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Geranium Nimbus. I got one this spring from Bluestone and it bobbed and wove beautifully. I also have, but have not planted long enough to tell how it works, is Nepeta Snowflake, touted to be good under roses especially. Curious to see what others recommend.
No, not yet. DH thinks nepeta looks like weeds, probably because of all the roadside plantings. I love it though, have lots of Walkers Low and one very large noid cultivar. I do try to vary the plantings enough so that he doesn't really notice.
I enthusiastically recommend Nepeta Snowflake. I had a pernicious weed in my front beds, and put Snowflake there. It has worked its way around peonies and roses to form a phenomenal weed suppressing mat, and it is blooming now. It's short, and the flowers are white, and it's beautiful. It's so good I have moved it around roses, baptisia, and any place where weeds were established and removed.
I got it originally from Bluestone. It is very drought tolerant, blooms repeatedly, and it throws off seedlings that you can transplant.
And, odd as it sounds, parsley (yes, culinary parsley) is phenomenal. I put in some once and it spread. It's beautiful, it's perennial if it doesn't bloom (and if it does bloom, it seeds) and it spread through my beds at the old house, so I have brought it to the new. It attracts beneficials, and it's delicious! And it is easy to dig up, and easy to transplant.
And the flowers, on the small amount that does bloom, get some very cute visitors.
I have a wonderful geranium I hesitate to name... I bought it many years ago as AT Johnson, which it certainly resembles. But it only blooms in the spring, and supposedly ATJ continues throughout the summer. It also resembles Biokovo in photos, but that one is described as white. So I'm stymied as to the true ID. But it completely supresses weeds, and makes a lovely dense groundcover under trees and shrubs. Flowers are a soft pale pink, foliage stays fresh all season and gets a reddish tinge in the fall. I've moved it a couple of times on this property, and it seems to leave a few babies, whether from seed or roots I don't know. I originally bought this plant from Spring Hill in the early 80's for a Southampton garden and have kept moving and sharing bits of it with friends ever since. It has never appeared anywhere in anyone's garden except where it had been planted and growing. I brought one large plant to CT about 3 years ago from my late mothers garden, and after moving and dividing every year I have enough to cover a ledge and underplant Hydrangeas.
Parsley isn't invasive at all. You don't want it, or want to eat it, you pull it up. Comes right out.
Compared to nepetas they are pussycats. Some nepetas spread all over my yard. But I liked them, transplanted them, and sometimes just pulled them out. Parsley is much easier to control. If you don't want parsley, you probably don't really want nepetas.
One of my favorite fillers is Ajuga. A neighbor friend gifted the equivalent of a nursery flat four years ago this coming Spring. The plants have filled in nicely, start blooming fairly early in Spring and hardly quit until a hard frost or freeze. A plus is the leaves provide color year round. Veronicas might be good candidates as well and are available in a multitude of mix and match colors. Established ones I'm growing are Alba, Royal Candles, Red Fox, and Georgia Blue which is truly a ground hugger. Earlier in the year another Veronica added mainly for its Chartreuse leaves was Aztec Gold, another dwarf. What about low-growing Sedums like Angelina for a pop of color or other hugging Sedums that are hardy in colder climates?
Just tossing out ideas and am enjoying and learning from the suggestions you all have made.
ge...what height are you looking for? and all season bloomers? reseeders?
One idea is 2 newer geraniums, Johnsons Blue and Rozanne. Both are prolithic bloomers but Rozanne puts out more and more often, 12-18"^X24">. Easy to divide and bloom most of the season. If your looking for taller let me know might have a few more ideas...
Another is Delphinium grandiflorum, 18", can reseed if allowed, tho not a nuicense, and blooms the whole season if deadheaded...comes in a few different blues, pink and white. And yes, it's a perennial, but let it reseed for a few more plants...
Scabiosa ochulara, a yellow pincushion flower at 18-24", from spring til frost, can lightly reseed, looks best if deadheaded, I didn't get much of that done this summer so I'll have plenty of babies come spring...lol
Pix 1: Dianthus x Loveliness and Geranium Rozanne
Pix 2: Delphinium grandiflora, young seedling
Pix 3: hope I got the right pix...Scabiosa o.
That Dianthus comes in: white, white with green, light pink, dark pink, light lavender, dark purple, red, ( Pix 1,2 and 4). The seed is now available from Walmart, (not sure if right now, lol). I have never had them reseed in the garden and always start indoors under lights, also they are rather short lived at approx. 3-4 years
Pix 3 is Origanum Kent Bells, stays low at about 6-8"
Pix 5 is a perennial Osteospurman b., this one grows only in limited zones (think 5-6 or 7)..it starts in the spring and goes to frost, make a mat and is 8-14" high, light lavender and dark purple (below). Can find it at High Country Gardens.com. Also if ya like Osteos. I grew a peach and yellow annual variety which also reseeded for a couple of years...
and what height are you looking for? lol...
forgot to add...that Dianthus is extremly fragrant tooooo!
thanks fruity...that's kinda why I do it...lol...it saves time in answering later...besides you just might find your next favorite plant!!!!!! And ya just have to forgive me when they are out of focus...LOL. I still have to learn about all the new ones I got this season from ALLL the trades...
pix Papaver somniferum Lauren's Grape and Veronica spicata Sight Seeing Blue in the background, in the breeze...I need to get more seed of this one.
