My spring plant purchasing has been pretty restrained. Because of some revamping in the backyard, I haven’t wanted to buy too much until I knew what we really needed. But still, the odd plant sale managed to creep onto my radar and it was impossible to resist at least a few new treasures.
I am terrible at plant combinations, but when I saw these two at the same sale, I kind of imagined them together. Japanese blood grass, or Imperata cylindrica ‘Red Baron’ (illegal to grow in the Southern US, unfortunately, since it reverts to its non-hybrid form and becomes horribly invasive – it is tame in the NW and I have always wanted to own a clump) and Phygelius x rectus ‘Sunshine,’ a golden cultivar of Cape Fuchsia (a South African plant that dies back in our climate but regrows from the ground and is a hummingbird magnet when the tubular pinkish-red flowers bloom). I wedged them into the parking strip and I hope they grow up to get along together and not bicker too much. I probably need some ground cover there right now, nothing that will clash with reddish-purple or goldeny-green.
There is nothing like seeing a plant, going “Cool!,” buying it, bringing it home, putting it in the ground, finally getting around to looking it up in the old plant book, and going “Duh – I already have this!” Please tell me I am not the only person to do that… in the latest case, with Phlomis russeliana (Sticky Jerusalem Sage). I had wanted something with bigger leaves since everything in the parking strip seems to have little tiny ones. I forgot that I have a huge clump of this growing in the shade under the Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick tree in our upper garden. I may have to move this one eventually, as I think it will get quite large. I do love the fuzzy leaves, they beg to be touched, and the flower spikes are quite interesting when they appear and even after they die. Pardon the holey leaves, the snails had a go at this before I got it into the ground.
Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Rainbow’ appealed to me despite its somewhat silly cultivar name. I am trying to add more purple to the parking strip as a resting point for the eye, kind of a lot going on down there… I like the way the sun catches it late in the day.
There’s more but I think I will stop after this last one. It’s not a new addition, just a returnee that I had forgotten would be there. My mom gave me a lot of echinacea (coneflower) seedlings last year, too late for them to bloom during the summer. One of the delights of being a forgetful gardener is the surprise of seeing plants you’d not remembered planting! There are many of these, and I hope to see the bees enjoying their long-lasting flowers all summer long.
The playhouse for my daughter has arrived, and the raised bed for the probably pot-bound raspberry canes has finally been built, although it’s still awaiting soil. I will try to post pictures of those new structural additions to our lives soon.