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, August 25, 2011

Garden Phlox for Landscapers

Hello again,
Here at Midwest Groundcovers, LLC, we are growers of fine plants for the midwest. We are pretty good in my estimation at making plants look great in containers so that landscapers, garden centers, and rewholesalers get outstanding plant material. For Phlox, we've gone through a myriad of changes over the years with many varieties going in and out of our product line. Now, we have several varieties that look outstanding in the ground. These garden Phlox that have excelled are three of the most eye-catching plants in the landscape today. Some have made the blog before, and some haven't. But as a collection, they can make your yard look superb. Without further ado, here they are!
Phlox paniculata 'David's Lavender'
This one has been posted in the past. Now, I'm a big fan of Phlox 'Blue Paradise'. And while it's colors are more intense than 'David's Lavender', the plants don't even compare. The foliage of this one is super clean, and I have it in part shade. No mildew to be seen, whatsoever. On nearby plants, they are covered.

Phlox paniculata 'Lord Clayton'
We've had several reds in the past. The best selling was the 'Starfire'. Those plants would be destroyed by powdery mildew by this time. 'Lord Clayton', on the other hand, is more than just marketing. Brought to you by Plants Nouveau, this red flowering, dark-leaved variety, is visible from afar. I have it planted in the landscape next to a white flowering Euphorbia corollata, and the combination is stunning.

Phlox arendsii 'Baby Face'
This has also made the blog in the past. This plant in the phot has already been in full bloom, yet it has a complete set of new blooms coming right now. It has outperformed many other highly touted Phlox in the garden. While initially, I trialed this plant as a recommendation for a pink version of 'Minnie Pearl', but it clearly is not. It blooms later and longer, but it still has the great disease resistance.

That's it for today. I hope you enjoyed! Until next time, happy planting. Have a great day!

Monday, August 22, 2011

New for 2012

Hello again,
Things have been busy around here in August. I've been working on pictures for our 2012 catalog and that has consumed most of my time. But I thought I should share some of the new for 2012, and let you know that we have these two available now in bloom!!!

Hibiscus 'Cranberry Crush'
This is our regal dark red variety that has been looking great in the nursery for a week or so. The plants are not yet in full bloom, but are getting close. It's a nice time to get them to a garden center or, in your significant others garden. They look great and have a massive eye appeal. This one gets 3-4' tall and 4-5' wide according to the breeders.

Hibiscus 'Jazzberry Jam'
Jazzberry Jam gets a little bit bigger than its friend 'Cranberry Crush'. Growing 4-5' tall and 6-7' wide, this beauty gets big and bigger. Large dinner plate sized blooms are the star, but clean dark green foliage enhance the color of the flowers. We've carried Hibiscus in the past, but now we are trying again. These should be great sellers in the garden center, or just what the kids needed as a back to school gift! Maybe you should send one in with your child to give to their teacher!

Thanks for reading, and I look forward to spilling the beans on some of the other new plants for 2012 in the coming weeks. Until next time, I hope you have a great day!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Natives Still Looking Great!

I was fortunate this week to go on a seed/plant collecting experience in St Charles. We were collecting seed from the very cool, but difficult to find Saururus cernuus or Lizard's Tail. While our production hero, Angel, was digging plants from an area that we were given permission to take from, Joan Kramer and I looked around the garden at some of the very cool and interesting native plants in her Pottowatomie Garden. Here are some of the highlights!

Euphorbia corollataThis has quickly become a favorite plant of mine. I first acquired this plant at Summer Field Day at Ball Seed five or six years ago. Donna Cummings had given me a plug from the Natural Garden and I planted it in our garden at Midwest. I've admired it ever since, and now that Natural Garden Natives are a part of the Midwest Groundcovers catalog, I can now sell them. This plant grows to 24" tall and wide. Flowering right now, this plant even looks good not in flower. Being a Euphorbia, plant parts are toxic, but the seeds are attractive food for game birds.
Sium suave Interestingly, this was the other plant that Donna was giving away that day. Upon first glance, I thought she was trying to give me Queen Anne's Lace. But I've come to learn that this plant is important for its amazing insect populations that live amongst it. This plant does best in wet situations, hence the common name, Water Parsnip. This is a plant that has alluded my camera for many years so I was very excited to get this shot of it. Sium suave is variable in height, so it can be anywhere from 2-6' tall according to the Connecticut Botanical Society.

Phyla lanceolata, F/K/A Lippia lanceolata Unfortunately, this is something that we do not grow. Lanceleaf Fogfruit, is a widely distributed wetland plant that was nicely situated along the Fox River. Large patches were creeping around other native perennials and all were blooming with these dime-sized pinkish-purple flowers. Only about 6" tall, it looks like it can reseed around a little, but is easily manageable.

Thanks again for taking the time to read the blog. Until next time, have a great day!