Do you think Origanum Kent Bells would be a good candidate to use in hanging baskets and transplant it later in the garden? It's expensive transplanting store-bought annuals and am forever looking for new ideas for baskets and containers. Would love to try anything out of the ordinary. I have one shelf left on my lighted stand that's reserved to start annual seeds later on.
lol. it doesn't seem to grow very long, but is floppy bending down to the ground, might be 8-15", or there abouts. I will try to remember to look and see if it has seed...have seen 1 offspring about a foot from where it was planted...(It's at my daughter's house and will be there Tues. Hey curious...how did that umbrella plant do for you? and are you going to plant it in the ground for winter, 'spose to be hardy, I have a couple was going to try, but says it's hardies south of me...kath
Pix (just another thought) Gypsophila repens and dark pink is Caliroe, Didn't I send you some of this early in the year? And if so how did it do, did it blooom all summer as it does here. It's a reseeder for me and might hang over a basket a bit...(if it didn't, let me know next spring and I will resend...I have plenty to share...hint hint for those who might be interested...just remind me next May, June for trades!!!!)
Its O K to hijack.I didnt think I would have the problem solved so soon.
I am choosing a Campanula Dickins Gold and a small heuchera.
I really wasnt looking for matting plants just something under 28 inches.
Love it...I had that one in my gardens it think?? Looked just like it and name sounds right. Hope I can get it again come this spring... Beautiful pic of it. I really enjoy all your pics. Gets me to brainstorming... LOL
My husband doesn't like Dave's like I do. He say's I'm always "Ooh I want that and that and that..." and everything I see as far as he's concerned and yeah he's right LOL Everything see I love and want.
We all do... It isn't reeeeeeealllllly obsession...
I have a Red Rocks... It's the funniest thing, I got it before I refined my ideas about color, and the dang thing has been moved a few times, but flowers its head off and is so pretty when it does that I just have to keep it. I'll find the right spot eventually... It's worth it!
Martina..lol, tell hubby he should be glad that's your only vice...lol.
Pfg...have you had it reseed for you yet? I love how it reseeds about the garden and blooms and blooms and blooms. The only thing missing is fragrance..You know...maybe I should try crossing with P. palmerii which is, see pix 1 below. Wonder what I would end up with...palmerii is 4-5foot tall and blooms in late summer and Red Rocks is 18" and blooms all the season. I collected seed from both late this season, maybe there was some cross pollination from the bees...oooops , never thought about that when I collected from both for seed swaps. Kathy
Well, I'll throw my 2 cents in, in case someone in the future is using this thread to get ideas. I have some really tall asters that don't bloom until late September or early October, and by then they are very leggy (even though I do cut them back in early summer) and have gotten a fungus on the bottom leaves. So I finally planted bearded iris in front of them and it works like a charm, they have nice silver spikey leaves all summer and you can't see the ugly aster stems. I don't have a good photo of the asters in bloom with the iris in front, all I could find was this one taken when the iris were blooming, you can just see the asters poking up behind them on either side of the grasshopper.
Donna, I purchased 3 N. Snowflake last season--one made it. I have no idea why I lost the other two. It may have become too dry before I watered them.
I also planted Parsley amongst my Asparagus for companion planting. I could not keep the Parsley alive. However, the Asparagus bed is located in an area that I cannot water properly.
Do you plant the flat leaf parsley or the curly leaf parsley? Is there a difference as to ease of growing?
The N. Little Titch is sooo cute.
I have cut off a short branch of Dianthus and stuck it in the ground, watered it a couple of times and it grows.
My parsley was "crispum". It's curly. I used both Nichols and Swallowtail "Forest Green Parsley" over the years. According to Swallowtail crispum is the best curled pasley. Both were successful. After trying a variety of germination methods I found using small peat pots was the best, since it does not like root disturbance. Soak the seeds and put them 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep. They need darkness to germinate. Then place them pot and all in the garden. Interestingly enough, this was the only plant I handled this way.
Once you put it in it is essentially permanent. It gently spreads, but can be easily removed. In fact, that is how I etablished my new clumps at my new house. I took a trowel and dug deeply to dig up plants, and they all survived - at least ten. It's not taprooted the way platycodons are, with taproots to China.
