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!
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.
Two days after the previous photo was taken, the Achillea ‘Moondust’ it has two buds…
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.
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.
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 ‘?’…
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.
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.
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!
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!
Like I mentioned earlier, I had to make a decision about moving the Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ since I couldn’t budge the Baptisia…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 🙂
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.
The Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’ is growing really well now and
It appears to have a few buds already!
Even the stem with more yellow variegation has returned. Maybe I can take a cutting this year.
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. 🙂
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.
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!