WiseAcre Gardens

north of the adirondacks – wildflowers & perennials that survive winters colder than my wife's feet

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Posted by WiseAcre on Jul 28th, 2010

Ligularia dentata ‘Desdemona’

Jul 28

The ligularia has started to bloom in my pond garden. That lush ‘ground cover’ started as one or two plants about 5 years ago. To say Ligularia dentata ‘Desdemona’ is a good self-seeder is a misunderestimation.

Ligularia dentata ‘Desdemona’

Ligularia dentata 'Desdemona'

Emerging leaves are a deep purple/maroon. The up side of mature leaves turn green while the under side remains purple.

Ligularia dentata leaves

As the Ligularia spread, Hostas were transplanted out of the way.

Ligularia dentata foliage

Bees are very attracted to the large Daisy like flowers.

Bee on Ligularia dentata

I’ve tried other types of Ligularia but they don’t seem to winter over as well.

My catalog states Golden Groundseed as the common name above all the different species listed. I’ve never heard Ligularia called anything but Ligularia. Do a Google search and I bet you wouldn’t find anyone calling them Golden Groundseed and a Google image search is more likely to bring up a kitchen sink before Ligularia.

Posted by WiseAcre on Jul 14th, 2010

Phlox paniculata ‘Peppermint Twist’

Jul 14

Basically this is a post to remind me to buy more of this Phlox. I bought some last year to test and seeing how well they did this year I’m hooked.

Phlox paniculata ‘Peppermint Twist’

Phlox Peppermint Twist

‘Peppermint Twist’ was developed from ‘Candy Floss’ which is pink. I’m wondering if that pink set of flowers to the left might be a plant reverting back to it’s original color. Peppermint Twist has sterile flowers and will not set seed, if somehow it does the plants will not come true from seed.

Both the Purple Flame and Peppermint Twist are dwarf garden Phlox supposed to top off at around 18 inches but these are pushing 2 feet in height. I can’t complain about the extra couple of inches and it may just be my fault they grew taller by feeding them the composted horse bedding/manure from ‘Mulch Mountain’ across the road from the stable at St. Lawrence University. (what are you waiting for? It’s free for the taking so go get some you yokels)

Both the Purple Flame and Peppermint Twist have proven to be resistant to Powdery Mildew. I saw no trace of any at in this garden I planted on Judson Street last year.

Posted by WiseAcre on Jun 30th, 2010

Monarda – Fireball

Jun 30

I’m trying out this Bee Balm for the first time. The catalog stated:

‘Dwarf cultivar with large heads of red flowers. 16 inch tall’

Bee balm - Fireball -- Phlox - Purple Flame -- Coreopsis - Zagreb
Bee balm – Fireball — Phlox – Purple Flame
Coreopsis – Zagreb — Sedum – k. Ellcombinianum

Calling this bee balm a dwarf is a stretch. The ones I planted this spring were topping out at 3 feet. Even the short Phlox – ‘Purple Flame’ grew a good foot over the stated 16 inch height. The Coreopsis – ‘Zagreb’ gained a good 6 inches over what the catalog stated but that was no surprise. I usually expect it to grow 1 and a half to 2 feet high.

Sometimes a mistake turns out to be a well planed design. Next year the Zagreb will probably gain another 6 inches in height. Good thing the bee balm and phlox growing behind it ate their Wheaties.

The Fireball flowers were right on, the big red blooms turned out nicer than expected.

Monarda – ‘Fireball’

Monarda - Fireball flower

I figure if the Fireball over-winters in this spot it’s going to be winter hardy just about anywhere I might use it. A deep freeze is going to settle in behind that stone wall.

Sunken patio

…and now for something completely different.

I’ve heard about the ‘Birds and the Bees’ and always thought they were a bit more discrete than this. The way this Coreopsis ‘Zagreb’ flower is being mounted makes me think this might be some sort of ill mannered fly wearing a bee overcoat.

Bee or fly?

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