Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Martha's Bloom Report

There are more things to write about, this week, than I have space for!  On the drain field the Ornamental Peanut ground cover (Arachis glabrata) is in bloom.  We have two patches - one for sun and one for (not shade but) less sun).  The one for sun is on the southern slope of the drain field and has a compound leaf about 1/2-inch wide.  The other (not presently blooming) in the center of the field and has the same compound leaf, but the width is about 1/8-inch wide.  Same plant, different varieties for different uses.  This is a very useful groundcover - to read more about it, go to

On the west side of the drain field, the Oak Leaf Hydrangeas (Hydrangea quercifolia) are looking good.  We just planted, back toward the fence, and got (I think) too much water - roots drowned.  Yes, hydrangeas like water, but do not like to stand in water, also Oakleaf Hydrangeas don't like as much water as "mopheads" (H. macrophylla).

In the Crosby Perennial Garden, the newly planted drift roses (Rosa hybrida 'Drift') bear watching as they bloom prolifically, and are becoming highly popular in our landscapes.  Also, in the Perennial Garden, you won't be able to to ignore the False Indigo (Baptista x 'Carolina Moonlight').  This spectacular hybrid does not set seed, but spreads underground into a big patch.  After this patch stretches out its long, yellow spires, it begins to go dormant, and will completely disappear by mid-summer, only to pop up again next spring - Such a satisfactory plant for a sunny spot.  Another new addition(s) is/are the blue and white plumbagos (Plumbago auriculata) - I think these are differing varieties, not species. These plants will dependably flower and spread throughout 3 seasons, only to die back in winter.

If you look very closely as you walk around the grounds, you will see wildflowers blooming underfoot.  Flowering right now are the white and blue Blue-eyed Grasses (Sisyrinchium angustifolium - don't know whether the white is "sunbleached", or a separate species).  As well, you will see Yellow Star Grass (Hypoxis hirsuta), Frog Fruit (Phyla nodiflora), and innocence (Houstonia procumbens).  All of these are almost microscopic, so you will need to really "inspect" the ground, but you will find these tiny treasures to be captivating.

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