New Plants & Update

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

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

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


Achillea millefolium-Fern Leaf Yarrow

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


Lysimachia nummularia ‘Goldilocks’

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

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


Geranium sanguineum-Bloody Cranesbill

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



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


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


They have a good root system…


Kalanchoe marmorata-Penwiper Plant

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



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

Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’-Jerusalem Sage

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


Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’-False Indigo

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


Salvia nemorosa ‘New Dimensions Blue’

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


Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’

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


Stachys byzantina-Lamb’s Ears

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

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


Iris x violipurpurea ‘Black Gamecock’-Lousiana Iris

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


Prunus calleryana-Bradford Pear

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


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


Progne subis-Purple Martin

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


Nepeta x faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’-Catmint

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


Cydonia oblonga-Flowering Quince

The Flowering Quince is now LOADED with flowers.


Sedum spurium ‘John Creech’

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


Sedum kamtschaticum-Orange or Russian Stonecrop

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


Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’

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


Sedum ‘Unknown’

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


Sempervivum x ‘Killer’

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


Physostegia virginiana-Obedient Plant

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


Cylindropuntia imbricata-Tree Cholla

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


Tephrocactus articulatis var. papyracanthus-Paper Spine Cactus

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

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

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

Monday’s Find :)

Well, I suppose I better fully admit that my addiction to plant collecting had once again emerged. I tried to hide it when I went to Lowe’s on Sunday but it was no use. Then when I went to Clinton on Monday I had to take a trip to the garden center downtown. Notice I said “I had to”. That was not a question. The first thing I saw was the herbs. I saw a few that I would have liked but I was saving them for last. I needed desperately to see what else was available. The next selection was the annuals. There were SO MANY Petunias that their fragrance filled the air. BUT, I hesitated because I really wasn’t in the mood for Petunias at the moment.

Then I walked to the back… OH YES!!!! SEDUM, HOSTA, VIOLAS, SALVIA… Then I saw their prices. HOLY CRAP!!!! Suddenly my wish list got smaller. I decided maybe I shouldn’t buy any. Then I started looking at the Sedum and they called out to me. OH, it was terrible! I had to tell so many they just couldn’t come home with me. Then with the Hosta. She even had a Hosta ‘Samurai’. I had one of those in the early 1980’s. SO AWESOME but she wanted $15.00! Then I spotted a Hosta ‘Empress Wu’! My mouth drooled but it was in a 1-gallon pot from Monrovia which meant it was over $20.00. SO, reluctantly, I passed up her Hosta and went back over to the Sedum. Then I noticed the Leptinella squalida ‘Platt’s Black’ like I had in 2014. WELL, I had to have one.

Well, one plant led to another then another… In alphabetical order:

Baptisia x variicolor ‘Lunar Eclipse’

‘Lunar Eclipse’ False Indigo’
Baptisia x variicolor ‘Lunar Eclipse’
Baptisia australis x Baptisia sphaerocarpa
bap-TIS-ee-uh aw-STRAL-is x sfay-ro-KAR-puh

Part of the Prarieblues Series. There are many cultivars of Baptisia I have wanted to try, but this only the second I have owned. A couple of years ago I bought B. ‘Carolina Moonlight’ from Brent and Becky’s but it had some issues. Baptisia haven’t been readily available locally so I was happy to see this one at the garden center in Clinton on Monday. Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’ is one of several in the Prarieblues Series from the Chicagoland Grows program from the Chicago Botanic Gardens. This hybrid featured flowers that change color… They emerge light lemon-over-cream then turn to cream, pale lilac and shades of purple/blue. They grow to a height of 3-4 feet in a full to mostly sunny location. Baptisia attract a lot of butterflies.

Lavandula dentata

French Lavender, Fringed Lavender
Lavandula dentata
lav-AN-dew-lah den-TAY-tuh

Lavandula dentata L. was named and first documented by Carl Von Linnaeus in Species Plantarum in 1753.

Now, folks, I don’t know much about Lavender. I just know it smells girly and has many different leaf and flower types. I have always particularly favored the French Lavender because the flowers look like they have wings on top. A couple of years ago I bought a Lavandula angustifolia ‘Platinum Blonde’. It was taken over by the HUGE Coleus growing next to it and died… I had too many other distractions that year and completely neglected my plants. Lowe’s had Lavender plants when I was there on Sunday but they were the English species so I didn’t buy any. When I saw the garden center in Clinton had a few of the French, I had to have one.

