I really had not intended to start piling up plant orders before the first week in the first month of the new year was even over. But what's a gardener to do?
I was checking out a couple of mail order sources where I had made lists of a few special plants that I planned on getting this year. I did not discover these items until they'd been sold old for months last year. Imagine my chagrin when I realized the very same plants were already sold out AGAIN! Yes, I mean for 2016. That shock sent me to the computer with credit card in hand and I did some serious damage in a very short time.
Most of what I bought were plants already on my list from last year plus a few new things that Joe Tychonievich told us about when he spoke to the members of the Wisconsin Hardy Plant Society not long ago. I already am growing — Sauma henryi — one of the plants that Joe referred to as "great non-wimpy plants you probably don't know." You can find Saruma locally at Flower Factory, but two others that caught my eye at his talk are available at Arrowhead Alpines in Michigan.
- Hosta clausa ($12.00) — This Hosta flowers in late summer with spikes of dark purple flower buds that shift to almost magenta at their bases. But they never actually open. Also this Hosta is more of a runner than a clumper, making it excellent as a ground cover, as you can see in the second photo below.
- Daphne x hendersonii ($24.00) — Joe emphasized that we have the right climate for Daphnes and Arrowhead Alpine has this one that Joe praised in particular as well eight named hendersonii varieties.
Joe did not mention the plant below but I couldn't resist when I saw it in the Arrowhead online catalog. I've been wanting a blue-flowered Corydalis that doesn't go dormant for years.
- Corydalis ex 'Dufu Temple' ($8.00) According to the online description, this came to Arrowhead from a collection offered in the Scottish rock garden seed exchange. It is hardy to zone 4 and it blooms from spring continuously until November. What's not to like? If I discover something, I'll let you know.
I visit Ian Young's Bulb Log on the Scottish Rock Garden Club's site every Friday because he does a weekly post that is incredible: Beautifully photographed, seriously informative, and a pleasure to read. You can find it here. Click on any date to read what Ian has to show and say for that time of year. Remember the dates are given in the UK fashion with the day first, followed by the month.