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'

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Yes! Michigan!

Hello again,
I had the pleasure of going to Michigan to look at some of our sample plants that various vendors have given us to trial. I wanted to see how things have been progressing and work with Drew, our production manager there on which plants we think we should grow. It really helps us when the accession and production groups get together so that we can all be on the same page. Communication is everything in this business. Maybe in all businesses for that matter. Here are some of the plants that we've added in the last few years for various reasons. And also pictured are some nice shots of crops growing there as we speak. In the next couple of weeks, Midwest Groundcovers will be having some great sales! Now is the time to buy plant material. But in addition to the great plants that we will be discounting are some fabulous regular priced items. I will show you one of the great deals, but mostly I wanted to show you some of the great plants that are not on sale and worth every penny we ask.
Phlox 'David's Lavender'
If you like Phlox 'David', then you should like his lavender counterpart. They have a nice colored flower similar to what we used to offer in 'Franz Schubert', but with greater mildew resistance. They are not all blooming now, but the plants are super clean and will perform well for you next year!

Aster tataricus 'Jin-Dai'
Several years ago we planted these in the garden here. They are very late bloomers, so I was never sure if there was a true market for them. Architects and designers have come late enough to see them bloom, and have had really nice words to say about them. A trip to Cleveland a couple years ago brought them back to my attention. They had planted them along a walkway that looked down onto another garden. The blooms were looking up at me with their bright yellow eyes, and I fell in love all over again. They do have a course foliage but they do not show off their naked legs like so many other Asters do. They do have a tendency to spread a little, but what good Aster doesn't?
Aster novae-angliae 'Purple Dome'
The crop of these look so nice right now. I always enjoy seeing a big crop like this one when everything is in bloom. If you were thinking about planting fall mums this week, why? Get some Asters! They'll even come back reliably. Oh, that's why.

Hosta 'June'
This is a favorite of mine. All Hosta have become a recent passion, but 'June' will forever remain the best. This is just the liners, but who wouldn't want to see this. I just made it the background for my computer monitor! It's always fun to see the baby plants, and if you are a grower, to see them mature into larger saleable plants. These babies will be saleable next year.

Hosta 'Frances Williams'
I have to admit that sometimes I forget about the oldies. One look at this crop and I realized that once I have more room to plant at home, I'll be buying some. They are so clean without the slightest touch of a slug. No damage on any plants whatsoever. So, remember that sometimes new doesn't always mean good. Don't forget about the beauties of days past.

Hosta 'First Frost'
So new doesn't always mean good, but in this instance it does. This is the Hosta of the Year 2010. It may not look like much now, but a mature plant of this is very nice. Think Hosta 'Halcyon' with white margins. In my opinion, 'Halcyon' is one of the best Hostas ever. Another sport of 'Halcyon' is 'June' so it has a history of nice children. I'm really excited that we will be able to offer this superb plant to you next year.
Echinacea Big Sky™ Harvest Moon
This is a house of Harvest Moon, just to show you how nice some of these plants still look. In the landscape, a mature plant may not still have as many blooms as these do, but it makes me think that if we could convert people into purchasing them at this time of year instead of mums, the world could be a much better place. Think about the additional benefits of coneflowers over chrysanthemums. After they are done blooming they still provide color with the goldfinches and other birds that will come to eat the seeds.
Echinacea 'Coconut Lime'
Even the double varieties look great in the pots. No need for white mums with these hanging around.

Veronica 'Royal Candles'
These still look superb as well.

Chelone 'Hot Lips'
I never fully understood the appeal of this plant. But I'm learning to love it. This year, these plants look great. They always do, but we always sell out so that I don't get to see them bloom this way. I planted them in the landscape a couple years ago when we finally had plants that I didn't feel guilty to take. I don't like to plant things that our customers really want and we don't have great quantities on. So we did plant them, and we do have good quantities now. Look at the great fall flower color these have. The houses are blooming like mad. If you are not familiar with these, they like some moisture and like some shade. I can't tell you how many times I've been asked about plants for moist shade. That explains why they are in such demand.
Let's move on to grasses:
Molinia 'Transparent'
This would be one of the plants that we are offering at a special price. Look at how nice they are. This is one of the best deals I've seen in a long time. For more information on the sale, please call us or go to our website at http://www.midwestgroundcovers.com/ and go to our availability for pricing.

Miscanthus sinensis 'Purpurascens'
I'm not always the most fond of Miscanthus. But seeing a large crop of 2700 #3 sized plants with their flowers glistening in the sunlight is a sight to see. Clearly they are available, so please don't hesitate to call and order some for your next pick up or delivery!

Sporobolus heterolepis 'Tara'
I always talk about how uniform a house of 'Tara' is, so I wanted to show you. Though I know the picture may not be in the greatest focus, you can get the point. You could put a level on top of these plants, and if the seed heads were strong enough, it would be perfect. This is such a uniform plant. For those that are afraid of the "native look", and still want the cilantro like smell of Sporobolus, try 'Tara'.

Sesleria autumnalis
As you can see, this is a very nice mass of plants. It's a different look than Pennisetum, but they will reliably live and look great season after season. And they are salt tolerant.

Phytolacca americana
Commonly known as Pokeweed, this is my favorite of all weeds. The problem with it is that it is terribly poisonous. If you have kids around, you should probably not have this plant. If you do not, then I say keep it. A friend of mine has a variegated one! Ooohhh! If it is close to an area where it could get stained by it's fruit juice, you may want to remove it as well. The birds in my neighborhood eat the fruit, which can cause a mess once digested. Birds apparently are immune to the poison but mammalian herbivores leave it alone.

Fall colors are coming. My next post will focus on that. Thanks again for reading. Until next time, have a great day.

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