Saturday, August 23, 2014

Link roundup - Small shrubs, small trees, and wood poppies

"Small" is the theme of recent blog posts I've encountered.  Are you looking for a small native shrub or tree, perhaps to encourage wildlife in a suburban garden?
  • Native shrubs for small gardens - This lists some smaller cultivars of US native shrubs.  Winterberry holly, ninebark, and Leucothoe are VA natives, and we also have various VA native blueberry and St. John's wort species.
  • 10 petite trees for your landscape:  Under 25 feet - Not cultivars, this time, but small tree species.  Red buckeye, painted buckeye, Canadian serviceberry, Eastern redbud, alternateleaf dogwood, silky dogwood, Carolina buckthorn, and American plum are all VA natives.  (Is anyone else amused that we are given the complete taxonomy for these species, starting with the fact that they are in the plant kingdom?)
  • Wood poppy - What a beautiful native woodland flower.  Brenda Clements Jones has successfully cultivated them.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Link roundup - Privacy screens and devil's walkingstick

Here are a couple more links of interest:
  • Privacy screening in your native plant garden - This post suggests some native evergreens that don't grow excessively large.
  • Giant flower, at last - I never thought of using devil's walkingstick as an ornamental near the house because it has some wicked thorns, but this person did.  As she points out, it does have an attractive flower.  Devil's walkingstick is blooming in my part of Virginia right now.  You'll see more from me about it in the future, including some pictures of the thorns.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Rain garden III - The plants

This is the third post in a series about my new rain garden.  Click for Part I and Part II on the process and costs, respectively.  And now for the part we've all been waiting for, the plants!  My goal was to use all natives.  I wasn't super careful to make sure that the plants are Virginia natives, but most are.  At least everything is native to the central or eastern US.

The plants were grouped into two categories.  First are the ones planted in the main, low lying part of the garden.  These need good tolerance for large amounts of water.  These photos were taken in May through July of the plants I thought were the most photogenic.  I am also growing various other species not shown here.

Blue flag iris (Iris sp.).  I'm not sure whether this is the Northern or Southern blue flag.


New York aster (Symphotrichum novi-belgii).
Water hemlock (Cicuta maculata).  This is highly toxic.  However, it's pretty and has a longer flowering period than some of the other things I've planted.  It has grown a lot already in just a couple months.
The water hemlock has been good for attracting pollinators.  Note the bee in the upper left of this photo.
Queen of the prairie (Filipendula rubra).  Despite the name, this is a Virginia native.  It's supposed to grow taller than this.  Maybe next year?
Close-up of queen of the prairie.
Shrubby St. John's wort (Hypericum prolificum).  This is a small shrub with beautiful, showy flowers.

Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis).  Eventually this will make interesting flowers.  For now, it's just very happy growing in the rain garden and making lots of new foliage.

The other type of plant I've used is supposed to tolerate drying out frequently.  These are planted around the rim of the rain garden, where they are watered by incoming rain but aren't subjected to standing water.

Lanceleaf coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata).

I think this is some kind of verbena.  I don't know how it got here, but it's pretty so I'm keeping it for now.  It might be swamp verbena (Verbena hastata), which would make it a native.
Butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa).
Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea).