Posts Tagged ‘Cool Plants’

Planning Ahead for the Late Show

'Spring Gold' purple beautyberry (Callicarpa dichotoma) in fall color [October 11, 2011]; Nancy J. Ondra at Hayefield

It’s time for snowdrops and hellebores, and fresh new shoots of other early bloomers poking out of the soil–so who wants to contemplate the end of the gardening season when the new one has hardly begun? The thing is, having interesting things to look at in fall requires some forethought. It can take a while to track down some of the gems of the autumn garden, because they’re often not readily available in garden centers during the usual spring shopping frenzy. And if you wait until fall to plant them, then you’ve missed out their other interesting features earlier on. But if you start hunting for them now, and get them into the ground in the next few months, they’ll have plenty of time to get settled in and make a good show for you as the growing season draws to a close.

I have so many fall favorites that it’s tough to whittle down the list, but I’ve done my best to select some that you may not have considered before. To give you a head start, I’ve supplied a couple of online sources for each, based on the results of a Google search. I don’t have any connection to or personal experience with any of these nurseries. (I suggest checking out any potential source on Garden Watchdog before ordering.) Continue reading

Three Neat Plants

Hibiscus acetosella Mahogany Splendor at

It’s been a long while since I’ve picked out a few of my favorite plants to focus on, and the list of candidates is getting rather long. So, it’s high time to pick out three that happen to look particularly good right now, starting with… Continue reading

Three Neat Plants

Vigna unguiculata 'Pretzel Bean' at Hayefield

It’s been a while since I’ve trotted out some neat plants, and probably about as long since I’ve written about some interesting edibles. So, in this installment of Three Neat Plants, I present to you a trio of intriguing vegetables. Continue reading

Coming to Fruition

Ilex verticillata 'Winter Red' Oct 31 2011

When I first decided to divide my fall posts into flowers, foliage, and fruits, I chose to leave the fruits for last, figuring that I’d have several more weeks to capture the bounty of berries and seedheads. Unfortunately, the unusual cold and snow event at the end of October flattened much of the garden and meadow, bringing the 2011 gardening season to a screeching halt. That was disappointing, of course, but since then, a new twist to this topic has come to mind. I still have some autumn shots to share, but after them, I’ll reveal the new point of this post.

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Three Neat Plants

Tinantia erecta Sept 2011

Sometimes it takes a new pair of eyes (or nearly 200 new pairs of eyes) to make you appreciate a plant that you walk past every day with hardly a second glance. Of all the bright flowers and in-your-face foliage plants I have here, one of the stars of this past weekend’s garden tour was a rather subtle, plain green annual with the common name of widow’s tears.

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Three Neat Plants

Polanisia dodecandra late July 10

The growing season is going strong and plenty of cool plants are strutting their stuff, so it’s a good time to choose a few candidates for Three Neat Plants. First up, redwhisker clammyweed (Polanisia dodecandra). Gee – doesn’t that common name make you want to rush out and buy it? Personally, I prefer “dwarf cleome.”

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Three Neat Plants

Angelica Ebony bloom closeup July 9 09

Text and photos ©Nancy J. Ondra

Some months, trying to keep up with two blogs is almost more than I can handle. September was so busy over at Gardening Gone Wild, with judging the GGW Picture This Photo Contest and coordinating the Garden Bloggers’ Design Workshop, that I was tempted to rename this blog Gardener Gone AWOL. But now I’m back, and it’s way past time for a new installment of Three Neat Plants. This month, I’m starting small, with a great little bush basil named ‘Pistou’. Continue reading