2020 Spring Update: What Is Coming Up?

Anaxyrus americanus (American Toad)

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you well. I thought it was a good time to post about the perennials coming up. A few plants have not come up yet that are somewhat slower and several may not come up at all. You just never know… I forgot to photograph the Achillea millefolium but they have been up for a while.

I mowed part of the yard then saw the toad while I walking from the barn to the house. I only saw a few babies last summer so I was glad to see this whopper. I was also glad I didn’t run over it with the mower. While I had the camera out I went for a shooting spree.

In alphabetical order (except for the toad)…

Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chips’

The Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chips’ (Bugleweed) made it through the winter without any dying out like last year. Of course, that means there is A LOT more than before. It is a spreader.

 

Armoracia rusticana (Horseradish)

The Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) growing in the corner bed behind the old foundation spreads a little more each year.

 

Astilbe ‘Fanal’

The Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ just started coming up last week and has grown A LOT! I brought this plant home from Muddy Creek Greenhouse in 2018 so this will be its third season.

 

Astilbe cv. ?

The smaller Astilbe cv. ? I brought home from Lowe’s in Sedalia in 2014 is still alive and kicking. The label in its pot was not Astilbe but I didn’t realize it until I got home. It is virtually impossible to figure out the cultivar name at this point… I have narrowed it down to a few. This will be its seventh season.

 

Baptisia australis cv. ?

The Baptisia australis cv. ? (Blue False Indigo) I brought home in 2017 made it through another winter. If you remember, it was supposed to be a ‘Lunar Eclipse’ that was incorrectly labeled which I didn’t know until it flowered in 2018. I know… La dee dah… This will be its fourth season.

 

Cylindropuntia imbricata (Tree Cholla).

The Cylindropuntia imbricata (Tree Cholla) was actually nice while I was removing some Chickweed around it. It usually grabs me a few times but this time I didn’t get stuck once. It is already growing a few new appendages. I asked it if it were going to flower this year and the answer was “NO”. GEEZ! I was hoping for a “YES” or even a “MAYBE” since this will be its 6th summer.

 

Echinacea purpurea cv. ? (Purple Coneflower)

Another “cv. ?”, the Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) I brought home from the business up the street is all coming up. It is possibly the cultivar named ‘Magnus’. The plants I transplanted in the raised bed behind the old foundation in “the other yard” are all doing well, too.

 

Heuchera ‘Lime Rickey’

The Heuchera (Coral Bells) started growing new leaves a while back but H. ‘Lime Rickey’ seems to be having some issues. Actually, is started struggling late last summer but so far it has survived. Maybe it seeds some fertilizer and/or some of the “Good Stuff” (composted cow manure). I am not sure what its issue is… This will be its 3rd season.

 

Heuchera ‘Obsidian’

Even though much smaller than the others, Heuchera ‘Obsidian’ is alive and well. This will be its 4th summer.

 

Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’

The Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ is in its 7th season now and is doing very well. Even the smaller one is strutting its stuff!

 

Heuchera ‘Venus’

Heuchera ‘Venus’ is definitely one of the top performers no matter the conditions. The way its leaves change color is pretty neat. This is also its 4th season.

 

Hosta ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’

Hosta ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’ appears to have spread quite a lot. Spring is a great time of the year to tell how well your Hosta are doing as the new sprouts come up. This is its 4th season.

 

Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’

The roots of Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ normally heave up during the winter, but this time it sunk like the plants on the opposite side of the bed. One reason is because there are no moles in the bed (which you will find out why later). This is its 4th season.

 

Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’

NICE! Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’ is up and has spread very well. This is its 4th season. This is the brightest Hosta in my small collection.

 

Hosta ‘Empress Wu’

I had begun to wonder about the Hosta ‘Empress Wu’. Early last week there was no visible sign of it while the others had been sprouting for a long time. This is its 4th season and it should reach its mature size in the 5th. It will definitely be worth watching.

