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The Earth Day Plant Haul

April 23, 2010

I cleaned up yesterday at the Middlesex County Conservation District Plant sale.  My collection of treasures will be put to the test in my garden and hopefully in time and with experimentation, might make it into the gardens of my clients.  Here is what I got:

1. Bleeding Heart ‘Bacchanal’ (Dicentra formosa)Hearts to U, 2. Rhubarb Giant Rhubarb, 3. (papaver orientalis) Oriental Poppy ‘Royal Wedding’ (Papaver orientalis) 052708_3, 4. Hops – Humulus ‘Cascade’ Cascade Hops before the Harvest

My existing Bleeding hearts are in full bloom (a little odd, to be honest) but at least they are happy.  So I think this deep burgundy variety should do well also.  I hope it blooms heavily and really shows it’s stuff.

It seems that I am not doing well with rhubarb, over the last 2 years I have planted five and only have one to show for it….ever a glutton for punishment, I bought two more yesterday.  Fingers Crossed.

I spent a bit on cash on my favorite orange poppies last year.  I planted about five of them and then ran an errand…they literally lasted less than an hour in my garden before Wood Chuck got them.  They never recovered…so these will be installed within the confines of my new vegetable garden. Orange is my true love, but white is nice too…maybe if these are lost, I will not be quite so upset since they aren’t my real favorite.

The hops are the miracle in waiting.  Right now they look like an overgrown earth worm –  really just a slip of brown root.  So I can’t wait to marvel at the growth that awaits (15′- 20′ in one year)….I am still pondering my growth frame, something with a few posts and rope cross bars?…perhaps, though not sure….I want to have lots of hops eventually, so this will hopefully be the start of something successful. Any Ideas?

hydrangea oak leaved little honey and clematis stolwijk gold

1. Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Little Honey’ in late Summer, 2. Stolwijk Gold

My house is dark brown/ almost black with black trim (though some will get painted white this summer) and I am convinced that the best color against this backdrop is lime green…. This hydrangea and clematis are both somewhat rare.  The combination of uniqueness and lime green coloring make these two my favorite purchases of the day.

mexican hat red form prarie smoke geum triflorum helleborus brandywine mix nyssa sylvatica

1. Welcome back the Mexican Hat, 2. Some days the titles don’t come., 3. Hellebore, 4. Nyssa Sylvatica (Tulepo tree)

Mexican hat and Prairie Smoke (Ratibida and Guem Triflorum respectively)  are hopefully going to be big players in Oudolf-esque grassy floral sweeps that will surround and shape the lawn area of my garden.

The hellebores have their own special place — right out side the kitchen window where we sit for dinner — the ground level is just below the window height so the floor level is lower than the outside dirt.  This way, I will be able to see the nodding first blooms of the year from the comfort of my cozy kitchen.

I am still considering my Black Gum — not to be taken lightly….I am simply unsure where it will go….I am thinking perhaps it might be the tree to replace the one that came down at the end of my driveway.   We will see.

hare bells scottish blue bells  campanula rotundifolia
1. Harebells after rain, 2. (Campanula rotundifolia)

Scottish Bluebells — see what I mean — nothing like the Texas variety.   I have an area that is turning out to be a little on the cottagely side…I think these will go there.

1. Syringa meyeri ‘Paliban’ 01, 2. Fine Wine Weigela, 3. Japanese Hakuro Nishiki Dappled Variegated willow, 4. Dappled Pink

I was completely drawn to this little lilac yesterday when we were sorting out orders,  It has leaves like a Maidenhair fern.   I can’t wait to see what it looks like when it gets bigger.  Will it be a giant shrub with a maidenhair delicacy? That will be very nice.

When I lived in London we had a weigela outside our front door.  The scent was intoxicating even though the flowers were hardly visible.  I hope this one – with it’s slightly showy-ier blooms is just as fragrant.

I ended up with three of these willows…and it might be my only buyers remorse of the day.  One is good, but I’m not sure what I will do with three…it is highly prunable though…so I might experiment with making a couple of them into funky lolly shaped topiaries….perhaps a ridiculous play on formal?

Columbine are are about the only plant universally disliked by chippies, deer, woodchucks, bunnies and the other munchy crtters.   So I am adding these more unique versions – Columbine ‘Leprechauns Gold’ (Aquilegia).

Ghost plant (Artemesia lactiflora ‘Guizhou’) is another new one for me…with it’s astilbe like white plumes, I am hoping it will add the same shape and form to the sunny part of my garden that astilbe does in the shady part of my garden.

The last item in my haul….five thornless blackberries…I can still point to scars on my arms from last years harvest at the orchard across the road.  I love blackberries enough to endure the pain, but I would rather not, and I am excited that now I won’t have to…

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  1. Louise says:

    Hey! You totally scored! Awesome selection. Such a wonderful time of year- all full of Potential!

    Your Nyssa will tolerate quite a lot of wetness so you could site on your lowpoint of property.
    Wheres the Darmera peltata. ; ~)

  2. Shellene says:

    I’m jealous. I love these plants, but just wont work in my hot dry climate. Good Work!!

  3. Laurie Brown says:

    Actually, that hops plant is likely to be your buyers remorse item… we are still fighting a battle to get rid of the plants my husband bought 15 years ago because he was a home brewer. They’re aggressive and sucker like wild. Some varieties are worse than others; I can’t remember where Cascade sits on the continuum that runs from ‘annoying’ to ‘why won’t this die??” to “bring on the nukes!” Might want to consider a root barrier around it.

    Other than that, I have serious envy for your haul!

  4. rochelle says:

    Louise — I am so excited for all these plants…I have about half in the ground now…the rest will go in today (if the isn’t too bad)
    Shellene — I am jealous of your plants!! and your beautiful portfolio…I would love to feature some of you projects sometime!
    Laurie – really! now I am nervous…where do you live? I had not even considered that the hops would be a nuisance because i had never heard them described as such around here! Checking into it now. Though I have changed my plan with them, I think I am going to extend some rope from the bottom of the tree house plant form to the ground a the corners and let them climb up and over the railings of the tree house.

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