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.

 

 

 

 

Short Sunday Drive And A Visit

Echinacea paradoxa (Yellow Coneflower) on 7-1-18, #467-15.

Hello folks! I hope this post finds you all doing very well. A week or so ago I went to visit a friend who lives a little farther in the country and noticed a few nice patches of Yellow Coneflower (Echinacea paradoxa) along the way. I had left my camera at home so I didn’t get a photo then. I am trying to remember to always take my camera because you never know what you will find to shoot. So, early Sunday evening I decided to go for a little drive. It was only a few miles away and I needed to take some photos.

 

Echinacea paradoxa is the only species in the genus to have yellow flowers. All others are purple shades. Hmmm… I thought there was a white-flowered species. Of course, that is not counting the varied colored and weird looking cultivars of Echinacea purpurea. As a matter of fact, I think I have seen a few with white flowers along the highway. Maybe they are a variation (mutation) of Echinacea purpurea. Echinacea paradoxa does hybridize with other species in the genus if they are close by.

Most of the plants are at least 3 feet tall, and some came up to my shoulder which is close to 5′. Well, I suppose I was standing a little lower than the plants. 🙂

 

The genus name comes from the Greek word, echinos, which means hedgehog or sea urchin because of the shape of the cone. The species name, paradoxa, is in reference to it being a paradox as to why its flowers are yellow instead of purple like the rest of the species in the genus. 

The cones remain erect after the flowers fade and the seeds are eaten by Goldfinches during the winter.

 

The leaves are very different from the Echinacea purpurea I brought home this spring.

 

Very interesting how a stem grows between the main stem and the leaf. Kind of like a sucker on a tomato.

I headed down the road and found…

 

A nice clump of Asclepias tuberosa known as the Butterfly Weed. I have a lot of Milkweed on the farm but NONE of these. There is a very small single clump across the back fence that I have been tempted to dig up, though. But when it is time to dig, I may not be able to find it. I could mark it with an electric fence post or something. Oh, yeah, it isn’t on our property. Oh well, maybe some will miraculously appear someday.

 

I had never been up close and personal with an Asclepias tuberosa before and this was my chance when no one was looking. Just look at this AWESOME flower!

 

Asclepias tuberosa does not have milk-sapped stems like most species of milkweeds. The flowers are a favorite food source of butterflies and bees and of course, the leaves are food for the Monarch Butterfly caterpillar.

 

The genus name comes from the Greek god of medicine, Asklepios. The species name is in reference to the plant’s deep taproot.

Then I ran across a plant I have seen along the highway in huge groups. I have often wanted to get out and photograph…

 

I didn’t know what this plant was until I got out of the car and saw its leaves. Instantly I knew it was a species of Baptisia. It is kind of hard to tell when you are driving down the highway about 60 mph. and have no safe place to pull over and investigate. When I returned home I did a search and found out it was definitely a Baptisia alba. The Wild White Indigo (or False White Indigo, False Indigo).

 

Tall flower spikes, easily between 12-18 inches long or more.

 

The flowers are pea-like, like other members of the Fabaceae family.

 

The leaves look similar to the Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’ in my flower bed.

 

Not far from the first plant I saw was another small group. They had a more open growth habit and the flowers were not as close together on the stem.

I went down the road and headed back toward town. I got to my friend’s mother’s farm and decided I would get out and take a photo of her…

 

Opuntia compressa which is a species of Prickly Pear intermingled with some very healthy Poison Ivy.

 

The pads of this species are not near as thorny as the Prickly Pear I had in Mississippi. I think it was last year when I was talking to his mom when she was out working in the yard. The cactus had fruit at the time and I asked her if she had ever eaten any. She said no and went right over a picked one off and ate it. 🙂

 

She also has several Yucca filamentosa (Adam’s Needle) growing in her yard.

 

They were LOADED with flowers earlier now they are LOADED with seed pods.

Then I went down the road toward home but I had to take the opportunity…

 

To have a closer look at this Cylindropuntia imbricata (Tree Cholla). I remember earlier when I first saw it I almost ran off the road. How could I have missed it before since I had driven by it so many times? This time there was a car in the driveway so I pulled in to see if I could take a photo. Low and behold, when the lady came to the door I recognized her. She was in my sister’s class in school. Anyway, she said the cactus was her brothers but said I could take a photo.

