May 28, 2012
How are your gardens doing? We are very dry and are busy watering the hosta gardens. If you have missed the rain as well, we hope you are watering. Though it is hot and dry, it is not too late to plant things out. (I just started my container garden today.) How about something just a little different if you have a little space left to plant:
10 Little Used but Very Noteworthy Perennials:
‘Basjoo’ Banana – Musa ‘Basjoo’ is from northern Japan. Don’t expect to pick bananas from this one, but this plant’s presence in the garden is amazing. It easily grows to 12’ by 12’, so give it space. We have planted two and are starting to worry! It loves full sun and rich moist soil, for fastest growth. Musa ‘Basjoo’ dies to the ground every fall and comes up in mid-spring. We leave the dead remains of last year’s growth as a winter mulch, and we remove it when we see new growth in April-May. The leaves do become tattered from the wind, but this does not harm the plant.
Stokesia – Also called Stokes Aster, this is a prairie native that we personally have never seen growing in the wild. It has very nice, large blue/purple feathered flowers over long, clean leaves and forms a mound 24” wide by 18-20” tall. That is what you get! It offers great color from late spring into the summer. Allow the butterflies to have their fill on these plants. Grow Stokesia in full to part sun for maximum blooming.
Spigellia – This is another native that we have never actually seen in the wild. It blooms all summer in full to part sun and offers a very striking color combination of red and yellow on unique star-shaped flowers. The plant will grow to 18” tall and wide and is well worth the space in a sunny location.
Bletilla – Otherwise known as hardy orchid, Bletilla is a Chinese native. This shade loving perennial produces numerous purple or white blooms in mid-spring to early summer. The sword-like foliage remains clean and tidy until frost. Take another look at this special shade perennial. It is a stunning addition to the shade garden. Very nice!
Hardy Begonia – This is one of our signature plants; we have them everywhere! They spread, growing to 2-3’ tall and wide. They typically have single pink begonia flowers in late summer into the fall. It is quite drought tolerant, very easy to grow, and looks great all season. Once they are established, you will have plenty to share!
Tetraploid Daylilies – These are not your mother’s ditch lilies. They come in many colors as well as multicolors. Their blooms are very substantial, however they still last only a day. The blossoms are truly extraordinary yet just as easily grown as the traditional daylily.
Dwarf Buddleias – Brand new, these beauties grow only 3’ tall! They are delightfully fragrant and quite attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds. For those who like butterfly bushes but lack the space for the traditional large ones, gives these new gems a try.
Liatris (Gayfeather) – This is a prairie native that you more than likely have seen in the ditches or elsewhere. During the summer, it produces tall spikes packed with frilly purple flowers, which are excellent for cutting and floral arranging. The plant grows to 3’ tall and 18” wide and is best grown in full or part sun and in well-drained soil.
Baptisa (False Indigo) – This sun perennial produces numerous spikes of blue or yellow flowers in the spring, atop a 36” bush of clean blue-green foliage. This long-lived perennial is sure to please every spring with its flowers, and all summer and fall with its unique foliage.
Red Hot Poker – This perennial is a native of South Africa, but it grows equally well here. Spring through fall, it produces spikes of yellow, orange, or red flowers that rocket toward the sky. Definitely a spectacular look, lending a unique sense of movement to the garden! The plant is very upright and is best grown in the sun.
There are many more unusual, garden-worthy plants we offer, but this is just a sampling of some you may have missed.
Remember, Wooden Nickel redemption begins on Friday!!! We continue to have weekly freebies and specials on the web-site and posted at the greenhouse; however, you may not use wooden nickels on the specials.
Another thing to note: Remember we are open until June 30th, so you have lots of shopping time left!
A Special for our newsletter people: This Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday (before June 1st), bring a friend out and we will give you the same number of wooden nickels they earn!
Have a blessed week.
Hilltop Farm is located 4½ miles south of Ash Grove on Highway F. We are approximately 20 miles (a very scenic 45 minute drive) out of Springfield. We highly recommend that you come visit our farm; it is well worth the drive. Be sure that you are familiar with our hours (below), so you will not be disappointed to find us closed.
Our hours for the 2012 Spring season will be:
Saturday, March 31st through Saturday, June 30th
Monday through Thursday, 10:00 am to 7:00 pm
Friday and Saturday, 8:30 am to 7:00 pm.
Please understand that we are closed on Sundays.