 

Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’

I only two sprouts for the Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’ so I did a little poking around and uncovered a few more. This is its 4th season.

 

Hosta ‘Guacamole’

Hosta ‘Guacamole’ back in action for its 7th season… No moles to bother it like they did last winter. It was almost a goner.

 

Hosta ‘Hmmm’

What can I say? Remember this one? It is the one I brought home from Mast’s Greenhouse in 2018 that was labeled Hosta ‘Blue Angel’. It was weird buying a plant that was supposed to be a giant and turned out to be a miniature. You never know… Maybe the supplier used too much growth regulator and it will have worn off by now. Maybe it will grow and be ‘Blue Angel’ after all. Hmmm… That’s why I call it that now. Seriously, when I first saw it at the greenhouse, it looked like a miniature clump that was several years old but the tag said otherwise. While I do want more miniature Hosta, I was in the market for a big one for a certain spot. So, since the tag said Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ I put it in a spot behind other Hosta where it can grow and spread. If it continues to be a miniature it is completely in the wrong spot. Hosta ‘Hmmm’

 

Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’

There are three clumps of the Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’ since I moved and divided them in 2017. They have done very well since then and this will make its 12th season. I bought this one in 2009 when I lived at the mansion in Mississippi and brought with me when I moved here in 2013.

 

Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’

Once it starts there is no stopping the Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’. I noticed it started sprouting the last of January when I peeked but didn’t start growing until it warmed up. I normally don’t check the Hosta until later but since we had a mild winter I was curious. I was surprised! This is another one I brought with me from Mississippi and it will also be its 12th season.

 

Hosta ‘Red October’

I had some difficulty locating Hosta ‘Red October’ at first in the Chickweed but finally found it among a few clumps of Common Violets (Viola sororia). I tried to pull up the violets but that didn’t work so well and wound up just pulling the leaves and stems off. I will have to dig up the Hosta and remove the violets. Believe me, there are plenty of violets. Hosta ‘Red October’ is now in its 12th season, starting out in Mississippi in 2009. We have had our ups and downs and the clump looked great until the spring of 2018 when I discovered a mole had almost killed it over the winter (from tunneling under it). Last spring I put the two clumps back together.

 

Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’

Ahhh, yes… Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’… I am so glad this one returned because it will make a bright and lovely specimen. It has doubled in size, sprout wise, since last year. I brought this one home last year so this is its 2nd season.

Hosta grow so fast this time of the year as temperatures cooperate.

 

Phedimus kamtschaticus ‘Variegata’

Last summer the Phedimus kamtschaticus” ‘Variegata’ flowered up a storm then darn near fizzled out afterward. I was glad to see it showing signs of life. We have had our ups and downs over the past nine seasons since I brought it home from Lowe’s in 2012 when I was still in Mississippi. The scientific name of this species has been jumping from Sedum kamtschaticum to Phedimus kamtschaticus and back again several times. I checked again before writing this post and it is still in the Phedimus genus since, ummm, sometime last year. I’m sure the Phedimus people appreciate the acknowledgment since they didn’t appreciate several species being moved back into the Sedum genera (back and forth). Several genera besides Phedimus have gone through the same battles. Crassulaceae is definitely a complex family.

 

Phedimus kamtschaticus

The Phedimus kamtschaticus, the non-variegated one, has spread somewhat the past couple of years. I have been wondering for a while if one or the other is actually a Phedimus kamtschaticus. Maybe this one is Phedimus aizoon… The reason I have been wondering is because of their growth habit. This one is more of a clumper and then it sprawls. The variegated one doesn’t do that. Phedimus aizoon leaves are larger and this one’s leaves are bigger than the variegated one, too. Also, they don’t flower at the same time. I think I need to do some more investigating. I think I bought it from Mast’s Greenhouse in 2016 when I was temporarily without a camera and it was unlabeled… So, this is its 6th season.

 

Phedimus spurius ‘Dragon’s Blood’ ?

This one is another one that mystifies me as far as the actual cultivar name goes. I believe it came from Wagler’s Greenhouse, unlabeled, in 2015. All I know for sure is that it is a Sedum spurium, I mean Phedimus spurius, and it is likely the cultivar called ‘Dragon’s Blood’. Hmmm… I need to update the name on its page.

 

Phedimus spurius ‘John Creech’

Hmmm… The Phedimus spurius ‘John Creech’ is trying to conquer more territory all the time. It is having a population explosion but it had a plan. It had started spreading into the cast iron planter and is using the Cylindropuntia imbricata (Tree Cholla) for protection. GEEZ! This is its 4th season.

 

Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’

Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ made it through the winter and is looking OK. He still thinks I am overprotective of him during the winter but I tell him to get over it. I know I say it every spring but I will say it AGAIN… “I HOPE it flowers this year.” This is its 8th season…

 

Rheum x hybridum (Rhubarb)

Usually, only one clump of the Rhubarb does well, but this spring two of them are pretty big already.

 

Salvia nemorosa ‘New Dimensions Blue’

I was REALLY glad to see the Salvia nemorosa ‘New Dimensions Blue’ coming back up since it almost died last summer. This will be its 4th summer.

 

Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’/’May Night’

The Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ or ‘May Night’, whichever you prefer, is looking good as usual. It is always one of the first perennials to come up and this will be its 7th season.

 

Sempervivum ‘Killer’

The Sempervivum ‘Killer’ looks like it is getting off to a good start. Hopefully, none of them will flower this summer because they just die afterward then the colony goes to crap. This will be our 4th summer but is seems longer…

 

Mole repeller ‘Thor’

Before I end this post I need to tell you about this gizmo. Last spring I saw a message in the spam comments from Steven Liu, a pest repeller company from China, who asked me to test a mole repeller. He said he would send two for me to try out if I would write a review. Well, there were two areas I had in mind that would be perfect so I agreed. They arrived and put one in the shade bed where the newer Hosta are and one on the east side of the north porch. The moles in both areas drove me nuts. Well, the one next to the porch stopped working after a couple of months but the one in the shade bed has been performing nonstop. All summer, through the fall and winter, and it is STILL working. Not only are there no moles in the bed where it is, but there are also none clear around the other side of the old goldfish pool in the other Hosta bed. The chicken house is a good 60 feet away and that area always had a lot of moles… There are none! There are no moles in the yard between the shade bed and the garden and that whole is mole free. So, does it work? This area WAS mole heaven because of the elm trees that attract the Japanese Beetles who lay their eggs in the yard. When I put the Japanese Beetle traps up, the beetles would swarm from the grass. So, Thor really does work. The company, Shenzhen Visson Technology Co., Ltd., makes a lot of different types of ultra-sonic pest repellers that are solar-powered. Now I suppose I better write a proper review since I know how well it works. You can buy direct from the company, but I also noticed their products on Ebay. The mole repellants have been upgraded so Thor is not available. Maybe he will send a few more for me to try out. I could use 10. 🙂

Well, that’s it for this post. I hope you are all doing well and learning to cope with the restrictions because of COVID-19. We are still doing well in this area but you never know what lies ahead. Just hang in there and be safe and stay positive.

 

 

 

 

Wagler Accident Update.

I went to visit Mrs. Wagler at the greenhouse today to get an update on her son and the grandkids. The kids are progressing including the oldest girl. She said the oldest daughter was in an induced coma until she could handle the surgery. Overnight, however, she had a stroke but they went ahead with the surgery. She has a blood clot below the brain stem but new veins are growing around it to bypass the clot. The clot isn’t moving which is also a good thing. She mentioned other problems with her shoulder or arms. The doctors said they believed she would be OK. The father, Jay, had to have blood yesterday and today he had to have blood again. I also want to make a correction. The two oldest kids in the wreck are girls and the youngest is a boy. I had first thought the middle one was the boy. I was told yesterday the two youngest may come home today, but that was not the case. 

