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.

 

 

 

 

The Usual Joys & “Are You Serious?”

Allium ampeloprasum var. ampeloprasum (Elephant Garlic) on 6-9-19, #585-1.

Hello, everyone! I hope this post finds you well. It happens every year… Some perennials come up earlier than others and some you have to wonder about. Then there are the re-seeders you have to wait on to see if they are going to come up at all. You are ready to get the beds tidied up and make decisions about what you are going to do with the beds. You go plant shopping to see what is available and bring home new plants. Some plants you liked the year before aren’t available so you get to try new cultivars and new plants.

The Elephant Garlic (Allium ampeloprasum var. ampeloprasum) in the above photo is now flowering in the south bed. A great example of having your cake and eating it, too.

 

Alocasia ‘Mayan Mask’ on 6-9-19, #585-2.

A few of the older Alocasia went dormant and this Alocasia ‘Mayan Mask’ is FINALLY waking up. Two others are still thinking about it.

 

Hmmm… Last spring I bought a Siberian Bugloss, Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’. It did very well and was a beautiful plant. Once the Japanese Beetles really set in on the Chinese Elm tree and changed its environment, it started ailing. By the end of July, it was completely dead. I didn’t see anything online about this species going dormant so early, so I just contributed its demise was because of the heat and increased light. I left the label in place just in case it returned in the spring because you never know. I always say, “Just because it is dead doesn’t mean it is dead.” I have been surprised many times. Well, there is a plant coming up beside the label but there is a weed with similar leaves, which I haven’t bothered to ID. So, this is either the Bugloss returning or a weed trying to fool me… Most likely, the latter is the case. But, I am keeping an eye on it. 🙂

By the time I am finished with this post, which is likely to take several days, maybe we can tell what is really going on here.

 

Celosia argentea var. spicata ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ on 6-9-19, #585-6.

Waiting and waiting… Then all the sudden, “OH, CRAP!” Almost time to transplant the Celosia argentea var. spicata ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ and Talinum paniculatum (Jewels of Opar).

 

Talinum paniculatum (Jewels of Opar) seedlings on 6-9-19, #585-22.

It happens every spring… It seems I need to work on the south bed but I always think I have to wait for the Celosia and Jewels of Opar to come up. Last spring the Rudbeckia hirta ‘Denver Daisy’ came up in abundance from self-sown seed but barely any came up this spring. In fact, I am not so sure any did and I was beginning to wonder about the Celosia. But when they did come up, they really came up! I think I am pretty safe if I don’t even worry if they will come up and just go ahead and do whatever I want with the south bed when I am in the mood. The Celosia and Jewels of Opar will come up when they are ready and it doesn’t matter where I dig. I will still have more than enough.

 

Colocasia esculenta on 6-9-19, #585-7.

The Colocasia esculenta are finally coming up in the north bed. I didn’t post photos, but something terrible happened with the BIG rhizomes… The biggest ones had crown rot but the majority of the rhizome was OK. It just made the smaller eyes come up around the rhizomes instead of the main one from the center. Hard to explain but maybe you get the picture… It was unusual, but the small Colocasia esculenta I planted in the front of the Canna bed overwintered with leaf mulch and came up long before the rhizomes I planted… I don’t know what the Xanthosoma robustum is going to do because it sort of had the same problem only in a different way. It rotted from the bottom instead of the top. Last time I checked, the top sprout had broken off but there is some kind of activity on the remainder of the rhizome… Time will tell. The temps have been weird and the soil has remained cool and damp which they don’t like…

 

Conoclinum coelestinum ‘Aunt Inez’ on 6-9-19, #585-8.

TRIPLE GEEZ! The Conoclinum coelestinum (Blue Mist Flower) I call ‘Aunt Inez’ always comes up so late. It is a perennial or sorts but these always come up from seed. Supposedly, they are an herbaceous perennial that “spreads aggressively” by rhizomes and self-seeding. Dad got his start from Aunt Inez (his mother’s sister) many years ago. They were in a good-sized group on both sides of the steps but they have declined, which may be partly my fault. I have been panting other plants where they grow which had led to their seeds being lost or not being able to come up. It was kind of tiresome waiting for them to come up then having to move them around a bit. (GEEZ! That is like in the south bed!). Then after I get the beds planted, a few come up… I am not complaining at all, and I am thankful that at least a few have made an appearance. I have tried to relocate a few in the past, but they never return the next spring. As far as them spreading “aggressively” by rhizome, I have never had that happen and it would be a good thing if they even tried. They are a nice plant with neat flowers. The worse thing about their seedlings is that one might think they are a weed and pull them up by accident. My dad used to keep an eye on me and was quick to point them out. He would say, “that’s one of those flowers. You have to be careful not to pull them up.” 🙂

 

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Cone Flower) on 6-9-19, #585-9.

The Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) “are” now budding. They have done very well and are getting very tall. I am so thankful I have these now! I failed to dig up a few of the Echinacea paradoxa (Yellow Coneflower) along a back road which I wanted to plant somewhere on the farm.

Grammarly thinks “are” should be “is”. I had to remind it “are” is a present and plural form of “be” and “is” the singular present form. 🙂 We are at a stalemate and it is thinking about it.

 

Heuchera ‘Obsidian’ on 6-9-19, #585-10.

The Heuchera ‘Obsidian’ is looking MUCH better now. I was beginning to wonder for a while if it would make it.

 

Hosta ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’ on 6-9-19, #585-11.

The very nice Hosta ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’ is going to bless us with its first flowers this year. It’s first!

 

Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ wannabe on 6-9-19, #585-12.

Hmmm… The Hosta ‘Blue Angel’ wannabe is getting a little bigger. It is driving me NUTS not knowing the true cultivar name. I am going to turn the label around so it can read that it says “Hosta ‘Blue Angel’.” I am sure it will tell me, “Yes, I am blue (well kind of) and I am an angel. But I am NOT Hosta ‘Blue Angel’.” 🙂

 

Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ on 6-9-19, #585-13.

The Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ definitely has no identity crisis. Its flowers are just as compact, neat and tidy as the whole clump.

 

Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’ on 6-9-13, #585-14.

The always glowing Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’ is further dazzling us with buds.

 

Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’ on 6-9-19, #585-15.

Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’ is looking especially AWESOME this year and flowering right on schedule. I took photos of the Hosta on 6-9-2018 and it didn’t have buds, but it did on the 14th. So, we are pretty much right on schedule.

 

Monarda didyma ‘Cherry Pops’ on 6-9-19, #585-16.

SURPRISE, SURPRISE! I had almost forgotten about the Monarda didyma ‘Cherry Pops’ (Bee Balm)! I saw it had sprouted a while back, but the Creeping Jenny had completely covered it it. When I was taking photos on Sunday, it said “HERE I AM! DON’T FORGET ABOUT ME!” I smelled its leaves to make sure it was really it. 🙂 I am very thankful it came up. Now, we’ll see if it flowers.

 

Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia Creeper) on 6-9-19, #585-17.

The Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) is one of those “I fooled you” plants when they are very young. You can easily mistake it for a Viola and not pull it up. Sometimes their second set of leaves may even resemble Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans), which fooled me for several years at this stage. I had plenty of both in Mississippi and was always getting a little rash after pulling weeds in the back yard even though I didn’t see any poison ivy where I was working. Then one day I noticed the Violets I didn’t pull had three leaves so I thought Poison Ivy started out looking like Violets. Well, that is not the case. Small Poison Ivy starts out with leaves of three while the Virginia Creeper starts out looking like Viola species. By the second or third set of leaves, you can clearly see the five-leaved Virginia Creeper.  Some people break out in a rash similar to Poison Ivy from the sap of the Virginia Creeper as well.

One interesting thing about Poison Ivy is that it is not an Ivy at all. Believe it or not, it is in the family Anacardiaceae with Cashews, Mangos, Pistachios, and many other ornamental trees that produce “fruit” that are drupes. Many of the plants in this family produce sap with urushiol which is what causes the rash. Virginia Creeper (or Woodbine) is in the family Vitaceae along with grapes. These plants produce raphides (crystals of calcium oxalate) which can also cause irritation by puncturing the skin of sensitive people. Umm… I mean people with sensitive skin.

 

Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ buds on 6-9-19, #585-19.

The Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ is starting to bud now. There will be A LOT of flowers because they really like it where the biggest patch is now.

 

Rudbeckia hirta buds on 6-9-19, #585-19.

I think buds are especially neat on some plants. Here the native Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan) buds resemble brown balls wrapped in golden-yellow petals.

 

Salvia nemorosa ‘New Dimensions Blue’ on 6-9-19, #585-20.

The Salvia nemorosa ‘New Dimensions Blue’ seems to be having some difficulty expressing itself this spring. It was like it couldn’t speak for a while and was always looking over its shoulder. Then I realized maybe it is the Elephant Garlic… The Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ in the other end of the bed had the same difficulty until I removed the garlic next to it. This year it has gone bananananas! Maybe the smell of the garlic and the scent of the Salvia don’t mix well. Chemical reaction. LOL!

