Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Dwarf Japanese Solomon's Seal, Polygonatum 'humile'

I bought this tiny Solomon's Seal 'humile' (for humility?) at our Master Gardner's sale last year. I thought I lost it because it was slow in appearing this spring but it came back with great vigor and has spread at least 2 times it's original size. The plant is about 8" tall. Chris of Digital Flower Pictures told me they were very hardy even if planted in shade and would spread and eventually cover a large area so I may use it as a ground cover under some birches.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Acer Japonicum 'Otaki'

This maple is different from the ones we normally call Japanese maple, the Acer Palmatums. It belongs with the other A. Japonicums such as the 'Full Moon' and 'Mai Kujaku' (dancing peacock) maples from Japan. Though not quite a beautiful as either of the ones mentioned above, it is vigorous and handsome in it's own right.

The deer have eaten the new shoots of my 'Full Moon' maple so it's barely surviving and browsed the 'Mai Kujaku' so heavily it died. But the 'Otaki' remains unmolested. I don't know if the rough textured leaves make it less palatable or if it's just lucky happenstance they missed it but the little foot tall tree I bought as a 1 year graft has grown to more than 5 feet tall in 3 years.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Johnny Jump-Ups

These volunteer Johnnys are exceptionally robust this year. The evenly spaced rain kept everything moist during the winter so even if we are below average in rainfall this year the plants held up much better than with drenching rains followed by no rain for a couple of weeks.