Plant Preview

Welcome to Plant Preview, a blog dedicated to helping gardeners learn about gardening techniques and preview new plant cultivars. Read about new plants here first and hear how your "comrades in compost" are making use of new plant introductions in their gardens and landscapes. Blog author Geri Laufer is a life-long dirt gardener, degreed horticulturist, author and former County Extension Agent. Plant Preview is copyrighted by Geri Laufer.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Flowers Blooming Odd January Weather

Rosa 'Strike it Rich' AARS 2006 
This January 2013 so far it has rained 14 out of 17 days with an accumulation of 3.5 inches in Atlanta U.S.D.A Zone 8A, and the assortment of flowers blooming in my garden this month (all at once) is -- odd. Both summer flowers and winter ones are blooming at the same time.  Above is a hybrid tea rose 'Strike it Rich'  with a fat bud that developed this month!

I have Coral 'Showboat' Storybook Roses blooming continuously since last March with healthy green leaves sans black spot.

My Jack in the Pulpit is already sprouting - both a 3-lobed leaf and Jack. I'll have to cover him if we really do get wet snow tonight.

My Toad Lily Trycirtus has popped up way too soon also.

A Rudbeckia triloba I got as a tiny plug this past Spring is still in bloom, although I expected it to stop in October or November.

Perhaps the oddest of all is the Fern Leaf Lavender that I started from seed last Spring. It started to bloom in September or October and hasn't stopped.

Salad Burnet is not in bloom but is full and beautiful, while the foxgloves behind it are throwing up flower spikes - reaching about 18 inches so far.

Other flowers are expected to be in bloom this time of year, such as Camellia japonica Debutante,

Camellia 'High Fragrance, '

Camellia 'Magnolilaflora' looks like a lady's hat to me

Camellia sasanqua Setsugekka.

 <-- are="are" as="as" be="be" blooming="blooming" br="br" collection="collection" expected="expected" frost="frost" gold="gold" hellebores="hellebores" innamon="innamon" now.="now." such="such" to="to">

Likewise 'Jacob' is another of the new hybrid Hellebores that is in bloom. 

Daphne odora is beginning to open . 

I am tickled to see, after more than a decade and planting in three different gardens trying to get this one to bloom, that my Algerian Iris, Iris unguicularis, is finally planted in just the right spot and is blooming in January.  
My little 'Rosebud' Japanese Flowering Apricot Prunus mume is blooming on old wood and I'm delighted I found it at Garden*Hood Nursery last January. 
There are lots more, but you get the drift! What is blooming in your garden now? 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

2013 New Year Resolutions in the Garden

Camellia 'High Fragrance'

This year I am making resolutions for my new garden. On a 104 degree F. day in July 2011 we moved to our new home and blank-slate-garden in Atlanta. Next came 3 months of bush-hogging, English ivy-ripping and path-designing, and then the parade of planting began. This means that nothing in my garden has been planted there for more than 18 months, the compost bin is new, and I am propagating large quantities of things such as hellebores, parsley and foxgloves to fill in. Most of my woody ornamentals are knee-high, except for a number of native azaleas I brought from the old garden in large tubs.  .  

In 2013 I resolve to finish my first compost from the new compost bin, use it on the plants, and start again.

I plan to extravagantly sow about 2 decades of carefully hoarded, alphabetized, left-over seed and USE THEM UP. 

This year I intend to install a cold frame, soil heating mat, temperature controller and automatic sash openers to promote better rooting. 

Each fall my goal is to plant 1,000 (or more) spring flowering bulbs, including some I have never tried before. For the last 2 years I have succeeded in this goal. 

Moonlight Blue seeds
 from Jelittto
 I hope to start another 10 dozen hellebores, 10 dozen parsley and 10 dozen (this year trying Apricot) foxgloves in order to plant them out in my pine woodland this coming fall. Likewise, I have ordered seed for big blue NZ delphiniums $$$$ and hope to do the same with those (treating them as cool season biennials in Hotlanta). Fingers crossed that that last idea works!  

 I plan to keep planting particularly large-flowered camellias. 

 I resolve to concentrate on fragrant plants. 

 I plan to take millions of cuttings of my pink and my yellow daisy mums now that there are enough to share. 

I am increasing my use of biological inoculants to promote healthy growth through mycorrhizal fungus and beneficial bacteria in association with plant roots. 

I hope to grow Armenian, Syrian and pickling cucumbers this year. 

Asian Persimmons on
\dwarf tree
 I resolve to try a couple of dwarf Asian Persimmons (Ichi by Stark Brothers). 

I resolve to keep a garden journal again to help with year-to-year comparisons, and thus have ordered a 5-year hardbound book to use. 

And I resolve to get at least one little child gardening. What are your resolutions? 



Tuesday, January 1, 2013

What is in bloom January 1, 2013 in my Atlanta garden?

In Bloom New Year's day Jan. 1, 2013 in my 18-month old Atlanta garden: 

Erysimum ‘Yellow Bird’ yellow wallflower

Erysimum ‘Yellow Bird’ yellow wallflower
Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ purple wallflower
Pansies, Violas, Johnny-Jump-Ups
Rhododendron Bloom ‘N Again Azalea ‘Kristin’s Blush’
Rhodendron Encore Autumn ‘Moonlight White’

'Fudingzhu' Tea Olive
Osmanthus fragrans 'Fudingzhu' Tea Olive

Antirrhinum majus dwarf snapdragons
Digitalis purpurea spikes in bud Foxgloves
Gerber daisies, yellow
2 forlorn Zinnia
Iris unguicularis
Iris unguicularis, Algerian iris 
Tagetes lucida Mexican tarragon
Fragaria vesca Alpine Strawberries
Lavendula minutolli Green Fern-Leaf Lavender
Sweet Williams
Rosa ‘Little Women’ Storbook Roses, light pink
Rosa ‘Showboat’ American Storybook Roses, coral
Rosa ‘Coral Drift’
Knockout Roses, Sunny Knockout Roses, Double Pink Knockout Roses
Rosa ‘Sundance Kid’ American Storybook Roses, yellow
Rosa ‘Strike It Rich’ AARS 2006 hybrid tea rose has 1 tight green bud
Pink Frost hellebore
Helleborus niger Gold Collection Hybrids: Joseph Lemper, H. x ballardlae Cinnamon Snow, H. x ballardlae HGC Pink Frost, Jacob Royal, Ivory Prince

Edgeworthia chrysantha  
Viola walteri ‘Silver Gem’ American Beauties
Camellia ‘Debutante’
Camellia ‘Magnoliflora’

Rudbeckia triloba 
Rudbeckia triloba

Camellia setsugekka
Camellia ‘Setsugekka’
Pieris japonica ‘Mountain Snow’
Dusty Miller 

Sanguisorba minor
I am adding a photo of bejeweled Salad Burnet with diamond raindrops: