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'

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Year of the......

Hello again,
2009 is the year of the ox according to the Chinese Zodiac. The Ox, or the Buffalo sign symbolizes prosperity through fortitude and hard work. That isn't what I intended to talk about when I started the post calling this "The Year of the..." What I really wanted to talk about were the plants I'm seeing this spring that are really strutting their stuff. Once I thought about it a while, I thought that many of these plants could be considered hard working. I'm not sure I'm ready to personify so much as to say that the plants display fortitude, but you get the point.

The Year of the Muscari
It seems that there has not been a better year than this for Muscari. In the case of this picture, the hard working Muscari make a bed of Sedum look oh so much better. After they are done blooming, they go away and the Sedum looks good the rest of the year. They work together to make a great combination. It's a relationship very similar to Midwest Groundcovers and their customers!
The Year of the Amelanchier
Have you noticed how nice the Serviceberries are this year. They really pack a punch this time of the year. I can't remember seeing them look as great as they do right now. And the plant fits the hard working model of the ox in that it is a multi seasonal ornamental tree. Not only is the flower so nice, it produces tasty fruit in summer and fantastic fall color. The ultimate workhorse or work ox plant.

The Year of the Juddi
Ok, so every year is the year of the Juddi Viburnum in my book. I told the story last week of my mistakes in my early years calling it a Witchhazel. And while the buds of this plant are fantastic, the flowers are more so. The fragrance is unmatched. I would venture to say that the fragrance of a Juddi Viburnum exceeds the pleasure of the fragrance of the Common Lilac.

I can only give out "The Year of" to so many things. If I kept going, you'd start to wonder if everything is having it's best year. That would be unbelievable, so below are some things that are looking great, but maybe not their best ever. Or maybe they are, and I just don't want to water it down. Speaking of watering it down......

Podophyllum peltatum
I can't resist taking a picture of Mayapple after the rain with water droplets slowly moving from the center of the plant to the tips of the foliage. The foliage has an elegant weeping characteristic when first unfolding. The water droplets accentuate that.

Phuopsis stylosa
New to our Jeepers Creepers line, this stylish groundcover creates a delightful bright green carpet. In our landscape, it is below Anemone 'Honorine Jobert' which has large bold foliage. Of course, that foliage is terribly small right now. Later in the season I'll re-photograph this area to show you how nice it looks together.

Epimedium rubrum
Epimedium is perhaps the plant that displays the most fortitude. It may take a year or two to really take off, but when it does, it makes one of the nicest groundcovers we carry. Its drought tolerance allows it to grow very happily below Crabapples with large surface feeding roots. When the water runs out, plant an Epimedium.

Last year when perusing the beautiful Mertensia virginica, we found a couple of plants that were not the norm. These two plants displayed fantastic flower color, much different than the species. One is the purest of whites. The other is a very light lavender. Would you buy them in these colors?
Mystery Plant of the Week
I don't have any great prizes this week, but the person who first correctly identifies this plant will be recognized for their superior plant identification skills. My only clue for you is that this is not a sedge or a grass. Best of luck!!! You can email me your attempt at mgplanttrials@gmail.com.

Thanks again for reading. The volume of visitors to the site is outstanding and I want to thank each and everyone of you for taking time out to read these. It is truly my pleasure. Enjoy your spring, and start spending your money! It's time to buy some plants and start gardening!!! Until next time, have a great day!

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