27 May 2007

Liatris Envy

Last year, a neighbor across the street exchanged some plants with me. She gave up some of her lavender Liatris in return for some red cosmos plants that she admires every year. Her liatris was spreading and was being pulled up and thrown away. My cosmos come up from seed every year and always require thinning out, too.

I planted the litaris in the spring after it bloomed for her last year, and took care of it throughout the summer. This spring, it responded with a showy display of rather large 2 feet tall flower spikes looking like toilet bowl bristles. This week the neighbor remarked how good my liatris looked compared to her plants. She reasoned that this was due to the fact that my garden received more sun than her plants got. Maybe, but maybe someone is a better gardner.

20 May 2007

Foxglove Finally

Foxglove was planted in spring of 2006, and is finally producing flowers this year. Pam's Choice was purchased as three plants from Michigan Bulb. Two of the plants were correct, but the third is ending up being a shorter pink variety - not what was ordered. I have heard from several sources that this company is not a good one, with the plant material not being top quality.

This plant is producing several spikes with the tallest being 6 feet (1.8 m). It appears to have additional flower stalks beginning, so there should be a show well into June. The online sources state that Foxglove is a biennial, meaning it booms in its second year and then dies. The landscape architect friends state that if the flower stalks are cut off before going to seed, the plant will live and continue to produce in future years.

While visiting Mount Vernon estate this past weekend, several varieties of foxglove were blooming in George Washington's garden. None were the Pam's Choice variety, but were shorter, and colors generally included pinks, lavenders, and light yellows.