Saturday, July 31, 2010

One Great Blooming Daylily

Well, it's July 31, 2010 and this picture is the very last bloom on my daylily 'Cherry Cheeks' and if that alone doesn't tell you what a phenomenal variety this is, I don't know what else to say. This plant bloomed for at least 5 weeks. This along with it's flower color and size puts it at the top as far as I am concerned.

Trialing Echinaceas

I am trialing some of the new AB cultivars, echinaceas for overwintering, bud count and color. I am planting E. 'hot papaya', E. 'meringue' and E. 'pink double delight' to see if all are equally as good as E. 'coconut lime' in strength and vigor. I will also do a comparison between 'coconut lime' and 'meringue' for color. If anyone has any comments or info. on these varieties already, please share them.

Pictured are 'meringue' top, and an early bloom of 'hot papaya' on bottom.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A visit to Northwind Perennial Farm

I stopped by one of my favorite places to visit last Friday, Northwind Perennial Farm. If you've never been to this unique location in Burlington Wisconsin, it's well worth the trip. Their plant selection although eclectic, is definitely designed to fit Roy Diblik's "Know Maintenance" style of gardening. One thing I loved about my visit was seeing all the Allium 'summer beauty' starting to bloom. Roy uses this great plant a lot due to it's bloom time, hardiness and compact clump forming habit. I also was able to take a picture of Allium pulchellum (bottom photo). Friday being July 16th you get a great idea of when these allium are blooming in the garden. I point out the importance of allium in bloom time whenever I talk about allium's.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Daylilies: Re-bloomers vs. Great Bloomers

Continuing on an earlier blog about day lilies ( see: Variety is the "Spice of Life" June 5, 2010) and their bloom characteristics. It is often discussed what makes a good day lily, whether the ever blooming characteristics of 'Stella d'oro' or the re-bloomers like 'Pardon me' or is it a large flower head. What I personally have found to be most important is "Bud Count", how many flower buds are produced on each stem. One has to be very diligent with dead heading day lilies to consistently get good bud counts. Although I have not trialed hundreds of day lilies I have found one variety that has an extremely high bud count, with as many as fifteen buds at a time on one stem. This variety is Hemerocallis 'Cherry Cheeks'. With amazing color, big flowers and great bud count this one's a winner. 'Cheery Cheeks has been blooming for a couple weeks now and is still blooming on July 13th when these photos were taken. The position of the sun did not help the color in these photos, my earlier blog has a better photo to see good color.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Echinacea 'coconut lime'

This Echinacea is part of the "Cone-fection Series" bred by a man by the name of Arie Blom. Coconut Lime has overwintered wonderfully for the past three years, it is a strong bloomer with lots of bloom heads (see picture) on each plant. The flower starts out rather flat but slowly begins to form a unique pom-pom type cone. which lasts a long time. My plant started to bloom a week or two ago and will continue to bloom all the way to first frost. The picture to the right I actualy took last year on July 20th. This variety has white petals with a white to slightly greenish cone at the center. One extremely nice characteristic is that the white flower stays clean throughout the bloom, no brown splotches. One customer from Peoria Il. asked if I had heard of any issues with this reverting back to non-double heritage and I can safely say that no I have not heard of or had that experience. It certainly would have in my garden by now if it does. Some people feel that these stray too far away from the typical coneflower, I would appreciate anyones comments.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Old Favorite's Do Not Disappoint

It's July 4th weekend and the garden is coming alive with color and blooms. A few of my favorites that have been in the garden for 3 or 4 years just keep performing well. Two in particular are my Stachys (Betony for the layman), Stachys 'hummelo' (top) and 'minima' (bottom) are up, colorful and strong as ever. Both photo's are from my garden, although the 'minima' looks like a catalog shot, that's how perfect it grows.