Extraordinary Plants In The Garden 9/17/2009

runktrun(z7a MA)September 16, 2009

I thought we could use a thread to post photoÂs/descriptions of plants(new introÂs or old classics) that are real standouts in your garden this week. Katy

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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

White wood aster (Aster divaricatus)! An unassuming native that quietly plants itself everywhere but is easy to remove, and lights up the garden when you're waiting for the regular asters and mums and grasses to bloom. A bonus is that the bumble bees love it.

It goes with pokeberries and sedums:

and goldenrod:

It fills the woodland areas under the white pine:

and sparks above the stone retaining wall with the cotoneasters:

and in the border with the neighbor's yard, above the leach field:

and it slowly spreads where nothing else has bloomed for years (I just added some siberian iris for next spring bloom):

All in all, a very versatile plant. It looks even better on a sunny day, rather than gray rainy today.


    Bookmark   September 17, 2009 at 5:39PM
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runktrun(z7a MA)

Beautiful just beautiful. Claire your gardens are really maturing into something special. Any chance we can convince you and Lisa into doing a garden tour next year? I love the contrast of white and green in your fall garden. Thanks for sharing. Katy

    Bookmark   September 17, 2009 at 7:09PM
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tree_oracle(z6b MA)

Oh Claire, you're growing Poke salad (aka Pokeweed in this part of the country). I can't believe I've seen that again this week. Someone in the Perennials Forum was asking for an ID of this really cool plant and it turned out to be Poke salad. Down South, someone would shoot you if you came near them with that plant. It is an obnoxious weed that you can never eradicate. Some older people actually eat this stuff although it has to be prepared properly to remove all of the toxic alkaloids from it. It does have some ornamental features but it just strikes me as so funny that it's so cool up North and so hated down South. The same goes for wisteria and honeysuckle.

BTW, nice landscaping.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2009 at 8:09PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Thanks, Katy and tree oracle.

Re poke: I'm not growing it so much as just not pulling it all out. It's everywhere, but the birds and I like it (for different reasons) and it suits my yard. If something really, really wants to grow here I'll usually let it (except for poison ivy, ragweed, and oriental bittersweet).

Re garden tour: I live on a one lane dirt road with minimal parking spaces so a tour wouldn't work .

Re green and white in the fall garden: Well, since you mentioned it, one of my latest joys is some hostas I got unlabeled which I'm guessing are Royal Standard (flowers probably too short for plantaginea). This particular hosta sits behind a P. strobus Louie and stopped me every morning when I went to get the paper at the end of August.

I have several more in front of my porch under the rose Zepherine Drouhin.

I do have a known H. plantaginea Aphrodite which finally bloomed this year after a long time. It just happens to have some white wood aster next to it of course. It's just behind the cotoneasters, but not shown in the photo I first posted.

I like the way the yellow center of the aster flower turns deep pink after it's been pollinated.


    Bookmark   September 17, 2009 at 9:10PM
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