Tag Archives: miscanthus super stripe

Plants I expect big things from this year

More than a few times this winter I have reviewed all of my garden photos in a “slide show” as a means to get myself all pumped up for the spring/summer. Each time, there are certain plants that have me dreaming big when they pop up on the screen. These are plants that are only a year or two old and have yet to put on their best show.

I’d like to share my optimism with you today and please, share any experiences you may have had with any of these. Just make sure you lie to me if there is anything negative; I’m on too much of a high right now to be brought back down to reality.

I purchased a bunch of Helenium autumnale at a native plant sale last spring and I was blessed with a never ending amount of blooms in late summer.

But, I did a poor job of pruning for height control and left these in an exposed location so they toppled over rather easily. With a new locale and a pruning plan, I expect monstrous results from these natives this summer.

Another native, Amsonia tabernaemontana (Eastern bluestar), was planted two years ago and has not only remain untouched by the deer (due to it’s sap on the leaves) but has also survived in a spot that remains wet at times. However, it has yet to bloom real well and it’s biggest selling point, the yellow, smoke-like fall foliage has not been there as expected. So, everyone say it with me, this is the year to take it to the next level.

I was happy to get a few blooms on a few different Siberian Iris ‘Snow Queen’ last spring and hope to double that output this spring. Isn’t she a beauty?

I loaded up on Chasmanthium Latifolium (or as you common folk call them, northern sea oats) in the Fall of 2009 and they have not disappointed. They worked from spring to late Fall and I would love more of the same this year, even some reseeding is OK (should I be careful what I wish for?).    

I am a sucker for foliage, especially anything in the red/maroon/scarlet family and I planted a few Hibiscus ‘Kopper King’ late last summer. I honestly could skip on the blooms as long as the foliage looks good all season. I liked how they stood out as somewhat of a focal point and contrasted real well with all of the other green foliage. Bigger and badder this year please.

Miscanthus ‘Super Stripe’ was slow to grow last year but damn, I love that variegation. Let’s agree to double in size this year OK?    

Miscanthus ‘Variegatus’ gets real big and can flop but I’m not scared. I have two planted where they can get as big as they want and I’ll deal with the floppiness if necessary.  

Echinacaea ‘Fragrant Angel’ – beautiful blooms and beautiful scent – just want MORE MORE AND MORE.  

I know that Sambucus ‘Black Lace’ will struggle in my poor draining soil and will be nibbled by the deer but I have to have it. So, I plan on growing it in a large container as a specimen on my deck. That foliage is sweet and hopefully this year it gets close to “specimen” size.  

And last but not least, we have Baptisia ‘Twilite Prairieblues’ which had some blooms last year that were stunning. From all indications, I should expect the plants to at least double in size and produce a lot more blooms this year and that my friends, would friggin rule! 

Good night and welcome back to the work week.


Weekend in Review

Today’s entry is a big time first. The first post written while hung over. The 20th high school reunion was a smashing success but now I am paying the consequences for all the shenanigans. But more on that later.

Friday night  – we had a kick butt seasonal, fresh, summer dinner prepared by Mrs. ONG:

  • Cedar plank salmon with a brown sugar rub
  • Corn on da cob (NJ corn is off the charts)
  • Watermelon margarita – refreshing and effective 
  • Blueberry Mascarpone Ice Cream – the best ice cream EVER (from the Bent Spoon in Princeton)

Saturday – the HS reunion went down and it was a trip. I’ll spare you all the gory details and give you some of the highlights:

  • Many more of the former classmates read the blog than I expected. Actually got into some good gardening conversations. I even threw a “blossom end rot” out there. 
  • I really wish I named my blog something simpler. Feels a bit silly spelling out the URL.
  • To some degree, the old high school cliques still exist. Very funny to observe.
  • People really don’t change – that is both good and bad 

Sunday – up at 7:30 to bring my chum to Newark Airport. We maybe said three words to each other as we attempted to recover. Meanwhile, my family of hot air balloon hunters were up at the crack of dawn to see the taking off of a ton of balloons during the annual Central NJ balloon fest.

After a lazy, super hot and humid afternoon, we got hit with a mother of a storm and couldn’t have been happier to get the much needed rain. I actually heard the tomatoes sigh with relief.
After the rain, I headed out to take some photos. Never a better time than after a rain in the early evening. And I will go back a bit on what I said in a prior post (shocker, huh?). There are a few macro shots in there that I couldn’t resist. Enjoy:

Lobelia Siphilitica – just starting to bloom
    Clethra ‘Hummingbird’ bloom
Miscanthus ‘Super Stripe’ finally starting to take off
Crabapple right after the rain
Caryopteris ‘Sunshine Blue’ looking good.
Yeah tomatoes
Pruned back Nepeta (Catmint) already showing signs of re-bloom.
Hydrangea leaf
Think I like the Northern Sea Oats?
Good night and God bless.