Monday, April 16, 2012

What Could Be Better?

I asked myself this question as I drove to meet a group of fellow gardeners.  We all volunteer for the University of Illinois Extension Services and are as different as the plants in our gardens.  Two are expert vegetable gardeners, one great with trees and shrubbery, one with a botanical background who keeps taking all of those additional botany courses, me with a love of perennials, design and containers and last but not least, one with a design ability with perennials and annuals for town home properties.

Dicentra Spectablis Red Valentine

Before I purchase more plants I need to be aware of space.  I just added the Red Valentines to the north side of my home.  They are deeper colored than the pink varieties, bought at Home Depot for $8.99 each.

Of course lunch is the big priority and we are going to a place that can be either breakfast or lunch.  I have never been a fan of breakfast food (would love a ham sandwich with coffee) so I will be ordering lunch.

Then on to one of our favorite plant stops where two of our U of I volunteers work, have also invited them to eat with us.  I can't wait to show you some of the new introductions at least new for my garden.

I really wanted to buy this bergenia but hesitated because the leaves have always browned for me at my previous home, I resisted.

Dicentra Spectablis Goldheart
I could not pass this one up as it is a focal point in the spring garden.

I did not purchase any of these but what a great display.

These deep magenta shooting stars were lovely, but I passed on these also.

Geranium Bob's Blunder
I could not resist this one, great reports from other bloggers, leaf color and blooms throughout the seasons.

Panicum Shenendoah
This is a smaller grass that I bought for my back border where there is so little fall and winter interest.  Make sure you see some red veining so that this grass will preform true to form, supposedly beautiful red tones in the summer.

Cimicifuga ramosa Artopurpurea

I did buy this one to go with two others that I have next to the fence in the back border.  It is shady back there and sunnier in the front, like two different situations.  They are wonderful in August and September with white fluffy flowers.

Hakonechloa macra aureola
I really wanted to put it here by the pathway but I think there may be too much sun in this area, have to rethink this one.

This is Ajuga Chocolate Chip on the same pathway, one plant, gone wild this year.

Brunnera Angel Wings on the same path, not too sure about this one a couple of weeks ago, but I have changed my mind, love it!

Heuchera Miracle
I took a chance on this one last fall because it said "Sun", but had none of this great veining showing.  I am loving this one also!

Oh well, I had better be careful what I buy, can I find more room in my small garden?  It seems like I always do!


Jennifer said...

Hi Eileen, This is a time of year filled with temptations. On Friday, I visited the local nursery for the first time and managed to spend $100 in no time. My funds are limited this year and so I think I will have to avoid the nursery altogether, as it is obvious that I have no willpower when it comes to plants. I eyed the Cimicifuga ramosa Artopurpurea and now wished I'd bought it. I have had no success with Hakonechloa macra aureola. I think it resents the dry, late summers here. It is a wonderful looking grass though. I may have to give it one more go...

Darla said...

Ya'll sound like an interesting group. I can only imagine the different paths the conversations take. I love the yellow grass! and I also prefer lunch (or supper leftovers) for breakfast.

Myfrenchkitchen said...

I had cicentras spectabilis in my Montlouis garden...the white one. We call it here the coeur de MArie(Marie's heart) I really love them and they make such a beautiful display en masse.
Love your varied, interesting!

Lona said...

Hi Eileen. Your Miracle heuchera is so pretty. I love the colors in the foliage. Looks like you made some great plant choices. I look at bergenia every year in the catalogs and think I should get some but I have not saw many of the gardeners who have grown it so I am on the fence about how it grows.
The dark leafed geranium is so beautiful. I love dark foliage in the garden.
Have a lovely week.

Zoey said...

Love the Heuchera Miracle. The leaves on the Cimicifuga ramose Artopurpurea are a nice color.

I have been wanting a Cimicifuga for quite some time, but I never see them for sale here.

I can’t wait to see if the Panicum Shenendoah grass turns red. That will be stunning!
You always find the best plants!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Jennifer, I know it doesn't take long to get to $100. When you mentioned you difficulty with Hakonechloa grass I decided to plant it on the north side of the house with the protection of the magnolia.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Darla,

They are a good group and we always have a good time whether working of eating.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Ronelle,

I have the white ones also and they do look like they are filling out more this year.


Mary Anne said...

I have cleaned out my garden and NEED to buy some new perennials! Lucky me. I need some coaching as to what to put into place. Let's make a plan!! Would you kindly call?

So informative you are Eileen. Thanks once again for sharing what's new!
Mary Anne

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Mary Anne,

We will set a date to go through your garden. You have so many great plants already.


heather @ new house, new home, new life said...

Keep seeing your comments on other blogs and thought I would stop by for a visit. Glad I did - you have a great blog.

So you couldn't resist the cimicifuga - I can't either. One of my favorites that I will surely pick up this year to add to my garden. I also love the Hakonechloa - have had good luck with it in partial shade.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks for stopping by Heather. I will make sure I put the grass in partial shade.


scottweberpdx said...

Such great plants! I have Panicum 'Shenadoah' and it doesn't turn as red as it should...but I don't think it gets enough sun :-( I've been wanting some Geranium 'Bob's Blunder' as well! I think I know the blog you are talking about, where the author mentions it quite often..and it's so stunning in autumn!