|[ Stinging Nettle (Urtica chamaedryoides) | Posted on April 13, 2015 ]
Stinging nettle is also a good compost "activator." I routinely add it to my compost piles in the spring to heat the pile up after a cold winter. So, despite its uncomfortable effect on unsuspecting skin, it's a very useful plant. I was also told by an elderly farmer that the presence of stinging nettles is a sign of high nitrogen in your field - makes sense. Nettles are a preferred source for some species of butterfly larvae, so be sure to leave a small stand of the plant in an isolated corner.
|[ Creeping Juniper (Juniperus horizontalis Limeglow™) | Posted on August 23, 2014 ]
Northern Zone 5(4a) - thriving immediately under a Black Walnut; little winter dieback. Good spring through fall color even in partial shade. Growth is slow to medium in this setting.
|[ Seven Son Flower (Heptacodium miconioides) | Posted on August 22, 2014 ]
Although this tree (which was planted as a small mail order purchase) is described as tolerant in zones 5 through 9 (Missouri Botanical Garden site), it has shown extreme hardiness. It has withstood an open position in a rural northern zone 5, and it survived two growing seasons of significant drought without much supplemental watering and then a record-breaking winter that killed plants purported to be hardier. The bloom on the tree this year is spectacular. It makes a perfect addition to a mixed border perennial scheme with its interesting bark, nice glossy leaves, and delicate bracts of white flowers in August, providing true four-season interest.