Thursday, May 31, 2007

Recent Acquisitions

Here are our purchases from a recent Master Gardeners sale. Several Polygonatum, Solomon's Seal, a Trillium and a Hepatica. Thankfully the plants we separated by botanical names so I headed straight for the P's for Polygonatum to beat the large crowd because I wanted to add a few more to the woodland garden. The Trillium and Hepatica were under a tent named collector's corner where they had unusual, commercially obtained plants. I told my wife to scout that area to find anything unusual that caught her eye and she was able to get the Trillium, Hepatica and tiny Polygonatum before they were all gone. She has a good eye for plants.

This is the Polygonatum humile a tiny Solomon's Seal. Humile for humility? We bought two of these plants - they were too cute.

This is Polygonatum odoratum, variegatum. The MasterGardener who checked us out said she donated these plants. I asked if they had a scent because of the name but she replied that it didn't or only a faint scent she could barely detect.

Polygonatum odoratum. Just the plain one, not variegated like the one above. These have not done well. They barely grew, the buds didn't open any more than in the photo and the two plants we bought have already wilted while the other Polygonatums are still flowering and doing well. I could detect no scent.

Two close ups of Polygonatum biflora which is something of a misnomer because there are as many flowers that are triplets as doubles. The first picture a bud closeup of the variegated leaf variety and the following one of the open flowers on the plain leafed one.

And...Trillium luteum "Lemon Yellow". I was hoping the growth on top of the leaves were flower buds but they turned out to be just appendages of the leaves. Rats, I thought I'd get to see it bloom in the first year. Not so!

No close up of the Hepatica but it's in the box in the first photo. Hepatica nobilis var. obtusa (H. americana) - Round-lobed Hepatica a relative of the anemones. The tag reads blue- violet flowers. I hope so because I have the white flowered one which is quite humble and could use the 'Humile' appellation.

The cost for all these plants? $45.00 We almost turned back to buy more when we realized how cheap they were. The most expensive ones were under the tent. 9 plants, two in gallon pots for $45.00. Five bucks apiece. What a bargain.


Blogger Annie in Austin said...

The variegated Japanese polygonatum did well for me in IL... it seems you could catch a light scent if you really tried, but there was nothing strong enough to be wafted around the garden.

Your 'divide and conquer' partnership scheme for the plant sale worked really well, Ki!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

8:19 AM  
Blogger lisa said...

Nice! If the hepatica is like mine, the flower is a really beautiful blue! It sends out babies from the mother plant (seeds or runners, I'm not sure), but I've sucessfully moved my babies and they are growing well. Someday I want my property rife with wildfloers, then maybe I'll share or sell some. Trilliums can be slow to bloom, and if you see no leaves next year, don't give up! I've had mine go dormant/skip a year before, and come back again fine.

9:07 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Annie,
Divide et impera! I was like Philip II at the sale. All businesslike, directing my wife to rush the tent, grabbing boxes, quickly scanning other plants as I zeroed in on the Ps, all while accosting a MasterGardener acquaintance to confirm the plants were located by botanical name. ;) We managed to get out before too many of the "where d'ja get those" types stopped us. It was like a fire sale. Set your box down and it was more than likely that your plants would be taken by someone - "Oh I didn't know they were yours". When it comes to specimen plants people can be vicious.

I was a little disappointed that the P. odoratum was pretty much scentless but I bought the plant for it's looks so a scent would have been a nice bonus.

Hi Lisa,
I'm just hoping that they didn't make a mistake in labeling the Hepatica. I've bought so many mislabeled plants that I've become a bit pessimistic. Well all I care about is that it grows well. I planted a round lobed Hepatica last year and to my horror I found the whole plant chopped off at the ground! It may have been our cat scratching the ground. I can't think of anything else who would do such a thing unless it's those nasty squirrels again.

It took two years before the Trilliums I have flowered so I will be patient for this one to bloom. I just have to make sure I mark its location so we don't dig it up planting a bulb.

10:11 AM  
Blogger Blackswamp_Girl said...

Lovely haul, you two! That little "humile" IS adorable. Wow. Makes me wish my mom would let me plant up a nice shade garden for her where they would fit in... I just can't seem to make woodland plants work convincingly in my urban garden. *sigh*

8:13 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Now that was a successful day of plant hunting! I love Solomon's Seal - whether of the plain or variegated variety. I will keep my fingers crossed that your Hepatica is indeed blue! They are such beautiful plants - I love the way the flowers arrive before the foliage begins to appear.

8:47 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Kim, A woodland garden nestled in a group of suburban homes is not exactly natural either. But we have so many plants around that area of the house that you can't even tell where the regular plantings end and the woodland garden begins. I think you could plant a very small niche garden. The woodland plants tend to be small anyway and don't take up very much space. We love the little 'humile' and both plants seem to be thriving.

Hi Kate,
That was a wonderful day. We got there a bit late, just 10 minutes before the start and was at the back of the line of about a hundred people so I was not optimistic that I would be able to get some Solomon's seal. Most of the people weren't as focused as I was and wandered around looking at everything. I zeroed in on the P's so I was able to get my pick of plants. Surprisingly, a lot of people wanted the most common sort of plants!

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the Hepatica turns out to be blue. This will be a nice surprise present in spring.

4:10 AM  
Blogger Digital Flower Pictures said...

Nothing like a good plant at a good price. I think that makes me enjoy them a little more. I once planted a tree that cost 10k and I don't think I ever recovered from the stress of it (it lived and thrived, after all). I love the little Solomon's Seal. It has formed a nice patch in the difficult conditions of the River Birch Grove.

4:05 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Chris,
I can believe that a 10k tree could turn one's hair white overnight. I would be a wreck if I had planted one in our yard. Probably would kill it from overwatering or some stupid thing like that. Even $25 trees cause me no end of concern. We bought several $60 paperbark maples to form a copse and all of them died. Too much winter exposure and boggy ground. Killed one before in the same area. I don't seem to learn very quickly. We couldn't pass up on another for sale at $25. Planted it again in the same exposure but dryer ground. 2 weeks later thought better of it and dug it up and replanted in a sheltered raised bed. Thankfully it survived and is thriving.

Good to know the "humile" is a tough plant. We gave both very good locations to show it off and they seem to be doing very well.

6:34 PM  
Blogger Digital Flower Pictures said...

Funny story about that pricey tree. I had put a ID tag on it (with wire) when I planted it. About three years later I was showing someone the tree when I noticed the wire was just starting girdle the trunk! Close call for sure but no damage was done.

6:56 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Close call indeed Chris but we've had a bunch of plants with the tags wired on that was either hidden or we just didn't get around to taking the tag off. Some of our plants look like Minnie Pearl. Anyway the bark just grows around the wire and no harm done except there's a bulge where the wire remains. These were on small branches not the main trunk but I would think the result would be the same.

I remember my dad would girdle some of the fruit trees to make them more fruitful. He would make a cut with either a knife or saw right around the tree. I thought if you damaged the cambium layer you would kill the tree but the trees didn't die from the small cut or removing the bark at a saw's width. Don't know if this really produced more fruit but a lot of people did it.

7:07 PM  

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