Gardening log for March-April 2019

I’ve been planting the backlog, and went to a couple of sales—Duke Gardens plant sale on 30 March, and the Pi Alpha Xi NCSU sale 5 April.

Daffodils are blooming happily this second year.

From Duke:

  • Aspidistra elatior Cast Iron Plant from the Master Gardeners; I planted it with the two from Gunter’s Greenhouse on the north side of the basement.
  • Phlox subulata ‘Purple Beauty’
  • Phlox stolonifera ‘Sherwood Purple’
  • Polianthes tuberosa, single tuberose, which were potted up. I love the scent so much!
  • Ruellia elegans ‘Ragin Cajun’, Mexican petunia 18-24 in H. Planted in the new bed by the chokeberry.
  • Penstemon ‘Riding Hood’. Planted in the new bed by the chokeberry.
  • Phlox paniculata ‘Robert Poore’ summer phlox, hot pick, 4-5 ft H, 2-3 ft W. Planted in the new bed by the chokeberry.
  • Leucothoe fontanesiana ‘Nana’ x 2, planted along the southern fence near the compost heap.
Of course, more holiday lights–these were near the Alma fig.

The haul from PAX:

  • Agastache ‘Kudos Mandarin’. Planted in a new bed near the chokecherry.
  • Salvia ‘Armistad’: Dark purple flowers, 4 ft H x 3 ft W, tender perennial, S. guaranitica x S. gesneriiflora. Planted in a new bed near the chokecherry.
  • Salvia greggii Mirage Cherry Red. Planted in a new bed near the chokecherry.
  • Dwarf Fetterbush, Leucothoe fontanesiana ‘Nana’, 3 ft H x 6 ft W, evergreen, native, part sun. Planted off the driveway over the stream.
  • Juncus effusus ‘Big Twister’, planted in a tall pot by the back door
  • Red Malabar Spinach
  • Dalmation Peach foxglove, Digitalis purpurea, sun-part sun, blooms early summer, requires moisture, 24 in H, space 18-24 in. Planted among the peonies as shade.
  • Juniperus virginiana ‘Grey Owl’, two planted along the road as a hedge
  • Heuchera villosa ‘Caramel’. Planted in the beds against the north side of the house.

“Orange Russian” tomato from Bull City Swap, planted in the raised bed 13-April

Transplanted 20-30 Lobelia siphilitica that I winter-sowed in a milk jug last fall, into pots. They are very happy; I have no idea what I will do with them all.

29-March, the Christmas ferns are coming up.

Purchased from Gunter’s Greenhouse in March:

  • Lemongrass; one planted in a planter and the other in front of the peonies; I’m testing the shade for the poor peonies.
  • Shrub roses, two ‘At Last’ and a ‘Julia Child’; shortly afterwards voles ate the two At Last. I saw it the next day, bastards.
30-March, the sole bloom on my yellow magnolia opened.

finally planted all the stray irises from Mom’s house in a bed 28-Feb, after two years in pots. The bed is against the fence in front of my parking spot. As of 18-April, they have grown tremendously and are budding out.

  • Planted Lycoris radiata var radiata ‘Fire Engine’ and Lycoris sprengeri “Blue Pearl’ from Plant Delights on 24-Feb in the iris bed for late-season color.

As I read about the tuberose, I learned that the doubles bloom at different times. So I bought some from Easy To Grow Bulbs, the grower of the ones from DUke.

  • Polianthes tuberosa ‘The Pearl’, double tuberose; this is recommended for garden use rather than cuttings like the single one
  • Polianthes tuberosa ‘Pink Sapphire’, double tuberose
  • Iris germanica ‘Immortality’, pure white fragrant rebloomer, tall bearded, 36-40 in H. Zurbrigg 1982. Award of Merit: 1990. Mid. Rather famous rebloomer. Planted in the iris bed by the double gate.
  • Japanese Iris Pallida Variegata: I thought this was Iris pallida ‘Albo-Variegata’, but I realized after I got it that it is Iris ensata ‘Variegata’, which requires more moisture; this name is in the details on the website. I emailed the vendor and got a reply that they are looking into it, but it’s been 2-3 weeks… Reaches 24 in H and W. Planted in the iris bed by the double gate.

Of course, I had to stop by Logan’s 20-April while we were in Raleigh to get a Mexico Midget tomato from Craig LeHoullier:

  • Iris germanica ‘Apricot Silk’, a pretty pale peach rebloomer with fragrance, intermediate bearded, 20-24 in H. Willott 1986. Early. Planted north of the coastal cedar near the peonies.
  • Iris germanica ‘Victoria Falls’, medium blue fragrant rebloomer, tall bearded, 35-39 in H. Schreiner 1977. Award of Merit: 1980, Dykes Memorial Medal: 1984. Early mid. Planted between two coral peonies.
  • Phlox subulata ‘Emerald Blue’, blue flowers with nice dark green leaves, 4-6 in H and 18 in W. Full sun. Planted in the iris bed by the double gate, hopefully to cover the ground.

Yes, I know I’m mixing my soil moisture needs, but the last three years have been so very wet that everywhere is moist, but fortunately due to rich soil and a fairly steep slope, it drains well. I’ve decided to just throw things together in a bed by height and color, and maybe native or not, and see what is happy at the end of the summer.


I told my figs last year that if I got no fruit again after 3 years of die-back each winter or buds freezing in a late frost, they would get replaced. I got a couple of figs, but I still bought a Violet de Bordeaux to pot up and place it along the south side of the house, where it would hopefully be protected in the winter. Then I found a local grower posting Malta Black cuttings on Facebook. I met Uncle Ben at Crabtree Mall; I think another obsession may be beginning. And of course, my existing Alma and Celeste seems to have survived the winter intact and I should have a good crop of figs now. So far, 3 out of 4 Black Malta cuttings have rooted. Crap.

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