Doing Well Even Though…

A few Alocasia doing GREAT!

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you well. To say this summer has been ordinary would be quite misleading. I don’t have photos of well-maintained beds because there aren’t any here. I have managed to keep up with beds on the north side of the house and just so with the shade beds. The only deterrent with the shade beds has been the mosquitos because of grandmas old goldfish pool. It always has a little water in it which is a mosquito paradise so I have to work quickly and quietly.

The mole repeller has worked wonders in the shade bed and I have no complaints about it at all. The other one quit working a while back, but it did help for a while. I am supposed to write a review at some point, and the company was supposed to send their “upgraded” model to replace the one that stopped working. What I am wondering is how I write a new review on a model that has been replaced? Hmmm…

The Japanese Beetle traps have worked quite well with a few issues that I don’t think is any fault of the company. Most people don’t have as many beetles as there are here. They have slowed down now, but for a while, I was having to empty 2-3 traps about every day. I am not sure what kind of an impact the traps will have on next years population because even though I have eliminated many, there are still thousands that have probably managed to lay eggs. I even see Japanese Beetles when I am taking photos of wildflowers in the back of the farm and on Kevin’s farm. They eat flowers and leaves of quite a variety of plants.

 

Northeast front porch.

I took a lot of photos of the potted plants earlier but they didn’t make it on a post. I became involved with wildflower ID for a while which took a lot of time. The potted plants are all doing very well and are very easy to manage. The Alocasia are thriving as always and look great! The plants in the above photo were repotted last summer and are doing well on the front porch while the larger pots are next to the shade bed (in the first photo). I still haven’t figured out how offsets from Alocasia ‘Portora” and Mayan Mask’ come up in the same pot… One might think they are cross-pollinating when they flower but that is nearly impossible since they don’t flower at the same time if at all. Alocasia ‘Calidora’ flowers more but there have been no step-children showing up in their pots. Weird…

 

Billbergia nutans flower on 8-11-19.

The Queen’s Tears or Angel’s Tears (Billbergia nutans) has been flowering for a while and is always AWESOME. If you recall, I divided the HUGE POT last year and gave away many. I still have three pots to give away.

 

Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ on 8-11-19.

Although the Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ seemed to have gotten off a little slow, it is doing very well now. I really like the smaller dark cup-shaped leaves and dark stems. They have a little water in their leaves from somewhere most of the time. You would be surprised at how many insects I have seen drinking water from the leaves. If you haven’t tried Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’, I suggest you do.

 

Colocasia ‘Distant Memory’ on 8-11-19.

I must say Colocasia ‘Distant Memory’ has been pretty impressive. I planted one of these in a planter at a friends home and it was growing better than this one. I thought maybe it was because the planter was full of Miracle Grow Potting soil so I found the bag of fertilizer Mrs. Wagler had given me last year and mixed a little in the soil in this bed. Normally, I do not use commercial fertilizer but I decided to give it a shot. Well, you can see the results. It is now bigger than the one in the planter. 🙂 The leaves have become a little more “puckered” but not near as much as photos of this plant online. The leaves are also supposed to be much darker when grown in the sun, and this plant gets plenty of that. Whether or not this plant is even a Colocasia ‘Distant Memory’ is somewhat debatable. I have grown Colocasia ‘Black Magic’ in the past and their leaves have always been much darker even in the shade. I am not complaining because this is a really nice plant no matter what it really is.

 

Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ on 8-11-19.

Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ has been AWESOME as always.

 

Hosta ‘Guacamole’ on 8-11-19.

Hosta ‘Guacamole’ is now flowering and doing very well. The Hosta in this bed are mainly under a large maple tree and are still doing very well. Except for Hosta sieboldiana ‘Elegans’ which has been struggling all summer. I really miss its awesomeness and it may not survive this winter.

 

Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’ on 8-11-19.

Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’ is doing OK and has several buds. The plants in the corner shade bed are all doing OK because they still have good shade. The ones on the other side are a different because they are usually shaded by the elms whos leaves have been pretty much dissected by the Japanese Beetles.

 

Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ on 8-11-19.

Hmmm… While I am sure this is a Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ this year, it seems it should be much bigger. I am not sure how tall this one is, but the previous one was 54″ tall on 8-29-17. If you remember, the one I bought last spring turned out to be a Xsanthosoma robustum… The Leococasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ I had in 2017 grew HUGE but it was closer to the porch where the soil is better. Maybe a little of Mrs. Wagler’s fertilizer is on order. I was reserving the space closer to the porch for the Xanthosoma sagittifolium a friend was supposed to send me but it never arrived. The X. robustum from last year rotted. I had plans for this bed but…

 

Colocasia esculenta on 8-11-19.

The Colocasia esculenta are doing great as always even though not as large as usual. The top part of the rhizomes rotted before I set them out, which never happened before. As a result, I have many offsets with no main plant.

 

Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant) on 8-11-19.

The Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant) is strutting its stuff now but the wind and rain knocked some of the plants over. It is flowering really well now, but something is a little weird…

 

Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant) flowers on 8-11-19.

Ummm… Its flowers are PINK! Normally, they look white with just a hint of pink. Some photos make them look pinker that you can see with your eye, which is a little strange. I remember taking photos before that turned out pink and I thought, “Why do they look pink? They aren’t pink!” Well, folks, this time around they are definitely pink!

Supposedly, the Obedient Plant gets its name from the flower stems staying where you put them if you bend them a little. I tried that and it didn’t work. I began to question whether or not this was actually an Obedient Plant but research proved they are definitely Physostegia virginiana. However, mine are disobedient.

 

Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ on 8-11-19.

Well, the Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm‘ are flowering up a storm now. It was strange how they didn’t spread that much until I moved a few to the northeast corner of the old foundation. Now they have gone banananananas.

I don’t know if I mentioned it before, but PREVIOUSLY Rudbeckia fulgida and Rudbeckia sullivantii were two separate species. PREVIOUSLY this cultivar was simply Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’.

 

Ruellia simplex (Mexican Petunia) on 8-11-19.

The Mexican Petunia (Ruellia simplex) is doing really well here in the north bed by the steps. There are 2-3 more stems but they seem to be laying down on the job. I need to put a little more dirt around them so they will stand up and because their roots are showing. The one in the photo has a few buds and it will have blue flowers. The plants I had in Mississippi (and brought with me in 2013) had pink flowers, so I was glad Mrs. Wagler and the blue “variety” in her flower bed. HOPEFULLY, they will survive the winter. IF they produce offsets I am going to dig them up and overwinter them inside. They actually do well inside if they are small enough. It may be possible to grow these in pots and bring them inside although I haven’t tried it.

 

Salvia coerulea ‘Black and Blue’ on 8-11-19.

The Salvia coerulea ‘Black and Blue’ have really been impressive. This is the first year I have had this cultivar and I have thoroughly enjoyed them.

 

Zantedeschia sp.? cv. ? on 8-11-19.

There is always a lot going on here and sometimes I get caught up with this and that that I may neglect to notice something interesting. In June, the owner of Wildwood Greenhouse gave me this pot of Calla he had grown from seed. He had several pots and he couldn’t get them to grow or do much of anything. I brought this pot home, put it in fresh potting soil and it did nothing except not die. Every time I looked at it, it was the same. Then, when I was taking photos on the 11th, I noticed it had perked up! You just never know!

 

Before I close, I want to introduce to, ummm… OK, let me start from the beginning… This kitten showed up at Kevin’s, a friend I have been working for. You know, the guy I have been spraying and digging thistles on his farm, the farm I have taken a lot of wildflower photos on, the guy I have been taking care of his landscaping for him. Yeah, that guy. Anyway, this kitten showed up, obviously from being dumped. He saw it several times and one evening he saw it trying to catch bugs under a porch light so it could have something to eat. Kevin said he could tell it was doing its best to survive so he bought it some kitten food. Eventually, it began coming up to him so he put it in a bathroom so he could tame it down. Then, he attempted to get me to bring it home because his sister didn’t like cats and wouldn’t approve when she came for a visit. So, when she was going to come I told him I would take the cat home and see how it went. On the way home I stopped by the store and bought a litter box and cat litter. GEEZ!!! As soon as we got home, I filled the litter box, put the cat litter in it, then put the cat in the litter box. Even though she probably never saw a litter box, she automatically knew what it was for and she has never failed to use it.

For several days she hid behind my boots in the bathroom. I would reach down and pet her, but she wouldn’t come out when I was around. I told her if she came out I would allow her to come into the bedroom. I couldn’t let her in the rest of the house because Nathans two cats are here now. The next day, she came out and didn’t go hide like she understood what I had said. So, I opened the bathroom door and she came into the bedroom. BUT, she hid under the bed. The next day I told her she couldn’t be hiding under the bed because it was too hard to get her out. Apparently, she understood that, too, because she didn’t do it again.

She has been here several weeks now and last week I let her in the rest of the house. Jade, Nathans female cat, didn’t approve at first and would run from her. Simba, his male cat, has been staying outside. When he first saw her, she was in the hallway and he was in the kitchen watching her. He started talking to her and the kitten came into the kitchen. Simba just watched her and the kitten eventually came up to him. They smelled noses and neither one of them hissed or growled. The problem is, Simba is quite interested in her and would really like to play but he is very big… Once the kitten gets bigger, that may be OK… One of them is going to have to go to the vet, though. 🙂

