More Annuals for 2014

Posted in annuals, annuals, container gardening, container gardening, containers for shade, How to, landscape design, shade annuals with tags , , , , , , , , on July 14, 2014 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Nursery News:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is closed for the summer and will reopen at the beginning of September.  If you would like to receive emails notifying you of events and sales, please sign up for our customer email list by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Sales of miniature hostas described in the 2014 Miniature Hosta Catalogue are also suspended until the fall, click here for details.

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Since I revisited the boat planting last post (click here to see those photos), I thought I would also pay a repeat visit to the window boxes I raved about last year.  To read my 2013 window box post, click here.  They are located at a little market on Main Street in Yarmouth, Maine.  I am happy to say that they did not disappoint, but you can judge for yourself:

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Although the plant material and the color combinations are not as wonderfully creative as 2013, I would still be happy to have these window boxes at my house.  I hope they have given you some good ideas for your containers. 

Carolyn

Nursery Happenings: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is closed for the summer and will reopen in early September.  You can sign up to receive notification emails by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

Row Your Way To Color Revisited Again

Posted in annuals, annuals, container gardening, container gardening, containers for shade, How to, landscape design, organic gardening, product review, shade annuals, sustainable living with tags , , , , , , , on July 9, 2014 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Nursery News:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is closed for the summer and will reopen at the beginning of September.  If you would like to receive emails notifying you of events and sales, please sign up for our customer email list by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Sales of miniature hostas described in the 2014 Miniature Hosta Catalogue are also suspended until the fall, click here for details.

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DSCN4634The dinghy planting this year is a disappointment.

Those of you who follow my blog may remember the posts that I wrote in 2013 and 2012 on the creative use of annuals in a dinghy (small rowboat) at a Maine marina.  You can find those posts here and here.  I used the dinghy planting as an example of how the imaginative and thoughtful use of annuals can produce an elegant and striking result.  Unfortunately, the planting this year is not up to the former standards.  Normally I wouldn’t feature it, but I thought it might be illuminating to think about what went wrong.

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Handy Boat dinghyThe dinghy planting in 2012 was gorgeous.

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Handy Boat dinghy 32013 was not quite as sophisticated but made up for this with its exuberance.

When comparing the three plantings the first thing you notice is that the colors for 2014 are too subtle.  I love chartreuse and purple, but in a container planting you need some plants that cause passers by to stop and look.  But the bigger problem is that there are not enough plants.  As I pointed out before, containers generally last for one season only and need to be filled to bursting from the beginning.  There is no time to let them fill in as you would with perennial plantings in the ground.

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Handy Boat dinghy 22013 packed with plants

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Handy Boat Dinghy 12012

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DSCN4630This year’s planting shows a lot of bare soil.  The photos for all three years were taken in early July.

Another mistake the designer made was to ignore the classic filler-spiller-thriller formula of planting containers.  The heucherella flowers in the back just don’t provide the necessary height that you need, especially in a container this big, and will be done flowering shortly.  The sedum, coleus, and plectranthus (I think that what it is) will not fill in the middle, and the fibre optic grass and the two sweet potato vines are not spilling over the side enough.

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DSCN4633 A close up of 2014.

Despite my negative comments, as you can see from the photo above, the habit and colors of the plants go well together.  They would look great crammed into a smaller container situated for close up viewing.  I also always encourage the use of perennials in containers, like the sedum and heucherella here.  In late fall, you can transfer them into the ground and enjoy them in your perennial garden for years to come. 

Looking closely at this dinghy planting in good years and bad has given me a lot of ideas about my own containers.  In fact, I had never seen fibre optic grass and purchased some for my window boxes.  I hope you too will find inspiration for your own containers.

Carolyn

Nursery Happenings: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is closed for the summer and will reopen in early September.  You can sign up to receive notification emails by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

Do You Know Where Your Mulch Comes From?

Posted in green gardening, How to, landscape design, organic gardening, product review, sustainable living with tags , , , , , , on June 9, 2014 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Nursery News:  Your final chance to shop at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens will be during our open hours on Friday, June 13, and Saturday, June 14, from 10 am to 2 pm.   We close on June 15 and reopen around September 15.  To get all the details, please sign up for our customer email list by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Our 2014 Miniature Hosta Catalogue is on line, click here.  Our last shipment of the spring will be mailed June 23, and we must receive your check before we ship.

