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 11, 2012

Hello again,
May is rocking right now, and business is good.  Most of the people coming into Midwest Groundcovers appear to be in good moods with optimism for the near future.  The only thing missing right now is time, I've heard a couple times.  Lets hope that at the very least, our industry is in recovery mode, and it will only continue on the upward swing.  Here are the plants looking great this week.

Zizia aurea
I am the fortunate one to give MG's combination of the week in our newsletter this week.  Zizia in general is one of my favorite plants for sentimental reasons.  My mentor Jerry Young passed away when it was in bloom, so I'll forever remember him when I see this flowering.  In my favorite combo, it is combined with Salvia 'Wesuwe' and Allium 'Purple Sensation'.  These grow in our Piet Oudolf designed garden and look excellent there.

 Hosta 'Liberty' and Hosta 'Big Daddy'
 Two of my favorite Hosta are these two. Together, they are planted on the west side of our building which actually gets a good amount of shade because of some crab apples there.  The foliage on the 'Big Daddy' has finally gotten to a large size four years after planting, which comes to my next point. It takes about 5 years for a Hosta to become mature.  Like fine wine, Hostas get better with age, so refrain from dividing them and being the favorite neighbor on the block, and let them mature into beautiful specimen.
 Dianthus 'Firewitch'
Not that it needs any more promotion at this point.  It is the PPA Perennial Plant of the Year for 2006.  It's hard for me to believe that it was that long ago.  Anyway, this is the best performing Dianthus in the garden by far.  The clumps by our shipping department are neglected and just get bigger and bigger every year.  This year, with the cooler temperatures that have stuck around, the colors seem to be more vibrant as well.  In my Dianthus trials, 'Neon Star' was the best, but it was irrigated. 
Salvia 'Pink Friesland', Baptisia 'Prairie Smoke', and Zizia aurea
In the Piet Oudolf garden, these planting have succeeded this year.  This is the first year they've been in the garden. When Piet was here, he really liked the combination of Salvia 'Wesuwe' with  Zizia, and he wanted to try it in pink.  I think that it is a nice combo, and the Baptisia that have been in the garden this whole time look very nice with it as well.

Baptisia Starlite Prairieblues™
I think I post about this plant every year.  I just love it.  Unfortunately, this year we don't have many available.  And at this very moment there are none.  But in the future, we will have beautiful #2 size plants that will be far better than the #1's we've sold in the past.  And this plant is worth every penny to have.  It's a tad smaller than Baptisia australis and blooms earlier.  This year, they are all blooming at about the same time.  In the past, it was always at least a week ahead.  But strange weather this spring had changed everything.
Baptisia Twilite Prairieblues™
The dark purple on this variety always surprises me when it has the color it does this year.  In the warmer springs, er the consistently warm springs, the color turns much lighter.  This year they look great.  And the plants are getting huge.  Like Hosta, Baptisia get bigger and better with age.  I think it's the first time these are the last to bloom.  But it's possible I just didn't take note of that. The mother plant of Twilite Prairieblues™ stands taller than me at the Chicago Botanic Garden.  Now, I'm not that tall, so it's not saying a lot, but it's still pretty big.

Thanks again for taking a moment out of your busy day to read the blog.  Until next time, have a great day!

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