Springhill Nursery order, part one

>> Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Received part of my order from Springhill Nursery. The backordered plant is a Dianthus Desmond, siz of them, actually.

The way they packed these shows, to me, that they really care about them arriving healthy and unblemished. The plants are all very well protected and they all are in very good condition. The instructions with that came with them said they are to go into the ground immediately. And, so they shall. When I unpacked them the root systems were very well developed. I will definitely order from Springhill Nursery in the future.

Caryopteris Summer Sorbet

at maurity

I have two other Caryopteris, Dark Knight and Sunshine Blue, that I planted in April of this year and I love their easy growth habit and the beautiful blue flowers all over them, at the ends of their long graceful stems. Sunshine Blue has light yellowish-green leaves that really dictates where you place the shrub, it just doesn’t look real good where it currently is so I have plans on moving it soon. The Dark Knight has darker green leaves that allows it to go next to just about any other plant. This one, Summer Sorbet, shares both foliage colorings and it may work in places the Sunshine Blue won’t. I’ll have to try it to see for myself.

They all tolerate some drought, perfect for my dry conditions here in Utah. Intolerant of wet, poorly-drained soils, so my clay has to be worked really well with compost and I am a little worried about this winter’s snowmelt. It will be a true test to how well I have compensated with the compost.

As long as the roots survive Caryopteris will come back and flourish. At any rate, they can take hard pruning each spring which will promote vigorous new stem growth. And all of the blooms come on new growth anyway.

They are commonly called Bluebeard, Blue Spirea, and Blue Mist. I’m not sure I have ever heard of them before this year but, so far, I’m glad I did. They make really lovely shrubs, at only 2’-3’ tall and wide, and make a really nice focal point to the border.

A bonus is that it is aromatic when brushed against and they all attract butterflies, bees and other beneficial insects. What more could you ask for in a shrub?

Sedum Improved Golden

at maturity

This one is billed as one of the finest ground covers for sunny dry slopes and banks. I don’t plan on using it on a slope or bank but my yard has no shortage of dry sunny places so it should fit in everywhere. I planted a Sedum Autumn Joy this spring which grew into what could best be described as a stalk of broccoli. I wasn’t real impressed but the pictures of it in full bloom told me to have patience. Once it bloomed, after the weather began cooling off, I knew I just have to have some more. The coloring started as a light pink and soon turned into a brilliant red that simply complimented nearly everything around it. I love this plant. I don’t see it being used as a groundcover because it grew to be 10” tall. I picture groundcover as being only a few inches tall and spreading outwards. Autumn Joy is a stalk but I plan on buying more anyway.

Then I saw this little beauty. And when I learned that I would not have to wait until fall to see the flowers I was sold. This one blooms in late spring and early summer and grows to only 5”-9” tall, which is more in line with my ideal of a groundcover, yet still a little tall. I bought six of them and hopefully they will spread quickly without being too invasive. It is described as a ‘hardy’ creeper which I am beginning to understand in garden nursery parlay means it is a bit invasive. It is to be spaced 12”-18” apart so there is another sign of its invasiveness. But it does have such beautiful yellow sumptuous flowers, doesn’t it?

Hollyhock Brilliant Miniature

at maturity

I have always liked the look of a bunch of Hollyhocks in bloom but their lankiness and the prospect of having to deal with plant supports in the middle of a flower bed put me off. These little guys only grow to be 30” tall and seem like they just might be what I was looking for. They bloom all through summer so they will add a splash of red anywhere I need it.

Aster Snowdrift

at maturity

My three Aster Alma Potschke plants steadily grew this summer into nice looking shrubs, patiently waiting until the weather cooled off, and then they simply burst into a beautiful mound of pink flowers, seemingly overnight. I was so impressed with their proliferation that when I saw these Snowdrift with their blizzard of delicate white daisies I knew the perfect place to show it off. I am going to place six of these in front of and surrounding my two brilliant red rose bushes. I can’t wait to see this combination next September and October.

They grow 4”-6” tall and spread 20”-24” so this is my idea of a groundcover. It is a care-free and very hardy selection of a native American wildflower that is a favorite with butterflies.

You just gotta love it.

Liatris White

at maturity

I planted a Liatris Kobold this spring that sadly did not survive our hot dry summer. I really like the non-standard shape of this plant. It just isn’t rounded or mounded or bushy like the typical perennial with its spikes that reminds me of cattails I used to see around the lake I grew up near as a kid. They weren’t white, of course, but there is something about the shape that I want in my garden. Besides I am not going to let these hot summers tell me I can’t have one of these so I will try it again and this time put some groundcover to keep its roots cool.

I was surprised to learn that Liatris is actually a bulb. Another surprise is that they bloom from the top down. Two more things that take it out of the realm of ordinary flowering plants.

They say you have to be careful with where you place white flowers for fear of it washing out the other colors but I am going to put five of these in a narrow strip along the north border of my property to help hide a chain link fence, interspersed with red Hollyhocks. They only grow 3’ tall and the fence is 7’ tall but it’s a start. I’m planning on putting some sort of a vine to grow along the top of the fence to help cover the rest of it. Maybe a honeysuckle.


Kylee October 23, 2007 at 8:16 PM  

Here's a tip that will help your 'Autumn Joy' sedum look better and bloom better. Prune it by one-third up until July 4th by pinching, much like you do with chrysanthemums. I do this will all my tall sedums and they look so much better and don't flop! I hate it when they flop.

Greg W October 27, 2007 at 4:50 AM  

Thanks for the tip Kylee. I don't remember reading about pruning sedum in this way. This is what I love about somparing notes with other actual gardeners in real life settings.

Thanks again

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