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Moriuchi compost 5-25-2014 5-13-29 PMA pile of freshly ground mulch, but what’s in it?

My friend and longtime customer Caroline Moriuchi invited me for a guided tour of her family’s mulch production operation, M&M Mulch in Moorestown, NJ.  I jumped at the chance because I always wondered how mulch was made.  What I learned from my trip plus subsequent research is that if you don’t know what your mulch is made from, you should.

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Moriuchi compost 5-25-2014 5-07-43 PMAs you can see in this photo, M&M Mulch accepts only wood chips and brush for grinding into their high quality mulch.

M&M Mulch, which is run by Caroline’s son Seiji with the help of his father and brother, has a company policy of using only wood chips from tree services and brush from landscapers for grinding into mulch.  They will not use wooden pallets, scrap lumber, or parts of demolished buildings to produce mulch, although this is common practice in their business.  For this reason, they do not produce red-dyed mulch because it can only be made from processed lumber like pallets.  I am going to show you the Moriuchi’s mulching operation, but first I want to outline some of the dangers from pallets.

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Moriuchi compost 5-25-2014 5-36-19 PMMulch being ground at M&M Mulch

You should do your own research, but, after reading many articles, I would never use commercially produced mulch without knowing what it was made of.  The best article on the subject is in Natural Life Magazine, to read it click here

Basically, a lot of mulch is made from recycled shipping pallets.  If you drive down Interstate 95, you can see the huge pile of pallets waiting to be ground into mulch near Wilmington, DE.  A high percentage of pallets are contaminated with bacteria, including e coli and listeria, from the food transported on them and from improper storage.  They are often made from “engineered wood” which is treated with formaldehyde.  The pallets themselves are often treated with dangerous chemicals, although this is being phased out.  If they come in from abroad, they are fumigated with toxic fungicides and pesticides, and toxic substances often spill on pallets during transportation.  Wood scraps and demolished buildings pose similar dangers from toxic applications like lead paint and pressure treated wood. 

Now we get to the fun part, how mulch is made:

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Moriuchi compost 5-25-2014 5-03-23 PMThe mulch production process starts with this very big machine, the grinder.

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Moriuchi compost 5-25-2014 5-04-43 PMThe grinder is moved around the production yard using this remote control.

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Moriuchi compost 5-25-2014 5-35-26 PM  A front end loader is a crucial piece of equipment.

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Moriuchi compost 5-25-2014 5-35-34 PM The loader scoops up the wood chips and brush from the giant piles waiting to be ground.

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Moriuchi compost 5-25-2014 5-35-54 PMThe raw material is deposited into a hopper on the grinder.

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Moriuchi compost 5-25-2014 5-06-46 PMConveyor belts inside the grinder feed the grinding teeth.

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Moriuchi compost 5-25-2014 5-37-13 PMThe grinder produces a giant pile of mulch, but the process isn’t over because most consumers demand that their mulch be dyed.  I am not sure how this process started or why dark black mulch is considered more attractive than natural brown.  I personally think black-dyed mulch is hideous.

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Moriuchi compost 5-25-2014 5-16-29 PMThe dyeing machine

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Moriuchi compost 5-25-2014 5-24-42 PMThese paddles mix the ground wood with carbon black to make it black or iron oxide to make it brown.  M&M does not produce red-dyed mulch because it can only be made from pallets.

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Moriuchi compost 5-25-2014 5-22-27 PMBlack-dyed mulch emerges from the dyeing machine.

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Moriuchi compost 5-25-2014 5-22-54 PMBlack-dyed mulch on the right, brown-dyed on the left.

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Moriuchi compost 5-25-2014 5-23-41 PMBrown-dyed mulch on the right, un-dyed mulch in front and on the left.  I think gardeners should question why they need dyed mulch.

