March 21, 2010

The Plant Geek no shrinking violet with his opinions

(Continued from page 1)

Torenia “Catalina Gilded Grape,” the wishbone flower

Coreopsis “Dream Catcher”

Additional Photos Below


IF YOU MISS the deadline for planting your vegetable seedlings inside, don’t worry about it.

I WAS TALKING to Norm Steele, who coordinates the Plant a Row for the Hungry Program for the Cumberland County Cooperative Extension, and he said that last year he missed his deadline for planting onion seedlings by about three weeks. It didn’t matter. They did just as well as ever.

HE WAS JUST planting onion and celariac now.

Those were the Masse pearls of wisdom related to some of the plants; with others, he just discussed the plants.

He likes red banana (Ensete ventricosum “Maurelii” and West Indian kale Colocasie esculenta “Heart of the Jungle”) for the size and color of their leaves.

He likes “Snow Princess” Alyssum because one of them takes up the space of seven other annuals, letting you save some money.

Papyrus “King Tut” is good because it is tall and striking, while Papyrus “Baby Tut” is more of a texture flower.

If you are bored with impatiens, the best annual for shade is Torenia “Catalina Gilded Grape,” called the wishbone flower for the wishbone look of its stamens. It has a good mix of purple and yellow, it’s a good grower and nothing has been found that eats it. “Yet,” Masse emphasized.

He also likes the annual bog salvia because, as its name implies, it will handle moist areas well and do OK in drought, and it gets tall enough to blow in the breeze. He uses his basement to overwinter them.

Baptisia is the Perennial Plant Associations’s plant of the year, and he likes a white one called “Wayne’s World.”’ It takes time for them to come into full bloom, however.

Masse’s current favorite daylily is “Fragrant Returns,” which, as its name would imply, is a fragrant rebloomer.

Masse likes Japanese iris and mentioned “Lion King,” but he recommends growing it in a moist swale next to the road because it looks great for the short time it is in bloom, and looks like other green road-edge plants the rest of the year.

Tom Atwell can be contacted at 791-6362 or at:

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Additional Photos

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Agastache “Black Adder”

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Lantana camara “Luscious Citrus Blend”


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