Calendar

August 2017
S M T W T F S
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031EC

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day Sept. 15, 2009

'Issai' beautyberry (Callicarpa dichotoma) (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

'Issai' beautyberry (Callicarpa dichotoma) (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

This is the time of year when I think there’s not a lot going on in the garden. Nature is getting ready for winter and beginning to shut down its nurturing ways.

Then, along comes May Dreams Gardens to challenge my thinking and here’s what I found.

In the garden today:

Invincibelle Spirit hydrangea. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Invincibelle Spirit hydrangea. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

The ‘pink Annabelle,’ a new Hydrangea arborescens called Invincibelle Spirit (or ‘NCSUHA1’) has done very well in the garden this year. This spring, I got it in a small, Proven Winners pot and it has grown at an incredible rate and bloomed off and on all summer. It’s now about 15 inches tall and 12 inches wide. Look for this plant next year in garden centers, online retailers and mail-order catalogs as a Proven Winners/ColorChoice selection. Proven Winners will donate $1 from each purchase to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

'Pinky Winky' hydrangea. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

'Pinky Winky' hydrangea. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Also a winner in the hydrangea category is ‘Pinky Winky,’ which despite its Teletubbies-like name, is dynamite. This H. paniculata has mahogany-red stems with pinkish-white panicle flowers. This is a fast grower.

Japanese kerria. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Japanese kerria. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

One of the most under used shrubs for shade is the Japanese kerria (Kerria japonica), which has it main show of flowers in spring, but continues to spit flowers all summer with an occasional second flush in fall. An added bonus for winter are the chartreuse green stems. This is the first year this plant has been bothered with a leaf disease. But then why should it be any different that dozens of other plants with leaf spots because of all the rain we had this spring!

Lespedeza (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Lespedeza (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Lespedeza is always a lovely surprise in late summer. The pea like flower is quite showy. Thanks to Lynne Steinhour Habig at the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s greenhouse for recommending this plant.

'Lil' Kim' hibiscus. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

'Lil' Kim' hibiscus. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Another Proven Winners/ColorChoice plant that has done well is ‘Lil’ Kim’ hibiscus (H. syriacus). It’s only about 24 inches tall at maturity. This is its second year and seems to be holding its own. I planted a cluster of three of these babes.

<p>‘Frosty Igloo,’ a new, mum like perennial, blooms for weeks in summer and fall without pinching back. © Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp </p>

‘Frosty Igloo,’ a new, mum like perennial, blooms for weeks in summer and fall without pinching back. © Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

From Blooms of Bressingham North America comes the incredible Igloo series of mums (Dendranthema). ‘Frost Igloo’ arrived this spring in a pot about the size of a fruit juice glass. It is a good 12-inches wide and tall and has bloomed and bloomed and bloomed. ‘Rosy Igloo’ and ‘Warm Igloo’ also have done well, although they are in part shade. Next spring, I will move them to a sunnier location. Chris Kelleher, head of marketing for Blooms of Bressingham, thinks Igloo’s blooms this summer have been early and long because of the cooler summer we’ve had.

'Alma Potschke' aster with sedum and Japanese anemone. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

'Alma Potschke' aster with sedum and Japanese anemone. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

‘Alma Potschke’ aster (formerly Aster novae-angliae now Symphyotrichum novae-angliae) has begun blooming with this nice, accidental pairing of one of the purple-stemmed sedums (Sedum). I can’t remember if its ‘Matrona’ or ‘Purple Emperor.’ There’s a dash of Japanese anemone (Anemone x hybrida), too. Aster ‘Raydon’s Favorite’ has not yet started to bloom. It comes on late and holds its own into winter.

Beautyberry (at top of blog) shows how it earns its name. This one is ‘Issai’ (Callicarpa dichotoma). These berries stay on this small shrub well into December.

'Compacta' viburnum. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

'Compacta' viburnum. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Also the berries is ‘Compacta,’ a small viburnum (V. trilobum) that’s a cultivar of a native species. It has white lacecap flowers in spring. Robins like these berries.

Pokeweed berries. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Pokeweed berries. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Robins also like the berries on pokeweed (Phytolacca americana), another native plant. I like this ‘weed,’ because of its architectural structure and the color of the fruit and stems. Remember this is a poisonous plant for humans, but robins actually act drunk when they eat the berries.

Muscari foliage emerges through fallen leaves from honeylocust. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Muscari foliage emerges through fallen leaves from honeylocust. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Lastly, vestiges of fall and spring at the same time with the foliage of the grape hyacinths (Muscari) emerging among the bits and pieces of the honeylocust leaves (Gleditsia triacanthos).

4 comments to Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day Sept. 15, 2009