I’m posing by the forsythia back in 2006. Keith is with it in either 2007 or 2008, not completely sure. This forsythia was one of the few plants originally in our yard when we bought the house. It was huge and kind of crazy, and became the object of one of my husband’s projects during 2009.
Cercis canadensis ‘Lavender Twist': Back in the fall of ’08, we got totally lucky at the Keller Farms season-end plant sale. We purchased a lovely Lavender Twist weeping redbud tree, for the bargain-basement price of $58. Such a deal!!! We saw some at the Clintoville Oakland Nursery during the ’09 season for over $200 a piece, so score. It is a wonderful tree so far, and my only regret is that we didn’t buy two. :)
It is a rare-ish cultivar, although it is becoming more and more readily available. Compact and lovely, it tops out at 8 feet tall. It adds interest year-round (IMHO): blooming in spring, pretty heart-shaped leaves spring/summer, yellow leaves and interesting seed pods in the fall, and the interesting contorted weeping form of the tree gives great winter interest, too. Here are some pics of ours:
Here is the Paree Fru Fru peony that we have. It did better this summer (’09) so I think maybe the trouble was not that I planted it too deep back in 2006 like I initially worried but rather that it has just taken some time to get established. Not mad blooms like the Pink Spritzer, but coming along and totally worth the wait, look:
Browsing through some of my 2009 garden photos, I was happy to see that I had actually remembered to get some pics of the peonies we got at the Dawes sale a few years ago (see earlier post). So, here is what the Pink Spritzer peony in our yard looks like:
Betula nigra ‘Summer Cascade': We picked up two specimens of Summer Cascade river birch at the silent auction at the Dawes Spring Sale in 2008. They are in our front yard. Pretty interesting, they are a river birch with a weeping habit. Here’s what the plant tag had to say about them:
“Betula nigra ‘Summer Cascade': Summer Cascade river birch (syn. Summer Cascade red birch)
A new selection of a popular deciduous tree; it has a weeping, mounded form with gracefully arching branches. Very fast growing! Staked upright it can be grown taller, left alone it continues to mound upon itself. Exfoliating bark is brown, tan, and gray. Resistant to bronze birch borer and leaf minor. [miner???] Use as a specimen, focal point especially near water. Original plant grew 6′ tall and 10′ wide in ten years. Very adaptable especially to wet soils. Avoid high pH soils. Hardy in USDA Zone 5. Species native to e. US.
*acquisition-source nomenclature is used for plants until taxonomic verification is completed.”
the other tag with it reads: “Rec as: Betula nigra ‘Summer Cascade’ from TDA Nursery 9d2005-03690 Orig. from Klehm’s Song Sparrow Provenance: CGO How received: CT D2005-0556″
We’ve staked both of the to develop a strong leader, and are thinking we might clean off some of the trunk branches on one to have an umbrella form while leaving the other one with its trunk branches and letting it mound up on itself. But for now, they are both just staked and relatively un-pruned. I don’t have super-great pics, but you can see them in the foreground of these two, taken in the spring of ’09.
Cotinus coggyria ‘Royal Purple': Ah, finally a smoke bush! Our neighbor has one that I admire whenever I see it. At a season-end sale this year, we got one for $9.00 and I’m just tickled. Of course, it is very wee and it went in late, so here’s hoping it lives. I don’t have a picture yet -it went in that late! Right now I’m just dreaming of seeing the lovely purple leaves and signature large wispy panicles of flowers that make it “smoke”. It’s a slower growing shrub/small tree that when mature can get to 15 feet tall and wide.
Miscanthus sinesis ‘Graziella': In the fall of our first year here we were able to scoop up some incredible end-of-season bargains at a nearby Lowes. It was a new Lowes on this side of town and I think somebody really miscalculated what the demand would be for plants, and so there was a lot to be had for crazy cheap that year. It hasn’t happened since. That sale was the stuff of legend, and my husband and I still have fits of giddiness about some of the things we got. Among our favorites? We snapped up 2 single gallon pots of Graziella Miscanthus for $.50 a piece. Fifty cents!!! Granted, the grasses looked sort of sad and dry, but we figured it was worth risking a dollar. Boy howdy were we right to gamble on those 2 plants! Lovely.
We planted these two clumps of ornamental grass on the outside of the fence along the alley, hoping to get some natural screening from them without having to water too often. It’s worked out pretty well. The foliage is slender and sort of striped, and in August it develops feathery silvery plumes. Ours are about 5 feet tall. Although they are only supposed to be mildly drought tolerant, ours have proven pretty tough. It’s hot and dry on the strip outside the fence along the alley & we don’t water it often, but these have hung in well.
