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Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day April 2012

Allspice flower (Calycanthus florida). (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Last Saturday was my first day back at the garden center, where I quit last summer. Maybe we both needed a break, because I was invited back to work a few months during the peak season and I accepted.

That day, my first customer had drawn a sketch of his garden and had a plant list. He also was carrying around The Indiana Gardener’s Guide. I eventually told him I wrote the book. After that, he really opened up and asked me many questions. He bought several plants.

Amsonia tabernaemontana. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

A young woman who recently moved here from Maine also was looking for plants for her new garden. She also had many questions, especially about how to screen an area of her yard from unwanted views. Initially, she asked about fast growing trees. I recommended using shrubs, such as leatherleaf or burkwood viburnums and why. She did not buy plants, but I feel like she’ll be back.

And, there were two women from southern Indiana and Louisville who had taken a snip off a plant where they had a meeting. They brought it in and I was able to identify it as eastern blue star (Amsonia tabernaemontana).

Each commented on how great it was to find someone who knows about plants and can answer questions. It made me feel good about the value I bring to this garden center and to gardening in general. My goal is always to help people succeed. When they succeed, we all succeed.

In the garden:

Firefly silene. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

‘Firefly’ Silene (S. dioica) came a few years ago from Blooms of Bressingham and it is one of the earliest blooming perennials I have. It’s about 20 inches tall and will get about that wide, planted in full sun. Great for cut flowers, too.

May Night salvia (S. x sylvestris) is blooming beautifully this year, grateful that the Knock Out Rose that blocked a lot of the perennial’s light, is gone.

Cool Wave pansies. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

The Cool Wave pansies from Ball Horticulture have weathered the weather with great stamina. They are beaming.

Soon, the blue balls on the big alliums (Allium) will unfurl, about a month early, just like about everything else. The leaves of the bulbs got nipped a bit by a couple of 20+ degree nights. The bulbs are a gift from May Dreams Gardens, the host for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day.

And, the ‘Electric Lime’ Heuchera also got nipped by the freeze. For this plant, I will snip off the damage leaves.

Frost-tinged heuchera 'Electric Lime'. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

One of my proudest successes is a native maidenhair fern (Adiantum pedatum), which spent the gosh-awful hot summer in a gallon pot before being planted to the ground last fall. A very sweet customer at the garden center brought me a clump from her yard last summer when she heard me say how I’d not been able to find any in the trade.

Two more Blooms of Bressingham plants earn high marks this time of year — ‘Amethyst in Snow’ and ‘Amethyst Dream’ Centaurea are in full bloom. These are great cut flowers, that’s for sure. And although a bit of a vigorous grower, it is easy to control.

The sweet woodruff (Galium odorata) is beginning to bloom. This is a great little under used ground cover for shadier areas with average to slightly moist soil.

Spanish bluebells (Hyacinthoides hispanica) are among the last blooming spring bulbs, making them a lovely surprise just when you think season is over.

Spanish bluebells. (C) Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

 

2 comments to Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day April 2012

  • A good showing for bloom day, and a good day at the garden center. I’ll be heading up that way soon to see what they have, now that you are working there again.

  • irvin

    Glad it was a good return. No doubt many customers are happy as well. Great posting.