Monday, August 23, 2010

New Kids on the Block

One of the things I like about working with the Shady Sisters is that I get to know about plants I don’t have in my own garden—and see them in a garden setting, so I know how big something’s going to get. I’ve got mostly yellows and golds in the gardens now, but Gail and Linda had a rainbow of color, so, this weekend, I picked up a few new additions that will give me a variety of color in late summer and early fall.

Pink Turtlehead (chelone) is the first newbie of the group. It does well in both sun and shade. Linda’s are almost 4 feet tall. The ones I took home are young, so they’re a little shorter. I can really see, too, the resemblance between the flower and its namesake. (And, oddly, it doesn’t creep me out like the foxglove does.)

This snapshot shows three more additions – two of which are not yellow. From left to right, they are the shrub/herbaceous clematis, meadow rue, and ligularia Desdemona. Des is the yellow one of the bunch, but I like her red stems and interesting foliage. Unlike “Rocket,” which sends up a tall spike of yellow flowers, Desdemona has a more daisy like bloom. She likes a shady spot.

The meadow rue (Thalictrum rochebruneanum) will get between 6 and 10 feet tall but is so delicate, I’m confident it will work in my small space. I like the tiny leaves and the spray of tiny pink/lavender flowers on purple/wine colored stems. This one can go in either sun or shade.

The shrub clematis has a blue flower, which you don’t see a lot of this time of year in our zone – even in annuals. This clematis doesn’t vine, it clumps – reaching heights of between 3 and 7 feet depending on the particular variety. Mine will be at the shorter end of the spectrum.

It’s too hot to plant today, but tomorrow is supposed to be cooler, so they’ll just rest in their pots another day.

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