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, September 2, 2010

Hot September

Hello again,
Back like I promised! Today we have some very interesting shrubs and some other star-worthy plants. This summer has been brutal to many plants. Whether it be the very wet and rainy month of July or the super dry conditions of August. Plants have been put to the test. Here are some of the most beautiful plants in our landscape.
Cotinus Golden Spirit
This is a very showy shrub that has now been in our landscape for four years. Bright yellow foliage proceeds excellent fall colors of oranges and reds. For this plant, we pruned it back to the ground this spring in order to flush out larger foliage. When left unpruned, the foliage will tend to be smaller, but you'll get the "smoke" flowers that the plant is commonly known for. Smokebush does not produce those blooms when cut back, but it does produce larger, more lush foliage. After pruning to 12", this is now 5' tall.

Flower Carpet® Pink Supreme
I've been really impressed by the performance of this groundcover rose. At first, I was sceptical about how different it truly would be from Flower Carpet® Pink. But it is. The flowers are a richer pink, and the foliage much cleaner. The bloom time seems to be better as well. The next generation of Flower Carpet® roses have really performed up to the marketing. It's not always that the plant is as good as the hype, but these pass the test.

Hydrangea Little Lime™
So, I'll do a little hyping of my own here. This is a very cool plant. When I first saw this at Spring Meadow Nursery, in Dale Deppe's yard, I was very impressed. That was three years ago. It's really hard for a plant geek to wait that long. I believe this plant is worth the wait. And, isn't it refreshing to know that they made sure the plant was going to be great before releasing it! The flowers on this star are never white according to Spring Meadow. These plants will always have a touch of green. A dwarf version of the best Hydrangea paniculata to ever hit the market, 'Limelight', this one is sure to please everyone who lays eyes on it. The largest plant I've seen on this was about three feet tall.
Rudbeckia subtomentosa 'Henry Eilers'
I think every year this has bloomed in our garden, I've shown a picture. Does this fall under the perennial that's too tall category? It does grow to 4' tall and could flop if not surrounded by friends. But knowing that, we can lend support to 'Henry Eilers' and give him friends like Calamagrostis 'Karl Foerster' and Eupatorium 'Little Joe'. Who wouldn't want to hang with Henry, Joe and Karl? Phlox 'David's Lavender' also looks stunning with the flowers of 'Henry Eilers'. That's if you prefer to have a party of four.
Aralia racemosa
I always forget the common name of this plant when people ask me, so I'm going to publish it here so that it hopefully stays with me. Spikenard. Can you see why I'd forget that? The fruit of this plant is to die for. It is not poisonous, so you will never die literally from it. The fruit is really what people who visit our gardens love. The plant itself is attractive and gains interest, but when the fruit is there, it's hard to walk past. I've used it in cut floral arrangements and it holds up well.

Anemone 'Honorine Jobert'
When I think of the movie, The Last Samurai, I'm reminded of the Samurai who was always looking for the perfect flower. In the battlefield, at the end of the movie, he is dying and looks up at the flowering cherries that surrounded him and says, "They're all perfect". When I think about how this flower comes so late in the year and has a pure white color to it, I'm reminded of that line. This simple flowers of this plant are perfect.

Hopefully you've enjoyed this weeks rendition of the blog. Check in next week to see the projects that we are currently installing. I'd have shown them today, but didn't want my camera to get soaked. Until then, Have a great week!

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