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E-Garden Almanac: Plant List, etc.

E-Garden Almanac

The E-Garden Almanac is the push-button, real human journal of Kelly D. Norris. All errors, grammatic grievances, and opinions are that of the author. Kelly is a freelance writer and Master Gardener from southwest Iowa. His passion and obsession with horticulture, plants, and gardening embodies nearly every function of his life. The E-Garden Almanac serves as the web extension of his columns, articles, and lectures.
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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Plant List, etc.

It occurred to me when reading over my last post that I didn't include a list of what I managed to come home with from The Perennial Flower Farm. I suppose it's as much for my own records as I'm likely to lose the receipt!

Carex elata 'Aurea'--Okay so I couldn't go without a little commentary. LOVELY plant and literally glows en masse. I brought home four and the back seat was ashine.

Clematis heracleifolia "Jelitto"--This is from seed purchased from Jelitto. Wow. Sultry, cobalt blue flowers pop off here and there but lack the fragrance as the next clone. Otherwise a stunning (and so richly colored!) C.h. for the garden.

Clematis heracleifolia "Perennial Flower Farm"--Seed-raised clone from their own stock. It's HIGHLY fragrant emitting a musky blend of gardenia, sweet violet, and citrus. Placed in an island bed in the shade near the perimeter for close-up sensual enjoyment.

Rodgersia henricii--Dramatic and unusual, this chocolate flower bears red-chocolate stems and buds that open to the usual frothy white sort to be expected from Rodgersia. The leaves smell awful when crushed (yep, car door) but are otherwise trimmed mahogany. A must-have from the first time I saw it. And when you can stick it next to a Ligularia przewalskii why not? It's called a conversation piece.

Sisyrinchium macrocarpum--After editing the upcoming issue of the American Iris Society Bulletin (October 2008), I've become quite enamored with the possibilites of the blue-eyed grasses. I've enjoyed S. angustifolium clones for many years and appreciated the not-so-different looking S. campestre in prairie remnants nearby. But now I'm in tune with their ultimate potential thanks to the joyful insights of Rita and Edmund Heaton, UK NCCPG National Collection holders of Sisyrinchium, who authored the article I alluded to earlier. Find a copy and you'll see what I mean. Did I actually say anything about this plant in all that?

Iris flavissima--Surely you couldn't imagine me walking away without an Iris could you? This particular clone initiates five distinct flushes of bloom throughout spring and summer (and occasionally fall). For those rebloom-inclined Iris collectors in the crowd, you should be jumping with potential excitement. Is this our holy grail for the better reblooming Iris? Just wait until I cross it! Actually I picked up two more irises, I. koreana and I. reichenbachii. Both diminutive and highly underused, the latter of which I've had before and killed with kindness (and rich Iowa loam).

Draba bryoides--Why not? Every rock garden needs a half-dozen or so Draba.

Astragalus kentrophyta v. tegetarius--A perennial native to California, the western Rockies, and even the Nebraska sandhills, this thing is just plum adorable. And I'm a sucker for a dainty Astragalus. Little papilionaceous flowers, minute foliage, and the need for a magnifying glass when observing it are all valid reasons for it's purchase. Let's face it, I know virtually nothing about really any of them but they're just too darn fun. Just start grabbing some and experimenting. I've killed more than you can imagine (those are the plants you don't tell people you have because usually you don't have them for very long...this includes family members involved in oversight of your work...aka "parents"). General rule of thumb: no matter how cool they are, there is probably a reason they aren't found growing abundantly in a ditch nearby. That being said, don't let that hinder the experimentalist in you. Self-imposed ignorance isn't a substitute for trowel by error, even if you fail in the end.

Veronica oltensis-I'm collecting speedwells now. This was one I didn't have. Seriously, I added eight cultivars (with an unknowing intent to collect them) over the summer. They just showed up! I figure I should at least confess to doing something with them before they become anymore abundant (we're passed 15 now...which for genera unlike Iris and Hemerocallis is actually a modest assortment).

Heuchera hallii--I've always wanted this bijou little fellow. Think of the potential for breeding. Imagine it, coral bells the size of fifty cent pieces running all over everywhere. I can dream.

Sedum dasyphyllum v. glanduliferum--I needed another one and faster than propagating it myself from the abundantly shed leaf/stem fragments that root in every crack they find.

In other news, I'll be blogging (at least attempting to) daily from the Garden Writers Association symposium in Portland, OR. Catch my daily posts and rants from this Friday (Sept. 19) through next Wednesday (Sept. 24). I'll keep them short, sweet, and tantalizing. Then I'll get some kind of wrap-up together when I recover, unpack, and have reminded myself of my daily duties in life.


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