HAPPY 4TH OF JULY Plus A Few Photos

Echinacea purpurea on 7-4-19, #598-1.

Hello everyone and HAPPY 4TH OF JULY! As always, the city had their 4th of July celebration at the park down the road from where I live. There was a steady stream of traffic going by most of the day. It rained this afternoon which kind of put a damper on things, but the fireworks display went ahead as planned. I must admit, they do a pretty good job for a community the size of Windsor. I can see the fireworks pretty good from the backyard which lasted about 30 minutes.

Despite it sprinkling most of the afternoon, including one pretty good downpour, I did manage to go out about 6 PM and take a few photos. I took photos all week but have been tardy writing daily posts. Ummm… How many times have mentioned something to that effect? 😐

Last July 4 I moved the plants and plant tables from around the shed in the other yard to the front and back porch. That was because of the Japanese Beetles.

So, in alphabetical order…

In the above photo, the Echinacea purpurea, which may be the cultivar called ‘Magnus’, is now flowering up a storm. The bank in town has a HUGE patch of them I have been meaning to photograph. The Purple Coneflower is one of my favorite plants. GEEZ! I can’t believe I said that because I try not to have favorites! I like the way the petals droop and like the feeling of the cones. Echinacea purpurea is a very beneficial plant in many ways.

 

Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’ on 7-4-19, #598-2.

Out in the shade bed, several of the Hosta are starting to flower. The Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’ has a lot of buds but they haven’t peeked their way through the foliage yet. Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’ has been an awesome performer over the past at least eight summers. I bought it while in Mississippi at the mansion and the first photo was taken on April 15, 2012, but it seems like I had it longer. I really like its dark green, puckered, and corrugated leaves. The clump had gotten very large and has been the best performer of all the Hosta in my collection.

 

Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ on 7-4-19, #598-3.

Even though I just brought the Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ home last June 7, it has become quite a show-stopper. Very bight and cheery for sure and starting to flower.

 

Hosta ‘Whirlwind’ on 7-4-19, #598-4.

The Hosta ‘Whirlwind’ is always a dazzler. Its leaves change color with age which just adds to its interest. It isn’t a big plant, but it puts on a big show!

 

Ledebouria socialis var. pauciflora on 7-4-19, #598-5.

I purchased the two Ledebouria socialis (Silver Squill) varieties last October and have really enjoyed them as companions. The above photo is of the Ledebouria socialis var. pauciflora which used to be Ledebouria pauciflora. I like the silvery leaves with the small green flecks.

 

Ledebouria socialis var. violacea on 7-4-19, #598-7.

The Ledebouria socialis var. violacea is really growing well. It had many more bulbs than the other one when they arrived. This one was the species Ledebouria violacea but the name changed also.

 

Ledebouria socialis var. violacea new growth on 7-4-19, #598-9.

The Ledebouria socialis var. violacea also seems to be a bit more of a spreader. These plants are VERY, VERY easy to grow even through the winter in the house. You don’t even need to water them through the winter, in fact, it is best if you don’t.

I am STILL waiting for the two new cultivars to arrive… I think he is a bit behind.

Hmmm… My computer just notified me I have a new memory from summer 2017. Weird… Now I am wondering how it came up with that idea. 🙂

 

Mammillaria hahniana on 7-4-19, #598-10.

The Mammillaria hahniana (Old Lady Cactus) is starting to bud again. It isn’t looking like its normal fuzzy self because it is wet from the rain. This is our fourth summer as companions.

 

Mammillaria pringlei on 7-4-19, #598-11.

The Mammillaria pringlei (Rainbow Pincushion) is also starting to flower. This is our third summer together.

I took photos of all the cactus and succulents several days ago but they haven’t made it to a post yet.

 

Monarda didyma ‘Cherry Pops’ on 7-4-19, #598-12.

I was delighted to see a flower on the Monarda didyma ‘Cherry Pops’. I was amazed that it even returned this spring as it seems most perennials I have bought have not, especially in the north bed.