When I add this plant to the pages to the right I will have more information about Lavender.

Leptinella squalida ‘Platt’s Black’

New Zealand Brass Buttons ‘Platt’s Black’
Leptinella squalida ‘Platt’s Black’
lep-tin-EL-luh SKWA-lee-duh

I bought one of these at Lowe’s in 2014 and it was really neat! Well, it did very well in the pot but went downhill after I put in the bed. It did flower then died cold turkey. SO, I found another one at the garden center today, which was a surprise, so I had to bring one home. Yes, I HAD TO! It was fate that brought me to the garden center and possibly because they had this particular plant. OK, well, maybe that is a complete exaggeration.

According to information on the internet, these plants are supposed to like full sun to part shade and can spread indefinitely. OH, that would be AWESOME!!! It says in large planting, spent flowers can be clipped off with a lawn mower and can even stand foot traffic. Well, I don’t think I will be walking on mine for a while, or even be using a lawn mower on them. They grow a max of 2” tall and the leaves grow 2” long x 1/2” wide. Info says they like full sun to part shade but last time I tried them in full sun so this time I will try part shade. It also says they don’t like their soil to dry out.

They are considered a herbaceous perennial in USDA Zones 4-10 and are even evergreen in zones 9 and 10.

Leptinella squalida are native to New Zealand but the ‘Platt’s Black” cultivar is from a sport discovered in the garden of Jane Platt of Portland, Oregon. According to some, the original is much better and more bushy and healthier looking.

OH, I almost forgot… Leptinella squalida Hook.f. is the correct and accepted scientific name of this plant. BUT that’s all I could find… Publication details weren’t available on Tropicos.

Sedum spurium ‘John Creech’

Caucasian Stonecrop, Two-Row Stonecrop
Sedum spurium ‘John Creech’
SEE-dum SPUR-ee-um

Sedum spurium M. Bieb. is the correct and accepted scientific name for this species of Sedum. It was first described as such by Friedrich August Marschall von Bieberstein in Flora Taurico-Caucasica in 1808. You can take a deep breath after that.

Well, I love Sedum so I had to have this one, and many more to come. We all pretty much know the characteristics and growing conditions of the “ground cover” type Sedums. BUT you have to realize that many Sedums have had or now have different genus names. In fact, many Crassulaceae experts who have written many publications use the genus name “Phedimus” due to the leaf shape (and other characteristics I am sure). While The Plant List says this species is Sedum spurium, they say Phedimus spurius. I am certainly not going to argue either way because I am just a gardener.  The taller species, like the ever popular “Autumn Joy” isn’t even a Sedum anymore. They are in the genus HylotelephiumSedum is MUCH easier to pronounce! Many retailers and growers are still using the Sedum name, though.

You have to admit the list of 421 ACCEPTED species names is STILL pretty long… Not to mention there are STILL 429 names that are unresolved. That is because in the world of succulents and cactus there are so many that are the same.

Sempervivum x ‘Killer

Sempervivum x ‘Killer’

This Sempervivum cultivar was hybridized and registered by Volkmar Schara of Germany in 2004. According to one website, they are also sold under the name of Chick Charms® ‘Cranberry Cocktail’. That name led me to the Chick Charms® Collectable Hens & Chicks website.

Chick Charms® are selected by Chris Hansen who is also the breeder of SunSparkler® Sedums. He has a collection of over 485 named varieties.

You know, there are over 4,000 named varieties of Sempervivums and SO MANY of them look exactly alike and no doubt many are the same. The result of the same crosses or sports. Just like in this case… They were hybridized AND registered under the name ‘Killer’ and they are also sold under the Chick Charms® name ‘Cranberry Cocktail’.

I had a few really nice Sempervivum that did very well until they met their end in 2014. This one caught my eye at the garden center because they have longer leaves and the rosettes reach 8” across and they grow up to 3” tall.

Well, that’s it for my second trip of plant buying. The next post will be about my new bed. SO, until then, take care, enjoy life and GET DIRTY!!!