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Saturday, May 12, 2007

It's Here!

Finally, it's May 12th and it's the calm before the storm.

As the sun comes up now the weather looks perfect. 23 Students are on the sign-up sheet, I expect a few more will actually come. Stay tuned, we'll post lots and lots of photos later.

Happy day!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Plant Sale May 12, 2007 is only 3 Days away!

(The bicycle is waiting to have it's photo taken.)

To be truthful, the plant sale is only 2.5 days away :-) It seems like these last few days are so chock full of things to do that this computer gets pushed way into the background.

Digging continued today although at a much slower pace. I finally got that huge clump of daylily 'Laura Harwood' out of the ground. It's such a great daylily and one of the few late bloomers that blooms in August instead of July.

(How's this for a showstopper! This is an Iris Ensata, Japanese Iris seedling and maybe I'll have time to pot a few of these babies tomorrow)

Sedum are next on my ticket. The last thing I did tonight was pop out a few jumbo Sedum telephaeum 'ruprectii'. With it's amazing blue foliage and white blooms this is one awesome Sedum!

Mom's here and the weeding has commenced. She and I are scrounging around for foxgloves (digitalis). In the past we've always had so many for sale but they looked so awful until this week that I just didn't have the heart to dig them. Corydalis are also few and far between so we'll have to wait until next year to offer those.

(This photo was taken last year but the tiny Polygonatum humile (dwarf solomon's seal) are budded up just like in this photo. I sure hope people get to see a bloom or two.)

The daylilies continue to amaze, they look so lush and green so I know that everything is just catching up in the garden.

My big advice to new perennial shoppers is go for the foliage. Perennials bloom for a shorter season than annuals but as long as you combine different types of foliage together in a border, it will continue to look beautiful. Be sure to check out my newly planted containers out by the wrought iron gazebo and you'll see what I mean about contrasting foliage.

(I don't think I've ever offered these pink evening primrose for sale. Today was the first day I noticed any growth on them. It would be nice to find enough to dig some up tomorrow)

It's almost impossible to stay away right now. Way to much to do as soon as the sun comes up so good night to all of you.

See you Saturday!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Just 4 days left before our wonderful, fantastic Plant Sale!

(Do not miss the mature clump of Hakone grass right as you walk down the driveway. This amazing SLOW growing grass grows in shade with root competition, shines in semi-shade/sun and I've seen it in full sun too! Ooh La La!)

If you've been keeping up with my blog, you'll notice that I did not post this morning. Slap me with a wet noodle, it was just one of those days.

For years now the second Tuesday of May brings a host of conflicts between my clubs. Add to that my daughters schedules, throw this plant sale on top and you have a totally insane day. Next Tuesday promises to be just as bad if not worse.

So this will be short and sweet,
Plant sale
Saturday May 12th
10:00 am until 3:00 pm (or until we sell out which is looking more and more like a possibility)
259 Beverly Road, South Huntington, Long Island
All profits will be donated to help the students of the Walt Whitman High School marching band pay for band camp.

Tomorrow morning Mom arrives so at least my garden won't be so weedy :-)

For more meat with your potatoes, scroll down and catch up on some of the latest news.

(Coreopsis 'Zagreb' is still small looking in the pots but about to go crazy!)


Monday, May 07, 2007

Plant Sale, 5 days away

Is it invasive?

(Campanula punctata with daylily 'Tune the Harp', how could you resist this fast growing perennial, I sure can't.)

One thing you learn quickly as a gardener is that some things grow slowly, some grow quickly and some take over your whole yard. I get a real kick out of the garden centers that sell these thugs and put the words "vigorous grower" on the tag. Heck, you might as well put your house on the market after planting some of these things.

Of course Mother nature has the last laugh here, some of those oh so aggressive growers are also stunningly beautiful. For instance, Lysamachia clethroides, (Gooseneck loosestrife) is a plant that I adore, must have it in the garden but it would take over the whole town of Huntington if I let it run rampent. There are no pots here of this type of loosestrife but I will dig you a piece if you ask.

