OH Spring Report

Floral Architecture john@floralarchitecture.com
Fri, 02 Jun 2006 10:53:45 PDT
Well, as computer gremlins would have it, I had a huge
email that somehow disappeared. So, I will start all
I am now in OH at my uncle's house in z 5b. There are
some real surprises this spring. 


Cardoon is sprouting and is about 3' tall.
Parsley is up and about to flower.
Tetrapanex 'Steroidal Giant' has suckered and I have
about 5 new plants. I had removed the main plant last
fall and sent to myself (it died). 
Salvia Black and Blue up against the house is nearing
3' tall already.
Brugmansia (overwintered in the unheated garage) is
sprouting from the top
Fuchsia 'Gartenmeister Bonstedt' also in the garage in
a  pot is sprouting
Agapanthus in the same garage is completely evergreen.
I wasn't expecting that.

Hardy tropicals:
Crinum (mostly powellii and moorei but a few Ellen B.)
are quite large this year but no signs of buds
Rhodophialas are everywhere that I planted them. They
have started to clump quite nicely. They put on a nice
show last fall when I was home. 
Lycoris (longituba, squamigera, and one other that I
can't think of at the moment) are up and lush. they
seem to have very little tip burn. They have been in
the ground for 3 years or more and have not bloomed
that I am aware of. I did have radiata in the ground
that flowered but they have since disappeared. 
Yucca rostrata seems to have overwintered quite well.
I gave it a few tugs on the leaves and there doesn't
seem to be any rot. 

Some happy notes:
I am seeing some Japanese and Siberian iris bloom that
I haven't seen before. I also have what I thought was
I. cristata in bloom but it is white. Is there a white
form that I might have picked up? I originally had it
planted under a magnolia until I realized (as I should
have known) that they have opposite soil requirements.