 

She came outside and we walked in her yard so I could get a good photo of the whole thing. She seemed a little embarrassed because the crabgrass was so tall and thick and started pulling it away from the cactus. I started helping a little and said I understood. It had been hot and then it rained… Not to mention chiggers and the grass was a little wet. You know how crabgrass is. She said she wasn’t bothered by chiggers as I could almost feel my hands starting to itch. 🙂 I hate chiggers and pulling crabgrass because of them.

As we walked back to the house, she said her brother “Bill” had a lot of plants and said that was his garden as she pointed toward it. She said he had more plants in the back. Many years ago, another friend of mine lived in her house for many years and had a tackle shop behind the house. He was a very well-known rod maker and famous for “The Crappie Stick”. Anyway, Bill now lives in his old shop.

We walked to the back of the house and Bill came out. We shook hands and I told him I hadn’t seen him in years. We started talking and he took me to his garden and showed me his Prickly Pear, cucumbers, and tomatoes.

 

He had a nice group of Tiger Lilies (Lilium lancifolium) which were the real deal!

 

My grandma had these in her yard but they eventually fizzled out. Big, bright orange, spotted flowers with recurved petals. The plants are very tall.

 

One characteristic of this species is the seeds that grow along the stem.

After visiting around the garden, we walked back over to his Tree Cholla. He said he had it for around 15 years and was given his start by another old friend around the corner who passed away several years ago.

So, Sunday was a good day. I never would have thought that Bill was a gardener. I took photos of the Echinacea paradoxa which is the only place I have ever seen them growing. I was able to photograph an Asclepias tuberosa and Baptisia alba without getting run over along the highway.

What discoveries have you made recently? That’s it for now. I hope you have a great week ahead. Stay well, positive, enjoy nature when you can, and GET DIRTY!

New Plants & Update

Hello folks! I hope this post finds you all well, safe, warm, and prosperous! I just wanted to take a few moments and share with you what has been happening since the last update. I took photos April 8 but didn’t finish the post. After a week of warmer weather, most of the perennials had grown so had to start over.

First, I wanted to share a photo of one of the baby grasshoppers that have been in my bedroom windowsill for about a month. I have never seen baby grasshoppers before let along having them hatch out in the house. I tried to take photos before, but they were too tiny for me to get a good photo. Sunday, the 8th, I finally got a photo that wasn’t blurry.

The first three photos are from April 8 and I didn’t take new photos of them on the 13th.

 

Achillea millefolium-Fern Leaf Yarrow

Sunday afternoon I as I took my camera outside, I started on the west side of the north bed next to the porch. First, the Achillea millefolium is continuing to grow… Not only are they among the last to be affected by colder temperatures, they are also among the first to return in the spring. In fact, they peek out off and on during the winter everytime we have a few days of warmer weather.

 

Lysimachia nummularia ‘Goldilocks’

If you need a spreading ground cover that you don’t mind crawling among your other plants, then you should try Lysimachia nummularia. Here in mid-Missouri, the Creeping Jenny all but disappears during the winter. They, too, are among the first to return in the spring. I bought this Creeping Jenny cultivar in the spring of 2014 and they have spread nicely in the north bed. I think this year I am going to move them around in other beds to see how they do in different areas.

More of these have come back up in the past week, even in places I didn’t have them as much last year. What a traveler!

 

Geranium sanguineum-Bloody Cranesbill

The patch of Geranium sanguineum or Geranium sanguineum var. striatum has been struggling for the past couple of years. I think maybe they had an episode of crown rot a couple of years ago so maybe I need to dig the area up and replant them. They are normally pretty hardy but when they get really thick they can have a few issues. Many plants do this, including the Ajuga (Bugleweed). These are the descendants of the Geranium sanguineum I bought from Bluestone Perennials in the early 1980’s when I first moved to the farm when grandpa passed away in 1891. Dad moved them to this spot after my parents bought a manufactured home and moved to the farm in 1996. This species could be Geranium sanguineum var. striatum which has larger flowers than the species so this year I will measure the blooms…

 

NEW PLANTS!

I am a member of several plant groups on Facebook, including one called Cheap Succulents and Cacti. I had never bought plants from anyone on the Facebook groups before but when I saw this particular Sedum from Elizabeth Li I couldn’t help myself. I contacted her and she said she had other plants, too. I checked her offering and they were mostly Echeveria. But she also had a Kalanchoe that also looked tempting… So, bought two plants. She shipped them on Monday and they arrived on Friday (April 13).

