angel’. So, I need to find out the source of this plant from Mast’s Greenhouse to see what miniature Hosta they have available… I WILL figure it out! I am certainly not unhappy with the plant because it is very good. It just needs to have its proper name.

 

Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ on 4-23-19, #562-10.

It seems to take a long time for the Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ leaves to unfurl. I looked back at last years photos and it seems to actually be a little ahead. Patience is a virtue…

 

Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’ on 4-23-19, #562-11.

What a glowing beauty! The Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’ is definitely a winner! Sometimes I go outside in the dark to check on something, like measure a plant (yes, I really do that). If I shine my light toward the Hosta this one lights up like it is saying, “I am here!” I have had several gold-leaved Hosta on my wishlist for many years but there are never any available locally. I was fortunate to have found this one at Muddy Creek Greenhouse in 2017.

 

Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ on 4-25-19, #562-12.

The Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ has grown by leaps and bounds. It wasn’t the first to emerge, but once it did and the temps warmed up it took off and grew faster than any other Hosta here. I have taken several photos of it already that I haven’t posted because by the time a post is finished it has grown more. Then I forgot to take its photo on the 23rd with the other Hosta which is why this one was taken on the 25th (even though it is in the same folder). Currently, it is already 30″ wide and it just the last part of April!

 

Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’ on 4-23-19, #562-13.

The Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’ is looking very good now.

 

Hosta ‘Guacamole’ on 4-23-19, #562-14.

The Hosta ‘Guacamole’ is doing very good now. I am going to like it much better with it all on the same location.

 

Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’ on 4-23-19, #562-15.

The Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’ is one of my all-time favorite Hosta. I like the color and their vase-shaped habit.

 

Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’ on 4-23-19, #562-16.

The Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’ is an amazing Hosta for sure. It just does its thing and that is growing and looking beautiful! Beautiful large dark green corrugated leaves!

 

Hosta ‘Red October’ on 4-23-19, #562-17.

Talk about a miraculous recovery! I thought the Hosta ‘Red October’ was completely gone. Each time I checked on the Hosta and took photos of them coming up, Hosta ‘Red October’ was nowhere to be seen. The clump had struggled last spring because of a mole tunnel under the roots, so I dug it up. There were only two plants left in the clump so I put them beside two separate Chinese Elm trees. They didn’t do well all summer but they did survive. This spring they were gone. I dug into the soil where I had planted them and nothing was to be found. Then one day, with no camera, I saw they had both came up. Not just a sprout, but the whole plant! It had only been a couple of days since I took photos and they were not there. It was a pleasant surprise for sure! So, I took both plants and put them where The Hosta ‘Rainforest Sunrise’ had been (where one of the ‘H. ‘Guacamole’ had been last year).

 

Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ on 4-23-19, #562-18.

Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ is looking GREAT and getting bigger every time I check. This is going to be a great specimen in time.

 

Hosta ‘Whirlwind’ on 4-23-19, #562-19.

Hosta ‘Whirlwind’ is definitely one of those delightful and entertaining Hosta. Emerging in bright colors in the spring then darkening as the season progresses.

 

Hosta sieboldiana ‘Elegans’ on 4-23-19, #562-20.

All of the Hosta are doing very well except for the Hosta sieboldiana ‘Elegans’. This will be our 11th summer together and it has always been AWESOME and has never had a lick of trouble until now. Apparently, with the up and down temps this past winter, its roots heaved up exposing some of the roots. Even with leaves as a mulch, it didn’t help that much because leaves blow off. I dug up the clump and dug the hole deeper, amended the soil with cow manure, then replanted what was left of the clump. Some of the roots are sticking upward which is a little weird… Hopefully, it will get back to its old self and start growing better.

Well, that’s it for the Heuchera and Hosta update. It took five days to finish this post! Today I went to three greenhouses to see what was available. I needed to see if Wildwood Greenhouse had another Leucocasia (Colocasia) gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ and see what else was available. I went to Mast’s because they were in the neighborhood but I didn’t go to Muddy Creek. Then, of course, I had to check with Wagler’s… So, the next post will be about the new plants which I will start on NOW…

Until next time… Be safe and stay positive. I hope you are getting dirty!

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 FASHIONISTA™ 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.

 

AS USUAL…

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!