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Thanks so much to the Moriuchis, especially Seiji who answered all my questions, for the fascinating tour.  If you live near Moorestown, New Jersey, you are very lucky to have a safe source of mulch nearby produced by the fourth generation family farmers at M&M Mulch, 400 Hartford Rd, 856-234-2394.  They deliver free to the Moorestown area and for a fee to other parts of New Jersey.  Who knows maybe they can be enticed to cross the river to Pennsylvania!

Carolyn

Nursery Happenings: The 2014 Miniature Hosta Availability for mail order and pick up at the nursery is here.   Your final chance to shop at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens will be during our open hours on Friday, June 13, and Saturday, June 14, from 10 am to 2 pm.  We close on June 15 and reopen around September 15.  You can sign up to receive notification emails by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

New Miniature and Small Hostas for 2014, Part 2

Posted in container gardening, containers for shade, hosta, miniature hosta with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2014 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Nursery News:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens will be open on Saturday, May 31, from 10 am to 2 pm.  Our final big spring sale, featuring summer and fall blooming shade plants and miniature hostas, is scheduled for Saturday, June 7,  from 10 am to 3 pm.  To get all the details, please sign up for our customer email list by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Our 2014 Miniature Hosta Catalogue is now on line, click here.  It lists all the wonderful little hostas that are available for pick up at the nursery and by mail.  Local customers are encouraged to pre-order.

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Miniature hosta collageClockwise from upper left: flowers of ‘Lemon Frost’, ‘Neutrino’, ‘Chartreuse Wiggles’, ‘Thumbelina’, and ‘Feather Boa’.

My last post called New Miniature and Small Hostas for 2014 highlighted four new additions to our extensive offerings of miniature hostas.  In that post I talked about ‘Alakazaam’, ‘Baby Booties’, ‘Cherish’, and ‘Kiwi Golden Thimble’.  To see the photos and descriptions, click here.  This post will add five more profiles of cute little hostas that you will want to add to your containers and gardens.

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Hosta 'Fether Boa'‘Feather Boa’ is extremely useful because it grows rapidly to form a dense groundcover of bright gold leaves.  It is 11″ tall by 27″ wide, and its leaves are 3 3/4″ long by 2″ wide.  The narrow gold foliage with very wavy margins is topped by attractive purple flowers in July.

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Hosta 'Thumbelina'‘Thumbelina’  departs from the usual color scheme to give us a very cute bright green and gold mini with wavy, heart-shaped leaves and a wide yellow margin .  It is 10″ tall by 24″ wide, and its leaves are 4″ long by 3″ wide.  It has medium purple flowers in July and forms a small, dense rounded mound, great specimen!

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Hosta 'Chartreuse Wiggles'‘Chartreuse Wiggles has glossy, bright gold, very narrow and heavily rippled leaves that really stand out in the garden.  It is 10″ high by 25″ wide, and its leaves are 5 1/2″ long by 1″ wide.  Pale purple flowers appear in August.  It forms a low dense mound, making an excellent specimen, edger, or groundcover.

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Hosta 'Neutrino'‘Neutrino’  is another mini hosta that really stands out.  The bright green, pointy leaves have a wide white margin that streaks into the center.  It forms a  5″ tall by 16″ wide neat but dense mound.  Its leaves are 2 3/4″ long by 1 3/4″ wide topped by medium purple flowers in July.  It is a tiny plant, a seedling of H. venusta.

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Hosta 'Lemon Frost' ‘Lemon Frost’  features a very unusual color combination of light chartreuse leaves with a pure white margin.  It is 10″ tall by 24″ wide, and its leaves are 3 1/2″ long by 1 1/2″ wide.  The gorgeous, dark purple striped flowers appear in July (next photo).  It is very fast growing and useful as a variegated ground cover or edging plant.

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Hosta 'Lemon Frost'The buds of ‘Lemon Frost’ are a desirable dark purple, and the flowers are striped—a hosta I would grow for its flowers!

