July 25th, 2013

Eric Liskey

Missing beetles

Written on July 25, 2013 at 3:51 pm , by

I have written here before about my battles with the Japanese beetle hordes. The last two years have been orders of magnitude worse than in the past, for reasons that escaped me. Now this year, I have seen very, very few. Not that I’m complaining. It’s just really weird. All I can think of is snow cover. Last winter, we didn’t get much snow. The two prior winters, lots of snow cover. (Winter temps haven’t been dramatically different.) That’s all I can think of, and considering how much snow cover helps plants, and other critters, it makes sense. Think about that next time you have extended snow cover; it could be a rough Japanese beetle year.


Katie Ketelsen

So I Have a Hydrangea Obsession. No Big Deal — Right?

Written on July 25, 2013 at 9:00 am , by

I’m fresh off the road from OFA — an industry education and trade show I hope to be sharing more of in the near future — but HAD TO share with you now the true beauty of the Everlasting hydrangeas. You may remember reading about them from Angela Treadwell-Palmer with Plants Nouveau in a recent blog post. I got to see them in person! Actually touched them! {hmmm…..drooled a bit on them too}.

You have to see the blooms of the ‘Opal’ Everlasting hydrangea….

 

These blooms were all on the same plant. THE SAME ‘OPAL’ EVERLASTING HYDRANGEA!! See……!

Gosh, how could you not love that about a plant?!?! The details in the range of colors was phenomenal. Blew me away. Got me thinking how I could stow one away in my carry-on bag at the airport {never did figure that out}.  I’m telling you my fellow plant geeks — this hydrangea is one to try in your garden! Here are its specifics:

Size 3-4′ tall by 3-4′ wide
USDA hardiness Zones 4-9
Sun / Shade full sun to part shade
Soil average garden soil
Moisture moist, but well drained
Disease and Pests none known
Landscape use foundations, cutting gardens, wildlife gardens, borders, foundations, small urban gardens
Uniqueness Strong, sturdy stems support large lavender pink mop head blooms that age to a lovely lime green.
Propagation Methods vegetative cuttings
Date of Introduction 2011
Bloom Time May-June

 

Click here to pre-order one — or five — for your garden!

 

Images taken from phone. Please see Plants Nouveau’s website for more images or Bloom-It.com.

PS: Fuel your own hydrangea obsession on Pinterest — check out our board “Hydrangea Varieties” or visit our plant encyclopedia page for hydrangeas.


Whitney Curtis

In-Season Plants: Perennial Begonia

Written on July 25, 2013 at 5:30 am , by

One of my all time favorite plants is my perennial begonia. We transplanted it here from my Mom’s garden, who transplanted it from my Great-Aunt Ruby’s garden. It has lovely heart-shaped leaves with tiny pink flowers, spreads very easily, gives great ground cover, thrives in my shady garden (zone 7b), and provides a structured, yet loose look. It’s one of my most prized plants and I’ve never seen it available for purchase!

perennial begonia

The most striking feature though? The undersides of the perennial begonia leaves! The bright red veins really pop against the bright green of the stalks and leaves.

 perennial begonia leaves

perennial begonia flowers

I have perennial begonias lining my pebble stairs and around the garden path. I love the way they bend over into the stairs, reaching out to greet your feet as you walk down into the garden.

perennial begonias

They look beautiful paired with ferns!

perennial begonia and fern

I hope you can get your hands on some perennial begonias in your area – they are definitely a staple in my shady garden!

perennial begonia

Photos by Whitney of The Curtis Casa