Friday, May 11, 2012

HAPPY MAIL DAY

It's usually a box of fabric being delivered that puts a spring in my step but yesterday it was a box of plants. As a longtime garden editor and writer, I receive an assortment of perennials and annuals to trial in my garden from some of the plant companies. At the end of the growing season, I report back to them on how they performed in my climate.


If you've read my blog before, you know I'm a rose fan (not of the fussy ones but the easy ones!). These three new rose bushes arrived yesterday and will be planted in the beds that surround Ashton House. Known as Easy Elegance roses, they are hardy, disease-resistant, and low-maintence (yes, you heard that right—an easy-care rose). I can't grow the fussy ones in my Iowa garden. They're just too high-maintenance!


Some of the other plants that arrived this week are 'Vanilla Strawberry' hydrangea, which blooms from summer through fall. Being a pink lover, I can't wait to try this one out. I have some pink hydrangeas but none with this kind of pink! The blooms start out a creamy vanilla but turn a soft pink and finally, a ripe strawberry-red. This hydrangea paniculata is hardy to Zone 4 and reaches 7" feet tall. If you're an Iowan like me, you appreciate finding a showy hydrangea that actually does well in this climate.


And this 'Little Devil' ninebark shrub sports a beautiful burgundy color. I've grown a similar plant, 'Diablo' ninebark, for several years with great results, and I'm hoping this one will perform as well!


I hope you've found some fun plants to grow in your own gardens this year. It's always fun to try some new ones.

11 comments:

  1. What a great job! I'd love to trial plants! I'm not a big rose fan but I love the hydrangea paniculata - I would be interested to see how it turns out!

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  2. Almost bought a hydrangea last weekend, but I love yours much better! If they will do well at your house, should do fine here too. Have a wonderful weekend!

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  3. That is very cool that you test plants. Hope you new roses and hydrangeas do well.

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  4. Hi,
    You did have a good mail day! Guess you will be in your garden for the next few days! Looking forward to seeing pics of your garden this coming summer.

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  5. I too am waiting patiently to add some bare root roses purchased this winter . Souvenir de la Malmaison have been tempting me for some time, but the first grade were sold out, so I opted for the lesser.....hoping they arrive next week, the weather has been more seasonal now! Wishing you a happy weekend, perhaps in the garden! N.xo

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  6. That looks like a couple of fun boxes! My husband is the one with the green thumb, and I really think he should give those hydrangeas a try.

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  7. Hope they meet with your approval and make a great contribution to your pretty garden!

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  8. The Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangeas look amazing. I hope they do well for you - I look forward to hearing about them!

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  9. Oh, I love Ninebark, but so do the deer! Cannot wait to see the hydrangeas in bloom!

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  10. Now that is the way to get your garden started!

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  11. I just invested in a Strawberry Vanilla hydrangea today--thanks because without your post I wouldn't have know about them! Hope it does well in the spot I have. :)

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