 

Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ears) on 6-9-19, #585-21.

The Lamb’s Ears (Stachys byzantina) are blooming once again. They seem to like this spot and I am going to attempt something… I have a plan… Top secret. 🙂

 

Vitex agnus-castus ‘Shoal Creek’ (Chaste Tree) on 6-9-19, #585-23.

The beautiful Chaste Tree, Vitex agnus-castus ‘Shoal Creek’, is looking great and starting to flower. I really like this shrub but it can be weird sometimes. It made it through the winter like a deciduous shrub instead of having to come up from the bottom like a perennial. It has been a few years since it did that. There are a few advantages to that including their stems are much stronger. Last spring it came up from the ground and next thing you know all the stems were flat as a pancake and growing horizontally because the stems were weak. I have photos to prove it. 🙂 So, I am very thankful it growing normal this year.

That’s all for this post. Until next time, be safe, stay positive, be thankful and you know the rest.

 

Heuchera and Hosta Update

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Heuchera ‘Venus’ on 4-23-19, #562-7.

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

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

Now for the Hosta…

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Ajuga, Heuchera, Hosta, Leptinella & Zantedeschia Update

Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’-Bugleweed

Hello again! I am back with round two of the update. The Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’ has struggled through the winter and probably 80% of has died out. What is left is beginning to bud. Later on, I will have to replant what has died with new plants from what is left. They can spread pretty fast so that won’t be a problem. You have to be careful with Bugleweed as they have a tendency to become too thick which can lead to crown rot.

In an earlier post, I mentioned that only two of the Hosta I bought last year survived the winter. Well, I made a very good discovery Friday… I was looking for the new Hosta behind the tags and they were in front of them. SO, the only one that didn’t return is Hosta ‘Rainforest Sunrise’. The following are in the order the photos were taken.

 

Hosta ‘Empress Wu’

I am very glad the Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ survived the winter. I planted this Hosta last spring by the porch on the north side of the house because I want something there that makes a statement. I have had this cultivar in mind for this spot for several years but I could only find them online. Last spring I found one at a garden center in Clinton but didn’t want to pay over $20.00 for a gallon size pot. Then I found the Colocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ which I planted there but farther away from the wall because I knew it would get big. Then after that, I found a smaller Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ at a local greenhouse. Well, even though I had kind of used that spot for the Colocasia ‘Thailand Giant’, I still had to have the Hosta ‘Empress Wu’. I planted it behind the Colocasia in the corner. In time, this Hosta will be very big as it is the largest Hosta cultivar available.

 

Hosta ‘Guacamole’

Hosta ‘Guacamole’ appears right on the heels of ‘H. ‘Potomac Pride’. I bought this award-winning Hosta from Lowe’s in the spring of 2014. The clump has spread nicely and it always makes a good show during the summer. It is always good to see it return in the spring.

 

Hosta ‘Red October’

The Hosta ‘Red October’ has been with me since 2009 I brought from Mississippi. Last year it showed some signs of needing help, so this spring I may need to give it some attention. I have lost two Hosta I brought with me and I don’t intend to lose a third which is why I moved H. ‘Krossa Regal’ last spring.

 

Hosta sieboldiana ‘Elegans’

Hosta sieboldiana ‘Elegans’ is another award-winning Hosta I bought in 2009 while living in Mississippi. This clump gets larger every year and the plant keeps getting more dramatic. It is a beautiful blue-green Hosta with AWESOME thick, puckered and corrugated leaves!

 

Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’

Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’ is always the first to appear in the spring so it is always the one I check first. I brought this cultivar with me from Mississippi, too. It keeps getting bigger every year and has never ceased to be AWESOME!

 

Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’

I bought this plant from an Ebay seller in 2009 while living at the mansion in Mississippi, too. I actually bought my first Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’ after I moved to the farm when my grandpa passed away in 1981. I always liked its vase-shaped growth habit and leaf color, kind of a powdery blue-green. I had to relocate this clump last spring so I divided it while I was at it. I was a little worried at first this spring because it looked like most of it didn’t survive. Fortunately, it appears all the plants from the division have made it now.

 

Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’

Thank goodness the Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ survived the winter. I bought this cultivar in the spring of 2014 but I thought it was a gonner in 2016. Fortunately, it came back again in 2017 so I moved it in front of where I moved the Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’. Hopefully, it will do better this year. Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ was the Perennial Plant Association’s Perennial Plant of the Year in 1991. It was also the number one selling Heuchera for 20 years straight.