My Snowflake was subject to terrible neglect after it was established. I had it around baptisia australis, which I never watered after it was established. But I did keep the snowflake watered until it was. The great part is that your remaining plant will spread.
My parsley was near roses, and my roses get watered.
Thanks for the info on germinating Parsley. I bought this as a plant-and if they don't like to be moved, maybe that is why it didn't make it. I will germinate some seed this year. Parsley is suppose to compliment the general health of Asparagus and attracts beneficial insects.
The N. Snowflake was under Chrysler Imperial, and it got watered. However, I "think" the water wasn't getting far enough to reach the Nepeta at first. I sure hope it spreads. It is a beautiful plant: such dainty white flowers topping lovely grey green foliage that really complements the white flowers with nice habit/form.
Does anyone know if it can be propagated by cuttings? I am assuming the plant will not be big enough to "divide"? Can you tell I am anxious to have more of this pretty, little plant? :-)
Oh boy. I stuck one in this fall near a hydrangea, and it looks so lost... Pic 1.
Pic 2 is last summer. I'd like the Nepeta and the Artemesia to spill over the Cerastium, lower left in the pic, adding more white and silver. It gets sun from the east and south.
Pic 3 is from below, the hydrangea is near the top in front of the big rhodie. It didn't bloom this year, it got moved last fall and lost some roots but grew well. Hopefully it will have recovered by next summer.
That particular one is One BIG clump from a single plant that then spread its footprint everywhere. No rootlets at first. You can lift this clump right up. What it does is self seed once it is a little more mature. I got most of my other plants from small clumplets of self sown seeds.
Great! It sounds perfect for me. In that 'falling down wall' there are quite a lot of volunteers from the decades of benign neglect before DH bought the property, and then again after he lost momentum before I came along. I love that feeling, and hope to perpetuate it while still eliminating undesirables. Snowflake would be a wonderful addition to the mix.
Beth, maybe we could trade in the spring. I'm very impressed with the 3 plants I bought last summer from Bluestone. They grew and expanded very well for me. I could give you a piece or two by the 'm sure.
Thanks Polly. I've been working on this section for a long time. Some pockets have lots of soil, some have less. The sedum seems to thrive there, and ties in the greener plants with the white/blue/silver effect I'm trying for. This year was the most successful, but I'm looking forward to when the lavender fills in more. More white patches from the nepeta would be nice, too.
I should mention that one of the really nice things about Nepeta Snow is that it is polite. It doesn't overwhelm other plants. It weaves around them. Nepeta Dawn to Dusk (which I love) can't be used this way because it is a big clumper that sets down a lot of root system.
Here the nepeta snow, salvia coccinea, salvia tesquicola and roses. It has very nicely surrounded them all. The one plant rooted from one spot. If you lift it up there is bare ground under it. If you cut it back it just grows again. This is on September 26 of this year.
Please tell me about your lavender. I could never make it work outdoors, but I bought a french lavender that I have in a pot and it is indoors rocking out. It has formed a bunch of spikes and is blooming.
I guess that's why Snowflake is recommended for under roses, it doesn't crowd the root system.
I've been told Lavender Munstead is the most hardy. Mine are all newish, so time will tell how they do as mature plants. L Hidcote has done well for me up to a point, but some 3rd year woody plants came back scrawny and patchy last year, so I pulled most of them. They did best in very full sun. Also, surprisingly, 2 L Jean Davis plants, which were in the garden when I came 6 years ago and have never been on my 'protect at all costs' list, and which have been moved several times, are survivors as well. Although our soil is rich, the drainage is excellent because of the hill and terracing. Certain plants I put closer to the edges of the stone walls, or, as the lavender, at the top of the slope for better air circulation.
The L Hidcote hedge in the pic is from a friend's garden in the Cotswalds we visited in early September after is was cut back. And just look at that rosemary! I'm sooooo jealous!
Oh, thank you for the wonderful pictures. A lavender hedge - how wonderful.
Munstead was installed for me, but the soil was not properly prepared in advance. They never thrived (clay, alkaline soil) and I demanded, and got, the money I paid to install them (7 plants at $14 each, in 1998). That was when I leaned that you don't let landscapers install your plants. You would think that they could figure out the miscanthus gracillimus In the same bed and the lavender needed just about opposite conditions (the grasses LOVED it). It was a new house, and my knowledge was limited. They put two viburnum carlesi so close together that one killed the other, and planted 7 viburnum trilobum so deeply that six of them got root rot and died. Pulmonaria in full sun. There is more, but I'll spare you.
I bought a "French Lavender" in a pot at a garden center for a few dollars. It struggled at first, getting only one flower. At the end of the season I left it on the enclosed patio as temperatures fell and it started going nuts. I have moved it to my living room in south light and it has at least ten buds on it.
I googled Jean Davis, and I think it's quite beautiful. Do you remember where you purchased it?