I have planted here nearly 18 different iris
species/types. Then I have maybe 6-8 of each type at
the most. Of the Japanese ones I have maybe 8
varieties, 6 or so Siberians, a dozen of the Germans,
some Dutch, some Spurias, etc., etc. 
My Spiranthes cernua var. odora (from Plant Delights)
have increased well. I added more plants last year to
increase the size of the area. I love them. I think
they are adorable and one of the easiest orchids next
to Bletillas for cold climates. 
I do have large stands now of the Bletilla. I asked my
aunt what she thought about them and she said that she
doesn't like the leaf and wondered if I could take
them out. I, of course, said no. I told her that she
should be proud to have large stands of orchids in her
yard. She didn't seem to be too impressed. Maybe this
fall I will pull some out and move them around and
give some to other family members who should love them
Lilies are doing well. I have buds on my regals and
the formossanum are chest high already. The OP and LA
lilies are also quite tall. Most of these I got from
Judith at the Lily Garden.
In my shade garden (a rather small crowded area) had
some nice blooms. The Trillium grandiflora (from
Naylor gardens for a steal, $7 each) bloomed for the
first time this year. 
I also have blooms on the Arum italicums. There are
other orchids that I planted here to try them out but
I haven't searched for them just yet. I planted
Epipactis thunbergii, Orchis graminifolia hybrids, and
Habenaria radiata. The area has a ground cover of a
Campanula that is doing better than anticipated. I
will have to remove some soon. There is also a
collection of 18 or so Tricyrtis that I have acquired.
I will be pulling out my original hirta as it always
has dried leaf tips in the fall when blooming. It is
right up against the house and doesn't get enough
water. Since I have so many nicer varieties now, I
won't be too sad. 
The Rohdea had it throughout the winter. I need to
take a closer look when the rains stop but it looks
like there might be some variegation starting on the
In the same bed I have planted some Arisaema
sikokianum and cyclamen. The later seems to be
smothered by the Pulmonarias nearby. My aunt want the
Pulmonarias removed as well. She is quite hard to
please sometimes.
I have several Hellebores  that have been in the
ground for several years and I still have no blooms.
'Black Lady' put out maybe 4 or 6 flowers last year
but nothing this year. The only bloom I got this year
was from foetidis. What am I doing wrong? They are
somewhat small plants yet but I thought that the
wayside hybrids that I got 6 years ago would be larger
than 8" tall by now. They are infuriating. Growing
some plants has taught me patience (clivias, palms,
etc.) but since i only see these plants occasionally,
I thought that there were be major growth spurts
between visits. What do they need that they are not
getting? They are in a humus rich (peat and compost)
soil in bright dappled shade (some direct sun in the
morning). There is leaf litter and moisture. They
don't stay wet at any time of the year but they don't
really dry out too much either. 
The peonies are doing well. The trees are finished
except for a few sheltered blooms. The herbaceous are
either in full bloom or just getting started. Coral
Charm and Coral Sunrise are finished though. I did get
to see the last blooms the day I arrived. They were
quickly removed the next day with rains. I had no idea
that they fade to a yellow/apricot color though. 
Of my peonies there is one or two that I have to rave
about. 'America' is incredible. I know that I have
said this every year but WOW!. The single magenta red
blooms are huge. They are easily over 8" across and
never flop in the rains. The other one is 'Karl
Rosenfeld'. Even though it is one of the most common
commercial reds, the color is gorgeous. It has been
raining all night and they are still standing without
any support. Most of my herb. are on peony rings but
not this one. I was hoping to get a bloom on
'Bartzella' this year but I guess I need to wait for
another year. One peony that eludes me is 'Lord
Calvin'. I have had this plant for several years now.
I have had to move it several times over the years but
I have never had a bloom. It is at the end of the
driveway near the house so it might be getting a lot
of salt. How salt tolerant are peonies? Also, this is
same location for my Sarracenia flava that is blooming
for the first time. It is planted in the open
clay/loam soil. 
I have quite a few Alliums blooming, schubertii,
christofii, and another muddy white one with wide grey
leaves from Brent and Becky's. This one is about 4"
tall with 3" umbels. The name escapes me at the
moment. That reminds me that I need to check on the
ones that I got from Mark. I haven't really had too
much chance to get out to the garden between the
rains. OK. I just looked and they seem like they are
elongated and buds are on the rise. 
The Fritillaria imperalis seemed like they bloomed
good this year. I am glad that I found, finally, the
proper place for the. They are located at the base of
a birch tree on a raised bed that never holds water
due to it's angle. The other location is out at the
mailbox which is nearly pure sand and rocks. I need to
search for the other Frits (from Jane) to see how they
are doing. 
Looks like the Ornithagaulm sp. (which escapes me,
also from Jane) seem to have bloomed nicely. 
Iphieon uniflora and 'Alberto Castillo' have formed
nice clumps. They are done blooming by now. I'd love
to get some more of the other varieties, namely
'Charlotte Bishop'. This is my aunt's favorite color
other than teal. My 'Charlotte's in L.A. didn't bloom
this year so I don't know where they have gone. 
With the winter being very mild, I am expecting to
find the Hippeastrums sprouting when I get into the
beds to work. They made it through the previous winter
which was pretty cold. 
Digitalis grandiflora (seeds sent to the BX) are
starting to bloom. This is a work horse Digitalis. It
is blooming in the spring when I am here and again in
Sept. when I return. I have no idea of the interim but
they are not dead headed and have never reseeded,
unfortunately. I'd love to have a large stand of them
Penstemons are budded and rearing to go. I usually
loose them after a few years. They get too much
moisture here. 
The callas are all sprouting. I have lost only one
calla that I've planted in the ground. I ordered (from
Plant Delights) a large white spotted calla. I hope to
get some large ones that will spread nicely. 
One plant that I am amazed is hardy is Zauschneria
'Orange Carpet'. This is an 8" tall mound about 3'
wide from a single plant. It is massed in Sept with
orange flowers. I recommend it for any climate. If
they grow here and in CA, they can grow anywhere. 
I'm sure that I have left some things off this
truncated email <G> but I'll send more info when I
find out more. 

John Ingram in L.A., CA. 
http://www.floralarchitecture.com/ "Your Clivia Connection"
310.709.1613 (cell, west coast time, please call accordingly. Thank you)

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