 

Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’

Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’ was new for me last spring and my first gold-leaved cultivar. It is certainly a show stopper with its bright leaves you can see from far away. I am anxious to see how well it does this year.

 

Iris fulva-Copper Iris

I brought this AWESOME iris from Mississippi where I found it growing in the backyard at the mansion. I couldn’t leave without bringing several tubers with me and they have spread nicely. This past winter proved they are hardy down to -10° F!

 

Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’

“HERE I AM!!!” I almost S–T!!! It isn’t every day your Hosta calls out to you like that. Just look how big it is already!!! I was looking behind the tag this whole time and it was in front of it instead covered with leaves. GEEZ! WOW, was I glad to see it!

 

Hosta Abique Drinking Gourd’

Since the Hosta ‘Forbidden Fruit’ was in front of its tag, I look in front of the lag for H. ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’. Sure enough, there it was, too! Very good! This cultivar was the 2014 American Hosta Growers Association Hosta of the Year. It has thick puckered leaves that are cup-shaped. I am looking forward to seeing what this plant can do as the years go by. It will be AWESOME!

 

Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’

Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ is just sitting there looking like it has the last three times I have taken its photo. I am not complaining because at least it survived the winter and without much mulch a lot of the time. It is on the end and the wind seems to blow its cover off and on and it isn’t as deep as the others so some of its roots are exposed. I cover it up and it disappears. Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ is a MULTIPLE award winner and am glad I found it last spring at Lowe’s. This Hosta was introduced 18 years years ago and is still very popular.

 

Heuchera ‘Obsidian’

I wasn’t worried about the new Heuchera surviving the winter because there were visible signs of them the whole time and they all came through with flying colors. Heuchera is a Terra Nova introduction and is supposed to be the “blackest” Heuchera. It did very well last summer and I have no doubt it will be great in 2018 as well.

 

Heuchera ‘Venus’

Heuchera ‘Venus’ sure looks different when it first starts growing in the spring compared to how it looks in the summer. The leaves will be a silvery-green with maroon veins. Well, that depends on the light and time of the year. Heuchera ‘Venus’ is part of the Planet Collection hybridized by Wijnhout from the Netherlands and introduced in 2003. I had several similar cultivars on my wishlist but I had not heard of this one until I found it at Lowe’s last spring. It was a very good performer last year and had the tallest flower stems.

 

Heuchera ‘Southern Comfort’

The Heuchera ‘Southern Comfort’ is another Terra Nova introduction I found at Lowe’s last spring. Earlier during the winter, something dug a hole in front of this plant. I filled the hole in but whatever it was kept coming back. This plant is kind of on a slope which didn’t help either. Fortunately, it wasn’t affected by having its roots partially exposed off and on. The wind kept the leaf mulch blown off this plant, too. This cultivar is fun to watch during the summer as its leaves change color with age. It is a very nice Coral Bell for sure!

 

Leptinella squalida ‘Platt’s Black’-Brass Buttons

I was just thrilled and overjoyed that the Leptinella squalida ‘Platt’s Black’ survived the winter. It is without a doubt one of the most dainty plants I have ever grown and here it survived a very cold January, even down to -10° F temperatures on more than one occasion. 🙂

 

Zantedeschia elliottiana-Golden Calla Lily

A few weeks ago I noticed the Calla Lily sprouting where I had it stored in the basement. It was really nice last summer in the shade bed, but I will put it where it will get a little more sun this year. I guess I need to put it in a pot, huh? I had a pretty large clump in Mississippi from bulbs I found in a box of Suzanne’s but it turned out to be pink. I used to remove them and bring them inside for the winter as a houseplant until I found out it was pink. After I started leaving it outside, it spread like crazy! It was a different species because the leaves were solid green. The species name on the label from this one says Zantedeschia hybrida. GEEZ! It is without a question, a Zantedeschia aethiopica hybrid because it has spotted leaves. It also has very yellow flowers. 🙂 Ummm. I don’t have a page for the Calla yet…

So, the only Hosta that didn’t survive the winter was the Hosta ‘Rainforest Sunrise’. Maybe someday it will come up after all.

I think that is it for now. I went out earlier and took photos for the next post. It will be a tour of the yard (s) and where all the beds are. I know I get confused how to explain where the beds are and when I talk about “the other yard”. Maybe I will draw a map. 🙂

Until next time, be safe, stay well and positive. Oh yeah… GET DIRTY! 🙂