The Jean Davis was bought for DH by a predecessor. Needless to say, I never met her, lol! He was quite fond of it although it was clearly struggling in its locationand didn't bloom. When I got serious in the garden, I did my best to get rid of it without killing it, if you get my drift. I kept moving it just to get it out of my way, and it never died. So now it has earned its place in my garden, if not my heart. Maybe this year it will thrive, it's finally in a prime spot.
Ok...I'll try this again, typed out my message and then goofed...poof...gone into the etheric...
I've grown Lavendula angustifolia 'Munstead' (from seed), and is fairly easy, just time to get to full size. The angustifolias are the hardiest of the bunch. One thing most people fail to consider is the origional location of the plant naturally. Lavenders are from the mediterranian, which is considered more arrid. They like good drainage, especially in winter. Ammend your hole and backfill with sand or grit, they hate wet feet especially in winter, which is the reason for their demise. They are also considered a short lived plant, mine are about 5 years old now and have lost a few this last summer for unknown reason (s), maybe it was just time. It is suppose to be fairly easy to take cutting to root them, guess I'll be finding that out..
Polly..Salvias are in the same catagory, they like it on the dry side, also in winter...try ammending their hole as described above. I've been growing Salvia nemerosa (S. superba) for years and have found an interesting tidbit...if moved from their origional location they can resprout from the roots left behind. Can be a + or minus depending on if you want more, lol. Other plants that do that are: Phlox paniculata, Papaver orientalis, Crambe cordifolia, just off the top of my head. I'm using this method to increase my P. p. 'David', so I can have a large patch, and Crambe c. cuz it's soo expensive to buy..lol. I have also found S. n. to reseed a bit tho not enough to cause problems...I use them as pass-along-plants.
Pix: L. a. Munsted in front (1), just behind is Veronica spicata Sightseeing Blue(2) (same color as L.) to the side are Antirrhinum majus (deep red snaps) and in the front is Centaurea montana 'Amethyst in Snow', oops almost forgot the other white is Asclepias incarnata 'Ice Ballet', (another one of those short lived plants, and need to replace as all 5 plants just up and kealed over).
Pix: S. n. and Dianthus grationopolitanus Ceddar Pinks or Bath's Pinks
Kathy, I thought you needed a wetter area for the crambe. Love it! And thanks for the info on the salvias.
Donna, the only one I have really tried is May Night, and there are so many I like. I did plant Eveline this year, but don't know how it will come back, so any advice will be great, even if you can give me a few cultivars to try. Thanks!
One more thing about the lavenders in zones 5&6 ... When they are young and supple they can withstand the variations/extremes of temps, but when the stems become older and more woody they are less flexible and there is more winter die back. Occasionally, especially if everything else is perfect (ph, drainage, etc) an individual plant will last a good long time, that would be a good one to take cuttings from because it is better adapted to the local climate.
I could use some Salvia help. S sclarea just germinated in a baggy during the 2 weeks I was away, and I planted the sprouts tonight when we got back. But S Azurea did nothing yet. It's my understanding that it's slow to germinate, but doesn't need to be chilled. Is that right? I've done annual salvias from seed for years, but have never tried the others.
I can't believe I'm still up... I have an early appointment and after that a full day tomorrow. Yikes!!! Vacation's over!
There are several that DO NOT DIE. One is salvia verticillata. It normally comes in purple. I only have the white. It does tend to spread rather enthusiastically, so you want to put it where it can run a bit. Pictures 1 and 2
Salvia praetensis Swan Lake. Picture 3. Extremely neglected, which gives you an idea how tough it is. I have three patches I never did anything for and they all are just fine.
Salvia farinacea would be great if it is hardy in your zone. It's supposed to be zone 6, but I have just had it overwinter in zone 5a. If you don't deadhead it, it seeds, even if it dies. It comes in white and blue, purple. Here are three of the cultivars blended. In fact, this is the clump that overwintered. Picture 4.
One more - salvia nemerosa Rose Queen. I just realized that I have 8 year old clumps. I did grow them from seed. I read that they peter out, but mine never did. They are more delicate than a nemerosa like May Night, but again, I've never lost one. Note, though, that I find some plants grown yourself from seed (the were) are better than the ones you buy (the ones I bought didn't make it.)
I LOVE THIS PLANT! Nice if you want a hardy salvia in a different color.
The first picture was taken four years ago. The plant is still there.
The second and third were taken in 2010. The tall perennials are platycodons. They also look wonderful with roses, and if you put allium christophii nearby, they play off the color.
But I find them impossible to transplant. I'm starting new ones for my new garden. And to keep the shimmering color, it's good to deadhead them.
Polly.., I have my Crambe right out there in the middle of the border and seems to like it's spot..lol. Am thinking I give it about 1" of water a week.
