Summer 2023: Resplendent Plants

After finding a new home for a Viburnum that was annoying a Japanese Maple (See post, “Assess, Adjust, Savor: Part 1”) I gifted the Maple with a showy red skirt of perennial Heuchara ‘Fire Alarm’ (Z 5-9). Photo below. (NOTE: The happily resettled Viburnum flowered and produced berries for the birds. A garden win win.)

copyright 2023 – Lois Sheinfeld

Multi-award-winning H. ‘Fire Alarm’ retains its striking reddish color for the entire growing season. In the summer, tiny pink bell-shaped flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds. The plant is pest and disease resistant. Provide well-drained, organically rich soil in shade.

Pollinators took center stage at the Mt. Cuba five year plant trials of native Hydrangeas: Pollinator attraction was an essential element of performance. Plants were also evaluated on habit, vigor, and floral display. The only hydrangea awarded the top score of 5.0, Hydrangea arborescens ‘Haas Halo'( Z 3-8) was the hands-down winner, the “perfect combination of horticultural excellence and pollinator value.”

I purchased several plants. They didn’t do much their first season in my garden but this summer the shrubs took my breath away: Tall stout stems were topped with awesome brobdingnagian-sized, snow-white lacecap flowers, adorned with bees.  Photos below.

copyright 2023 – Lois Sheinfeld

copyright 2023 – Lois Sheinfeld

copyright 2023 – Lois Sheinfeld

copyright 2023 – Lois Sheinfeld

My Halos are tolerant of oppressive heat and humidity and flourish in well-drained, moist, acidic soil in shade. They are healthy with no pest or disease problems. Prune in the early Spring — the plants flower on new growth.

I purchased Heuchera ‘Fire Alarm’ and Hydrangea ‘Haas Halo’ mail order from Rarefind Nursery.; Phone: 732-833-0613

Garden inspiration can come in many ways — even from the cover of a 2023 Summer Newsletter. Photo below.

printed with permission JC Raulston Arboretum, NCSU

As soon as I saw this cover-girl dazzler I had to have it. When the JC Raulston Arboretum staff identified the beauty as Hyacinthoides hispanica ‘Excelsior’, I fast added 50 bulbs to my Fall 2023 bulb order. H. hispanica ‘Excelsior’ (Z 3-8) is a 1906 heirloom Spanish Bluebell bulb that flowers in the Spring and prefers sandy, moist, well-drained soil in sun or part shade. It naturalizes well and is often planted in woodland areas, under deciduous trees.  The bulb is said to be deer and rodent resistant. Can’t wait to have it grace my garden.

I purchased H. hispanica ‘Excelsior’  from my mail order bulb source John Scheepers.; phone: 860-567-0838.

Note: This year is the worst ever for ticks. They are everywhere. Even garden gravel paths and wooden decks are no longer safe. Many of us have suffered from serious tick bite infections. Thankfully, I can now report that help is on its way: Moderna and Pfizer are just two of the companies with Lyme vaccines in trials. Finally!!!!!!