Nancy's Blog

Fountains arrived, Shade Cloth is on,"Glorious" Flowers

So much is going on now & we are so busy, but I need to catch you up on some of the happenings at Hasting Plants.

The fountains arrived this week. It’s been a while since we’ve gotten in concrete fountains, but they came out with some really neat new styles that I couldn’t resisit getting. If you look back at my first or second post, you’ll see pictures I took at a trade show this winter. We have  really special ‘Hurricane’s Eye” spiraling fountains, and  great bird and frog themed fountains that will be great bird attractions as well as fountains. We also have a few larger fountains that I couldn’t resist. Come check them out!

The first week of May is when we try to get the shade cloth on the greenhouse. We pulled it on on Monday and what a difference it makes in the greenhouses. The temperature drops about 10 degrees as soon as we get them on!It is easier on the plants to get them out of the extreme heat and sun. We also don’t have to water  as often.

My new word for beautiful flowers is “Glorious!” Several of my Peonies are blooming in the display gardens and the colors are Glorious! I LOVE peonies because they are one of the first really showy flowers to bloom in the perennial garden. Every year that I get different ones in I plant one, so I have quite a collection of different varieties. Here is the one blooming now:

Another of my “favorite” plants(you know they are all my favorite), is the Gas Plant (Dictamnus). It has lovely spike blooms that are great all by themselves, but it is also a fun plant because you can “light” the gas it emits. I have the best luck with the seed pods after the petals fall off. You need to find a time when the wind is fairly still and strike a match close to the plant… poofs with a quick sizzle of flame. Here are the blooms in front of some foliage of an Oriental Lily.

Gas Plant Blooms in front of Lily foliage.

We do have some gas plants for sale. They are always small plants since they don’t move well when they are larger, so you have to give them a year or so to get to blooming size. Mine self seed in my beds…not invasively…just right!

Another plant that is small when you plant it is the Perennial Plant of the Year – Baptisia/ False Blue Indigo. It is well worth the wait though because it has “glorious” blue spikes of bloom  in the spring. Here is a photo of a more Purple variety called ‘Purple Smoke’. I love the pea-like blossoms. After it finishes blooming, the seed pods add an extra season of interest.

'Purple Smoke' False Blue Indigo

And, finally another plant in full bloom is Blue Star Amsonia. This feather foliaged plant has light blue clusters of flowers in the spring and nice green foliage through the summer which turns bright yellow in the fall….three seasons of interest!

Amsonia hubrectii / Blue Star

Don’t forget to come see us Friday night, May 7th! We’ll be open for Late Night from 8 p.m. until 12 midnight. It looks like the rain is going to miss us this year. This is our 3rd year to have Late Night and there were dire predictions of storms both the 1st and 2nd years which never materialized. They started predicting rain for Friday, but now it looks like it will be over early afternoon if we get any at all! YEAH!

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