Campanula 'Pink Octopus'

5/11/2022 4:59 pm

Campanula Pink Octopus

Campanula 'Pink Octopus' is an odd duck plant. In the South, it thrives in some of the worst conditions of my garden -- the driest of shade and part-shade. The lower foliage is rich and lux, forming a dense mat of ground cover.  By mid-May, the plant will shoot up flower branches with thin dissected foliage and super cool pink octopus like blooms, as many as 50 to a branch. The entire plant only gets 10-15" tall too, so it is a great underplant.



Salvia elegans 'Golden Delicious'

3/31/2022 10:16 am

𝐒𝐚𝐥𝐯𝐢𝐚 𝐞𝐥𝐞𝐠𝐚𝐧𝐬 '𝐆𝐨𝐥𝐝𝐞𝐧 𝐃𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐨𝐮𝐬’ 

(𝐆𝐨𝐥𝐝𝐞𝐧 𝐋𝐞𝐚𝐯𝐞𝐝 𝐏𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐒𝐚𝐠𝐞)

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This cultivar of pineapple sage has the same great scent as regular pineapple sage but sports bright golden foliage. Like the straight species, Salvia elegans, the cultivar ‘Golden Delicious’ shines in late fall when most blooming perennials are dying out. Minor frosts seem to have no impact. There are even reports of it blooming through freezing temperatures. 



Rudbeckia subtomentosa 'Henry Eilers'

3/30/2022 3:59 pm

Rudbeckia subtomentosa ‘Henry Eilers’

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Rudbeckia subtomentosa ‘Henry Eilers’ is such an amazing performer that it has displaced all other Rudbeckias from my interest.  In addition to having a long bloom period, it is visually stunning.  It is a prolific bloomer and seems impervious to disease like downy mildew and leaf spot that affect other Rudbeckias like Goldsturm.



Johnson's Hardy Amaryllis

2/27/2022 3:14 pm

Hippeastrum x johnsonii

Johnson's Hardy Amaryllis

When it comes to reliable spring beauty, the Johnson’s Hardy Amaryllis is as good as it gets. About mid-May, an established clump will be covered with stalks of bright scarlet blooms. While it is still a good idea to give the bulbs some mulch over winter, when the strap-like leaves will have wilted, these bulbs have persisted through many a cold, winter day.



A Garden Worthy Hellebore

1/3/2022 12:07 pm

 

Helleborus niger ‘HGC Josef Lemper’

 

I frequently call them “hellebore weeds” because of their tendency to seed around and have children that do not resemble their parents.  There is one, though, that I do not regard with disdain.  Helleborus niger ‘HGC Josef Lemper’, plant patent 15615.  The HGC stands for the Hellebore Gold Collection, a Dutch series of improved niger cultivars.  It is reported to be the largest of the collection, standing 8-12 inches tall with a width of 12-15 inches.

 

This tissue-cultured plant was selected for all the attributes that I admire.  The bright white flowers shine across the garden from mid-December into spring, holding their faces upright so that you don’t have to get down on the ground to see them.  They display lovely yellow stamens. The evergreen foliage is strong.  Although well drained soil is recommended, the ones in my garden have faired very well in average, clay soil, although in a slightly raised location.  They are growing in full sun instead of the shady site recommended and have not complained.

 

Hellebores in general are distasteful to deer.  While the common hellebore varieties spread madly in my woodland garden, this lovely and welcome plant has so far refused to multiply.  If you find it in the nursery, buy as many as you can afford.  - Karin Guzy

 

Photo credit:  Heuger Gartenbaubetriebe