More Room For New Plants!

It’s been over two months since I posted about new arrivals. It’s time to introduce some newbies that have made their home at Coppertop during the last part of spring.

Always on the lookout for new plants with dark foliage, I’ve been eyeing a few at favorite local nurseries. I recently purchased these hardy Geranium x pratense ‘Black ‘n White.’ The promised white flowers should provide great contrast. I’ve planted them in an open space in the perennial beds along with new, compact Penstemon ‘Purple Perfection’ to fill the bare spot.

Another appealing plant for its gorgeous, contrasting foliage is this Elderberry, Sambucus racemosa ‘Lemony Lace.’ I found one tucked away behind some less desirable elderberries at a nursery. We’ve been moving it between possible spaces in its nursery pot, deciding where to plant it for its best 5′ x 5′ potential. Its cousin, the Black Lace Elderberry has become almost too popular in this area, but some newer, dark varieties look interesting, especially the Black Beauty Elderberry.

Annuals aren’t really my strong suit. I consider tulips to be annuals here and pot them up late each fall for a great spring show. Then I oust the bulbs, compost them, and use the same pots for summer annuals on our deck, patio, and front stoop. In past summers, I potted up snapdragons, petunias, cosmos, and other annuals I had started from seed, but this year I had other things going on and didn’t focus on seeding annuals. Add to that the fact that Hubby is currently refinishing our deck — a monthlong process involving sanding, scraping, board replacement, and staining — so all my vacant pots are down on the patio. I decided to plant up about half with mixes of Supertunia Bordeaux, Angelonia Archangel Blue Bicolor, and Heliotrope Marino White. They’ll be arranged on the deck once completed.

About a month ago I brought home this Dwarf Alberta Spruce, Picea glauca ‘Conica.’ Hubby had finished his overhaul of the waterfall area, and one corner needed this little coniferous gem. Short and to the point. 😉

For bare spots in shade along the north side of our home, just today I planted two Astilbe chinensis ‘Visions’, a deep magenta variety. I dug about a foot deep into the compost surrounding the hostas we dug and divided in the fall. Deep in one hole I uncovered what looked like a white rock or lost golf ball. I squeezed it as I picked it up, and a rotten egg exploded all over the wall, the hostas, hellebores, and my arm. Yuck! I guess when Hubby or Son spread the compost beneath the hostas they failed to notice one hen’s favorite laying spot.

And to finish, I’ll share what I’ve added at the front of our home, by a door only guests and delivery drivers use. This area gets afternoon sun, and I often forget to water these pots, so drought tolerant plants fare best. Last year I had success with gaura and coleus. Even protected in my (unheated) greenhouse, the gaura didn’t make it through the winter, so I purchased Gaura ‘Passionate Rainbow Petite’ (!), paired it with Salvia ‘Heatwave Sparkle'(!!), and tucked in some coleus. I’m hoping for months of color from these, even until first frost in November.

That’s all for now. No immediate plans to fill other spots in the garden, although we did just pull a couple of unfortunate shrubs… I wonder what crazily-named varieties will go in next!