There may be a third post in this series with a few more new additions.  Meanwhile, if you would like to read more about little hostas, click on any of the following links:

New Miniature and Small Hostas for 2014, Part 1

New Mice for 2014

2013 New Miniature and Small Hostas

Miniature (& Small) Hostas

I LOVE Mice

Beyond Mice

Hostas Containers and Companions

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Carolyn

Nursery Happenings: The 2014 Miniature Hosta Availability for mail order and pick up at the nursery is here.   Our next open hours are Saturday, May 31, from 10 am to 2 pm.  Our final big spring sale, featuring miniature hostas and summer and fall blooming shade plants is Saturday, June 7, from 10 am to 3 pm.  Customers on our list have gotten an email with all the details.  You can sign up to receive emails by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

New Miniature and Small Hostas for 2014

Posted in container gardening, containers for shade, hosta, miniature hosta with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 22, 2014 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Nursery News:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens’ Memorial Weekend open hours are scheduled for Friday, May 23, and Saturday, May 24,  from 10 am to 2 pm.  To get all the details, please sign up for our customer email list by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Our 2014 Miniature Hosta Catalogue is now on line, click here.  It lists all the wonderful little hostas that will be available at the nursery and by mail.  Local customers are encouraged to pre-order.

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Miniature Hostas 20141Clockwise from upper left: ‘Lemon Frost’, ‘Alakazaam’, ‘Baby Booties’, ‘Neutrino’, ‘Kiwi Golden Thimble’, ‘Curly Fries’, ‘Thumbelina’, and ‘Cherish’.

My last post called New Mice for 2014 profiled the new additions to the adorable Mouse Ears Series of miniature hostas.  In that post I talked about ‘Sunny Mouse Ears’, ‘Mouse Cheese’, ‘Ruffled Mouse Ears’, and ‘Church Mouse’.  To see the photos and descriptions, click here.  I extolled the virtues of their round, rubbery slug-repelling leaves in beautiful colors, their symmetrical habit, and their lovely proportional flowers.

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Hosta  'Alakazaam'‘Alakazaam’ planted in the knot hole of a tree.

I have added a lot of new miniature and small hostas that are not mice to my offerings, and I want to profile a few of them here.  But first I would like to answer the question what is a miniature hosta?  The American Hosta Society defines miniature hostas by their leaf size.  The leaf blade area, length x width, can be no greater than 6 square inches.  Clump spread is irrelevant.  Therefore, some of the hostas listed below are not technically “miniature”, but they are all little! 

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Hosta 'Alakazaam'‘Alakazaam’s’  unusual spiky habit makes it stand out from the crowd no matter where you place it.  It forms a clump 5″ tall by 10″ wide, and its leaves are 6 1/2″ long and 3/4″ wide.  They are bright green with gold ruffled margins changing to creamy white.

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Hosta 'Baby Booties'‘Baby Booties’  departs from the usual gold and blue color scheme to give us a very cute green and white mini with oval leaves and a wide creamy white margin .  It forms a 5″ tall by 19″ wide compact mound, and its oval leaves are 2 3/4″ long by 1 3/8″ wide.

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Hosta 'Cherish'‘Cherish’  is an adorable tiny hosta, “child” of the wonderful ‘Baby Bunting’, with heart-shaped creamy yellow leaves and a wide blue margin streaking into the center.  It has pixie-like, tiny flowers that are coming into bloom right now. It is 8″ tall by 12″ wide, and its leaves are 2 1/2 ” long by 1 1/2″ wide.  It needs more sun due to its extensive variegation.

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Hosta 'Kiwi Golden Thimble'‘Kiwi Golden Thimble’ is my most popular new mini hosta.  Its unusual gold color and narrow, cupped leaves really stand out.  Plus it rapidly produces an adorable mound of golden foliage.  It is 5″ tall by 18″ wide, and its leaves are 2 3/4″ long by 1 1/4″ wide.

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Look for another post on four more new additions.  If you would like to read more about little hostas, click on any of the following links:

New Mice for 2014

2013 New Miniature and Small Hostas

Miniature (& Small) Hostas

I LOVE Mice

Beyond Mice

Hostas Containers and Companions

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Carolyn

Nursery Happenings: The 2014 Miniature Hosta Availability for mail order and pick up at the nursery is here.   Our Memorial Weekend open hours are Friday, May 23, and Saturday, May 24 from 10 am to 2 pm.  Customers on our list have gotten an email with all the details.  You can sign up to receive emails by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

New Mice for 2014

Posted in container gardening, containers for shade, hosta, miniature hosta with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 5, 2014 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Nursery News: Customers can still order $10 hostas in the Great Hosta Blowout until May 8 (email for availability).  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens’ fourth spring sale featuring hostas, ferns, and hardy geraniums is scheduled for Saturday, May 17,  from 10 am to 3 pm.  To get all the details, please sign up for our customer email list by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Our 2014 Miniature Hosta Catalogue is now on line, click here.  It lists all the wonderful little hostas that will be available at the nursery and by mail.  Local customers are encouraged to pre-order.

