I Got Some More Plants

They were on sale, really.  Also, I needed to take care of two problems. First was my Woodland Phlox (Phlox divaritica) in the bed along the east side of the garage. The problem consisted of two parts.

white bleeding heart
White Bleeding Heart along the east side of the garage.

Part one is that I keep putting in new Woodland Phlox plants and they keep dying. Not all of them, enough to prevent them from filling in the area I want filled.

Part two is that if they don’t die they are either chewed down to the ground by rabbits OR they wimp out on me during the heat of summer. Either way, I’m counting on them to be a groundcover, and they just aren’t covering the ground.

Woodland Phlox
Remember the good times: Woodland Phlox in bloom back in May. Oh, that’s where the watering can went. And I think I told my younger son to but away that basketball while he was still living at home, about five years ago. Maybe it’s time for me to move it. Jason photo.

Sorry, Woodland Phlox, it’s just not working out. Sure, your blue flowers look great in spring, but then you fade away before you close the deal. I’m afraid we need to go in a different direction.

Bleeding Heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis) is supposed to be an ephemeral, yet along the garage its foliage lasts all year.  So I’m putting in another white Bleeding Heart to fill in the north end of this bed. I’m sure I can count on all of you to work as a team.

White bleeding heart
My newly planted white Bleeding Heart. Basketball is still there, five months later. This is a Jason photo.

There’s another small shady bed along the path to the alley. This bed used to be full of Woodland Sunflower (Helianthus strumosus), a plant I found disappointing from the beginning. First, it was floppy. Second, it didn’t have all that many flowers. And third, it looked like it was starting to poop out (to use the scientific botanical term). So I dug it out this spring, and the bed has been lying dormant under a layer of wood chips all year.

Woodland Sunflower
Woodland Sunflower in its own little bed last year

Until now. This past weekend I filled this bed with the following: Dwarf Goatsbeard (Aruncus aethusifolius), Lenten Rose (Helleborus orientalis), and a variegated Bugleweed, Ajuga reptans ‘Pink Lightning’. Plus, I also planted a dwarf Beautyberry, Callicarpa dichotoma ‘Issai’. The Lenten Rose will provide multi-colored flowers in April, the Aruncus has white flower spikes in June and July, and the Beautyberry will have purple berries starting in August. Plus I think will be a nice mix of foliage through the year.

Newly planted bed
Newly planted bed formerly filled with Woodland Sunflower. Another Jason photo. The others are Judy’s, of course

Did you plant any new perennials last weekend?

56 Comments on “I Got Some More Plants

  1. I tried for years to grow Wild Blue Phlox and it never lasted for more than a year or two, so I finally gave up. I’m really disappointed–I love it so much. And beware of woodland sunflower–mine took years to take hold and then it completely took over a couple of areas. I have to pull out tons of it every spring.

    • I agree that Wild Blue Phlox is beautiful, perhaps it needs different conditions to really thrive. And I’ve heard that Woodland Sunflower can be invasive, but it never got too aggressive in my yard.

  2. I tried for years to grow Wild Blue Phlox and it never lasted for more than a year or two, so I finally gave up. I’m really disappointed–I love it so much. And beware of woodland sunflower–mine took years to take hold and then it completely took over a couple of areas. I have to pull out tons of it every spring.

  3. Ohhh the white bleeding heart is gorgeous! I’ve had “get allium bulbs” on my to do list for the past 2 weeks and haven’t been able to get to the nursery. I swear this blogging is keeping me on the computer more than in the garden lol

  4. Too bad about the Woodland Phlox, as it looks a lovely little thing and the flower color is yummy. But you can only carry a plant so far, right? This is the first time I knew that Dicentra was now Lamprocampnos (and of course it’s longer and harder to remember). I have grown the pink form and it’s tough. I hope this white form does the job for you!

    • Lamprocapnos sounds like it should be the name of an eel or something like that. But it is a tough plant and it will bulk up nicely over time.

  5. I didn’t know about the change of name either; it’s hard enough remembering all the names, then they get changed!

  6. Amazing that the bleeding heart keeps its foliage during winter. How are soil and light conditions in your woodland bed? Can be tricky sometimes and I guess your rabbits don’t help. As you know I got some perennials and shrubs on the market and I want to start planting today. I’m especially fond of this little Aster Snowflurry. 🙂

  7. I haven’t planted any ‘new’ plants but I’ve been busy dividing and moving. It’s like looking at a room and deciding the furniture would be better arranged differently. I do have white Bleeding Hearts and my white phlox does okay where it is. 🙂

  8. Nice finds! Have you tried Phlox pilosa, it’s a good spreader and blooms in April for a good long month. gail

  9. You’ve been busy then! Like the sound of that newly planted bed! Last weekend was wet here, but I have a Clematis, a hydrangea and two hardy geranium cuttings to plant later this week.

