April 24 Update

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


Astilbe cv. ‘?’ on 4-20-19, #560-4.

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

It appears to have a few buds already!


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

The Zantedeschia elliottiana (Golden Calla Lily) 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!


New Plants Update

Hello folks! I hope this post finds you all well. Before I get sidetracked I wanted to make a post about the latest new additions. I will need them as I move from bed to bed getting them ready for the summer. Oh, summer is already here, huh? Well, I had to think of a good reason that didn’t sound like an excuse.

The plants I bought on May 5 are all doing well. When My sister wanted to go back to the greenhouses on June 7, of course, I went. I may have gotten a little carried away but I visualized in my mind where they all would go (for the most part). The south bed needs work for sure so most of what I brought home will go there. Then on Sunday, I went to Lowe’s and found a few more plants. Actually, I went to Sedalia to go grocery shopping but my first stop was Lowe’s. I didn’t want my ice cream to melt. 🙂

It took as long time at Lowe’s and I put several succulents back I decided I didn’t need. Over the years I have learned what succulents work OK over the winter in the house. No need to buy, no matter how AWESOME some of the Echeveria look during the summer, they don’t work well in lower light inside over the winter. I put back a really nice Crassula because of the same reason. The worse things was seeing all the cactus and succulents labeled “succulent”. GEEZ! What is their name, for crying out loud?!?! You know how many cactus and succulent species are variable that look so much alike? Resisting plants is not my strong point, but I did…

Anyway, after I bought only a few plants and was leaving, I saw the Achillea ‘Moondust’. So, I picked one out and went back inside and paid.


You can’t go wrong with Achillea in the full sun so this one will go in the south bed for sure. The leaves are quite a bit different than Achillea millefolium, so I need to do some investigation. Is Achillea ‘Moondust’ it a cultivar of a certain species or a hybrid? Hmmm…


Agastache ‘Kudos Gold’.

I bought two more Agastache ‘Kudos™ Gold’ to go with the first one I bought on May 5. They will go in the north bed next to the porch steps on the right side.


Agastache aurantiaca ‘Apricot Sprite’ after I brought them home on 6-7-18, #455-2.

I bought most of my plants from Wildwood Greenhouse. It is the smallest greenhouse here but they always have a very good selection and their prices are very reasonable. I bought these Agastache aurantiaca ‘Apricot Sprite’ for the bed on the left side of the north porch. That bed is basically finished now but I ran into a snag… That is for another post :).


GEEZ! Yeah, I know the Angelonia angustifolia hybrid Angelface® ‘Perfectly Pink’ is pinkish but I have the perfect spot for them. I put them in the southeast corner bed.


The Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ is one of the only plants I bought that I have no idea where it will go. Probably somewhere in the north bed between the Colocasia esculenta and Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’. Wildwood had several of these and they are very nice plants in good sized pots for a very good price. Who could resist? I put this plant in the north bed.


Depending on which website you are on, the flowers are a deep garnet red, deep red, bright red. I am calling them red but they really are neat.


I found this Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ at Muddy Creek. I had a Brunnera ‘King’s Ransom’ when I was in Mississippi that I bought off the discount rack at Lowe’s. It was pretty much shot and didn’t survive. They don’t like high heat and humidity and need consistently moist soil. ‘Jack Frost’ is supposed to tolerate drier conditions so we shall see what happens. It was introduced by Walter’s Gardens in 2000 and won the Perennial Plant of the Year in 2012. It is already in the shade bed.


Brunnera macrophylla have neat and happy small pale blue flowers.


I had a plan for the Crocosmia x Curtonus ‘Lucifer’ but somehow forgot to put them where I intended in the bed on the right side of the north porch. Well, I had to make a change and put the Heliotropium arborescens ‘Marine’ where I wanted the…


Cenchrus setaceus ‘Rubrum’ (Purple Fountain Grass). So, I had put this plant where I wanted the Crocosmia. Then, after I moved the Heliotrope something (like a cat or mole) dug in the bed and kind of screwed it up. Well, something is also weird with the soil… So, the Heliotrope may not make it and I can put the Fountain Grass in that spot after all. Then the Crocosmia can go where I wanted them in the first place or next to the porch instead of the steps.

Now, if you are wondering why I am calling the Purple Fountain Grass a Cenchrus setaceus instead of Pennisetum setaceum it is because the name changed in 2010.


