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Old 07-02-2018, 07:50 PM   #21
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Nice to see it all coming together.
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Old 07-03-2018, 07:01 AM   #22
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I garden the lawn strip between the sidewalk and the street and have to look for things that stay shorter than some of the true species do--one of the compromises of in-town living.
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Old 08-02-2018, 09:47 PM   #23
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The garden has really come together. Probably should have taken these pictures a week ago but it was raining. The Hyssop and Monarda were both at peak bloom. They both still have flowers but are past their peak.



I had a flat of Mexican Sunflowers and False Sunflowers too meant for other parts of the yard and a friend's property. I had a few extra and put them in.



Looking forward to the Aromatic Aster and Aster 'Bluebird' flowering in a month or so.
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Old 08-02-2018, 09:53 PM   #24
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One major disappointment, I was at the Mt. Cuba Center this past Sunday and saw in their trial garden they were doing Coneflowers (again I think). And walking the fields there I thought to myself "Oh I guess they didn't include 'Rainbow Marcella' because it has orange and pink petals and that was nowhere to be seen, then I found it and realized it only has the orange on the petals when they first open and it quickly fades.



This annoys me because the whole reason I chose Echinacea 'Rainbow Marcella' was for that color. Also of all the cool Echinacea cultivars they were growing in their trial, it was one of the tiny ones and I believe of 5 plants 1 had already died. Plenty of others there that had amazing height, color, and bloom count though so I may replace it later on.
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Old 08-03-2018, 07:08 PM   #25
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I was disappointed as well with two I had purchased last year. One a yellow and the other an orange. Neither made it through the winter. Are some more hardy than others?
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Old 08-03-2018, 09:35 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by havalotta View Post
Are some more hardy than others?

Oh Yes! What I love about the Mt. Cuba Center trials is if a cultivar isn't doing well they let it fail. Nothing is babied along! They recreate fairly standard garden conditions and plat ~45 cultivars of whatever and see how they do. Each one is represented by 5 plants (roughly the 3 gallon size). And if one dies they leave the spot blank for the 3 years.



Their trial with Monarda was great because almost all the plants got Powdery Mildew and it turned into an epidemic. They actually found some of the true species get hit the worst while only one of the cultivars was found to be immune (almost perfectly!) They also found that despite the Mildew problems a lot of the plants still spread considerably. Over the 3 year period they found some of the cultivars had expanded more than 45 inches out from their original spot, forcing the gardeners to thin them out so they wouldn't grow through one another. They had to add up the amount of inches expanded each year so this is a handy number to have when picking a plant for the right spot.



Their Phlox trial revealed one cultivar in particular stood out above the rest as a prized Butterfly Nectar Plant. Apparently when give 45 different Phlox cultivars to choose from they picked Phlox 'jeana' 5 times more than the next best picked option.



Now this isn't exactly a realistic setting. No one really grows 45 different kinds of phlox all in one spot. I personally have 5 plants of 'jeana' growing at the moment and have yet to see a single butterfly on any of them. Though really I'm at a loss to say I've ever seen anything work phlox. But it's these kinds of observations that I find interesting.



Back to Monarda a moment they did find ones that were favored by hummingbirds, favored by bumblebees, and so on.
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Old 08-04-2018, 07:39 AM   #27
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Thanks for sharing the info about the garden trials, I have referred back to this thread a few times when trying to remember the name of that monarda cultivar.
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Old 08-07-2018, 01:26 PM   #28
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Thank you.... I have yet to find a powdery mildew free monarda myself so unfortunately Removed MOST of what I had. Can't stand looking at it
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Old 10-08-2018, 10:57 PM   #29
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My little Front Garden project is really coming into it's stride. The Asters and Goldenrod are in full bloom. The only thing that's not flowering yet is the Georgia Aster, which I'm glad I included. The population in the back yard all got mowed down accidentally but the ones here in the front have turned out great.



The Asters that are flowering have come together nicely... though I'm very disappointed with the red one. Aster Crimson Brocade. All of them have barely put out any growth at all, the one that did barely made it two feet tall before falling over. It's sort of flowering ... if you can call it that. There is a nice "pyramid" of flower buds at the top but they're not really opening. I'm thinking the plants are stressed out or something. Hopefully they do better next year.



Swamp Sunflower was added after an Aromatic Aster die out on me. Asters normally get a disease that destroys the foliage from the bottom up. All Asters get this, but for some reason in one of the plants it totally defoliated it up to the the flower buds and seems to have killed it completely. I realized I don't have enough large flowering plants so I added the Swamp Sunflower in as a way to try and fix that.



(With small flowers it's easy to notice the color while driving by but with large flowers it's easier to appreciate the garden. It's a failing on my part to consider a road side garden like this should have more large flowering plants. As of now it's best appreciated by people who walk by.)



Lastly I'm most impressed with the Lantana I planted. It's just one plant that started out as a 4" pot. It's a cultivar called 'Miss Huff' which is supposed to be hardy in zone 7, and I believe it! It hasn't stopped flowering since it began back in June and has grown into a 4' by 5' shrub like the ones in the south do. A neighbor a block away has a whole front garden full of Lantana plants that are barely 12 inches!



The nursery owner where I bought the Swamp Sunflower from is very interested in hearing whether or not the Lantana survives the winter. She says a fair amount of her customers complain that it's just an annual so finding a cultivar that's just slightly hardy would be a something she's very interested in selling. (It might only be hardy here when planted in a south facing wall.)
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Old 10-09-2018, 09:41 AM   #30
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I've never heard of aster leaf fall. Sure hope it doesn't find my bed as that bed has only asters in it and it would look horrible if stripped bare like you're talking. The red aster is one of my favorites. They multiply quite rapid actually so passed various kinds (runners) on to two others wanting fall bloomers.
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