 

They were shipped bareroot and she had them all nicely packed in shredded paper.

 

They have a good root system…

 

Kalanchoe marmorata-Penwiper Plant

The Kalanchoe marmorata has very thick leaves, kind of rubbery, with brownish-purple blotches. The leaves have a weird sticky feeling that is hard to explain. Common names include Penwiper Plant, Pen Wiper Plant, Spotted Kalanchoe, Penwiper, and Baby Penwiper. They are native to West and Central Africa where they grow up to 48″ tall but in pots, they normally grow to about 16″. The species was first described by John Gilbert Baker in Gardener’s Chronicle & Agricultural Gazette in 1892.

 

 STARTING OVER ON FRIDAY AFTERNOON…

Now, let’s start over in the south bed…

Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’-Jerusalem Sage

Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ continues to do well despite it normally doesn’t come back up until May. Every time the forecast says the temp is going to be below 35 during the night, I run out and put the pot back over it before I go to bed. 🙂

 

Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’-False Indigo

The Baptisia x ‘Lunar Eclipse’ has really taken off this past week. Hopefully, it will flower and we can really see what it can do. This is the first Baptisia I have had since I have been back on the farm and only the second I have ever tried. I tried ‘Carolina Moonlight’ in 2012 while I was in Mississippi but then I forgot about and left it behind when I moved here in February 2013. Well, it was dormant and I may not have even been able to find it. I am really looking forward to this plant flowering!

 

Salvia nemorosa ‘New Dimensions Blue’

The Salvia nemorosa ‘New Dimensions Blue’ was new last spring. I also bought a ‘New Dimension Rose’ but it didn’t do well during the invasion of the Marigold ‘Brocade’ last summer and did not return this spring.

 

Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’

The Salvia x sylvestris Mainacht is doing well as usual. Always one of the first to come up in the spring and will flower continually throughout the summer. That is, as long as I keep it deadheaded.

 

Stachys byzantina-Lamb’s Ears

All I can say it was a good thing I divided the big clump of Lamb’s Ears last spring because the bigger clump all but died out over the winter. The photo above is from the division I made and put in the southeast corner bed in the somewhat amended crappy fill dirt. The other division is in the southwest side and it is only doing fair. I have heard the Stachys byzantina can be somewhat invasive but I have never had that problem. I think location plays an important part, especially during the winter months. Even though plants may be very cold tolerant, they still need protection with a layer of mulch. The larger clump is on the edge of the bed and the wind keeps any type of cover blown off. Normally I don’t remove the dead leaves and stems until spring when new growth starts to emerge. I think that was a big problem because I pretty much cleared off the south bed last fall.

I haven’t gotten the page for the Stachys byzantina added on the right yet. I am on the “S’s”, but STILL working on the Sedum pages. I got stumped on one species for several days just trying to figure out who actually named the plant. Finally, I just had to admit it was actually unknown so I could move forward.

 

Iris x violipurpurea ‘Black Gamecock’-Lousiana Iris

The Iris x violipurpurea ‘Black Gamecock’ is still alive and seemingly OK. I am debating moving this clump, too, because I think it would do much better elsewhere. It is in the area between the basement steps and the back porch. I had certain plans for this spot when I moved here in 2013, but those plans did not materialize. When I started working in this area there were about 20 cats here. I amended the fill dirt but the cats thought it was a good spot to dig… Then dad bought a few roses and wanted them planted along the basement steps… So, I did. I also have Zinnias along the steps every year, but someday…

 

Prunus calleryana-Bradford Pear

Dad planted this Bradford Pear shortly after they moved their manufactured home here in 1996. It is usually LOADED with flowers every spring and the bees and pollinating flies just love it. Outside of a few wildflowers that are already blooming, there isn’t much for the honey bees and other pollinators to feed on.

 

The tree has had a lot of issues in the past and does need some pruning to get it back in shape. The wind took the top out of it several years ago, before I returned, and there are several dead limbs that need to be removed.