Pam..the Salvia Azurea came from a plant that I had bought, ( in fact, liked it soo much I bought 2 more, lol, but only 21/2" pots). So I have to admit I've not grown it from seed yet...(Is that seed from me? lol, I didn't think I put any to the box yet, I have some right here with Fruity's name on them). Talking about S. sclarea, yup gotta remember to move my new babies early this spring, many seeded right into the middle of the path, oops.
Donna.. My Salvias just keep going and going..Just love the S. victorias too, I would like for them to reseed for me!!!! Will be starting a tray of those this winter... S. praetensis, gosh didn't know that it was available in white, like it bunches and will have to look for it. I use to have S. v. Purple Rain and just loved it, so unusual, moved but collected seed but couldn't get it to sprout, shucks..lol, like the white tho!
Just put new S.n. Pink in the garden and am waiting for them to fill out like the purple, I like how they will bloom the whole season, this commiing summer will be year 3 and they should put on a good show for me, yeah!
What color are your tall platis? Pam sent me seed so I'll be doing some of those this winter..
Does anyone happen to know what either of these two flowers are. Not sure, but am thinking I got them from Garden club and most of the gals never keep track of what any of the name of their plants are. Is the first Origanum? Gotta find out and get names written down so I can trade them. Hate to send plants that I don't have a name of, lol.
I was just researching Salvias today and yesterday. There's a helpful website called Flowers by the Sea. http://www.fbts.com that specializes in Salvias. They have them listed by zone, by color, by season, by alphabetic order.
I have become quite appreciative of Salvias for their easy care habit.
I have a Lot of Salvia farinacea 'Victoria Blue'. I really like it. The blue color goes with everything, and they are pretty care free. The foliage is a pretty true green. I am in zone 6, and they come back ea. year. I have done some research regarding their hardiness zone. DG lists it as hardy to zone 7. Mo. Botanical Gardens list it as zone 8. Most sites I researched show it as hardy in 8, 9 and 10. So, it's a conundrum regarding their hardiness. Donna grows hers in zone 5. I would highly recommend this Salvia if you are in these zones.
Donna, could the Salvia p. 'Swan Lake' be the plant you showed probably two years ago on DG? It was short and "looks" like it. At that time, I could not find any seed/plant. I notice there are a couple of websites that is selling the seed currently. The websites say about 20 inches high. How tall does yours get?
Salvia v. spreads and "has t/b pulled out". Is it difficult to keep under control? Does it spread by stolens? I am always leery of stoleniferous plants.
Here's my Salvia farenacea 'Victoria Blue" in various stages of the season:
1. Sarah Bernhardt & Salvia f. V.B.
2. Perennial Verbena & S. f. V.B. Edited: The dead stuff is a Daffodil that bloomed in February!
3. Daylily and Salvia f. V.B.
4. Rudbeckia & Salvia f. V.B.
5. Last pic is Lavendula. Note the form of the second one not in bloom yet. These are on a berm that gets no care from me.
Lavendula has been easy for me to grow. If it's not on my berm, I plant it with 1/3 sand and 2/3 soil. I have this "soil" slightly above the rest of the ground. Like Kathy said, you loose them in the winter moisture. The Lavender I like best is Lavendula angustifolia 'Lady'. Here's a couple of websites for this Lavender. The first one shows its form and color best. The second website has a profile. This Lavender doesn't get very tall and lanky. It is about 15 to 18 inches tall. I would not want to be w/o Lavender--love it. I encourage you to keep trying to grow it. Territorial Seeds has it as a plant: $6.25 and as seed.
Donna, I love your gardens! I bought S p White Swan last year from Bluestone, 3 plants. 2 are in the Falling Down Wall rock garden, 1 in a large planter. All grew well, none bloomed yet. Your pics are better than theirs, I hope mine look like that!
I used to grow S f Victoria every year from seed, never got volunteers. Now I have so many perennial salvias and Veronicas and Agastaches and Penstemons I try to limit the spikes. But I must say Rose Queen is a beauty, I may have to re-think. And I do have a couple of new areas I'm working on...
As for Platycodons, my experience in moving them is different from yours. It may be that my plants are still young enough not to have such a huge tap root. My first 2 plants came from a friend who was changing her color scheme, and had been in place for at least a few years- maybe 3 or 4? They were also moved early-mid summer, not the best time. I planted them with Biotone (root stimulator) and watered like mad. One bloomed right away that summer. The other seemed to disappear, but was back last year and bloomed its head off. So now of course I'm hooked. I have those 2 blues, a double white (pic 1) and some double blues from seed last year. I found seeds for your lovely silvery pink at Diane's, and while I was at it got some dwarf blue and pink. The key for me was to soak the seeds for 24 hours, starting with hand hot water, then the Deno method- wet paper towel in a baggy- for a few days at room temp. I had sprouts within a few days. The previous year I just stuck the seeds in a pot with light and heat and got zip.