Let me see… How many perennials have not returned here? I don’t even want to think about it. I have amended the soil with “the good stuff”, added new soil with LOTS of “the good stuff”, raised the whole area only to have it sink during the winter.

 

Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ on 7-4-19, #598-13.

Hmmm… While the Rudbeckia hirta (the native species) have been flowering for a while now, the Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ is STILL in bud!

 

Schizura ipomaeae (Morning Glory Prominent)

I took the above photo this moth a few mornings ago but wanted to share it with you. It was just sitting there trying to blend in with the porch raining. Later I found out is it the Morning Glory Prominent (Schizura ipomaeae). It reminded me of a post called Rainy Season from June 4 on the SKYEENT blog. The second photo on the post is of the Buff Tipped Moth which looks exactly like a decaying birch twig. I find many moth species camouflage very fascinating.

A lot of insects do some very interesting things. There is a small wasp that fills the windchimes on the back porch with grass. It was kind of funny, actually. I had noticed the grass in the wind chimes but didn’t say anything to mom and dad about it. I just kind of ignored it as weird. There is a lot of weird around here sometimes. Anyway, one day dad and I were on the back porch and this small wasp comes flying in with a piece of dry grass about a foot long and somehow manages to put the whole thing in one of the tubes. Dad said it always does that and sometimes the wasp drops the grass and has to get another one. I didn’t notice the wasp last summer and a lot of the grass has fallen out by now. I have been hoping it would return so I can take photos. 🙂

OK, I am finished now. It is 12:35 AM and it is now the 5th of July. It is raining and thundering which will make for a good night sleep (hopefully).

Until next time, be safe, stay positive, be thankful and GET DIRTY if you can.

 

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! 🙂

 

HELLO! It’s Friday!

Hello, everyone! I thought I would walk around and show you a little of what’s happening around here. I did go to two of the Amish greenhouses today to see what they have available. I was good, didn’t get to excited and I didn’t buy a single thing. That seems like a miracle! I was going to take photos but there were several customers always standing around so I decided not to this time.

The Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chips’ are flowering now. They have spread nicely everywhere I planted them. Umm… Don’t know if you realize it or not, or have ever tried Ajuga (Bugleweed), but they spread. They spread, that is, if you plant them where they are happy. Mine are happy here but they seemed to be happier where I had them in Mississippi. I have a photo somewhere to prove that. Of all the Ajuga I have seen, I like the variety “Chocolate Chips’ better. They have really nice small leaves that are dark green with kind of a burgundy tint, hue, or whatever you call it. Did I mention they spread?

Obviously this is a cactus. But guess what the name of it is? Well, actually, I am hoping someone tells me. I need to put it on a Facebook group to get the name. This is the one that Mrs. Wagler of Wagler’s Greenhouse told me it would survive the winter outside. Umm… The one I forgot about until late one night when it was snowing. Well, it survived just like she said. Now it has a fall off on it and buds. Some cactus grow shoots that fall off and root… I call them fall offs because that is what they do. I won’t have any problems identifying this cactus because it has some pretty distinctive characteristics.

The Horsetail (Equisetum hyemale) has been galloping very nicely lately. I say nicely now, but later I will probably want to corral it (them). Many of the taller stems have fallen over so I guess I need to cut them off. Despite the Equisetum’s wandering nature, they are one of my favorite plants. I like weird accent plants and I have been thinking about sticking a few here and there. It took me several years to take them out of their pot so I probably won’t be moving them around anytime soon. Not because I am a procrastinator but because I know what WILL ultimately happen.

Yeah, I know. I am supposed to cut the flowers of of the Rhubarb. But aren’t they AWSOME!!! Only one plant does well and the others are so small and weird. I always like growing Rhubarb because they are neat, tropical looking plants. Kind of like Elephant Ears. Dad had a HUGE Rhubarb patch in our garden when I was a kid and I have no idea why he didn’t move some here to the farm in 1996. The new owners of their old house mowed them all down. I remember as a kid I would break off a stem and suck on it for hours. Of course, mom would often cook it for us.

All the Hosta are looking very well. Above is Hosta ‘Guacamole’ with its beautiful bi-color green leaves.

Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’ is always majestic with it’s nice powdery, light blue-green leaves. This cultivar has a nice vase-shape, as they call it. I could never figure out why they call it a vase-shape. Seems more like a funnel. LOL.

On the right side of the bed is the HUGE Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’. Awesome large, dark green,  puckered, heavily veined leaves.

This photo of Hosta ‘Red October’ looks a little off. It is darker green than this. Anyway, it is doing very well, too.

Last, alphabetically, is my beautiful Hosta sieboldiana ‘Elegans’. Now folks, seriously, this is an AWESOME Hosta. If you don’t have one, you need to find one. Large, thick, puckered blue-green leaves that are quite slug resistant.

After taking a few photos I went to the chicken house… I went inside and picked up the water bucket to get fresh water and came out…

And “you know who” was on the roof! I think he gets sillier every day!

When I came back to the chicken house I went into the bantams pen. Clara was screaming at Elizabeth and Elizabeth was complaining because Clara didn’t want to share the top nest.

Rooster #1 was laughing at them saying, “Women.”

I went back into the main area of the chicken house to get the bigger chickens eggs and “This One” was in a nest. “This One” always gives me the evil eye and bristles up ready to strike. I think she sharpens her beak just for me. Seriously, I have never had a more ferocious hen! Lately I just leave her alone. Not worth upsetting her, getting pecked only to find she doesn’t have any eggs under her yet.

The two unnamed Sedum are doing very well, too. I just call them Unknown #1…

And Unknown #2. I can figure out their names in time. I just have to sit down and go through several hundred photos and descriptions. The thing is, they may have been placed in the Phedimus genus. Or maybe they were put in the Phedimus genus then put back in Sedum. I DON”T KNOW!!! I do know that they were Sedum, then Phedimus at one point but the last time I looked some of them were put back in the Sedum genus. Some experts who write books with one name or the other argue with each other about what belongs where and why. I think they need to sit down to an AWESOME dinner and forget all about it for a while. Find something they can agree on to talk about.

Well, I better go for now. Hope you enjoyed this post! Take care and GET DIRTY!!!

 

Signs Of Spring Are In The Air (And On The Ground)

I decided to take a few photos for the blog this afternoon and #3 heard me and came running. I have to decide on a name for him some day. I usually call him by saying, “Hey, boy” and he comes running. Usually he hears me before I call him unless he is behind the chicken house. 

These Old English Game bantams have a personality all their own are are VERY sharp and alert. Ummm… They also seem pretty fearless. There have been several times he has tried to run off the cats. But they look at him like they are saying, “Are you kidding? You are smaller than me.”

Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chips’, 3-7-17, #312-3.

The Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chips’, Bugleweed, are green during the winter but I think they are still kind of dormant. Spring brings new growth and buds. Soon they will be strutting their stuff with vibrant blue flowers. They have spread nicely and in some areas not so nicely. I always liked this variety because of their smaller leaves and color.

Cydonia oblonga-flowering Quince on 3-7-17, #312-4.

I have always liked the Flowering Quince although I never knew why. They have absolutely no trait that I like in a shrub. They grow weird without form, sprout freely, have thorns. Other trees spring up inside their mass and are hard to cut out. Even if you cut them out they still keep growing making a bigger problem. There are Iris on the other side of this bush and now the Quince are sprouting up among them. But they are one of the first to flower and green up in the spring… Along with the Forsythia and Abelia, they have been here in the same spot since 1958 or the early 1960’s. 

Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ on 3-7-17, #312-6.

My poor Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ didn’t do so well last year. I am glad it made it through the winter and I may decide to move it somewhere else. I haven’t been the best Heuchera grower. They do well for a couple of years then start going down hill. 

Horseradish on 3-7-17, $312-7.

The Horseradish are all coming up and have spread very well. I thought about spreading them out in the fall but that didn’t happen. SO, maybe that will be something I can do in a few days. I would actually like to put them in the garden because right now they are in a flower bed. Dad used to have a HUGE patch of Horseradish when they lived in town (which was also once owned by mom’s dad). He didn’t bring any with him here and didn’t get this start until 2013… I think we started out with 4.