It has been a long time since I had a kitten to bring up and she is a certainly a fur ball of energy. Everything that moves becomes her toy. When she isn’t playing or sleeping, she wants my attention. Trying to get on the desk where I am working is very annoying. Teaching her not to get on the table or swing on the curtains has been a challenge. Now, she knows better but still does it when I’m not looking. She likes watching me when I wash my hands and shave and darn near gets in the sink. Last week she came in when I was using the restroom and jumped in the toilet… Not kidding! How she thought the lid would have been shut when I am using the toilet is beyond me. She often jumps on the seat when I am at the sink, but never when I am in front of the toilet. I think we both learned a valuable lesson that time, and from now on I make sure I close the door behind me. Of course, when I leave my computer I have to make sure my keyboard is unavailable. Even though the knows I don’t want her on my desk when I leave the room the first place she goes is on the desk. One day she sent messages on Skype. Of course, it wasn’t actual words, but it was evidence that she had been there. Yesterday, I opened the refrigerator and she had to have a peek inside. I left the door open because I was taking items out. I told her NO several times, and she would always back out. She knows what that means but she is somewhat confused about it. Next thing I know, she is IN the refrigerator. She looks at me and meows like she is saying, “See, it is safe.” HMMM… NO to her means to try when no one is looking.

My computer desk is next to my bed where she likes to lay down after she gets worn out from playing. Next thing I know, I can see her out of the corner attempting to get on the desk. I will say “NO” and she backs up. After about the tenth try, she gets on the floor and starts rubbing on my legs. I put her back on the bed and tell her to lay down. After the third try at that, she then jumps on my lap. So, then we go through that ordeal a few times. GEEZ!!!

I am not sure how much stuff she has brought into my bedroom, or even where it all came from. When all is quiet and she isn’t in the bedroom playing with something, sleeping on the bed, or trying to get my attention, I have to wonder what she is doing. Then I go check and she follows me back into the bedroom to repeat the cycle all over again! 🙂

Hmmm… Wonder what she is doing now?

Well, that’s it for this post. It is sprinkling now and that is good and relaxing. Maybe I should go to bed. It is 1:42 AM…

Until next time, be safe, stay positive, be thankful always and give some a big HUG!

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 aethiopica Hybrid-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! 🙂

 

Seeds For The Garden and NEW Plants

Hello everyone! On Monday (May 22nd) I stopped by the garden center in Clinton to buy seeds for the garden. I was there on April 24 when i bought plants and no seeds. I bought ‘Black Diamond’ Watermelon, ‘Hale’s Best’ Cantaloupe, 3 varieties of carrots (Danvers, Nantes and Tendersweet), ‘Red Burgundy’ Okra, ‘Red Russian’ and Dwarf Blue’ Kale AND ‘Broad Windsor’ Fava Beans. I had perviously bought ‘Top Crop’ Bush Snap Green Beans and ‘Incredible’ Sweet Corn.

Of course I had to browse around the plants AGAIN and wound up buying two Coleus. The one in the above photo is Coleus ‘Songbird’. This one will grow around 28″ tall and favors either shade or sun.

This one is Coleus ‘Spiced Curry’. It is from the FlameThrower series introduced by Ball Seed Company. This one will do well even in full sun and grows to around 12-18″ tall.

Tuesday I went back out to Muddy Creek Greenhouse…

I want to introduce a very special Hosta to you… Hosta ‘Empress WU’. I know right now it doesn’t look so impressive but just wait and see what happens. Hosta ‘Empress WU is the WORLD’S LARGEST HOSTA growing 4 feet tall x 4-5 feet wide! The leaves can grow to 1 1/2 feet wide! The flower stems can grow up to 5’ tall. I have wanted one of these for several years and now I am delighted to have one. This cultivar is a seedling of Hosta ‘Big John’ and was introduced by Brian and Virginia Skaggs in 2008. It will take approximately 5 years for it to reach it’s massive size.

I also bought a Hosta ‘Dancing Queen’. This is my FIRST gold leaved Hosta, not that there aren’t many on my wish list. This Hosta was developed and introduced by Kent Terpening and Alttara Scheer in 2005 as a seedling from Hosta ‘Split Personality’. It’s gold leaves can grow up to 13″ long, are heavily veined and have a rippled, pie crust edge. They produce pale lavender flowers in midsummer.

NOW, I get to have fun deciding where to plant what. I had it all figured out, for the most part but that kid of sorta changed. I planned on putting the Hosta ‘Empress WU’ next to the side porch. In fact, buying a Hosta ‘Empress WU’ for that area had been on my mind since the spring of 2013. BUT  I put the new Colocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant there.’ It would still be possible to put H. ‘Empress WU’ behind it since it will be several years before either one will maturity. HMMM…

It seems so weird that I started this post on Tuesday and now it is Friday. I have taken several photos, planted the garden, had a new calf, planted the Hosta… I have a lot of catching up to do!

SO, I guess I will publish this post and move on to the next one. But first, I have to go outside and GET DIRTY! I hope you enjoyed the post and are GETTING DIRTY yourself. Take care, be happy, healthy and prosperous! Take time to appreciate your accomplishments, make plans, and embrace your gifts from God and the universe.