THANKS BIRDER...LOL, lol, are you intentionally trying to get me into trouble...only joking. yup, put in for one that's out of stock. Yikes could get into trouble on that site...Ok want one of this and how 'bout one of that and ooooh my...lol. Want Salvia sp. from Szechuan, they will notify me, shucks... And I did manage to locate the name of a different one I have but have been confused on for years as the tag was lost, but I was close...It a Salvia guaranitica. Didn't find the one above, think someone thought it might be S. cordona, just found a note to myself.
I ocassionaly have S. v. make it through the winter, tho not often enough to rely on them, so will grow again, blue one is my favorite.
And Donna, just love your pix...what's the tall grass? Miscanthus? Really like it as a backdrop.
Kathy, I have grown platys in three colors. White, Perlemutter and blue. I grew the first two from seed. Also in the picture is salvia coccinea in white and pink. Pic 1
And in blue pic 2
And Kathy, the tall grass is miscanthus sinensis gracillimus. It's the grass in 15th century Japanese paintings. One of the oldest ones and one of the best. Here are those flowers against it. They are 30 inches across. I had 8 since 1998 (I moved recently and I am adding it back). Great backdrop for lilies, roses and perennial. Really great for lilies because it makes stems disappear. By the way, that's salvia rosea on the left. I grew it in error, but love it. It's culinary salvia with pink flowers! The fourth pic shows gracillimus blooming in the fall. Exquisite, I think!
Birder, I 'm not sure that Swan Lake gets quite that tall. My guess would be 18 inches but it has really strong stems. It doesn't flop. I found a wonderful "french lavender" that seems to love me. I am running around the web looking for more. Evidently I can at least grow it in pots and bring it in for the winter.
My salvia Victoria (there is also Gruppenblau, very similar) seeded beautifully one year and then did not seed at all. I was quite disappointed. But it is easy to grow from seed, as you probably know.
So many gorgeous pictures of everyone's gardens! Especially this time of year when everything is so barren... No wonder we live and breathe gardening!
Kathy, is this your mystery plant? I thought mine was an Agastache, but now realize it can't be Blue Fortune. On Plant ID someone thought it could be a Nepeta, but didn't know which one. I don't have better pictures, and the plant has disappeared, swamped by an expanding clump of Saponaria.
Yes, the Salvia Azurea is from you. I started a bunch of things before going away for two weeks, mostly those that have long or complex germination requirements, so I don't expect results for a while.
Your mystery plant is a lobelia. I have some growing in one of the bogs to my pond.
I am not sure of the exact type of lobelia. I bought several lobelias for my pond from a co op a couple of years ago. The specifications do fit for Lobelia Great Blue (Lobelia siphilitica Great blue lobelia), however I am not positive on that ID.
Carolyn, thank you! Now I can see you're right of course. I have it popping up here and there, and there is one that has been in the same place for years. Very odd that I didn't recognize it, but this one is much more upright and growing in full sun so that's probably why.
I found Bluestone so expensive that I went with Forest Farm. They have lightened and simplified their packing so shipping is less. And wow, their plants are the best I've seen anywhere - like little jewels. As everyone else gets more expensive, the places that once seemed high but have held their prices in line or lowered them, like Old House Gardens and Forest Farm, now are very reasonable. I got a Mrs. FDR peony from OHG with 14 eyes for $17.50. It's hard to find a 3-5 eye anywhere that sells for under $25.00.
Bluestone had one Campanula Bernice for $16.95. I used to get three for $12.95, back when that was the maximum they charged. Forest Farm had $6.95 tubes and $9.00 gallons. I ordered two tubes from them, and the plants took off like bandits and bloomed all season.
I ended up ordering a bunch of perennials, a rose and three shrubs. They prompt you on tips to save on shipping. Perennial prices all over their site are low. And when I look around, their plants are vastly superior to even my garden center. I never thought I's order a lot from them but it turned out to be a bargain. I only ordered a couple of plants from Bluestone on special. And they are good, but the FF plants are just shocking in their vigor and size. Better yet, if you order a gallon they don't have, and they are forced to sub a tube, they move two of your tubes up to gallons. Works for me!
I really enjoy studying all of the plants in the Bluestone Perennial Catalog. I ordered several plants from them last year. I lost some of them, and I think it had something to do with the pots they mail their plants in. I don't care for them.
I need to get my FF catalog out. I thought they were only a tree and some shrubs catalog.
I had Platycodons for several years in an area that had too much shade. They were barely hanging in there. Then, I moved them to full sun, and they have taken off like gang busters. In fact, they are so prolific, I tear some out ea. year. They re-seed a lot. I pull up lots of babies every year also.
They have lots of perennials, ferns, grasses, bamboos, hardy palms, fruit trees! They have every kind of hydrangea, from macrophylla to serrata. I actually bought rose Charles de Mills from them. I was shocked by the sight of the blooms.
I ordered three deutzia Codsall Pink from them. They promised one to two feet. Well, here they are - the tallest of was five feet! The shortest was 3 feet. And they were $10 each. White Flower Farm was selling them for $32.95 each. The rose I picked because I have always wanted it - and it was $15. These photos are the plants right out of the box! You could, perhaps, get Charles de Mills for only a bit more than $15, but the deutzias?!!!
I ordered athyrium Branford Beauty, athyrium Branford Rambler, 2 digitalis grandiflora, 2 miscanthus sinensis gracillimus, 2 campanula Bernice, 2 anemone x hybrida Honornie Jobert, 2 anemone Wirbelwind. All of the perennials bloomed. The Bernices gave me three sets of bloom - I installed them on April 20. My first year anemones grew over two feet tall.
Since they ship by box, they will tell you, as you fill it, how much more you can get into it without increasing shipping. That's part of the reason I "threw in" the rose. It made for 4 gallons - one box. hen I was orderin smaller plants they kept telling me about how many tubes or gallons I could add to fill a box. When the very deep tubes cost $6.95.
I had stopped too. I didn't think it was worth it. Frankly, I have Bluestone's price increases to thank. They made me investigate. I had been ordering $60 or $70 a year from them. That amount, for the same plants, came close tripling.
Wow Donna...thanks for the great info on FF., I've always loved their catalog...great reading, ( ok is dream catalog). I will have to see about ordering something from them this year, they definately are larger than I would have guessed!Wished it had color pix tho.. And is that S. v. Gruppenblau a tall one?
Pam love that Lobelia so pretty, I grew the red one once but has been many years...
When I began gardening 20 years ago, I love Bluestone, would get their 3 packs grow them on and collect seed. Haven't seen their catalog this year, are their prices getting that bad? Did notice a few years back they started going to larger pots...booooo!!!!
I did take a look-- wow! They have a couple of things I really, really wanted... And yes, the prices are great. Also, birder, I always take the plants out of the Bluestone pots, just tear off as much as possible without damaging the roots that may be coming through. I just don't trust them... Too many bad experiences with peat and other 'natural' containers and potting aids.
Johnny's Selected Seeds says that Gruppenblau is similar to Victoria but blooms one week sooner and has more stems per plant. I used to just buy all those guys and seed them. You can see differences but they are all wonderful. I'm not actually sure which is which, but Victoria started to become hard to find.
It had been my habit to order just tons of plants from Bluestone. Hey, I used to order three Verbena Appleblossum, three Verbena Homestead Purple, and three Verbena Canadensis and Sissinghurst. I'd pot them. They are now each $7.95 or $8.95. That would now be about $72 bucks! None of those are hardy here. They used to be three for about $8.95. A minor extravagance. I looked at the prices last year and this and thought, well, no more of that!
Forest Farm has adjusted the shipping. It's been downsized - you no longer have to wrestle them out of boxes. But my orders had not a bit of soil out of place, whereas my sale Bluestone order had loose soil - and one of the plants died.
I never thought I would order from the expensive "premieres" again. But most of my plants came from Forest Farm and Old House Garden (the peonies and daffs are well priced). Everyone else has boosted their prices to beyond those of these two great companies, but not the quality.
I am recreating parts of the garden I had from 1998 to 2010 at a new house. That compells a lot of purchases, even with dividing and transplanting. I can't tell you how wonderful it is to find plants that are better than my old ones, and to be able to afford them. Paying reasonable prices for fabulous plants (all of the Old House Garden daffodils were double nosed), and so big I had to dig deeper than I ever have. Five of them multiply like crazy. It gives me such happiness to be able to do it. My house was very nice, but I think many of you lovely people understand that your garden is almost the expression of your heart and soul.
"a garden is an expression of your heart and soil": lovely statement and so true.
Pfg, I agree one has to put the plant from Bluestone in other pots right away. When I rec'd the plants, I put some in pots the day I rec'd them, and then, a few I did not get planted. About two or three days later they were goners even though I watered them. Yes, I think they would make it if one pots them up right away. I did receive one plant that just wasn't going to make it from the get go.
Donna, I rec'd several plants from Santa Rosa Gardens this fall after you brought the sale to my attention. They were very nice plants.
Same experience with "goner" Bluestone plants. Some of my Forest Farm plants sat around for a week or more. They continued to look wonderful in the tubes, and when I put them into the ground they went berserk with gorgeous growth.
If I could just comment, having bought both - FF plants are much bigger than Santa Rosa. Growing plants in tubes is a huge advantage. Easy for the grower, and 100% of the root system comes to you. But those teeny tiny prices were were the bomb! And I was very happy with the Santa Rosa packaging. FF never puts its plants on sale.
