Garden Recordkeeping Part 2

As September 2013 winds down I have some photographs and notes to record. This is the second of several posts.

Last Sunday I focused on the garden’s Flowering Dogwood for GBFD, but there were several other foliage items to mention. This spring I planted two new Peonies and both seem to have taken hold. This one is Paeonia lactiflora ‘Black Beauty’ (Nightlife Peony).

Paeonia lactiflora 'Black Beauty' (Nightlife Peony)

Paeonia lactiflora ‘Black Beauty’ (Nightlife Peony)

Coreopsis is supposed to be an easy plant to grow for blooms all summer. I have had mixed luck with them in the past, but the ones I added a couple of years ago are not being given a fair chance.  They are in an overcrowded spot where they become hidden and miss out on the sun.  Recently I uncovered them while trimming back one of the borders. I need to find a good location where they can be seen, possibly somewhere along the Southern side path, although I worry they will want more water than that spot can provide.

Coreopsis

Coreopsis

Salvia Dorada ‘Aurea’ (Golden Sage) is attractive for its color and leaf patterns. Lightly fragrant, it can be used for cooking (although I have not) and is reputedly attractive to butterflies. This plant overwintered successfully last year.

Salvia Dorada 'Aurea' (Golden Sage)

Salvia Dorada ‘Aurea’ (Golden Sage)

Salvia Dorada 'Aurea' (Golden Sage)

I have been monitoring the progress of the Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry) since discovering it in the garden mid-summer.  

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Last week I noticed insects on one of the Callicarpa leaves. As the camera approached they moved en masse toward the edge and underside of the leaf as an avoidance measure. I cannot identify these definitively, but they seem to be Large Milkweed Bugs or Leaffooted Bug nymphs. It is unclear whether they are beneficial or pests.

Large Milkweed Bugs or Leaffooted Bug nymphs on Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Large Milkweed Bugs or Leaffooted Bug nymphs on Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

The Asclepias died out in the garden not to be seen last year, so I added three plants in early spring. I have lost track of two of them but I noticed this week the third one was infested with aphids. When I first spotted the color orange I was hopeful they were Monarch Butterfly eggs but no, not with legs. The aphids washed away easily with a spray from the hose, as suggested by several online resources I found.

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant) infested with Aphis nerii (Oleander Aphid or Milkweed Aphid)

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant) infested with Aphis nerii (Oleander Aphid or Milkweed Aphid)

I planted Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue) in the meditation circle several years ago and find it self-seeds rather freely. Next weekend our neighborhood is having a plant swap, so I expect that would be a good time to pass some along.

Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red' (Beardtongue)

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)

Before the date of the plant swap I also have some canna to divide as it never bloomed this year or last and some Ginger Lily can be shared as well. The Ginger Lily flowers have been abundant and fragrant this year.

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

This spring I planted a dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea that is supposed to be nice for autumn color. It seems to be getting well established, but I think I tucked it away in a spot that may be hard to see it.

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Ruby Slippers'  (Lil' Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Ruby Slippers'  (Lil' Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) and Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear) are easy to grow and spread themselves around carelessly. Last year I removed a lot of Aquilegia and this spring I was heavy-handed pulling out the Stachys. They are both thriving in the garden though and at this time of year they look fresh. These images were taken early yesterday morning while still covered in dew.

Stachys byzantina (Lamb's Ear) and Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear) and Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Stachys byzantina (Lamb's Ear)

Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)

Stachys byzantina (Lamb's Ear)

Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)

Stachys byzantina (Lamb's Ear)

Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

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15 thoughts on “Garden Recordkeeping Part 2

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      I don’t understand about the aphids, but maybe the orange is from the sap. Does that mean they’re killing the plant? Tonight I checked on them and a few were back on the Asclepias plant. I brushed them off with my fingers and my fingers became orange.

      Reply
  1. Cathy

    Love the idea of a neighbourhood plant swap.The acquilegia foliage filled in the gaps nicely here too all summer. They are surprisingly heat resistant!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Yes, acquilegia are wonderful almost year-round. Maybe I’ll write about the plant swap next weekend. We have no idea how the turn-out will be, but we hope for good participation. It’s the first year for the event. Actually, the sunflower that’s blooming in my yard right now is from the only other plant swap I’ve been to.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      That Golden Sage was such a nice find. I’m beginning to think I’ve had the beautyberry for years and just kept cutting it back without really knowing what it was. Glad to have finally realized what it was. Hope you enjoy yours.

      Reply
  2. bittster

    You still have so much going on there, it was a good summer wasn’t it! The lambs ear looks nice, do you think I could do the same kind of thinning in fall? Mine is also starting to look a little tired and I’m thinking of doing the same thing.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      It was a good summer indeed! I would hate to steer you wrong about the lambs ear but in my zone 7b garden I could easily trim back the lambs ear and it would probably still leaf out on warm days this winter.

      Reply
  3. P&B

    I have the same aphids problem but only when the weather is too cold for the lady bugs to come out. I just put gloves on and squashed them. I’ve sprayed them but they climbed back up.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks for the tip. I don’t much like the thought of it, but will try your advice. There seem to be fewer on the plant now after a couple of days, but they did climb back up.

      Reply

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