Saturday, October 16, 2010

Havoc and Carnage in the name of the 4-Seasons Garden Club Plant Exchange!

There is a 90% likelihood that a killing frost will occur her in the next two weeks anyway. And the good news is that with a little babying maybe the green plant in the middle will flower. It's a fuchsia scutellaria I was excited about finding in Florida last winter. Apparently not excited enough to protect it from the incursions of its more energetic potmates. I doubt it's hardy so if I can't protect it long enough to bloom, I'll dig it and give it to Brad for his containers. I expect I ought to have done that in the beginning. Confounded by my own covetousness again.

I particularly like this plant exchange because it facilitates the diffusion of less common plants into more gardens. Many of my hardy palms came via this route; the hardy cestrum at the library, several hedychiums, a few hard to come by roses, and on and on. And I've contributed some good stuff. We have colonies of rohdeas, a plant that is only slowly making it's way into mainstream gardening here in DC. In the past we've brought bundles of them. I got my first Iris unguicularis there, and seedling Viburnum nudum from someone's natural stand. Hardy selections of Dyschoriste oblongifolia and Justicia carnea. All of these have lived through at least two USDA Zone 7 winters. Neal Peterson has more than once brought paw paw seeds.

This year I've propagated a couple roses that came from Nick Weber's Heritage Rosarium; I love Rosa moschata and the myrrh fragrance of 'Little White Pet'. And I'll return pieces of some hardy hedychiums that originally come from the exchange. I always bring a few tropicals in containers that have grown to unmanageable size over the summer; someone's always happy to get them. Maybe the variegated copperleaf, Acalypha wilkesiana. Definitely the everblooming dwarf heliconia, Heliconia psittacorum (in the picture). In the past I've broken a piece out of Euphorbia tirucallii 'Fire Sticks' to root and given away the plant. That keeps it to a reasonable size. And there's the Chrysothemis pulchella. Maybe I'll throw in some generic phalaenopsis and oncidiums; they build up on the window shelves!

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