Since the Blue Mistflower (Conoclinum coelestinum) didn’t come up from seed this spring, it left the areas next to the steps without anything. When we were at Muddy Creek Greenhouse I found these Gomphrena globosa ‘Gnome Series’. They had quite a few 4-packs with a mixture of white, purple and pink. I found a pack with two white and two purple to bring home. I put them in the bed on the left side of the steps. They will get plenty of morning sun.


Mast’s Greenhouse had a couple of Hostas I had to bring home. The one in the above photo is Hosta ‘Blue Angel’. They had several of these plants, but I bought this one because the Yellow Wood Sorrel (Oxalis stricta) in the pot has different colored leaves than the ones growing in my flower beds (and the yard). My dad’s mom had a purple-leaved Wood Sorrel in her flower bed which I got a start from when I was around eight. I have not seen any since (It is NOT the same as Oxalis triangularis). Then when we went to Muddy Creek and they had larger plants for around the same price.

Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ can grow to around 3′ tall x 5′ to 6′ wide in time.


I also brought this Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ from Mast’s Greenhouse. Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ is a legendary cultivar and may be the largest of the chartreuse/gold cultivars available. Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ can grow around 3′ tall x up to 6′ wide within a few years.


Even though there were several Hosta cultivars at Lowe’s I didn’t have, I resisted. I had originally picked out a Hosta ‘Wide Brim’, but then decided on this Hosta ‘Whirlwind’. It’s thick, dark variegated leaves won me over and I put the ‘Wide Brim’ back. I put this in the new shade bed I made in 2017.


I found this plant called Blue Star Creeper (Isotoma fluviatilis) I had never heard of before. The label says they like full sun, so I thought I would bring one home and give it a try. Ummm. Depending on what the roots look like, I will either plant the whole pot in one place or divide it into four and put them in different locations.


Then I found this AWESOME Kalanchoe orgyalis whos common name is Copper Spoons. Of course, this plant will stay on the plant tables next to the shed.


I really like Kalanchoe and I couldn’t resist this plant… The leaves have a felt-like texture.


I found these Bee Balm called Monarda Super Buzzâ„¢Cherry Pops‘ for the northeast corner bed by the back porch. I had bought a Monarda at one of the local garden clubs plant sales last spring but it didn’t survive. I decided I may put them on the right side of the steps on the north side of the house.


I also bought three more Rudbeckia hirta ‘Cherokee Sunset’ from Wildwood for the south bed. I tried them there last summer, but the ‘Brocade’ Marigolds and Celosia spicata ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ overwhelmed them (and me, too). I didn’t think any seed from these plants came up from last year, but I am not 100% sure now. When I was getting the bed ready a few days ago I noticed there are plants in the right side of the south bed that have similar leaves. They have no buds yet but they do have leaves like this plant and the species Rudbeckia hirta.


Lowe’s had A LOT of these Salvia farinacea Cathedralâ„¢ ‘Blue Bicolor’. I had Salvia farinacea ‘Blue Bedder’ in Mississippi I grew from seed. They always did very well and also reseeded. So, I will put these in the south bed.


Wildwood Greenhouse had several Salvia cultivars but I had to bring three Salvia pratensis ‘Midnight Model’ home with me. They will go in the south bed. I love Salvia and it is always good when I find a species I haven’t tried before.


I always liked the Pincushion Flower but hadn’t ever grown any. So, when Lowe’s had several Scabiosa columbaria ‘Blue Note’ (Dwarf Pincushion), I had to bring one home. I am not sure where I will put it yet…


Wildwood also had a few pots of Purple Heart (Tradescantia pallida) like I had in Mississippi. They are perennial there but I will have to keep it in a pot so I can bring it inside here. I will put it in the basement where it will go dormant over the winter like I do the Tradescantia sillamontana. We will just have to see. I will no doubt take a few cuttings and experiment a little and put one upstairs to how it does there. They do make good houseplants but they need the proper amount of light or they get weird.


I finally found a Sedum adolphii ‘Firestorm’ at Lowe’s. I already have a Sedum adolphii (which needs some work) I have had for a few years. Now I will see how this one does.


Last in alphabetical order is the always GREAT Sempervivum ‘Oddity’. I lost this plant a couple of years ago (and no, I don’t want to talk about it). I found another one at Wagler’s in 2016, but it didn’t do well. So, now that I have another one… HANDS OFF! 🙂

I think that is it for the new plants for now. Hopefully, all will do well and thrive just as I hope you are all doing well and thriving. I will finish working on the pages to these plants now. 🙂 Until next time, take care, stay well, positive, be safe and GET DIRTY!