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Mouse Ears HostasClockwise from upper left: ‘Holy Mouse Ears’, ‘Frosted Mouse Ears’, ‘Blue Mouse Ears’, ‘Green Mouse Ears’, and ‘Mighty Mouse’.

In 2012, I wrote a very popular post called I Love Mice about little hostas in the Mouse Ears Series.  In that post I talked about ‘Holy Mouse Ears’, ‘Frosted Mouse Ears’, ‘Green Mouse Ears’, ‘Mighty Mouse’, and the little hosta that started it all, ‘Blue Mouse Ears’.  I extolled the virtues of their round, rubbery slug-repelling leaves in beautiful colors, their symmetrical habit, and their lovely proportional flowers.  Since then some new mice have arrived on the seen, and I want to introduce them to you.

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Hosta 'Sunny Mouse Ears'‘Sunny Mouse Ears’ is tiny and adorable in a new color for mouse ears minis.

It was just a matter of time before someone selected a gold-leafed mouse ears hosta, and ‘Sunny Mouse Ears’  is it thanks to the breeders at Land of the Giants Hosta Farm.  It has tiny, perfectly round leaves 1 3/4″ long by 1 3/4″ wide.  It forms a mound 3″ tall by 10″ wide.  ‘Sunny Mouse Ears’ is the first gold-leafed cultivar in the Mouse Ears series, although there is another described below.  It has the same thick substance that repels slugs and the same enchanting, pixie-like pale purple flowers in July as the rest of the mouse ears clan.

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Hosta 'Ruffled Mouse Ears'Hosta ‘Ruffled Mouse Ears’ in the foreground contrasts nicely with the rounded shape of most of the other mouse ears hostas, here ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ in the background.

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Hosta 'Ruffled Mouse Ears'A close up of ‘Ruffled Mouse Ears’

‘Ruffled Mouse Ears’ is another new addition to the group.  It has blue-green leaves 2 3/4″ long by 2 1/2″ wide with highly ruffled margins.  Although it has the same rounded, thick, rubbery, slug resistant leaves as its parent ‘Blue Mouse Ears’, its rippled and frilled margins provide a great contrast to the other mouse ears hostas.  ‘Ruffled Mouse Ears’ forms a mound 6″ high by 14″ wide and has the same desirable flowers.

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Hosta 'Mouse Cheese'‘Mouse Cheese’ is definitely a clever name for this gold-leafed mouse ears hosta.

‘Mouse Cheese’ is the other new gold-leafed mouse ears hosta available this year.  At 2 3/4″long by 2 1/2″ wide, its leaves are larger and not as round, but they are  bright gold with the same thick texture as the other mice we have come to love.  ‘Mouse Cheese’ forms a slightly larger mound 4″ tall and 12″ wide.  It has very cute pale purple flowers in July and  retains its gold leaf color all season.

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Hosta 'Church Mouse'The texture of Hosta ‘Church Mouse’ stands out in a mixed planting.  Photo courtesy of Walters Gardens.

‘Church Mouse’, the last of the four new mouse ears hostas, has very blue leaves with unique, highly ruffled margins that make a good contrast with other mouse ears hostas.  It has the same thick substance that repels slugs and adorable, well-proportioned lavender flowers in early summer.  It forms a larger mound 8″ tall by 15″ wide, but has the same neat and symmetrical habit.

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Hosta 'Church Mouse'A close up of ‘Church Mouse’, photo courtesy of Walters Gardens.

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If you would like to read more about little hostas, click on any of the following links:

2013 New Miniature and Small Hostas

Miniature (& Small) Hostas

I LOVE Mice

Beyond Mice

Hostas Containers and Companions

.

