Sunday, May 4, 2008


This is the same bed as Friday, just moving a bit to the left. Some Germander is still visible top right. The Opuntia is cool. I got it from Sandy's Plants (outside of Richmond). Sandy's, as she admits, is a great example of a hobby gone wildly out of control and one of my favorite nurseries. I haven't been down there for a while, but it is worth the trip. If you do go, make a day of it and go to the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Sandy also wholesales and her plants are on the benches at a number of nicer nurseries in the area. When I bought this cactus, there were ~30 taxa of hardy cacti there! At the MANTS show this spring (a giant horticultural trade show) I stopped at Sandy's booth and they don't have that insane variety of cacti anymore, but they do carry more than a few. They are on top of trends; they have interesting new plants you will be hard put to locate other places. And to top it all off you get to drive the Gators. You can't beat that. Good website too, which you ought to check before going as her weekend hours are variable, well at least complicated.

But I digress. (short attention span) The yellow flowers in the picture are Hieracium maculatum, or Spotted hawkweed. This is a plant I allow to seed about in this bed and to a lesser degree other places. I know that I have an irrational fondness for hawkweeds that few others share, and that some (most?) people will look at those flowers and think dandelion and say no, but...The basal tufts of spotted foliage are beautiful, and I like the drifting effect of the yellow flowers on relatively long scapes. This bed has a yellow/gold and blue foliage thing going on so with bluish leaves and yellow flowers, it fits in perfectly. Controlled reseeding is looked on favorably in my gardens. Every hardy plant that isn't sterile has the potential to reseed, and most eventually do but when I think of my "reseeders" I'm considering mostly small short-lived plants. To the right there is a list of some I am particularly fond of. Lilium regale isn't short-lived, but it is interesting how easily it seeds, and it is a plant I feel it way underused.

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