No one guessed the plant of the week last week. It was Smilax ecirrhata or Upright Carrion Flower. It looked otherworldly when I saw it first. I was quite impressed. And it's not everyday that I find something in the woods that I have no idea what it is. I must be a geek, because it was like having a birthday cake! Maybe I'll go a little easier on you this week.
First we'll start with some of the happenings in the landscape. It's the one time of year where I genuinely like the Spiraeas. Our Spiraea trial is fairly new. It was installed two seasons ago. All the varieties we carry are there as well as some trial plants. We actually like the ones we carry better than the new ones!!! How about that!
I know that I showed you all the Aquilegia last week. But now the houses are in full bloom. I feel bad that these all didn't make the homeowners place. They would still look great if you were to purchase them after Memorial Day. If you read this tonight, we are open from 7 to 3:30 on Saturday. They will be available!!!!
They are looking very nice in the landscape. A recent boon in Green Roofs has taken all our crops of Allium 'Forescate', but I thought it was worth a tease for next year. This particular picture is of a seedling in the landscape that had a lot more purple than pink in the bloom. It could just be the straight species.
Weigela 'Gold Rush'
I was so excited when I saw these in the nursery. I've told people as recently as last week that we didn't have any Variegated Weigela that were ready. Surprise!!!! Here they are. 'Gold Rush' is ready to go, and they are currently flooded with blooms. A must have for the variegated lover.
Armeria 'Joystick Red Shades'
I have become smitten with these flowers. The texture of the flower is almost straw-like. The greatest asset of this plant is its salt tolerance. Furthermore, these plants were blooming in the landscape last October and are blooming now. I don't know if that will be the norm. It's my first time playing with Armeria.
The Great Unveiling!!!
This plant comes from the Chicagoland Grows program. Hopefully we will have some of these available soon. They are quite fragrant and a much lighter pink color than the Syringa 'Palibin' we've all grown to love. If you are into pastels, you will like this lilac.
Speaking of Chicagoland Grows. This to me, is the second best plant that has ever come from the program. Pixie Meadowbrite Echinacea the first. This is the first Bapsitia to bloom each year. It's quite the site. Our Baptisia garden is ready to rumble, so if you have the time to stop by, please come check them out.
I was very pleasantly surprised when I walked up to 'Sweet Esmeralda'. Immediately, James Taylor entered my mind singing, "How Sweet it is". This is from the Salvia pratensis species, which means it may reseed. But the colors on this beauty are very unique for most plants in this zone. The hood of the flower being a rich pink, with the "tongue" being a darker color.
This trial plant I must be honest, I wasn't that excited about. There are all these great looking flowers coming from breeders all over that were much more interesting. But the performance of this plant far exceeds the performance of other Dianthus in our trial gardens. It is not currently in the program, but I am seriously considering it. It came from our plant breeder extraordinaire in Hebron, IL, Brent Horvath.
I walked up to our stock bed of Sedum ternatum yesterday and was amazed at how beautiful it was. I kept thinking a shady yard of this would be wonderful. This is the shade tolerant Sedum we've all clamored for. And it's a native as well!!!
Mystery Plant of the Week!!!
This is the mystery plant for the week of May 25th. It was the first week of the Mystery Plants, that I received no answers for. As I mentioned above, Smilax was the answer. This weeks plant is a groundcover that we have added to our catalog in the last two years. Hint hint!!! While it has never bloomed for me here, it has great foliage interest throughout the season. Good luck. This one should be a little easier than Smilax ecirrhata.
Well, as always, thanks for taking the time to look at some plants. Hopefully it is entertaining and educational. And even more so, I hope it makes you want to buys some plants from us!!! Have a great day and if you are reading this before Monday, an inspirational Memorial Day. Until next time........