Carolyn

Nursery Happenings: The 2014 Miniature Hosta Availability for mail order and pick up at the nursery is here.   Our fourth sale featuring hostas, ferns, and hardy geraniums is Saurday, May 17, from 10 am to 3 pm.  Customers on our list will get an email with all the details.  You can sign up to receive emails by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

Woody Plants for Shade Part 10

Posted in Fall Color, native plants, Shade Shrubs, shade vines, winter interest with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 21, 2014 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Nursery News: Our 2014 Spring Shrub Offer is on line here and orders are due April 27.  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens’ third spring sale featuring native plants and wildflowers is scheduled for Saturday, April 26, from 10 am to 3 pm.  To get all the details, please sign up for our customer email list by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Our 2014 Miniature Hosta Catalogue is now on line, click here.  It lists all the wonderful little hostas that will be available at the nursery and by mail. 

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Spring Shrub OfferClockwise from upper left: Pink Swamp Azalea, ‘Popcorn’ Snowball Bush, Oakleaf Hydrangea, Coastal Doghobble in winter, Carolina Jessamine, ‘Jet Trail’ Quince.

Because shade gardens are not composed solely of perennials, I offer woody plants—shrubs, trees, and vines—to my customers several times a year.  I want them to have a reliable source for large and healthy specimens, but I also want to make available woody plants for shade that are wonderful but hard-to-find.  I am in the middle of an offer right now, and customers need to let me know if they want to order by Sunday, April 27.  To see the 2014 Spring Shrub Offer, click here.

When I do these offers, I also do a post describing the plants in more detail.  These posts are some of the most popular I have ever written.  In fact, Woody Plants for Shade Part 2 is number four for all time views and Woody Plants for Shade Part 1 is number eight.  If you want to read about all the plants I have recommended, I have included links at the end of this post.  So let’s get to the plants that I am recommending this time, starting with three evergreen shrubs.

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Buxus microphylla Wintergreen 7-12-10_LSUnfortunately, the only shot I have of ‘Wintergreen’ boxwood shows it in a container, but at least you can see its loose habit and delicate leaves.

‘Wintergreen’ Korean or little leaf boxwood, Buxus microphylla var. koreana,  is a very useful shrub for hedges, edging, achieving a somewhat formal look, and adding evergreen interest to your garden.  At 2 to 4′ tall and 3 to 5′ wide, it doesn’t take up a lot of space.   As an added bonus, ‘Wintergreen’s’ small dark evergreen leaves maintain their green color in the winter unlike most boxwoods, which turn an ugly bronze-yellow.  The loose, rounded habit is easily pruned for use as a hedge.  It grows in part to full shade and is deer and disease resistant.  After this winter it is nice to know that ‘Wintergreen’ is extremely hardy to zone 4.

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Leucothoe axillaris MOBOTCoastal doghobble’s shiny evergreen leaves display its lovely, fragrant flowers beautifully.  Photo courtesy of the Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder.

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Leucothoe axillaris 11-7-11_LSThe winter foliage of coastal doghobble.

Coastal doghobble, Leucothoe axillaris, is native to the southeastern U.S., starting just south of Pennsylvania.  It has showy, arching clusters of white, fragrant flowers in May.  The glossy evergreen leaves  have excellent burgundy fall color.  Coastal doghobble looks great even after a hard winter unlike the more commonly available doghobble, L. fontanesiana, which always looks ratty to me.  It is deer resistant and grows 2 to 4′ tall and 3 to 5′ wide in part shade.  Evidently it was given the name doghobble by bear hunters because bears could crash through it but dogs would become entangled.

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Osmanthus heterophyllus Goshiki 10-26-11_LS‘Goshiki’ osmanthus has a beautiful blend of colors in its leaves and a wonderful fragrance.

‘Goshiki’ variegated holly tea olive, Osmanthus heterophyllus, has dramatic, holly-like evergreen leaves that emerge reddish bronze and change to a lovely blend of cream, gold, and green, lighting up dark corners.  Its delicious fragrance perfumes the garden in November when it blooms.  The prickly foliage repels deer.  My osmanthus came through this winter looking spectacular with no browning.  ‘Goshiki’ grows to 6′ tall and 4′ wide in full sun to full shade.  It received the coveted Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Gold Medal Award as an outstanding shrub for our area.