I wanted to talk to her instead of hearing about them from other sources. Sometimes when we hear about such traumatic experiences the shock of it tends to overwhelm us and information gets misinterpreted. 

Purple Martin Scout Arrives In A Stunned Country

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you well. This afternoon I thought I heard a Martin and within a few minutes, he landed on the wire above the Martin house. I wonder if he is curious why there is not much activity among humans…

Spring is definitely here and the early spring wildflowers are now blooming (Henbit, Deadnettle, and Speedwell).

I apologize for my absence of late but I have been busy working on wildflower pages. I had hoped to get them finished before spring but that didn’t happen. GEEZ! I am alive and well.

I suppose the past few weeks have left many of us stunned because of COVID-19. Being in a small rural community in Missouri, the impact hasn’t sunk in for many residents. So many people think it is a joke or maybe it will fizzle out before it gets to us. Henry County had one girl test positive, I think she was the third one in Missouri at the time. Apparently, she hasn’t recovered because Missouri still hasn’t listed anyone who has recovered. Now, Missouri has 670 cases and 9 deaths (as of March 27 at 10:28 PM). The U.S. is now #1 on the list.

I check the COVID-19 update several times a day on worldmeter.info. It changes often and you can check by country and state. It gives links to the sources for their information.

So, while most of us here are doing our best to follow the rules, others are taking it very lightly. Mostly, those people aren’t paying attention to what is happening in the larger cities. For someone who usually doesn’t read newspapers or the news online, I am paying attention to what is happening with the virus.

Most churches are not having services and all other activities and meetings have basically been put on hold. Schools are not having classes and many businesses have reduced their hours of operation. Most fast-food restaurants have closed their doors and are now just serving at the drive-up window. Even funerals have changed and we are just having small grave-side services.

Of course, there are those with their conspiracy theories which I completely ignore.

Trying to get motivated this spring after a lazy winter has been difficult. The up and down temps, the rain and snow… Now a lot of mud to deal with. I have been doing a friend’s chores after he had neck surgery and there is just a lot of mud… More rain is on the way. I think about writing posts, and have taken photos, but the words just won’t come… Writer’s block? I don’t know but that seems impossible for me. I think my brain is in shock.

I am not complaining in the least and I have a lot to be thankful for.

But, this past week, there was also a tragedy. One of the greenhouses I have mentioned numerous times, Wagler’s, had a family crisis. They are Amish if you remember. Anyway, one of Ruth Wagler’s sons and three of his children were involved in an accident on the highway not far from their home. A truck came over the hill driven by a 17-year-old driving to fast. The pickup struck the buggy seriously injuring Jay and his three children that were with him. The father was taken to the Regional Medical Center in Kansas City. The 8-year-old was flown to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas Cty by Air Evac. The 9 and 13-year-old were flown to the same hospital by Lifelight Eagle. From talking to several of the Amish I learned the father had previous issues of his legs and the other was broken in the accdent. I think there are blood clots he was dealing with. The nine-year-old is a boy and one report says both his legs were broken and a broken pelvis. The youngest I think is a girl and I am not sure what her injuroes are. The oldest I think has some spine issues and needs surgery but hasn’t regained consciousness. This afternoon, I was told the two youngest kids may be discharged on Saturday.

Read More: Truck Strikes Horse-drawn Buggy in Henry County | https://ksisradio.com/truck-strikes-horse-drawn-buggy-in-henry-county/?utm_source=tsmclip&utm_medium=referral.

I am thinking about going to Wagler’s Greenhouse and get an update.

You just never know what can happen. All we can do is hang in there and do the best we can. It’s like everything seems fine then something weird comes up leaving you wondering what will happen next.