  10. A few weeks ago I received a shipment of ten plants, most of which went into the new, mostly shady, lasagna bed. (http://cosmosandcleome.wordpress.com/2013/09/19/feeding-my-addiction/)

    I’m expecting another shipment this week, which will include an old-fashioned Bleeding Heart. I’m excited about that since I apparently managed to kill my old one last year when I re-worked the black-eyed susan bed.

    Here in the Northeast, it’s been a great fall for getting new plantings established!

  11. Have you ever tried phlox stolonifera (creeping phlox)? It takes a couple of years to really spread but is fantastic when it does. I’m not sure if it would have the same issues as your woodland phlox, though.

    I just went on a spree, between my local garden store, the divisions from my mom, and some shrubs she bought me at her local garden store. It’s been a good fall!

  12. Well, you may have lost your phlox, but at least you found the watering can. I am a pro at losing garden tools. Thanks for the warning on woodland phlox – I was about to get some, but if it “poops out” in Chicago summers, I can only imagine what it will do in North Carolina. So the search goes on.

  13. I have trouble with keeping Woodland Phlox going also, but I love it so much I’ll keep trying. Will be interested to see how your Bleeding Heart works out as a replacement–beautiful plant but I’ve never grown it for some odd reason. Isn’t it exciting to get an area resolved that’s been causing concern for a while.

  14. Your newly planted bed is very nice! I love woodland phlox, and I have a lot of it in my woodland garden. I would never think of it as a ground cover. It does tend to go dormant during our hot summers. But I wouldn’t have a spring without it!

  15. I really like all of your selections! Have you grown Hellebores before? If not, I predict you will fawn over them come springtime. 😉 They are the most incredible plants in the world! I have only three big bushy hellebores, and I want more! I know they’re not native, but I am seriously crazy about them. Sometimes they start to emerge before the snow hits–and then I can’t believe how they stay in a state of suspended animation until March or April. Incredible! Plus, the rabbits don’t touch them! Enjoy your new plants!

  16. Jason, I think your bed will be beautiful in spring with many things you planted especially of Helleborus, ‘Lenten Rose’! The new white bleeding heart will go well there too.

  17. Sounds like you picked up some new gems – should be lovely in the spot you’ve chosen for them! I didn’t plant any new perennials this autumn, and now it’s really too late for us here…too many hard frosts already.

  18. A great thing to do this time of year. Take out what doesn’t work and put something new in. Plus, plants are on sale usually! Your new plants in the former sunflower bed should be nice. I love Lenten Rose. I have been working for am couple of weeks on a new mediterranean inspired, low water bed in my front. I’m almost done planting!

    • You’ll have to write a post about your new bed. Makes a lot of sense for your climate. By the way, my mother in law grew up in Evanston WY and we used to go into the Uinta Mountains with her in the summer.

  19. I have my fingers crossed that the new planting works out….and that you manage to move the baseball, lol xxxx

  20. Great selection Jason – you won’t be disappointed but please if you are don’t quote me 😉
    I grow the dwarf goatsbeard – its a smashing little plant. Will look forward to seeing how things go come spring.

  21. What a satisfying re-plant. You could add a Helleborus argutifolius too, for the lovely evergreen saw-toothed foliage that persists all year, and cool green flowers for months in spring?
    I have lots of aquilegia seedlings to plant out when I find the time, otherwise I think my planting is done for this year…

  22. You seem to be well into the fall replanting mode. Brave of you to get rid of the underperforming plants, I always have so much trouble letting go.

  23. i am very intrigued by the long lasting basketball plant that you have. It looks very much at home in the woodland border. I am guessing it is a very hardy plant

    • Basketball plant is really underutilized, and I’m glad that you are one of the truly refined gardeners who can appreciate it. This plant has so many virtues – it maintains consistent four season interest. What’s more, it is an excellent companion for yellow tennis balls, which can really pop when contrasted with the basketball’s understated elegance. Only thing, it’s not a native. It was made in China.

  24. I have decided to not plant anything right now as I am taking stock instead to see just what are the issues in each bed…although I had ordered a few bulbs and some ironweed and cup plant so that will all get planted.

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