That covers the evergreens, now for the deciduous shrubs:

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Chaenomeles x superba 'Jet Trail'‘Jet Trail’ quince, Chaenomeles x superba, is loaded with buds and showy, pure white flowers every March (April this year!) and it only grows to 3′ tall and 3′ wide.  I have profiled it before so for all the details, click here.

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Hydrangea quercifoliaNative ‘Ellen Huff’ oakleaf hydrangea, Hydrangea quercifolia, has all the four season attributes of my favorite shrub—ornamental bark, beautiful fall color, bold-textured leaves, and gorgeous, long-lasting flowers—plus a vigorous habit and great branching structure.  For more details, click here to read my profile of oakleaf hydrangeas.
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Jasminum nudiflorumA close up of winter jasmine’s lovely yellow flowers.

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Jasminum nudiflorumI grow winter jasmine trailing over my terrace walls and enjoy its flowers all winter.

Although Winter jasmine, Jasminum nudiflorum, requires full sun, I am offering it because so many customers have asked for it after seeing my plants trailing off my terraces.  The soft yellow flowers open during warm spells throughout the winter and then prolifically in February and March (April this year) for a very long season.  The graceful, arching stems are dark green providing great winter interest.  The shiny dark green leaves have an unusual delicate texture.  When planted in a flat area, winter jasmine spreads to make an effective ground cover.  It is tough, adaptable, and deer resistant, growing to 3′ tall and 6′ wide in average garden soils.

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Rhododendron viscosum Betty Cummins 6-6-12_LS (1)Swamp azaleas usually have white flowers, but ‘Betty Cummins’ has lovely deep pink blooms.

‘Betty Cummins’ pink swamp azalea, Rhododendron viscosum, is a rare deep pink flowered form of our native swamp azalea.  Swamp azalea grows wild from Maine to Florida, and this particular form was found in New Jersey.  It blooms in early summer and has a wonderful spicy, clove-like scent.  The deciduous, lustrous deep green leaves turn an attractive orange to maroon in fall.  ‘Betty Cummins’ grows to 6′ tall and 5′ wide in part shade.  It is wet site tolerant and attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.

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Viburnum plicatum Popcorn 4-6-12_LS (2)‘Popcorn’ Japanese snowball bush is loaded with round white flowers earlier in the season than most other shrubs.

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Viburnum plicatum Popcorn 4-6-12_LS (5)A close up of ‘Popcorn’s’ flowers: although it looks like an hydrangea, it is actually a viburnum.

‘Popcorn’ Japanese snowball bush, Viburnum plicatum, has 3″ round blooms that open lime green and mature to pure white, putting on a stunning show for a full month in April and May.  The dark leathery green leaves turn burgundy red in fall.  ‘Popcorn’ has a lovely upright, tiered, and compact habit.  It grows to 5 to 8′ tall and 4 to 7′ wide in full sun to part shade, but it tolerates full shade.  It is deer resistant and heat and drought tolerant.

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Gelsemium sempervirens 'Margarita'‘Margarita’ Carolina jessamine grows on a fence in part shade.  It is native to the southeastern U.S. and has received a Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Gold Medal Award as an outstanding vine for our area.  To see my previous profile, click here.

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Gelsemium sempervirens 'Margarita'A close up of ‘Margarita’s’ fragrant yellow flowers.

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Those are the nine woody shade plants that I am currently offering to my customers.  If you want to read about more trees, shrubs, and vines for you shady garden, here are links to all my previous posts:

Woody Plants for Shade Part 1

Woody Plants for Shade Part 2

Woody Plants for Shade Part 3

Woody Plants for Shade Part 4

Woody Plants for Shade Part 5

Woody Plants for Shade Part 6

Woody Plants for Shade Part 7

Woody Plants for Shade Part 8

Woody Plants for Shade Part 9

Carolyn

Nursery Happenings: Our third sale featuring native plants and wildflowers is Saurday, April 26, from 10 am to 3 pm.  Customers on our list will get an email with all the details.  You can sign up to receive emails by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  The 2014 Spring Shrub Offer is here, and orders must be received by April 27.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

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