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By tabbycat on Jul 19, 2018 10:37 AM, concerning plant: Episcia 'Alice's Aussie'

My 'Alice's Aussie' Episcia is blooming its red flowers now, July 2018. I ordered it as a small 3" plant in a 2" pot in spring 2017. It has grown well on a shelf against an east window with a mini blind to adjust and filter the morning sun. I have a SunBlaster light hanging 20" over my Episcias & African violets on 2 shelves there. After 4 hours of nice morning filtered sun, the light is set to come on for another 8 hours of light. Everything thrives and blooms well there. I rotate the blooming ones to various spots in my house to enjoy the blooms about 1 month before returning them to that perfect spot.

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By tabbycat on Jul 19, 2018 9:08 AM, concerning plant: Costmary (Tanacetum balsamita)

I bought a plant of this in May 2018 after wanting it for years so that I could use the large fragrant leaves as bookmarks and potpourri. It has grown well in a pot on my patio in sun for 3/4 of the day. I do water it every other day as it seems to prefer a slightly moist soil. The leaves grow to 7 inches and are as fragrant as I'd always heard. I read it will make small flowers in the fall, so I'll try to collect seeds to share.

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By tabbycat on Jul 19, 2018 8:58 AM, concerning plant: Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum 'Yellow Pear')

I got seeds for these in a Nov. 2017 seed swap here on garden.org. I'm in zone 9 and I sowed them indoors March 1, 2018. All of them germinated, so I had many plants to give away. I kept 2 and planted them out in my garden on May 15th. They are now 4 feet tall and wide and are supported. The 1st ripe one was picked on the 4th of July. Now we pick about 8 a day. These are lemon yellow when ready to pick. At 1 1/2", they are just the right size for snacking or in salads. They have a mild taste but are nutritious to add to your diet. I will grow them again next year.

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By tabbycat on Jul 19, 2018 8:41 AM, concerning plant: Sensitive Plant (Mimosa pudica)

I planted a rooted piece of this 5 years ago in a part-sun flowerbed that gets moisture from the drip line of the roof and saturation when it rains. It has thrived and sent runners to now cover the 8' bed, to the point that I now have to trim it to keep it in bounds.. It is in bloom now, July 2018. I'm in zone 9 and it goes dormant in winter. It took the unusual 21-degree lowest temp of 2017/2018. It stays low and neat, and the pink wand flowers are a sight to see when in full bloom. Children and adults love this curiosity plant.

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By Frillylily on Jul 18, 2018 10:02 PM, concerning plant: Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Gwendolyn Lee Walker')

Nice wide branching and a sweet fragrance, very graceful blooms.

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By Frillylily on Jul 18, 2018 9:53 PM, concerning plant: Daylily (Hemerocallis '120th Anniversary')

This plant was offered as a free gift plant with the first every so many orders for the year of Wild's 120th anniversary. It was never for sale by Wild's that I am aware of, and I have never seen it for sale anywhere since. I suppose an odd plant here or there may be offered up occasionally by a home gardener, but never any nurseries. It has beautiful blooms, but I have grown it at two addresses now, both in southern MO and neither time has it performed well for me. The bud count was about 20 for me, so that's okay, but it does not increase well and it sulks when moved. The bloom has a rich heavy substance to it. It does kind of sit there, though, and doesn't grow much for me.

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By tabbycat on Jul 18, 2018 9:21 PM, concerning plant: Urn Plant (Aechmea fasciata)

My beautiful flower has bloomed for a month but is now on its way down. I got lovely pictures I'll post later. It grows on my south-facing porch, where it gets very bright light all day but no direct sun. At 4 years old it started as a 3 inch pup and is now 18 inches wide and tall. I love the silvery-green shades of the leaves, but watch out for the shark teeth on the edges. I read to watch for tiny pups to form after the flower finishes.

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By tabbycat on Jul 18, 2018 9:00 PM, concerning plant: Devil's Trumpet (Datura metel 'Ballerina Yellow')

It's July 18, 2018, and one of my plants has its first flower and 3 buds here in zone 9. On March 1st I sowed the seeds I got in the Nov. 2017 seed swap here on garden.org. The plant is 24 inches tall and 12 inches across. It grows in a large pot in morning through midday sun. I have another just like it that is the same size and has 3 buds that should open in a couple of days. The pretty flower seems to have triple layers and is the palest yellow. I'm delighted!

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By ILPARW on Jul 18, 2018 8:46 PM, concerning plant: Swedish Birch (Betula pendula 'Dalecarlica')

This is the most common cut-leaf, weeping form of the European White Birch in eastern North America. It has never been commonly planted, just very occasionally, but a good number of larger or mail order nurseries used to sell it in the 1950's through the 1980's. Less common now, as it usually lives about 20 years after planting before heat and drought stress allow it to be killed off by the Bronze Birch Borer, a long brown beetle. I remember two excellent specimens planted at Northern Illinois University in the 1980's that had lived about 20 years and then died off. I'm sure a few sources might still sell some in the US.

