Seed Swaps

Perennial Greed

16 Jun 2012
Sunny 29°C / 84°F

I try to acquire new plants mostly through swapping and cuttings from friends. I just got bare root plants from a new Folia swap buddy, of Obedient Plant and a red Bee Balm.

(Ok, I sometimes also take stealth cuttings from neglected commercial plantings – I feel like parking lots don’t deserve nice plants if they ignore them, so I snitch cuttings and “save” the plants from neglected extinction. Got several Sedum ‘Matrona’ from a Burger King parking lot that way. My kids hiss at me.)

But my favorite local country greenhouse, Glick’s, has an annual clearance. This year, they posted a coupon on Facebook – 10 quart-sized perennials for .99 each (regularly $3.50, on sale for $2.45). I couldn’t resist – I never can. And a coupon! It’s written permission to indulge.

Pat of it is the block party atmosphere. Shuffling up and down the aisles with all the other gardeners. Commenting on plants we might get, sharing comments on the ones we have. Admiring other people’s selections. Today, many of us were picking out our “10” and counting them off.

For the Front Corner bed that I am renovating in warm colors, I got:

Yarrow “Coronation Gold” – SUN – I had it in another yard and liked it, and have been envying it as I see it blooming now when I drive around. Mine!

Belamcanda chinensis (Blackberry Lily) – SUN – Iris family, not a real lily. I had this at another house and liked it very much. Happy to see it again. Each flower pod makes a lot of seeds, so I should have more in short order.

Delphinium ‘Magic Fountains Pure White’ – SUN – Never had a delphinium before, oddly enough. This “dwarf Pacific type” gets 30-36" high and claims not to need staking. I am looking forward to seeing these – I picked one that is not yet blooming.

Euphorbia x martinii ‘Tiny Tim’ (Spurge) – SUN – Cute blooms, compact plant, tolerates dry conditions – sounds good for the Front Corner.

Lavandula angustifolia ‘Munstead’ (English Lavender) – SUN – I am worried our old lavender is going to decline, so I need to get another started. Some day, I want a whole row of them, but I don’t have that space ready, yet. Munstead is supposed to be more drought tolerant – and the one I have is never watered.

Agastache ‘Heatwave’ (Anise Hyssop) – Gets to 36" and thinking of putting it right behind the peonies.

The Stump Island bed is becoming something of a bee/butterfly area in purples and pinks. I am about to make room by digging out some vinca. For that space, I got:

Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Lisaura’ – (False Blue Spirea ‘Hint of Gold’ or Bluebeard) – SUN – The chartreuse foliage caught my eye. Should become a 2-3’ shrub with lavender flowers that attract butterflies.

Gaura lindheimeri ‘Siskiyou Pink’ – SUN – Yes, I am trying again. One year, I overwintered four of these with deep mulch. Never since. But I like them so much when they start shooting out little pink bits of tissue paper strung on waving stems.

For the shade, I got:

Astilbe simplicifolia ‘Key West’ – SHADE – A compact variety 16-20" with dark red foliage and reddish flowers, reputed to be a heavy bloomer. I think for the Front Steps Shade bed.

Lamium galeobdolon ’Hermann’s Pride’ (aka Deadnettle, variegated yellow archangel ) – SHADE – a new groundcover for the area around the boxwoods under the dogwoods in the backyard. Lovely silvery pattern on the leaves. This variety is supposed to be well-behaved.

I also picked up a few more 4packs: parsley, basil, and some Orange Profusion Zinnas. Spent about $12.50.



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