Friday, February 24, 2012
One of the problems with deciduous Magnolias in USDA Zone 7, is the fact that they often flower so early that an odd cool night will destroy the flowers turning a beautiful tree into a mass of rotten flowers. Our (the US National Arboretum) introductions 'Galaxy' and 'Spectrum' were developed to address this issue. They flower later than many of the older selections giving them better odds of escaping a late frost.
Posted by ChrisU at 2:49 PM
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Late February behaving as mid-March continued.....Magnolia x Loebneri 'Neil McEacharn' & Prunus x 'Okame'
Posted by ChrisU at 3:43 PM
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Sedum 'Angelina' is one of those new breed of "marketable" plants. It's got Proven Winners written all over it. Because I'm a person who's preternaturally self-aware, I can hear the tone of snobbish contempt in that sentence and....well, I'm wrong. It's not fair to hold against a plant the fact it was chosen for its ability to appeal to a mass market of unsophisticated gardeners. I think. Anyway I do like Angelina. I bet most people buy it in the spring or summer when it's bright yellow gold. It is a perfect plant for marketing; after being drawn to it by the color, think how reassuring it must be to read in the description that it thrives in poor dry soil.
I like the winter color seen here (and here). Orange, amber, whatever. It's very cool and works perfectly at the base of the Japanese Maple.It's one of the sedums I planted last year in the new steps my sons did for me. Max blew the leaves off the steps today and the sedums are all tumescent and colored up, ready to grow as soon as it warms up.
Posted by ChrisU at 3:25 PM
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
It's exciting to grow the commonest most familiar plants from seed. These aren't common or usual and I'm really excited about them.
The Potomac Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society had a meeting at the Arboretum a few weeks back and George happened to be working that day. They generously offered the "unclaimed" seed packets from their seed exchange. Brad, George, and I were intrigued by the variety and we're each growing a flat of seed trays. Only a few of them are Asian but there are other gardens: North American Natives can go to Joan in Fern Valley; George can use a few decorative annuals and perennials as accents in the Dogwood Collection; and Brad, with his containers and the Intro Garden can absorb a lot.There's just something exciting about planting seeds, watching them germinate, and growing them into mature flowering plants.
Posted by ChrisU at 2:47 PM
Monday, February 20, 2012
Sometime between Tuesday and Wednesday day length will pass 11 hours leaving us just 60 minutes shy of the equinox. The Vernal Equinox this year is March 20. By then our days will be 12 hours and 9 minutes. Don't ask me. I'm sure there's a good explanation. I only know that I prefer daylight to darkness.
Posted by ChrisU at 2:36 PM