Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Kniphofia 'Red Hot Poker' Plant

Chris told me he wanted to show me a unique plant he spotted down the street by a neighbor's mailbox. We walked about a block and he pointed to what looked like just another clump of orange daylilies from a distance - but when we got up close I recognized them from something I saw on High Country Gardens. They actually have a dwarf version.

Kniphofia Red Hot Poker
Kniphofia 'Red Hot Poker' plant

I looked them up and found that they are a variety of Kniphofia also known as a Red Hot Poker Plant. I think the name is just right, it looks like a poker you might have left in the fire too long glowing hot orange. It has a desert look to it, and sure enough is described as drought tolerant and originating from Africa.

Kniphofia Red Hot Poker
Katie and the Kniphofia 'Red Hot Poker' plant - looks like daylilies from a distance but quite interesting close up!

Kudos unknown neighbor! Always nice to see neat plants in my hood! This one was in the older section of the neighborhood where the houses are about 8 years old and the trees have had some time to grow in. It was by the mailbox in full sun on the south side of the yard. It looks to be hardy because there's no way they just put this in this season!

Hosta Hail Damage

We had quite the storm the other night and even had some pea-sized hail here in central Indiana. The forecast calls for more storms this weekend and most of next week it looks like. I'm hoping I don't see any more hail because my gorgeous Hosta 'Sum and Substance' out front have massive leaves that might start looking like Swiss cheese!

hail damage hosta leaves
Hosta 'Sum and Substance' with hail damage

pea hail size
Pea size hail in Indiana on Monday night
sum and substance
Hosta 'Sum and Substance' in my front bed behind a row of boxwood

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

What's Growing Under My Lilium 'After Eight'?

What's with this weird growth under my Lilium 'After Eight'? Is it a new baby? Is it a mutant leaf? It doesn't seem to be getting any bigger it's just sort of sitting there. Is it my Red Luna hibiscus back from the dead (planted in the same spot)?

weird plant growth

weird plant growth

what's growing under my lilium

Lilium 'After Eight'
Lilium 'After Eight'

Monday, June 8, 2015

Veronica spicata ‘Royal Candles’ Blooming in Full Shade

The 'Royal Candles' I got from Chris' aunt are blooming in full shade (~2 hours/day sunlight), I didn't think they would bloom being that it is their first year since being divided and transplanted in the fall, and growing in hard clay soil in the shade. But sure enough, they are adding some much needed color to what I'm calling my 'wet shade' yard on the West side of my house.

Veronica spicata ‘Royal Candles’
Veronica spicata ‘Royal Candles’

Veronica spicata ‘Royal Candles’
Veronica spicata ‘Royal Candles’

small side yard
My wet shade yard on the West side of my house

Dry Shade Side Yard Expanded with Free Plant Divisions

I bought a bunch of mulch and some topsoil and significantly extended the dry shade bed on the East side of my house. It gets about 2 hours of sunlight a day and then is in total shade, and the shape of the roof blocks a lot of rain from the North, so the bed only really gets wet when it rains straight down.

I put all the old mulch on a tarp and then cut out the shape I wanted, put the sod on the tarp as well. I dug a hole in the middle of the bed and buried the sod (hopefully deep enough so it won't send up shoots like in my backyard bed). I added topsoil on top and fresh mulch. I used some of the sod to shape the curve of the bed by the downspout. I divided my Hosta 'Patriot' from the other side yard because it was the biggest and could probably handle it. I even divided a couple clumps of Liriope and planted them near the hosta.

Hopefully everything grows in, I've been watering it and it's been raining a lot.  I want to add more plants next year, but this is a good compromise for free plants!

dry shade side yard
Progress on my dry shade side yard
You can see my Green Panda bamboo in the foreground, and off in the distance is the last surviving plant from the landscaping that came with the house, a lone 'Winter Gem' boxwood - not the same as the boxwood in the foreground.

Expecting Blooms on Bloom Day

The 15th of every month is Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, and it looks like I'll have some new blooms next week to mark the occasion! Here are my Annabelle hydrangea just about to pop white, and my Echinacea prpureua 'PowWow Wild Berry' coneflower already starting to put out pedals.

Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle'
Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle' blooming and will turn white in the next few days

Echinacea prpureua 'PowWow Wild Berry'
Echinacea prpureua 'PowWow Wild Berry' coneflower just about to bloom out in the next day or so