Over the last few years of this blog’s existence, I’ve spent some time on a number of November occasions (in 2007, 2009, 2010) extolling my surprise, if not bragging at little, at the beauty my Zone 5 Iowa garden boasts in the penultimate month of the year, while also reporting such joy from the road (again in 2009, […]Continue Reading... 2 Comments.
Since starting my M.S. degree in horticulture at Iowa State last fall, I’ve wanted to write on numerous occasions about my research, but just haven’t found the time. Though I moonlight in my professional life as a plant breeder, by day I’m a plant ecophysiologist, someone who studies and describes physiological mechanisms underlying ecological observations […]Continue Reading... 4 Comments.
Last June, I wrote about my Veronica collection in a post entitled “The Veronica Parade”. I have a habit of interjecting the phrase “oh I collect those” in conversations between plant nerds, prompting many of my close friends to mockingly reply “Kelly, what don’t you collect?” Today I thought I might take you on a […]Continue Reading... 2 Comments.
Greetings from frigid Iowa! My heartfelt thanks to the 100 plus attendees of my lecture “ZoneWorthy: Underused Plants for Zones 4 & 5” at the Des Moines Botanical Center this morning. It’s always great to start a new year of lecturing activities with an energized, inquisitive local crowd. To check out the slate of upcoming […]Continue Reading... 9 Comments.
Each year I reflect on the season past, usually for most of the winter. (That’s a period of cold, gray, dismal nothingness for you southerly sorts.) When I think about the season, I think about my plants. My favorites. The stars and divas. The sulkers and misbehavers. For ridiculous fun, I’ve decided to reduce my […]Continue Reading... 3 Comments.
Though I’m betting ol’ Frank never laid eyes on Clematis heracleifolia, I’m still going to make reference to that classic cocktail standard like he had. I suppose I could beg the question “what else”, sounding a little cliche at the incinuation that the only August-blooming plants worth raising a glass to are, of course, the […]Continue Reading... 3 Comments.
I have no idea what eryngo means, beyond just a vernacular permutation of the botanical Eryngium. But I do know what they are–fantastic garden plants. Who can’t help but love eryngos? They boast bristly, pokey texture like nothing else can. Despite the fact that in Zone 5 I’m on the short-end of the evolutionary stick (there are nearly […]Continue Reading... 4 Comments.
Every garden grows a few divas, plant world-rocking earth mamas that know how to put on a show. Maybe it’s a pass-around plant that’s gotten out of control running everything else over in colonizing fashion. But it could as well be a highly sought after accession worthy of all the glitz and glam it can […]Continue Reading... 4 Comments.
I’m in love with Veronica, the spike speedwells that make such terrific perennials in my USDA Zone 5 garden. I probably grow more than a dozen cultivars, but I’ve sort of lost track. Every time I see one, I grab it. Plant collecting…what can I say? This installment will be the first of several throughout […]Continue Reading... 1 Comment.
Echinacea ‘Sunrise’ is a good plant. Such a blunt and lackluster statement bears further explanation. Much excitement surrounds the genus Echinaceaat the moment and why wouldn’t it with such a tremendous effort in expounding on its natural diversity? However, one need bear in mind a vow of temperance when evaluating the outputs of these breeding […]Continue Reading... No Comments.