Sending for Reinforcements: New Plants for Spring and Favorite Catalogs
Their arrival, along with several others of their kind, means that it is time to put in my orders for spring. And so here’s my intended line-up – it’s easy to tell I am focusing on butterfly friendly plants, as well as the color blue.
Fringe Tree (Chionanthus virginicus). I became determined to buy this small flowering tree after reading about it in Traci DiSabato-Aust’s The Well-Designed Mixed Garden. Unique, fragrant white flowers, blue fruits attractive to birds, good yellow fall color. Also does well in shade. I’m going to put one at the northeast corner of the house where the Bridalwreath is now, and one in the back.
Butterfly Bush (Buddleia ‘Blue Chip’). These are dwarf butterfly bush that are supposed to grow to 3′. I’m going to plant them with the Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) and Bluestem goldenrod (Solidago caesia) at the north end of the driveway border. I’ve tried to grow these unsuccessfully in containers.
Bluebeard (Caryopteris xclandonensis ‘Longwood Blue’). This will be at the south end of the driveway border with the False Indigo (Baptisia australis) and the Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium maculatum ‘Gateway’). This is a taller variety, supposed to grow to 4′. In my zone the stems will die back every winter, so I’ll treat it as a perennial.
Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa). These will join the Butterflyweed I already have growing on the west side of the driveway border. They will be placed behind the Nepeta, making a nice color and texture contrast with their orange umbels and slightly shiny foliage.
Yellow Coneflower (Ratibida pinnata). The new Ratibida will join the few I already have growing next to the Anise Hyssop in the driveway border.
Blue Cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides). A woodland perennial with unusual flowers, lacy foliage, and attractive blue berries. Putting these in my shade garden in the back.
Salvia (Salvia nemerosa ‘Caradonna’ and ‘Blue Hill’). These will go at the east end of the parkway, which I’m trying to fill with plants shorter than what I have now (I redid the west end last fall).
Calamint (Calamintha nepetoides). Similar to Nepeta but with white flowers, also destined for the parkway.
Sundrops (Oenothera tetragona ‘Summer Solstice’). Bright yellow saucers to provide a contrasting accent to the Salvia above.
Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium ‘The Blues’). This will go in the raised bed on the east side of the parkway.
So what do you think? I haven’t pulled the trigger yet, so I’m open to feedback (alternative cultivars, etc.).
Also, here are a few more of my favorite retail nurseries that sell online: Prairie Moon (midwest natives), Bluestone Perennials (wide variety of perennials, some shrubs), Shooting Star (natives of the midwest and Appalachian regions). Do you have any particular online nursery favorites?