Archive for the ‘Fragrant Plants’ Category
Climbing Hydrangea or Hydrangea anomala petiolaris is one of the few hardy flowering vines that will tolerate shade.
This colossal climbing vine requires sturdy support (such as a tree) and thrives in part shade conditions. A fast growing deciduous vine, climbing Hydrangeas will grow 30 feet tall or more. It is hardy from Zones 4-9.
This climber clings by tentacles (like ivy) on any surface. It’s easy to train up a tree. Once planted, simply lay the stems near the tree and it will stick like super glue. You never have to do anything to them except an occasional prune to keep them within bounds.
Attractive green heart-shaped glossy foliage is accented with showy white fragrant lace-cap type blooms in early summer.
If grown as a ground cover it can cover up to 200 square feet once established.
Give Hydrangea fertile, moist, well drained soil.
Climbing Hydrangea can take a couple of years to establish itself in the landscape, so it requires a bit of patience. After 2 years or so, they really take off. I can tell you it is definitely worth the wait as it offers the most stunning vertical beauty for any shade garden.
Nepeta or Catmint is one of the easiest drought proof ground covers you’ll ever grow. This sun perennial is a member of the mint family and known for its fragrant foliage & flowers. Catmint will fill in fast, thrive on neglect and little water, yet still reward you with long lasting blooms.
I’ve grown a number of varieties of Nepeta over the years, and one that I’m particularly fond of is Walker’s Low .(Zone 3 hardy) Just give this tough plant a sunny, well drained location and enjoy delightful blue blooms from early summer-frost.
Here’s why Nepeta is such a great plant:
- Terrific for banks and slopes. Drought tolerant so it can take those tough sites
- Edging – Gentle spilling habit softens any hardscape
- Ground cover – makes an excellent ground cover for sunny areas
- Sprawling habit fills in fast
- Blooms the first year
- 8” lavender blue spikes (I cannot get enough of blues!)
- Long bloom time
- Thrives will little water
- Garden Design – Cool blue Nepeta blooms combine so well with warm yellows/golds such as Rudbeckia or Coreopsis, For one of the longest blooming combinations, combine with Knock Out Roses.
- Resistant to pests and diseases
About the only thing I do is shear it back after its first flower flush. This not only makes for a tidy plant but encourages a new flush of blooms. I also remove old growth in early spring.
If you are looking for easy gardening – make sure you add Nepeta Walker’s Low to your list – you’ll be glad you gave it a try.
More on Nepeta:
Nepeta & Rose Collection
Coneflowers are one of the best garden plants. They tolerate heat, wind, humidity, drought, clay soil, and some shade and come in an array of colors, heights, flower forms. It is really difficult to choose because they are so beautiful. (ok – I’ll take three of each just because I can’t make up my mind).
Echinacea Marmalade really caught my attention this past year. It’s no wonder since it’s from breeder Arie Bloom (Plants Nouveau). Arie has been bringing us so many amazing, mostly double flowering coneflowers such as Hot Papaya, Pink Double Delight, Coconut Lime, and Marmalade to name a few.
There are a few things I noticed about Marmalade Coneflower this past year and why it is such a jammin great plant.
1 – Double the Color=Double the Fragrance
Beautifully formed 4” flowers each containing 150 vibrant orange petals. Blooms will range from a oh-so-pretty deep
orange to a peachy buff color. Double flowering forms means double the fragrance in your garden! Plus Coneflowers make for a great cut flower!
2 – Longest Coneflower to Bloom
Marmalade was in full bloom in Mid-June. In Michigan, Coneflowers don’t even start blooming in July and still in full bloom in September with any cutting back or deadheading!
3 – Lax Attitude
Coneflowers can vary in habit from upright to varying degrees of lax, more open habit. The later, like Marmalade makes for a fuller plant while providing cozy company when nestled in between two taller plants (such as Butterfly Bush and Pennisetum Karley Rose).
4 – Lasting Color
Deep orange blooms ages to a long lasting buff color. Other coneflowers turn black immediately after the flower fades,
but not Marmalade. This coneflower will give you long lasting garden performance late in the season before turning dark.
5 – Highest Coneflower Rating
Every year, Great Garden Plants donate new plants to Chicago Botanical Gardens for their Plant Trials. We were very pleased to hear from Richard Hawke, Plant Evaluation Manager that amidst hundreds of Coneflowers in their evaluation, this was his favorite Coneflower in 2011 for exceptional display and performance.
Add this charming Coneflower to your perennial garden this year, if you haven’t done so already.
Where to Buy Echinacea Marmalade