Plant Sale Madness! May 8, 2009
This week we attended 2 fun and very different plant sales. On Tuesday we went to the Groveport Garden Clubs annual plant auction. Held in the rec room of a local Lutheran church, it is awesome, more so for the people-watching almost. Garden club members bring in plants, usually that they probably dug out of their yards earlier in the day, so selection is pretty random. One of the members is way into daylilies, hybridizes them, has some she developed that are registered, the whole nine yards. She always brings in a few good things. And seriously, there are some completely fabulous, lovely ladies in that group. At any rate, we picked up a handful of things at that sale:
2 Milk Chocolate daylilies
1 Red Hot Poker
1 Random clump of varigated Hostas
1 pink Lily of the Valley
1 smaller clump of solid green hostas
1 Money Plant
1 some kind of coreopsis
Alas, varieties or scientific names are seldom available at that sale.
Today we went to the OSU Chadwick Arboretum sale and auction. Always interesting. We got some stuff we’ve had our eyes on for a while, very exciting.
1 Franklinia alatamaha (Franklin Tree) (!!!)
1 Stewartia pseudocamellia
1 Quercus robur ‘Attention’ (and the tag also looks like it says ‘wonder’ or wanderer- very hard to read. )
1 more Sapphire Berry (because you need 2 plants for there to be berries)
1 Acer pseudosieboldianum (Korean Maple)
1 Thuja plicata ‘Whipcord’ (Whipcord Western Red Cedar)
1 Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Tsukumo’ (Tsukumo Sawara Cypress)
2 Lupinus perennis (Wild Lupine)
1 Baptisia australis (Blue Wild Indigo)
1 Baptisia leucantha (White Wild Indigo)
Plus we got a bunch of veggies and tomatoes, but I’m not listing those right now because I’m exhausted. We planted everything this afternoon/evening after we got home – -everything except the veggies and tomatoes. So tired!
Mystery Yellow Magnolia April 10, 2009
Back in 2005, we got an interesting little yellow magnolia tree at the spring Dawes Arboretum sale. I thought I had squirreled the tag away somewhere safe for future reference, but apparently that somewhere safe is safe from even me! (Which is exactly why I’m doing this blog.)
My husband and I can’t remember the exact variety or cultivar, but we do recall that the tree was supposed to be a relatively late blooming magnolia. Last year was the first time it bloomed, and it was quite odd: 3 flowers in June. We’d had weird frigid weather late in spring, so I don’t know if those blooms had been hiding out until it warmed up a bit or what, but they only lasted about 2 days.
Not so this year! Many, many more blooms, and they’ve been going to town out there for about a week and it is just turning out to be such a pretty and interesting tree . Here’s what the blossoms look like:
Okay, so we did manage to back out to Dills to get a few more cheapo perennials, and then after lunch, we also popped over to Oakland in Clintonville to see what they had going. I was actually planning to get this one groovy shrub, a whippy-something-or-another evergreen bush thing that I considered last time I was there and which I had finally decided to bite the bullet and shell out the $49 they were asking for it but get this: at some point in the last 3 weeks, the price went up to $79. Gack! The wait continues. Also? Their cheapo perennials were $2.99 a pot instead of $.99 (same size pot). Too bad their stuff is always so good looking, or I’d stop torturing myself by going there altogether.
Anywho, after all the popping, we came home and although the weather was gray and grizzlie looking, it wasn’t actually too bad so we started planting. I think I’m just going to list the names of what we put in and that way I’ll at least have a reference if I need to look up care info. The tags don’t give gobs of info at any rate. We planted:
1 Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ 1 Rudbeckia hirta ‘Prairie Sun’
1 Rudbeckia hirta ‘Cherry Brandy’ 2 Armeria pseudarmeria ‘Joystick Red’ (Thrift)
2 Sedum spurium ‘Voodoo’ 2 Cerastium tomentosum (Snow-in-Summer)
2 Dianthus caryophyllus ‘Grenadin Innocence’ (Carnation)
2 Lobelia hybrid ‘Queen Victoria’ (Cardinal Flower)
4 Dianthus deltoides ‘Brilliant’ (Pinks) 2 Sagina subulata (Irish Moss)
1 Iberis sepervierens ‘Snowflake’ (Candytuft)
5 garden mums: ‘Rosy Victoria’, ‘Brandi’, ‘Sparkling Cheryl’, ‘Regal Cheryl’, and ‘Brigitte’
Additionally, Khan transplanted the robust looking sneezeweed plant which was getting a bit crowded from over by the giant daisies to back by the rue and he transplanted the shasta daisies we’d accidentally grown from seed too close to the weeping cherry over to back by the barn gate. Aren’t we good?!? (And by “Aren’t we” I mean “Isn’t he”!) :)