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!