The last week of July, and it seems like the weather is cooperating with us a bit. Temperatures haven't reached over 100 for a couple days and we've had some spattering of rain showers to brighten up some of the plants. So on Friday this week, I had the great pleasure of going to Boerner Botanical Gardens in Milwaukee and Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison, WI. Brent Gustason and I were dropping off Allium Summer Peek-a-Boo™ to these two gardens for them to place in their trials. Here are some of the things we saw. And they all happen to be New for 2013 for Midwest Groundcovers!
Echinacea Sombrero™ Hot SalsaI think I've become harder to please when it comes to coneflowers. There are just so many out there on the market. This one is truly different than anything else I've seen. For one thing, the size is great. Short and sturdy branching so flopping doesn't occur makes this a great improvement over other reds out there. Plus, this color is so red and exciting that I'd beg you to show me a coneflower with longer lasting red color. I don't think it exists yet. And, look at how many blooms are on this beauty. In a container, I counted 21 flower buds yet to open. Not bad for a baby plant.
Hydrangea quercifolia 'Pee Wee'
Have you noticed that it is the year of the oak leaf hydrangea? Everywhere I see them, they just look spectacular. Maybe because of the gentle winter we had, there was little die back, so they have quickly risen to spectacular. I've always liked the plant, but I have a new appreciation for it now. This is the largest 'Pee Wee' I have ever seen. Since it topped out at almost 4', I would say that it is about as large as it gets. For the shrub border, in part shade, I'm not sure I can recommend much better than this plant.
We've spent years and years looking for the best new groundcovers. Some candidates were great, some not so much. But as we approach the 2000 teens, it appears that the best new groundcovers have been under our nose the whole time. Or maybe, underneath our oak and crabapple trees. They say sedges have edges, but if you are a landscaper right now, you can get an edge on the competition by using this amazing group of plants. In this picture, you can see the fabulous groundcover of sedges that leads you to the bench. Behind the bench was a Tricolor beech. With Solidago 'Fireworks' to the left and Anemone to the right, this little path walked us into a garden of calming influence. It really made both of us take a breath and relax.
Thanks again for taking the time out to read the blog. To the many visitors that have come to our gardens in July, thank you. We've had a great time having you all out here. Other than my birthday and wedding anniversary, there is nothing better to me than to have you out here touring our grounds and learning about plants. A personal thanks from me to you. Until next time, have a great day!
WELCOME TO THE MIDWEST GROUNDCOVERS DISPLAY & PLANT TRIAL GARDENS!
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!