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Archive for August, 2010

The Parking Lot Plant – Russian Sage Perovskia

Tough as nails Perovskia thrives in a parking lot!

Sans the trees, you got to love this planting of Russian Sage or Perovskia in the middle of a parking lot located at a nursery in Oregon.  Parking lots are not just for vehicles.  If this parking lot was full & you forgot where you parked you car, wouldn’t a beautiful landmark help lead you in the direction of your cars whereabouts?

The amazing thing is how tough Russian Sage Perovskia is.  Russian Sage is native to  the mountains of Pakistan & Afghanistan, so it is  both cold & drought tolerant.

In the heat of the parking lot Russian Sage is thriving with little or no water & looking terrific.  This no-wilt plant loves heat!  Not a lot of other perennials look that colorful, bloom long, and stand up to such rigorous conditions.  Since the stems & leaves give off a pungent scent when crushed, wouldn’t it be great if  a car drove over a few stems to the benefit of the passerby? Hey, you just got to make parking lots more interesting!

If it does this well in a parking lot, can you image how well it would do in a water-less (drought-proof) garden?

England, Wisley and Tall Phlox

I just returned from a fun-filled 10-day trip to England with good friends

Phlox paniculata, Tall Phlox, Garden Phlox

This white tall phlox is nestled in the middle of this perennial border at Wisley

Debbie, Jayne & Barb.  We all work in the horticulture industry, so as plants people & adventurers we decided to fill 6 days with visiting & photographing gardens with the balance of our time touring London & other points of interest.  It was the perfect balance.

Our first step was to Wisley, the flagship garden of the Royal Horticultural Society located south of London.  Wisley boasts a large & diverse plant collection, extensive trial gardens along with some pretty fascinating structures.  We were all blown away by the immense herbaceous & woody border which still boasts lots of color in early August.

Tall phlox or Phlox paniculata were in peak bloom. I wish I could have bottled the delightful perfume of this fragrant plant.  My grandmother grew a variety of phlox in her well-manicured perennial garden which added height, color & interest in the waning days of summer.

A number of assorted varieties and colors were placed judiciously in the middle of the border and combined well with neighboring plants.  A white phlox I’m particularly fond of is Phlox David which has highly mildew resistant foliage & can grow up to 40″ tall.  My previous garden had a lot of shade and I found my phlox bloomed very well with 3-4 hours of afternoon sun.

More to follow on this fascinating trip as I sift through images & notes

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