Hosta ‘Guacamole’ on 3-7-17, #312-8.

I am always very happy when spring gets here and the Hosta start showing signs of life. This means that Hosta ‘Guacamole’ is alive and well.

Hosta ‘Potomac Pride’ on 3-7-17, #312-9.

On the other end of the Hosta bed, ‘Potomac Pride’ is also ready for spring. I dug around for some of the others but they haven’t started coming up yet. Looks like some of the tags have blown away over the winter so…. Will just have to wait for a while to see if they come up. I would like to start cleaning the bed off for spring, BUT I am not convinced that spring is here yet. In fact, the weather forecast is calling for snow this weekend so I am not going to get in any hurry.

Lysimachia nummularia ‘Goldilocks’-Creeping Jenny on 3-7-17, #312-10.

One plant that is sure to come back every spring is the Creeping Jenny, Lysimachia nummularia. This cultivar is ‘Goldilocks’ which I like because of the chartreuse leaf color. Makes a great contrast with and under other plants. I planted ONE clump (one pot) in the bed on the north side of the house in 2014 and it has spread over the entire bed and into the yard. Well, I guess removing the grass from the Creeping Jenny is one way to make the flower bed bigger. Dad has a different thought and thinks it is best to remove the Creeping Jenny from the grass and throw it on the burn pile. 

Rhubarb on 3-7-17, #312-11.

The Rhubarb is coming up, at least this one clump. This one clump out of several we planted in 2013 has done better than the others. Dad got the Rhubarb from the same man as the Horseradish and they are in the flower bed, too. 

Salvia nemorosa ‘Mainacht’-Meadow Sage on 3-7-17, #312-12.

Always one of the first Salvia to emerge in the spring, the Salvia nemorosa ‘Mainacht’ will soon be flowering up a storm. Some refer to this cultivar as Salvia nemorosa ‘May Night’ as it was marketed under this name first when they came to the U.S.

One of two of the “un-named” species of Sedum. Photo taken on 3-7-17, #312-13.

 

The second of the two un-named species of Sedum. Photo taken on 3-7-17, #312-14.

I love Sedum but I don’t like it that they weren’t labeled. They came from an Amish greenhouse and I mentioned before not all her plants are labeled. Maybe when I am ready for a headache I will do some research on the International Crassulaceae Network. OH, but what a job! I will have to search both Sedum and Phedimus genera because she is in disagreement with The Plant List, GRIN and Llifle. DO you have any idea how many species, cultivars, etc. that includes? So many look so much alike!

Stachys byzantina-Lamb’s Ears on 3-7-17, #312-15.

Last but not least on the alphabet today is the Stachys byzantina or Lamb’s Ears. No mistaken this fuzzy leaved perennial. One of my clumps died out a couple of summers ago but this one is spreading very well. I could spread them out a bit but I think a clump in one area is good enough. 

I had a few more photos to take but dad came out on the porch to smoke his pipe. He was looking at me like I was nuts, so I thought I would stop for the time being.

This is my dad. I took this photo a few days ago and I was surprised he didn’t make a funny face. Oh, yeah, he enjoys having fun, laughing and making faces when you try and take his photo. 

He is 86 now and in good health and still pretty sharp. He spends his day mainly watching TV, relaxing, and walking to the porch several times a day to smoke his pipe. Hopefully when the weather warms up he will get more exercise. 

He enjoys watching old shows on TV, even though he has seen them so many times already. I get tickled at him sometimes when he says, “this is a rerun.” I will say, “Yep.”

I am experiencing a problem… I taught my computer botanical language over the past few years but last summer I had to put in a new hard drive. I was so glad that the technician was able to save all my photos BUT it’s memory of botanical names was screwed up. Now I have to teach it all over. SO, if you notice a name misspelled, please let me know! The names are correct in the photos and word documents, but when I type in the name elsewhere or copy and paste a word document sometimes the computer changes the names and I don’t always catch it. 

Well, that’s it for this post. Hope you are all doing well and do your best to GET DIRTY!