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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Wildflower Wednesday

I want to show off my latest acquisitions from Forest Farm.  They are mostly Goldenrods, which I became interested in from photographic enticements from Wildflower Wednesday posts hosted on Gail's Clay and Limestone blog, visit her for Wildflower Wednesday links to other gardens around the world.  So, here are 5 cultivated forms that should perform well without being too aggressive.  From the top clockwise are Solidago Golden Fleece, S. Laurin, S. Little Lemon (little leafy top cut out of photo),  S. Solar Cascade, oddball Persicaria affinis Dimity, and S. Fireworks.  Most are short, 1' to 2-3'.  I favored ones that don't need moist soil.

I find the Goldenrods interesting not only for their bright yellow blooms that appeal to pollinators, which flock to them, but also because they tend to spread well with rhizomes and I am looking for plants that can compete with the weedy grasses I battle every year.   I also like their medicinal qualities, they are native American plants and have been used by various native tribes for various ailments.  There seems to be a lot of variation among the different species and varieties, judging from the difference in leaves among the 5 plants I ordered.   In addition I have S. odora on order, which is the one with anise-scented leaves and flowers that makes good tea, and am attempting to grow S. nemoralis- Grey Field Goldenrod, and S. Golden Baby from seed, so far without success as they seem to need chilling and are in pots in the refrigerator.

Forest Farm uses lots of newspaper cleverly arranged and taped to keep the pots and soil from moving around, in the bottom of a tall box standing way above the little plants.  It will be interesting to see how they do, now I have to decide on where to site the different plants without really knowing where each will do best, though research helps a little.

The plants will hang out for a while on my east-facing concrete front porch, which acts like a heat sink to keep plants there warmer than the ambient air temperatures.   Some other plants I have been overwintering there are some mini roses that do better in pots since rabbits like to eat them in the wintertime.
To the right are a Sarracenia and a Venus flytrap overwintering, most are native in the southeast USA, though Sarracenia purpureum is native here, this will be their second winter and I should probably get the right soil and repot them to give them more room.  In front are some  Primulas grown from seed last fall that will be planted out later.

Things are moving on toward spring here too, Gail, can't wait!

Hannah







8 comments:

  1. Oh, I checked out that Persicaria affinis 'Dimity' online, and it looks cool, very pretty flowers. I used to have wild goldenrod in my garden when we lived on the east coast, and it was a very unruly and ugly spreader. I should get some of the more cultivated ones, but I'm afraid to. I hope they do well in your garden.

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  2. I kind of wanted P. firetail that Scott grows in Portland, but I haven't been able to find it at a reasonable price yet, if at all. But Dimity does look pretty and is not so tall, so I may like it if it is as vigorous as I hope. The other one I could have gotten is Border Jewel, I don't know which is better. I don't understand why the local nurseries don't carry the Persicarias I am looking for, they usually just have Painter's Palette and Red Dragon. Blooming Advantage has them on their website and lists a lot of local nurseries as selling their plants. It's a mystery to me, and frustrating. Perhaps they have a bad reputation with gardeners as being invasive?

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  3. I've bought several plants from Forest Farm and had wonderful luck. I love their HUGE selection. The shipping costs are what keep me from buying more. Well, that and the fact that I have no room in my garden for more plants.

    Good luck with the Goldenrods. They should look gorgeous this summer.

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  4. I hope so, they are so tiny. I am thinking of moving them up to 4" pots or more to bulk up the roots a little before they go into the ground. I have a problem setting things out in spring here because it's still our wet season and it rains a lot so the ground is like mud. I can use tunnels to dry out the ground in some areas though. There's also the low temperatures. The shipping charges were high from Forest Farm, around $15 for 6 plants, but that doesn't come to so much per plant and the nurseries here keep raising the prices on their plants. Quart pots of Hellebores I saw today were $7.99. But I can't find ANY Goldenrods for sale locally.:-)

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  5. I'll be very curious as to how well the goldenrod competes with the grass!

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    1. Thanks, Leigh, grass is the weed I hate the most. I look around my beds and try to imagine the goldenrods there, it hasn't happened yet.

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  6. All those new plants - how exciting! Good luck with them. I'm convinced that spring will soon be heading your way.

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    1. I found a couple of Snowdrops blooming, and the first daffodil is opening, and a crocus. We've been having some warmer weather but are heading back into rain for several days.

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