Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Lots of New Additions! Lavender Lace, Frozen Margarita, Tiny Shadow, and Bloomerang

Here are some new additions! I got 4 of these EverLast Lavender Lace Dianthus 'KLEDG13146' as a backup plan when Lowe's was out of Drummond's Pink phlox. I figured I could make a sort of back row to my tiny arborvitae bed, but it looked too crowded so I moved them to the larger back bed and now I'm in love.

Dianthus 'KLEDG13146'
Set of three Dianthus 'KLEDG13146' Lavender Lace
I ended up buying some Drummond's Pink phlox on Etsy trying to match the exact color and species. Okay, so Drummond's Pink should be the exact same DNA as the one on sale in Lowe's right? Ummm... someone's playing me because these do not look like the same color at all... so who was mistaken? Maybe it's because they were in a box for 4 days, maybe they will perk up and change color. I guess we'll see! I won't name nursery and bash them. Worst case scenario, they are slightly different and the story makes it onto my garden tour as a fun fact, lol.

Mail order Drummond's Pink phlox looks slightly off but I guess we'll see if it grows in correctly

Update 4/30/16: Sure enough, after being out of the box for several days, the colors actually changed! Hey what do you know, color changing phlox! I'm glad I didn't leave a nasty review on Etsy because these are indeed Drummond's Pink.

phlox color after shipping

Let's see, next up is Hosta 'Frozen Margarita' (who comes up with these names?) It's got white margins similar to Patriot, but it's supposed to be a very shiny leaf. Whenever there is a hosta on the sale table I jump on it, because it turns into multiple divisions and you never have to buy that variety again. $3 for this one, down from $9.

hosta frozen margarita
Hosta 'Frozen Margarita' from the sale bin for $3
I also got another Japanese Andromeda 'Passion' from the sale table for $3 (what a deal!) and Chris picked out a lily for his growing lily collection (full price) this one is called Tiny Shadow and it's super interesting looking! Can't wait for it to bloom.

lily collection
Started losing track of all all these 'tiny' lilies so this is my lily collection map
Ok and here is the grand finale, it's the plant we've all been waiting for, it's a Bloomerang reblooming purple lilac!

backyard bed with toolsbloomerang lilac tree form

digging in clay soil

I had to be careful not to step on any of my other plants as I carved out a hole in the exact center of my special clearing. My 3 foot by 3 foot space has been waiting for this for over a year!

I dug down a little more than 2 feet and added some pea gravel to the bottom, then a half bag of top soil, then stuck the root ball on top and used an entire 2nd bag of top soil all around the root ball. It ended up a couple inches over the lip of the hole, which was perfect since lilac don't like wet feet. I think it's going to do really well here! I'm really happy with it!

Syringa x 'Penda' bloomerang

Syringa x 'Penda' bloomerang
Syringa x 'Penda' on a standard
I triple checked the trunk to make sure it was straight and how I liked it, I just hope it doesn't blow over because we are expecting 3 days of rain and thunderstorms.

Shenandoah and Japanese Forest Grass Cold Damage

When I was covering up my plants for an April snow dusting, I didn't think the cold would affect my Shenandoah switch grass at all. I covered my new Japanese forest grass, but even with a cover it still got some cold damage. Cold damage on these grasses causes the leaves to shrivel into long thing swirls - it's actually kind of attractive if it weren't such a bad sign.

Hakonechloa macra 'All Gold'
Hakonechloa macra 'All Gold' cold damage and shriveled leaves
I also realized that this Japanese forest grass 'All Gold' is very much all gold, the leaves are solid neon green and very bright. My other Japanese forest grass has variegated leaves - it will be nice to compare the two when the smaller one finally makes a comeback from the rabbits.

Hakonechloa macra 'All Gold'
Hakonechloa macra 'All Gold'

april snow plants
Using buckets to cover my plants during an April cold snap

Cold damage on Shenandoah switch grass
Cold damage on Shenandoah switch grass

Saturday, April 23, 2016

It's Mail Order Plant Day!

I love mail order plant day! The day my online orders from January show up at my house fills me with excitement - this year it was April 12. I got some more exotic and fun plants that you don't typically see at Lowe's or Home Depot.

My mail order plants arrived from High Country Gardens on April 12 this year
Last year I stuck the plants in the ground the same day they arrived. This year I did something a little different - I let them get some sun after being in the box for 4 days, and gave them some water. Then I took them inside and put them on my windowsill to firm up a little before exposing them to the wild outdoors. Hopefully they perk up a little and catch their breath before trying to adapt to the clay soil.

Kniphofia hirsuta Fire Dance
I got 4 dwarf red hot poker plants - Kniphofia hirsuta 'Fire Dance'

Baptisia australis v. minor Blue Rocket
I got 1 false indigo after reading they are good in clay soil - Baptisia australis v. minor Blue Rocket

Phemeranthus calycinum (Talinum) Judith's Favorite
I got this for my rock garden, a cute little succulent that self seeds with purple flowers. It looks very delicate and I hope my dogs don't mess with it - Fame Flower - Phemeranthus calycinum (Talinum) Judith's Favorite

Arenaria Wallowa Mountains  Wallowa Mountains Mossy Sandwort (Desert Moss)
And once again, I'm trying my favorite little sunny moss look-alike after the one last year all but died. I've got a new location picked out and we'll see if the 2nd time's the charm - Arenaria Wallowa Mountains - Mossy Sandwort (Desert Moss)
Echinacea purpurea Magnus
Last but not least I've got purple coneflower 'Magnus' down by the utility boxes. This one is supposed to get 4 feet tall so it should do a better job hiding things than the Pow Wow that only gets 2 feet tall - Echinacea purpurea Magnus - yeah this one was the runt of the package and might not make it. Luckily High Country Gardens is pretty good about refunding if your plant dies right away.

Maiden Grass That Lived in My Garage for 3 Weeks

My brother wanted to split the tall grasses by his AT&T utility box, and my mother in law wanted some ornamental grasses for her new house, so this is a win-win. I believe these are maiden grass or some kind of Miscanthus. Either way, they get about 6 feet tall and 3 feet wide. My brother's were about 4 years old and the centers were dying out.

messy grass around utility box
What a hassle calling the dig people to mark an AT&T box, we dug all around the box and didn't see a single cable, it must be 3 feet down. Better safe than sorry I guess.

ornamental grass in trunk of car
It wouldn't be spring without a trunk full of grass

ornamental grass in garage
And there they shall sit for 3 weeks until the weather warms up and we find a free weekend to head up to NW Ohio.
We divided these way back on April 4, and since then we've seen weather in the 70's and it even snowed on April 8th. They weathered in the garage just fine. I kept them a little damp so they wouldn't dry out completely. They only saw the light briefly in the time we had the garage door open to pull the cars in or to grab the watering can. Nevertheless they started sprouting new growth! Very hardy buggers!

ornamental grass divided in buckets
I didn't actually get them cleaned up and into buckets until April 22, but as you can see they are doing just fine and they are loving the sunny back patio while they wait for a car trip up north next weekend. 
UPDATE: Here is the final destination for the grass I divided so many weeks ago. We took them up to Chris' parents' house in NW Ohio to hide the irrigation box. I dug a super shallow hole and plopped them in. They didn't get the top soil TLC treatment but I think they will be just fine, these are hardy buggers.

grass to hide box in yardgrass to hide box in yard