Friday, February 17, 2012

New Perennials at Amanda's Greenhouse

I'm always game to try new perennials. I like bee balm (monarda) as a cut flower and am looking forward to trying 'Purple Rooster.' It boasts both "true royal purple flowers" and "mildew free plants." Bee balm can be an aggressive spreader, but its roots are shallow and it is easy to thin.

'Purple Rooster' Monarda
Photo from Walters Gardens

Perennial grasses are tricky. Many of them are either too vigorous, or they do not stay upright. 'Karl Forester', a feather reed grass, was the 2001 Perennial Plant of the Year. The publicist call it a "vertical masterpiece." I am less impressed. Where I have it growing it spreads too fast does not look good all season. I'll try it somewhere else.

Meanwhile, I am forever impressed with miscanthus 'Silberfeder' (silver feather grass) which looks nice in my garden all winter. Every spring I dig around the edges to keep it from getting too big and of course to have plants to offer my customers.

Late last sumer I was visiting my friends at Cady's Falls Nursery and was very impressed with a blue switch grass, Panicum virgatum 'Heavy Metal'. It was upright and about 50 inches tall. This is one I will be growing and selling this year. This grass has metallic blue leaves which turn yellow in the fall.

'Heavy Metal' panicum virgatum
Photo from Walter's Gardens

Mildew on phlox is definitely a problem for me. 'David' seems to have the best resistance and I am adding 'David's Lavender' this year, which is supposed to have the same resistance.

David's Lavender Phlox
Photo from Walter's Gardens

Another new phlox I will be trying, because I was asked by a customer and I can't resist the photo, is 'Peppermint Twist.' It's only 16 inches tall and appears to be a real sweetheart. It is also supposed to have good mildew resistance.

Peppermint Twist Phlox
Photo from Plants Delight Web Site

Many more new plants on the horizon.

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