(You can see the gooseneck loosestrife here behind the daylily 'Kathryn June Woods')

Another type of Lysamachia is the purple form, Lysamachia purpurea. The foliage in the spring is the most luscious deep purple and I wouldn't be without this beauty in the garden. Yes, it does run around but it's also not too hard to dig up those runners so I live with it. We have some of these in pots, I've found this plant to be wonderful when planted in perennial containers that are left out all winter (such as whiskey barrels). It also grows well out by the street where it's hit with sand all winter and the tree roots are horrendous.

(Here you can see the dark luscious foliage on the Lysamachia purpurea, a welcome color in the garden but it is more than vigorous, maybe aggressive?)

The first year we had this plant sale I dug up a few pieces of Rudbeckia laciniata. It had been a gift from a gardening friend the year before and had increased nicely. I really liked this plant, it is a tall growing (5 or 6 feet tall) black eyed susan. Unfortunately one year later I realized that it was EVERYWHERE! Oh woe is me, I dug out every piece I could find and I still find an occasional one popping up here and there. I cringe when I think that I loosed this thug to other gardeners. Hence, I only offer plants that have been grown here for many years and who's plant habits I am sure about. If I think something is fast growing, vigorous or even aggressive, you can bet the plant tag will tell you this information.

(People are afraid to buy Monarda (Bee Balm) because it's in the mint family and grows very quickly. Monarda roots are right at the top of the soil and I find them extremely to remove if I feel it's outgrown it's bounderies. I'm just crazy about this flower and so are butterflies!)

Some plants spread by casting seeds. These are the easiest to control, just cut off the blooms when they are finished blooming. Bronze fennel was one plant that seeded too much for me but I really loved having a few of these beauties around. Unfortunately, this winter was the kiss of death for all my bronze fennel, each and every last clump is gone and now I wish I had let it go to seed last year.

(Both the Echinacea (purple coneflower) and the Liatris in this photo will send out seeds if you leave the dead flower head on the plant. Both also attract Goldfinch to the garden so I leave those dead heads right where they are!)

Other well known seeders are Echinacea (purple cone flowers) and Rudbeckia fulgida (black eyed Susans). I could cut those spent blooms off to keep them from seeding around but the Goldfinch just adore them and I'd much rather see the birds in my garden and deal with some seedlings.

Hopefully it's warming up out there. 40's this morning was a bit too cool but I'm gearing up to grab my shovel and start some more digging. Today I'm scrounging around for Foxgloves and Corydalis. In the past we've had pots and pots of those beauties but I'm thinking that we over dug those. This year they are few and far between and I need to leave a good amount in the garden so they will seed out lots more babies for future plant sales.

See you Saturday!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Plant Sale, May 12th is just 6 days away!

Daylilies Galore!
Today's post will be dedicated to all the glorious daylilies that I've been potting up for the sale. With so many to chose from I could pot up another 30 or 40 varieties. My only fear is digging these beauties up, putting them in pots and then having them left over after the sale. I love them way too much to do that to them.

Hopefully I'll keep digging and all of you will keep buying! The daylily at the top of this post is 'Avante Garde', in the garden I think the color is closer to red than the photo shows but you can see the stunning pattern. One thing I promise, not many of you would find these for sale at your local garden center (certainly not here on Long Island).

Daylily 'Emperors Dragon' is a wonderful grower here, my clump is so big I could hardly lift it out of the ground!

'Chorus Line' is a favorite all over the USA. It's from renown daylily hybridizer David Kirchhoff and we'll be featuring a few more of David's marvelous creations. David was a member of the Marine Marching Band (Flute if I remember correctly) so having some of his plants is certainly appropriate.
Daylily 'Mokan Butterfly' is amazingly beautiful when combined with the lavender Astilbe behind it. Both are potted up and waiting for new homes. Be sure I also left a good sized piece right here so I can continue to enjoy this show.

'Siloam Double Classic' is the ultimate in double daylilies. Romance in a flower, this one has it all.

'Poinsettia' is much lovelier than this photo shows. A wonderful deep red with one of the best buds and branching in the garden. Since each individual bloom on a daylily only opens for one day, you want to find one that has lots and lots of blooms.

I see that there's lots more that need to be added here. I'd better get back to work!