With their colorful foliage, Coral Bells (Heucheras) , will make a statement in your garden, all season long. These perennials feature a wide array of foliage color, texture and shape. Grown mainly for their colorful foliage, heucheras do bloom. Their dainty bell-shaped, little flowers extend high above the foliage, nodding in the wind. The flowers are what gives this native plant its common name, Coral Bells. You'll find Heuchera and Heucherella grouped together on the same display tables. That's because they are virtually the same plant in characteristics and behavior. Heucherella is a cross between Heuchera (Coral Bells) and Tiaella (Foam Flowers) and are commonly called Foamy Bells. Easy to grow, Heucheras and Heucherellas are one of the best ground cover plants for your shady perennial garden. Heucheras and Heucherellas are both rated hardy for Zones 4 through 9 (here on the plains, we are typically rated Zone 5). Coral Bells grow naturally in wooded areas, so you'll want to plant them in a spot where they are shaded from the sun. Once the site is prepared, add some Root Stimulator, before planting. There are many hybrids and cultivars to choose from. Some examples of these are:
Monday, July 18, 2016
This is the time of the growing season that one of the most spectacular flowering shrubs begins to bloom. Hibiscus x moscheutos or hardy Hibiscus are tough, resilient garden shrubs that can take our winters and come back strong. Sometimes called rose mallow, these hibiscus were developed from native plants and are now hardy down to Zone 4. Hardy hibiscus are fairly easy to grow. They like their place in the sun, so select a site in the garden where they'll get as much sun as possible. They can be grown in partial shade, such as an East-facing location, but the flower production may not be as great. Once established, hardy hibiscus can easy grow 6' high and 6' across so keep this in mind when you're choosing a planting spot. There are dwarf varieties of hardy hibiscus that only get about 3' tall and 3' wide, if you don't have room for a full size shrub. 'Fireball',
Monday, July 11, 2016
Summer is great time to plant perennials. Whether it's filling in an empty spot in the garden, moving a plant from one location to another or maybe you just moved into a new home and want to get your landscape started, or you've got the week off and want to work in the garden. The simple answer is yes, you can plant perennials this time of year. Your plants will survive and thrive if you keep these things in mind. Do your actual planting during the coolest part of the day. Early morning is usually best, though late afternoon into early evening will work, if it's cloudy. Do the hard work in advance. Get the planting spot ready by digging the hole as deep and twice as wide as the container your plant is in. Improve the planting site by adding organic material such as Sheep, Peat and Compost, peat moss, compost or coconut coir to the hole and to the dirt you just dug out. Mix the organic material 50:50 with the existing soil or roughly half. This is called "amending the soil" and products such as compost, peat moss, coconut coir, aged manures are called "soil amendments". Adding amendments will make our typical clay soils more useable to the plant. Amendments allow the clay soil to drain better and frees up nutrients in the soil. Once the hole is dug and amended, fill it with water and let the water drain. Do this twice, before you plant. This will ensure the soil around the plant's root ball is wet. If you want to add some Root Stimulator, now is the time to do so. Water your plants thoroughly before planting or transplanting them.
Monday, July 4, 2016
African dogtooth grass was discovered by Denver Botanic Gardens’ Panayoti Kelaidis in the early 1980's. In the late '80's, Colorado horticulturalist Kelly Grummons recognized the grass might have a use in Colorado lawns and through his extensive testing, developed Dog Tuff™. The resulting grass, Dog Tuff™ was recognized in 2015 by the trade group Direct Gardening Association and in 2016 by Plant Select. Dog Tuff™ is a warm weather grass, so the time to plant it is now as opposed to Kentucky Blue grass and Perennial Rye, which are cool weather grasses and are planted in the spring and fall. Dog Tuff™ doesn't produce seeds. In the end, Dog Tuff™ may be best used in a small, well-controlled space such as a dog run, rather than an entire lawn.