There's so much that changes in the MG landscape throughout the year...we thought a plant trial and garden blog was the best way to start sharing "what's new" and "what's happening with all those new varieties" with you! Visit often for updates on how trial plants are performing in the gardens and to see photos throughout the season as we grow and change!

Welcome to the Midwest Groundcovers Landscape Blog

Welcome to the Midwest Groundcovers Landscape Blog
Astilbe 'Vision in Red' with Hosta 'Patriot' and Carex 'Ice Dance'

Monday, July 30, 2007

Grasses Get Their Groove On!

It is early August and some of the grasses are taking shape. Here are some of the most spectacular of the moment! They've had varying times in the garden, but all are showy now!

Schizachyrium 'Carousel'
This is a new introduction from the Chicagoland Grows program. This plant came from Donald Boehm of Boehm's Garden Center in Rushville, IL. Though this picture does no justice, the colors, texture and habit of this plant are unique. A plant that definately needs to be experienced rather than looked at on a computer.

Sporobolus 'Tara'
Speaking of plants that need to be experienced, this plant takes the cake. Tara was discovered by Roy Diblik of Northwind Perennial Farm in Burlington, WI. Shorter and much more uniform than the species, heterolepis, this is a gem for the more manicured garden. Standing straight with attention, Tara boasts great seed heads that give a nice hazy look to them. She's also quite fragrant with what most call a buttery popcorn smell, however I find it to clearly be cilantro. In the landscape here, it is in a "Structured Prairie" with Ruellia humilis, Echinacea Pixie Meadowbrite and Liatris Floristan White. Truly a beautiful sight to see.

Miscanthus 'Gold Bar' PP15193
This little gem also comes to us from the United States. Joy Creek Nursery in Scappoose, OR has brought us this unique variegated Miscanthus. Much more banding on it's leaves than other similar types. This is truly a remarkable accent plant. Very showy and even self contained. Only growing 4-5' tall and 24" wide, it is an exceptional addition to the plant palette and to a garden in which space is an issue.

Echinacea in July

What a wonderful month of July this has been. Temperatures have not been too high. In fact it has been rather mild. I can't remember the last July that I could sit on my patio every night and relax without getting hot and sticky. This has been exceptionally good for plants such as Echinacea that decline with the blistering heat. Though I have many Echinacea that have performed above average, the two that come to mind first are Pixie Meadowbrite and Chocolate Covered Strawberries.

Pixie Meadowbrite is from the Chicagoland Grows collection, hybridized by Jim Ault. His work in breeding has also brought Mango and Orange Meadowbrites. Pixie however, is a cut above.
What is unique about Pixie is it's long bloom time, short stature, and stiff rays on the flower. Only growing to 24", it truly is "knee-high".

Chocolate Strawberries is an introduction from Brent Horvath at Intrinsic Perennial Gardens in Hebron, IL. He gave this as a trial to me last year and it is very special. Another short variety, (only 15" in our garden) this variety has a lighter colored petal, similar to Echinacea pallida, but with interesting cones reminiscent of it's namesake. With many interesting varieties in the Echinacea garden, this variety gets a lot of chatter.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Week of July 16th - Landscape News

  • Agastache Blue Fortune
  • Thymus Doone Valley
  • Penstemon Pink Dawn
  • Cotinus Golden Spirit
  • Lagerstroemia Red Filigree: Crepe Myrtle, in the office entrance containers


  • Hydrangea paniculata comparison bed coming
  • Front Entrance plantings
  • New “structured prairie” to be installed on Route 25
  • Expansion of Jeepers Creepers Garden
  • Rose garden in Virgil has been updated - come see them at our Virgil facility on Wednesday August 1st for the ILCA Summer Field Day! Go to www.ilca.net for registration.
  • Rudbeckia “Dibbles” looks real nice and compact on Perennial Island.
  • New Echinacea from CBG with nice dark foliage. About to flower.
  • Betula nana ‘Glengarry’ is getting rave reviews from the architects.
  • Rosa Home Run and All the Rage.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

July 17, 2007 Landscape Walk

The Best Summer Splash! Allium Summer Beauty & Ruellia humilis
Sagina subulata Aurea & Viola
Midwest Solution: Helictotrichon & Echinacea Orange Meadowbrite
Killer Combination! Liaris spicata 'Kobold', Limonium latifolium, Sedum cauticola Lidakense
Johnson House Rain Garden
Midwest Solution - Exceptional summer solution - Echinacea Pixie, Ruellia humilis, Sporobolus heterolepis Tara, Liatris spicata 'Floristan White'
Rosa My Girl - Easy Elegance - excellent deep vibrant flower color in bud and bloom, great foliage, great looking buds, persistant blooming
Rosa 'Home Run' - excellent color, flowers continue to persist, these planted were planted in 2006
Rosa Golden Eye - Easy Elegance - habit is on the tall side, but foliage and flowers are beautiful
Rosa Sunrise Sunset
Scyizachyrium scoparium 'Carousel' - new Little Bluestem introduction from Chicagoland Grows program at Chicago Botanic Garden
Echinacea Vintage Wine, a Piet Oudolf introduction.
Robert & Kevin take a look at our Echinacea trials
Midwest Solution: Calamintha nepeta ssp. nepeta, Allium Summer Beauty, Monarda Oudolf's Charm