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By ILPARW on Jul 18, 2018 8:20 PM, concerning plant: Whitebarked Himalayan Birch (Betula utilis subsp. jacquemontii)

I've seen this species a few times in southeast Pennsylvania and it is occasionally used in the Midwest also. Most nurseries don't carry this. It is used by some landscape architects and professional designers. There is a good group planted near the train connection at the Philadelphia International Airport in Pennsylvania; I last saw them in 2017. This species has white bark appearing like paper sheets upon the trunk. The bluish-green leaves are rounded and large. It is more resistant to heat and drought than the European White Birch and about the same as the Paper Birch. I worked around one customers home in Chesterbrook, Pennsylvania that had one specimen planted there. It was doing well the first seven years when I came by there about once a month, but it declined with Bronze Birch Borer damage during the last three years and was removed before dying. That customer did not water it when some significant heat and drought struck. This species should be good for about 30 years in landscapes in the Midwest and Eastern US.

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By ILPARW on Jul 18, 2018 7:48 PM, concerning plant: Silver Birch (Betula pendula)

The European White Birch is common in its native northern Europe. It has been used in landscaping in eastern North America. It used to be more commonly used in the Midwestern and Eastern US back in the 1950's into the 1980's than now. The biggest reason is that it easily gets stressed by hot temperatures (over 85 degrees F) and drought, and then is killed off by the Bronze Birch Borer when about 20 years old, which happens mostly in USDA Zones 5 & 6. This American native insect attacks stressed or dying birches first at the top and works its way down, leaving D-shaped black exit holes and making some little bumps on the bark. The European White Birch is a very pretty tree that has somewhat of a weeping habit as its scientific name (Betula pendula) suggests. Its small triangular leaves get to about 3 inches long x 1.5 inches wide and turn an average or poor yellow in the fall. Its white bark is tight and not peeling like Paper Birch. (The Gray Birch that is native to southeast Canada and the northeastern US is similar, but with larger leaves of 3.5 inches long x 2 inches wide and having a much longer apex (leaf tip); has an irregular habit that is not as weeping; eventually gets some gray bands on the bark; and is resistant to heat and drought.)

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By ILPARW on Jul 18, 2018 7:17 PM, concerning plant: Japanese Spirea (Spiraea japonica 'Shibori')

'Shibori' is a common cultivar of the Japanese Spirea that is sold at conventional nurseries. It has both white and pink flower clusters on one plant. Some plants tend to have more white; some have more pink, and some are about even in number. Best to buy it in bloom.

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By tabbycat on Jul 18, 2018 1:57 PM, concerning plant: Butterfly Ginger (Hedychium coronarium)

I'm in zone 9 and the 1st flowers of 2018 opened June 24. I knew it before seeing the pretty flowers because the fragrance caught me off guard all the way to my patio 10 feet away from the plants.

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By ILPARW on Jul 18, 2018 10:11 AM, concerning plant: Mountain Silverbell (Halesia tetraptera)

Some sources online and my old gigantic textbook from 1998 of Manual of Woody Landscape Plants have the official name of Carolina Silverbell as Halesia tetraptera instead of H. Carolina. Therefore, H. tetraptera = H. carolina, with the first scientific name being the one really used now. Look in Halesia carolina to see more photos of this species.

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By tabbycat on Jul 17, 2018 8:51 PM, concerning plant: Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Carlotta')

My 'Carlotta' daylilies make proliferation plants. This July 2018 I cut four 6" plants off stems that still had flowers. I put them in water for 3 days, which makes them send out nice roots, then on day 4 I put them in potting soil. I've read they are actually clones of the plant they form on.

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By Marilyn on Jul 17, 2018 1:54 PM, concerning plant: Canyon phlox (Phlox nana 'Perfect Pink')

This beautiful pink flowering Canyon phlox (Phlox nana 'Perfect Pink'), was introduced by High Country Gardens in 2013.

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By Marilyn on Jul 17, 2018 1:49 PM, concerning plant: Beardtongue (Penstemon 'Blue Lips')

This beauty, Beardtongue (Penstemon 'Blue Lips'), was introduced by High Country Gardens in 2009.

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By Marilyn on Jul 17, 2018 1:47 PM, concerning plant: Feather Grass (Achnatherum calamagrostis)

Feather Grass (Achnatherum calamagrostis) is a 2006 introduction from High Country Gardens.

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By Marilyn on Jul 17, 2018 1:45 PM, concerning plant: Fremont's Evening Primrose (Oenothera macrocarpa subsp. fremontii 'Shimmer')

Fremont's Evening Primrose (Oenothera macrocarpa subsp. fremontii 'Shimmer') is a 2007 introduction from High Country Gardens.

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By Marilyn on Jul 17, 2018 1:38 PM, concerning plant: Columbine (Aquilegia 'Swallowtail')

Columbine (Aquilegia 'Swallowtail') is a 2000 introduction from High Country Gardens.

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