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'

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sedges have Edges

Hello again,
Sedges have edges. If you've ever heard that saying, than you know what I mean. If not, I'll explain. When identifying whether the plant in question is a sedge or a grass, or for that matter a rush, you can look at the stem of the plant to find out. Sedges are usually triangular, rushes are round, and grasses are flat or hollow.

Carex bromoidesBrome-like Sedge is an excellent landscape plant. This variety typically grows natively in the wet woods. While it performs wonderfully there, it will also do quite well in full sun, like I have it in this picture. The 6-8" tall foliage is covered in airy seed heads and flowers now. Mixing this with a short Aquilegia or Allium bulbs would create a very nice short planting. This is part of the new wave of plantings that people that want to get ahead of the curve are using. So remember, Sedges have Edges, but now so can you.

Brunnera 'Jack Frost'
This is an oldie but goodie. I remember when this plant would cost a fortune just for the small liner. Now it can be had at an affordable price. The white foliage with blue flowers is exceptional. Further making this plant a landscape staple, is its ability to work in deep shade. Also known as False Forget-Me-Not's, this plant has become unforgettable. Every year in the landscape, I'm reminded that no matter how many new plants come out each year, this will always remain one of the best.

Thanks again for taking the time to read. If you are coming to the Piet Oudolf presentation, we'll see you in a couple weeks. I believe it is now sold out, so it will be a full house. Thanks for the support! Until next time, have a great day!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Piet Oudolf

Hello again,
This is a quick one today. Just a reminder that Piet Oudolf will be at our facility on June 6th! I'm very excited to have him come back. There are some plantings that we will be going recreating in the gardens that he designed and hopefully by next year, it will be filled in again with a slightly new look. If nothing else it will generate some excitement in that new plants will be there for the first time is some time. Here is one of my favorite combinations that he put in the first go around. Zizia aurea with Allium 'Purple Sensation' bulbs bursting through the middle. I hope you all have a great day, and thanks again for reading.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Alternative Groundcovers

The past few years we have been removing some of the traditional groundcovers from our site and planting newer varieties. When we started doing the Jeepers Creepers brand of plants we did find a lot of plants that were down low and fun to grow as the slogan says. Here are a few that have been more than just a little exciting. All three have been used in places where salt has been thrown, and they've all worked very well. Some have had snow piled very deep above them. Most notably the Mazus reptans. In fact, we had a customer slip around a corner in our entrance and drive right over the Mazus. So not only is it tolerant of snow piles, but heavy trucks as well. The customer was not hurt in the slip up. But I did ask him to drive a little slower.
Mazus reptans
This is one that I wasn't so sure about the first year we planted it. We had it at the bottom of a hill and as it turns out, the Voles found the roots delicious. So while the plant never really succeeded, it wasn't its own fault. So after being moved to the area you see in the picture, it has flourished. It does exactly what I ask of it, creeping right up to the drive way in one direction and butting up to the rock in the other. The white you see in the picture is from the Zumi Crabapples dropping their flowers, not the cultivar 'Alba'
Veronica 'Waterperry Blue'

I've been a fan of this for years now it seems. This is an area that used to be Euonymus fortunei 'Coloratus'. That was removed so that we could do some promoting of my favorite groundcover. This was done as a monoculture, but if you've seen any pictures from years prior, you'll know that I like to put Amsonia and Anemone sylvestris in the middle of it so that it adds height and textural differences. This plant has proven to bloom twice a year if irrigated. It will not bloom again in the fall in drought years unless given some moisture.

Potentilla neumanniana 'Nana'While not always as bright and cheery as it is today, this has also proven to be a great plant. Native to the arctic circle, this creeper actually forms small undulating mounds of lush foliage. I think this plant is the best substitute for the invasive Polygonum reynoutria 'Nana', that many people still inquire about. It can also withstand the horrible areas like parking lot islands, and is very salt tolerant.

Hope you enjoyed this weeks segment. It seems as though Spring is back today as the temperatures have plummeted, so stay warm and until next time, have a great day!

Friday, May 6, 2011

David Austin Roses

Hello everyone!
Finally getting some nice weather around here, and some of the roses coming out of the greenhouse are looking great as well. If you are not familiar with David Austin™ English roses, you should become familiar. These roses have the most intense fragrance I've ever enjoyed in roses. Here are some of the beauties.

William Shakespeare 2000®

L D Braithwaite

Crown Princess Margareta®