Thursday, August 28, 2008

40% off Everything at Behnke's for Labor Day Weekend and 60% off annuals

Behnke's is a large Nursery/Garden Center in Beltsville Maryland. I worked there for years, as did my wife and many of my long-time friends. They have the best selection of perennials in the Washington area. So of course I had to go. And there was Alice, hard at work moving plants from place to place. Alice volunteers in Fern Valley on Wednesdays and has worked at Behnke's for some time. If you find yourself there, with questions about perennials she knows her stuff.

Fall is actually the best season for planting most woody plants and perennials. The most problematic time for new plants is the first summer. Without an established root system they are not in a good position to withstand heat and drought stress. Planted in the fall, they may have a few months before winter in which they can grow roots out into the soil outside their root ball. Next spring they will likely have 3 or 4 more months of adequate moisture before summer sets in. On the other hand, if you, or I (because I do it) go to the Garden Center on a nice weekend in May and come home and plant, summer will arrive in a month and it could set in the next week!

I purchased two perennial Chrysanthemums for the Library courtyards (varieties 'Scheffield' and 'Venus'). They used to be Chrysanthemum rubellum cvs.then they became Dendranthemum rubellum. Then a reversion took place and I confess I don't know what they are anymore but they are nice plants. I see new cultivars of these mums every year. I like them because they are completely hardy, don't require any disbudding, don't flower until October, flower profusely for a long period of time, and hold their single daisies on reasonably long peduncles giving the whole plant the appearance of a large boquet of flowers. They would be wonderful at any season, but in October.....Wow!

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