Oh, what's the name of the big nusery that sells perennials, a mom and pop business, and doesn't ever put plants on sell?? I cannot remember the name of it, and I think I want to order from them this year.
I had the same experience with Bluestone, a few years ago -- I thought it was just me! The soil mix seemed too soggy. When I called to complain, I said they should use fewer moisture crystals; they said they didn't use any. But the soil mix soaked up water, and stayed soggy. Some plants were ok with that, but others, not so much...
Donna and Happy, same disappointing experience here with Bluestone. Really terrible packaging. The plants fell out of the pots during shipment.
I'm a big fan of Dragon's Blood sedums as footprint plants. I'm always stepping on them, yanking them out, etc., and they don't seem to mind. They do need frequent weeding until they get established, though. One area got shaded by some tall clover and nearly died.
Thanks! I think they will go well with a lot of things, but I have to keep in mind when they bloom it's neon pink. So, they either have to match at that time of year, or not be in bloom with whatever they are planted with. But I have a lot of lilies in the pink ranges they should do well with. I hope, LOL.
One of the reasons I purchased from FF is that I looked at LS's prices. FF's are much lower. Here is an example.
LS quart : $9.99
FF trade gallon (I read it's a 3 quart pot - it was BIG): $8.00
LS had a lot of plants at $9.99 or more. FF had almost no plants that expensive, even trade gallons. I kept looking at LS prices that were $13.95 for quarts. I think that they are really expensive, although their selection is great. In comparisons, and I do tons, I bypassed LS every time.
Has anyone dealt with Romence Garden and Greenhouse? They are a Watchdog 30 and their prices are fantastic.
Or Accents for Home and Garden - very low prices and good reviews. I am thinking of purchasing from both.
Yes, FF's prices are great, but the shipping seems high. I have a shopping cart full with them, but don't want to order until spring. And then I will have to look again at totals with shipping added compared to Bluestone. I love the tube idea, though, and they have some things I haven't seen anywhere else, so I will probably buy from them at least once.
When LazyS had the 'full box' discount on shipping I ordered from them several times. Last year they stopped doing it. I guess shipping costs have gone way up along with the price of fuel.
BTW, although I knew Bluestone had some problems when they first changed the packaging, my orders last year came in perfect. And all the coupons they send out help some with price.
Yes, ssgardener - I never use air shipping. I just wait until the weather is better. I started ordering from them when I wanted very unusual things that were not available elsewhere. Like a Cotinus 'Grace' years ago. Viburnum plicatum tomentosum 'Lanarth'. President Lincoln lilacs. It was fun to read books, make a dream list of plants, and to find that FF had them, even though they were available nowhere else in the Midwest.
Given that things sat in tubes for quite some time, I think that their recommendation of air shipping is just them being very careful stewards of their plants. Tubes have actually become my preferred method of receiving plants. EVERY little bit of the plant is there. I grew President Lincoln lilacs from six inch tubes. They were wonderful.
The tubes are amazing. I left some things in tubes for ten days. I expected to beat myself up about losing things, but they all came through beautifully.
What you say agrees with the advice on their website about shipping and weather conditions. I though I'd wait until early spring and do ground shipping. They do have some goodies I haven't seen before, as well as lower prices on some others. It's worth a try...
BTW, I'd be grateful if you would post if you see any decent sales on plants. I tend to be the last one to know. I gather FF and Lazy S don't do sales, though; is that right? I know Bluestone does, but I'm a little "over" them since they stopped selling plants in triplets (not to mention the casualties we've discussed, though they are great about sending out replacements). Santa Rosa has great sales...
You probably already know that Brent and Becky's Sumer catalogue is active and that they are offering a 5% discount If you order by March 1 and 10% if you pay on March 1.
They are expanding their perennial collections:
2 kinds of carex
2 kinds of dicentra
2 kinds of hibiscus
lobelia in red and blue
Several kinds of astilbe
Two kind of muhlenbergia (got me there!)
Not a vast selection but perhaps worth a peek?
This is late-I don't get to my computer every day so topics have moved on, but Yes, it was Lazy S! Thanks macomb.
I have never ordered from them, but I do think they have some plants you can't get other places. I haven't had time to look at FF website.
I let my cleaning lady go. I got tired of her spilling furniture polish on my carpet, then trying to clean it with the result of a beige carpet with green spots in it. Also, she breaks things--says nothing-no apologies. Also, items that I assume got broken disappear. She doesn't have a car, so has to depend on someone else for transportation. So, with the help of family, I cleaned my house--cleaner than it's been for awhile. It was really freeing and rewarding. It took me all day to clean it, and I didn't get to the downstairs! Sorry-way off topic.
I looked at a website called outsidepride.com this evening. LOTS of seed choices, but I don't think you can order from them, plus, they sell in bulk. They did give nice brief info on growing the plant as well as germinating the seeds.