...have a photo finish!
'Angelina', 'Britney', 'Gaga', 'Lindsay', 'Miley', and 'Paris', these starlets are now immortalized in a wonderful new Phlox series called Paparazzi™.
Developed by EuroAmerican's Matt Mart, Phlox Paparazzi™ incorporates some excellent genetics. It is a cross between Phlox subulata, Phlox divaricata, and a secret Phlox species- making these gals quite intriguing. Each variety has a unique dazzling quality that brings out the fine attributes of its parents. They all have a great retail shelf life- much better than Phlox subulata. And let me tell you, during this summer's heat, the foliage is still gorgeously glossy green.
Oak leaf Hydrangea makes a bold statement in the garden.
Majestically rising to over 5 feet, she thrusts her pure white panicle 8 to 12 inch sceptors.
These white blooms last long in the garden. The blooms start in June, and are a favorite for drying and even saving for that Christmas tree decor in December. Her sceptors extend over a robe of deep green foliage. This foliage turns red in the fall and early winter, casting a red carpet over its brown stems.
I personally have a three year old plant in my garden. I prune it to a pleasant shape and cut away some of the lower drooping branches. I do this to expose the bark which is brown to red, and quite pleasing to look at. Plus, I have grand children that fit nicely under the plant's canopy to explore the other perennial treasures planted around her.
For three years now,
we have been dazzled at Creek Hill Nursery by a knock out of a Hibiscus named 'Cristi'.
Bred by Hugh and Ruth Cocker in Minnesota, and introduced by Bailey Nursery, 'Cristi' has a lot of great heritage.
She is a consistent performer, and grows about three feet high and wide. Her black buds unfold to a nine inch, deep red saucer. Bloom time starts in June and lasts well into fall. We have it next to Amsonia hubrichtii in the garden, and 'Cristi' was still blooming when Amsonia turned golden.
One noteable hit to come out of our Sneak Peek program at MANTS this year is Agastache 'Tango', a Hummingbird Mint with bright orange-red blooms. The color comes from small trumpets that open up along a tall dark stalk that stands about 12 to 16 inches in height. A really happy Tango can get up to 20 inches at the top of its flower stalk.
'Tango', like all Agastaches, is a good nectar producer that attracts hummingbirds, bees and butterflies (hence, the common name of Hummingbird Mint). The flower is lightly aromatic, not heavily scented. If you crush the leaves, you will get a strong anise scent (hence, their other common name of Anise Hyssop).
'Tango' is a Jelitto introduction in 2011, and a top pick from their Agastache breeding program. Jelitto selected this one for its dense flowering spikes and more vigorous growth. 'Tango' also has a compact habit and good branching when compared to prior cultivars.
Let's get back to our agricultural roots!
In the 18th century, Baptisia or False Indigo was one of the first United States exported crops. Baptisia australis continues to be a steller performer in the United States, and was marked by the Perennial Plant Association as the Perennial Plant of the Year in 2010. Baptisia is suitable for a large range of locations, planting environments, as well as its low maintenance requirements, and multi-seasonal beauty.
Baptisia 'Twilite Prairieblues' is a cross between B. australis and B. sphaerocarpa. 'Twilite Prairieblues' is one of the recent introductions from the Chicagoland Grows program from the Chicago Botanic Gardens: "An innovative plant introduction program developed to promote the use of new plant cultivars that are well adapted to the growing conditions of the Upper Midwest. While regional in focus, the program's plants can be grown successfully in all zone appropriate regions of North America, Europe, and the world."
"Come one come all to the greatest show on earth!"
There is a new circus in town! Leading the way, is Heuchera 'Circus'. 'Circus' is a villosa type that's circling the show ring with 'Caramel', 'Mocha', 'Pistache', 'Tiramisu', and many others.
What's a villosa type you ask?
Villosa types are bred with another type of Heuchera that are more adaptable to heat and humid conditions. These are types that are more robust. They can take sun to shade, and a variety of soil types and conditions. They are native to the south eastern areas of the United States. It's been my experience that they do not like to be in dry conditions before they are well established.