I struggled with a topic this week, going from "New Plants", to "Grasses", to "Native Perennials", to "What's Happening Now?" So as it turns out, I'm sticking with my last idea of "What's Happening Now?" And by doing so, I get to tell you about some underused plants and also a little of the new. Regardless of how you'd categorize them, they are all good!
Rhus copallina 'Prairie Flame'
Perhaps one of the most underused shrubs in our product line, based on merit. Growing 4'-6' with spectacular fall foliage, this is the ultimate substitute for Burning Bush! Non-invasive and nice flowering to boot. Just keep in mind that it is late to leaf out, so it's not dead in mid-April, but just about to wake. It's time for a change! McCain and Obama would rather you plant a Prairie Flame than a Burning Bush!
Hydrangea paniculata 'Pinky Winky'
This Hydrangea has proven durable in the landscape here at St Charles. I planted it two years ago and moved it in the fall last year. It survived transplanting and is very floriferous. What is exciting about this is that the flowers are pink at the base and white at the tip. Truly a unique cultivar of Hydrangea. Watch for this on the market!
Eupatorium 'Little Joe'
I was never quite the fan of Joe Pye Weed until I saw 'Little Joe'. Of course now, I love Joe Pye Weed to no end, but that's how I started. Opinions change right? Anyways, this is the best when looking for a plant that can be in anyone's garden. Standing only 4' rather than 6-8' like many others, it attracts butterflies, bees, and people. Listed as a great nectar source for our honey bees.
Rudbeckia subtomentosa 'Henry Eilers'
I know this has shown up multiple times on the blog, but I like it! And because I was on this tall perennial kick, I thought, wouldn't it make a great combination with the Eupatorium above. The strong arms of 'Little Joe' helping his friend Henry stand up straight. Even without 'Little Joe', 'Henry Eilers' merits landscape space. Late season bloom to diversify the late summer landscape.
Salix purpurea 'Nana'
Here is something for the person looking for fine texture. You cannot beat the fine texture of Arctic Willow. Blue foliage with dark stems wave in the wind. If properly maintained, they can be excellent landscape plants. These prefer to be cut back hard each spring and let them grow. Treat it like you would a Buddleia. If not pruned they can get a little woody and less attractive.
This edition is a little shorter than usual. I'm working feverishly to help get the 2009 catalog ready. It's going to be fantastic and hopefully something to look forward to. Until next time, thanks for reading and have a great day!
WELCOME TO THE MIDWEST GROUNDCOVERS DISPLAY & PLANT TRIAL GARDENS!
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!