May 14, 2010

What a Plant

I have really fallen in love with oak-leaf hydrangeas. These native plants thrive in shady areas of north Florida, and are better referred to as Hydrangea quercifolia. These large growing shrubs are deciduous and cold hardy , reported growing through zone 5. In late spring they are coverened by large clusters of white flowers. The blooms persist and add interest even after browning. As they get ready to drop their leaves in the fall, the foliage will provide some fall color in shades of yellow and red. They naturally sucker from the roots, so if you want a single speciman, you should plan for this maintenance task. I find them to be virtually pest free and drought tolerant once established. If you haven't added one to your landscape yet, what are you waiting for?

May 12, 2010

A Real Winner

Here is a perennial that everyone should give a try. I brought this Rudbeckia maxima back from Oklahoma two years ago and didn't really expect it to perform very well in Florida's wet weather. This plant has performed way beyond any hopes I might have had. It has a basal rosette of powder blue leaves through the winter. Once the warm weather hits it shoots up flower stalks to heights over six feet tall. The shoots are topped off with tall coneflower-like blooms with yellow petals and a brown center. I am told that these flowers are great for cutting, but haven't tried this yet. The plant is propagated by division and stem cuttings. Plant yours at the back of a perennial garden in full sun in a well drained area. You may need to watch out for snails, as this is the only problem I have had. Plant one today and be prepared to be wowed!

May 11, 2010

One HOT Daylily

Last year I purchased a new daylily from Plants Delight Nursery. The cultivar is 'Freewheelin'. I planted the plant in early October and hoped for the best. Yesterday the first bloom opened and it is HUGE!!! The flower is 10-12 inches across and is absolutely gorgeous. I am told the plant will get almost three feet tall and is a very free bloomer. I love this new addition to my garden and know that it is sure to be a focal point for years to come.