COVID-19 is something that will affect everyone in one way or another and its effects will be long-lasting. Even if the virus magically disappears…

So, just hang in there. Stay positive and think of all we do have to be thankful for. What are you doing now and how are you doing? Are you OK?

Visit With Daughter and Family

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you well. My daughter and her family came up for a visit this afternoon (Saturday). I finally got to see my new granddaughter, Allison, in person. This first photo is priceless. It is like she is saying, “Who is that old fart?”

 

As I suspected would happen, Melissa wanted me to hold the baby… It doesn’t look like she was any too happy to meet grandpa.

 

Melissa thought I should smile, so I did my best. Allison is thinking I am faking it…

 

I am thinking I should have cut my hair so we would both be bald. To early to tell if she has Miller ears… Melissa does but she is covering them up. Her brother, Nathan, is balder than I am, but he also has Miller ears. He is in Indiana now.

 

There was another photo, but by then Allison had enough and was beginning to get somewhat squirmy. She got this weird look on her face and I wasn’t sure if she was going to poop or cry.

I intended to take photos of Paul and his two daughters, Starr and Lakendra, but I forgot.

Jade, the cat that occupies the house, hid and was nowhere to be found. BUT the little black tom kitten (with no name) eagerly accepted Lakendra’s friendship and came in the house to play. I thought that was odd since he isn’t hardly ever around anyone but me but he took up with the little girl… He even let her pick him up and carry him around. I was to busy watching and didn’t take photos… GEEZ!

Little Bit was down at the barn but came up later when I filled the food pans. She was not interested in strangers at all. Then I took the piece of bamboo with yarn tied to it to try and get her to come in. While she did want the toy, she didn’t want to come into a house with strangers. She said, “the last stranger you took me to a few days ago ended up with me getting spayed.”

After they left, Jade was still MIA. I looked everywhere for her and could not find her. I couldn’t imagine where such a large cat could be hiding since all the bedroom doors were closed. Finally, I looked under my bed and there she was. She must have been in my bedroom before they came and then hid so I wouldn’t bring her out to meet the family. She still didn’t come out until I was eating dinner then she had to look the place over to make sure the coast was clear.

Well, that’s it for this post. I couldn’t very well use it for a Silent Sunday and I already did the Six On Saturday. I wonder what I will come up with for Silent Sunday?

Until next time, continue to stay positive, being safe, and always finding things to be thankful for.

 

Six On Saturday-Signs of Spring

Chaenomeles sp. (Flowering Quince) on 2-8-20.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you well. I woke up early this morning for a Saturday and couldn’t go back to sleep. I had taking photos for a Six On Saturday post on my mind so I got out of bed at 9. I got up, made coffee, fed the cats, and checked to see what the temperature was. 23°F. The sun is shining bright today and it looked GREAT! I went outside to take photos and it sure didn’t feel like 23°. By noon the National Weather Service says it was 35° and AccuWeather says 31. I always check several sites to see which one I like the best.

Here we go…

#1-Chaenomeles sp. (Flowering Quince).

Yesterday I went to a friend’s house to put a new battery in her smoke detector upstairs and noticed the Quince in her yard has started to leaf out. That triggered a Six On Saturday post right then. So, this morning I went right to the Quince in my yard to see what it was doing. Unfortunately, it hadn’t leafed out near as much as the one in Connie’s yard and all the close-up photos were not presentable. There are several species of Quince that might grow here and I have not figured this one out yet. It is a very old bush, likely planted by my grandparents in the 1960’s. Many older homes in town have Quince bushes in their yards.

*UPDATE: Thanks to Tony Tomeo I now know the Flowering Quince is a Chaenomeles species and not Cydonia. Cydonia species are fruiting Quince and Chaenomeles species are flowering Quince. I changed the name already… 

I also noticed one of the Lilac bushes was really getting with it.

 

Lamium amplexicaule (Henbit) or Lamium purpureum (Dead Nettle) on 2-8-20.

