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Monday, May 21, 2012

Successful Plant Introductions

I'm always really excited when plants I grew from seed make it through the winter and bloom the next year, but they are not really successful unless they keep coming back after that.  So I am overjoyed to see Geum chiloense 'Mrs. Bradshaw' blooming in many locations around my yard for the second year.  Here they are in a bed bordered by Alpine Strawberries also blooming in their second year.  They make an excellent border plant since they fill in nicely but don't have runners, so they stay put.  They go on to produce little very tasty strawberries for the whole summer and up until frost- excellent!  Behind them is the very successful Geranium sanguineum, which seeds itself around and makes nice ground-covering clumps that keep down weeds.  I bought a couple of orange Geums this year, ''Cookie' and 'Queen of Orange', and am also starting seeds for another red one, 'Blazing Sunset', and a yellow 'Lady Stratheden', I hope I don't have to wait too long to see them bloom.
Here is the native Geum macrophyllum that grows in my yard,
And an edible Geum urbanum that I started from seed and is blooming also the second year-
This is a local lawn weed that I transplanted to my yard, the tiny Bellis perennis, which survives mowing, though the flowers might be lost, and seeds itself around gently.
A plant that spreads itself thickly by sending out stems that root easily is Saxifraga x urbium variegata 'London's Pride', I've transplanted it to an edge of a ramp, sunnier than it's lush growth beneath my deck, and it surprised me by spreading well, and blooming this year-
I already wrote in my Garden Blogger's Bloom Day post of my great success with repeating Columbines, here is the blue one I find enchanting, adorable flutted petticoats.
A native annual that makes a tiny plant studded with blooms reminiscent of eggs, and in it's natural location can cover large areas, so has the common name 'Meadow Foam', is Limnanthes douglasii.   I started some under lights last year and set them out, where they bloomed, but I've been waiting to see if they were capable of self seeding here.  They did not come back with exuberance, but they did make an appearance and even bloomed earlier than plants I started under lights and planted out again this year, these are the self-sown ones, surreally crisp-
I hope they will continue to appear and am planting them in my latest bed renovation, a long bed with a few rose plants that had become swamped with weeds and grasses.
Another perennial that is back blooming this year but has a basal rosette of leaves so does not function well to cover the ground and keep weeds down is Verbascum phoeniceum.  It blooms in a range of purples to pinks.
Other plants that have done particularly well I wrote about in earlier posts, plants in the Borage and Geranium families.  Happy gardening!


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