 

Progne subis-Purple Martin

The Martins have officially returned for 2018. I have an issue… Even though I pretty much do everything on the farm and have certain ways I do things or think they should be done, sometimes dad will have a different opinion. Normally, I just do what needs to be done and tell him what I did after the fact. Last summer, after the Martins left, I was getting ready to clean out the Martin house and put the covers on the holes. Dad said to just cover the holes and clean it out next year. GEEZ! So, I did. Last week, when three Martins showed up, I need to go clean it out and open the holes. Dad said to just open the top two rows or the sparrows would try and take it over. GEEZ AGAIN! So, I went out, cleaned out all the nests and only left the top two rows open. Within a couple of days, there were A LOT more Martins so I had to lower the house AGAIN and remove the rest of the covers. You know, they are fighting over the nests in the top two rows… Can’t they see they are all open now? If you have never seen male Martins fight over nesting rights, I will tell you they are very determined and vicious! You would think they were going to kill one another.

 

Nepeta x faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’-Catmint

The Catmint in the corner on the right side of the back porch is doing really well despite it being in the crappy fill dirt. I keep calling it crappy dirt, but there must be some value in it. It sure can grow weeds! Soon, the Catmint will be LOADED with flowers!

 

Cydonia oblonga-Flowering Quince

The Flowering Quince is now LOADED with flowers.

 

Sedum spurium ‘John Creech’

The Sedum spurium ‘John Creech’ is doing much better now. It seems to do weird things over the winter but at least it survived… I really like this Sedum with it smaller leaves. It also spreads very well. I do not have its page ready yet, hopefully within the next few days. It is next on the list and there doesn’t appear to be anything whacky with its name.

 

Sedum kamtschaticum-Orange or Russian Stonecrop

This is also one of my favorite Sedums. It has fairly good sized bright green leaves and will produce an abundance of yellow flowers later. This plant could also be Sedum kamtschaticum var. ellacombeanum but I am not sure. That variety is somewhat larger so I will be taking measurements this summer. This species, along with many other Sedums, were moved to various other genera to reclassify them into groups according to various traits. Sedum kamtschaticum became Phedimus kamtschaticus. Apparently, the name change didn’t win much favor because the Phedimus genus is now a synonym of Sedum, at least on most plant name databases. I wonder what the results of a polygenetic test would say?

 

Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’

Well, the Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’ survived the winter and hopefully, it will spread a little more this summer.

 

Sedum ‘Unknown’

HA! I am still uncertain what the species of this Sedum is. I have a few ideas and I will have to make my decision soon. I found a tag that says Sedum ‘Cherry Tart’ which I bought in 2016 but this plant is older. I believe I bought it unlabeled from Wagler’s Greenhouse in 2015. It could be Sedum spurium ‘Dragon’s Blood’…

 

Sempervivum x ‘Killer’

The Sempervivum x ‘Killer’ is still looking very good despite the frigid temperatures in January. I just bought it last spring and since it survived the winter, I know it will be around for a very long time.

 

Physostegia virginiana-Obedient Plant

Well, GEEZ! I bought this plant last spring from a local garden club’s plant sale. I knew the Obedient Plant could be invasive which is why I bought it especially for this spot (a corner along the foundation which used to be my grandparent’s old house). The leaves always pile up in this spot over the winter and when I pulled them back to check on this plant… Well, as you can see, one plant turned into many. 🙂

 

Cylindropuntia imbricata-Tree Cholla

Alive or dead? I don’t know yet. When Mrs. Wagler gave me this cactus in the spring of 2016, she said it was hardy outside. It survived last winter with no problem but this winter was much colder. So, I am patiently waiting. A photo taken of this plant last April 20 showed it was growing those new limbs. It still feels solid in the ground, so maybe after more warmer temperatures, it will show signs of life.

 

Tephrocactus articulatis var. papyracanthus-Paper Spine Cactus

You know, I have had some oddballs, and this cactus is certainly no exception. If this plant were in a larger pot, or outside, its odd balls would be falling off and growing new plants. It usually just sits there, not making any sign of life, making me wonder if it alive or dead. Then, I noticed it had new growth. When did it do that? When I was buying plants from Wal-Mart in February 2016, a piece fell off of one of the other cactus so I put it in my pocket and brought it home. 🙂  I don’t consider that stealing when you think of what could have happened to it otherwise. Maybe swept up off the floor and thrown in the trash. So, I have had this plant for two years and it has been in this same small pot the whole time.

I think I will close this post for now and save the Heuchera and Hosta update for the next post. Maybe tomorrow. 🙂

SO, until then, stay well, positive, safe and GET DIRTY!