#2) Lamium amplexicaule (Henbit) or Lamium purpureum (Dead Nettle).

I am not sure which of the two species this photo is of since they are both everywhere and growing together (for the most part). Their early leaves look so much alike you really can’t tell them apart. Truthfully, the Lamium started growing quite a while back so I am not sure if this counts as a sign of spring…

 

Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ under the pot on 2-8-20.

#3-Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’.

Of course, I had to look under the pot covering the Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’. Hmmm… It didn’t even turn brown this winter. I covered it a while back because of paranoia. I am going to say it again… “I HOPE IT FLOWERS THIS YEAR.”

 

Achillea millefolium by the chicken house on 2-8-20.

#4) Achillea millefolium (Yarrow).

Of course, the Achillea millefolium are growing new leaves. Only very cold temps make them completely disappear and as soon as they get a chance they send up new leaves to see if the coast is clear.

 

Heuchera ‘Venus’ on 2-8-20.

#5-Heuchera (Coral Bells).

Well, what can I say? I got excited when I saw the Heuchera growing new leaves. They had been covered with snow off and on so I hadn’t checked them earlier. Heuchera are another perennial that will start growing earlier than you might expect during a mild winter. I had to take photos of all of the Heuchera which would completely screw up Six On Saturday. So, I numbered them 5.1-5.4. I hope you don’t mind. 🙂 It’s just when the snow melts to reveal signs of life I get somewhat trigger happy with the camera.

#5.1-Heuchera ‘Venus’.

The above photo is the Heuchera ‘Venus’. Its new leaves have a completely different color than when they mature to a silvery-green with darker green veins.

 

Heuchera ‘Obsidian’ on 2-8-20.

#5.2-Heuchera ‘Obsidian’.

The Heuchera ‘Obsidian’ reportedly has the darkest leaves of the Heuchera cultivars but that depends a lot on the light. Oh, the Chickweed is also growing, which is definitely a sign of spring…

 

Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ on 2-8-20.

#5.3-Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’.

The Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ is ready for spring. Its leaves are nearly as dark as ‘Obsidian’ during the summer and the plant and leaves get much larger.

 

Heuchera ‘Lime Rickey’ on 2-8-20.

#5.4-Heuchera ‘Lime Rickey’.

I really like the chartreuse leaves of the Heuchera ‘Like Rickey’ and it is very good to see it growing new leaves. It is such a great plant to brighten up a shady bed.

 

Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’ on 2-8-20.

#6-Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’.

While I was photographing the Heuchera I looked under the leaves to see what the Hosta were doing. While I expected to see nothing, I was pleasantly surprised. I first checked the Hosta ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’ and saw a sprout but I didn’t take a photo. Then I checked Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’ and had to take a photo. I didn’t check the rest because I knew that would lead to more photos and this Six On Saturday post would be all out of whack. Seeing the Hosta sprouting so early is definitely weird…

 

Kalanchoe daigremontiana (Mother of Thousands) on 2-8-20.

BONUS-Kalanchoe daigremontiana (Mother of Thousands).

Hmmm… Let me explain myself. First, I took a photo of this Kalanchoe before I went outside thinking I would use it for this post. By the time I was finished outside, I had too many photos. Since I already went overboard and sort of broke the rules with the Heuchera, I thought I just as well add a bonus photo.

I have been checking the buds on this Kalanchoe daigremontiana almost every day to see if the flowers have opened. I first noticed the buds on January 20 and since then they have grown but not opened. GEEZ! There are also more buds at the two upper stem nodes. I would say leaf nodes, but some experts say its leaves aren’t really leaves (since leaves don’t produce offsets from its margins). Anyway, I am patiently waiting…

That’s all I have to talk about at the moment, or at least it is time to stop. If you wish to participate in Six on Saturday posts, be sure to read the Six On Saturday-a participants guide from The Propagator.

Until next time, be safe, stay positive, and always be thankful. Your comments and “likes” are always appreciated.