Feb 16 2015

News from Kruse

Filed under Kruse House

If you’ve been reading garden magazines lately, you’ve probably come across articles extolling and listing the best new annuals/perennials, or the best sun/shade plants of all time, etc.  Well since its winter and gardening is all talk and no action I thought I would talk about ten of our favorite plants in the Kruse Garden and why we like them.

Bergenia, aka Saxifraga or Pig Squeak:  We have it in the back garden.  It makes a nice evergreen border and it’s a tough plant, doesn’t suffer unduly in drought (the back garden is always dry as a bone), and its thick shiny leaves hold up well throughout the seasons.  Trim off a few dead leaves in the spring and they’re good to go.  The clumps increase slowly and there’s no self-seeding to control.  Here’s a remarkable fact: Jeff Handel grew Bergenia from seed last year and generously donated some to the plant sale!  I’ve never known anyone else to grow this plant from seed.

Yellow Daylily we call Carole’s Father’s Daylily:  Carole Bates, a charter member of our GC, gave us this one.  We know its old but don’t know its real name.  There are three or four clumps of it in the back garden.  We like it because it’s sturdy tall scapes bear numerous clear yellow flowers and the spent flowers drop easily. We divided it for plant sale last year but are likely to do so again this year.  Clumps multiply quickly!

Bleeding Hearts:  everyone’s garden favorite is one of ours too.  We have both white and pink in Angie’s garden above the pond.  They are pretty and sturdy. What more can I say!

Bears Breech’s aka Acanthus:  it’s unusual so it adds some pizazz to the back garden.  It came from Angie’s garden and it has done very well with no special care.  Nothing in the garden gets “special care.”

Hosta, green margin cream center, medium size:  Right!  We don’t know its name.  We will have to invite Pam Caligiuri to identify it……she can ID hundreds of hostas by sight!  It’s a foundation planting on the east side of the house that looks good year after year and predates any of         us current gardeners.  Leaves remain intact and it tolerates drought well.  Not much moisture reaches it but no worries, it thrives and looks good all year, year after year!

Lespedeza aka Bush Clover:  another plant that you don’t find in everyone’s garden.  It provides a statement at 6-8 ft. and late season color behind the yellow shed. Marion Martin donated 3 of these lovelies … Thanks again, Marion!

Hardy Ageratum aka Eupatorium coelestinum:  this one is in several gardens…back, east side and pond gardens.  We like its bluish purple flowers in the fall and so far haven’t experienced any of the aggressive spreading noted in resources describing this plant.

William Baffin shrub Rose:  pretty in pink at 8-10 ft. blooms prolifically in June.  ARS (American Rose Society) rating 8.9. Besides being pretty it’s tough as blazes!

Fothergilla shrub:  provides 3 season interest in the back garden with fluffy white spring    blossoms, thick dark green foliage and riotous orange red fall color.  Can’t beat that with a stick!

Dawn Redwood tree:  Donated by Meyer Landscaping about 5 years ago to replace a big old black cherry that croaked.  It survived some significant storm damage and has almost doubled in size.  With mature dimensions at 60-80 ft. tall and 20-30 ft. wide this tree will provide lovely bones to define a large part of this garden as time goes forward.

It was hard to whittle the list to just 10 since we really like all our plants.  If you ask me next month I might have already changed my list. However, you couldn’t go wrong with choosing any of these plants for your own gardens.

Nov 11 2014

News from Kruse

Filed under Kruse House

The last Monday in October was our final work day at the Kruse Museum. We admired the fall colors of the serviceberries, maples, and smoke bushes. We noted the last great plant combinations—blue ageratum with cream feverfew, pale yellow nasturtiums with a blanket flower. The cotoneasters are beautiful in fall. They have small red-orange leaves with many red berries.

We cut back perennials and annuals, stored garden decorations and generally spruced up the garden for the winter. Our time together in the garden was fun. It’s a place where we tried out plants, discussed plants, admired some and pulled others. I’m sure this winter we will again look through garden books and hopefully find some new ideas for “our” garden.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here are some taken in the garden.

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