This site is for people who like plants -- growers, enthusiasts, aesthetes, novices and professionals, those who appreciate wild things and those who appreciate the cultivated. I garden in Chelsea, and I've been visiting people's yards for 20+ years in the course of my work. My goal is to make this blog a community project, so if you share my interests, please consider becoming a participant and contributing content -- Guerin. Info: greenstreet@mindspring.com

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Out with the Old, In with the Pinky Winky

Other than the oak-leaf, Pinky Winky is my first hydrangea. (No, that's not exactly true: I remember killing an Hydrangea paniculata tar diva years ago. Apparently it requires water.)


So why Pinky Winky? I saw it at my brother's place in southeast Maine. Not only was it it lovely, not only was it flowering at a time when most other things had packed it up for the season, it was so full of pollinators that you could hear the buzz from inside the house. So listen closely to the video I took with my cell phone.

What else is new? How about this one from Detroit's Eastern Market: a bougainvillea! If anybody out there has ideas about how to keep this over the winter, please clue me in. I expect I'll bring it inside, place it in front of a bright window, and attend to all the fallen leaves before family members tell me I have to toss it out.

And here are some plants I have decided to retire: Saruma henryi, an upright yellow-flowered asian relative of wild ginger (Asarum canadense). (Note that the two genera names are anagrams). Saruma is fine early in the season but it gets too large and bushy and then it seeds around, and I am tired of managing it. Also going is Sinocalycanthus chinensis, an Asian relative of Carolina sweetshrub (Calycanthus floridus). It is unusual for sure, and the flowers look just like sunnyside-down fried eggs. But being unusual with eggy flowers does not cut it when space is at a premium.

But wait! Look what I dug up: one giant cyclamen bulb. That one stays for sure.

I'm thinning out my collection of jack-in-the-pulpits. Half of them I received via seed exchange, and knew nothing about them until I grew them on. There's some satisfaction in knowing that I probably have the largest collection of Arisaema's in Chelsea, Michigan, but I've got to face the fact that, while curious, they are not all garden-worthy.

Well, at least that's a small start. Anyone out there want a seedling of my hardy orange (Poncirus trifoliata)? It is beautiful, wickedly thorny, and the big parent plant didn't make it through this past winter. Plenty of offspring from where my son and I pelted each other with the sour limes.

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