I know I'm late to the pitcher plant craze, but I've been infatuated with this container of bog plants this spring. It's the first thing that I look at when I get home from work. The planter is a two-walled plastic one I picked up on sale last summer. The plants are almost all from last August's trip to the incredible Rare Find Nursery. There are five different sarracenias, plus bog asphodel, a small spiranthes orchid, a cardinal flower, and a dwarf cranberry.
For drainage, we drilled a hole into the inside wall of the planter a couple inches from the bottom. Since the planter has no drainage hole in the bottom, this allows the bottom couple inches of planting medium to stay moist. We used a mix of peat moss, decomposed pine needles, and granite chips, with a little sand if I remember correctly, to ensure that the plants were growing in the low fertility medium they need. We top-dressed the planter with a couple inches of pine needles for the winter, and buried it in the garden up to the rim to help keep the temperature more stable.
detail of sarracenia alata
vaccinium macrocarpon 'Hamilton
sarracenia 'Carolina Yellow Jacket'
About half of the tubes have bugs in them. I was so excited to see a dead mosquito in one. Only about a million to go...
sarracenia 'Scarlet Belle'
I can't wait until these all bulk up and fill the container.
It's 90 degrees today but I'm still finding it hard to believe that it's Memorial Day weekend. Spring has been so late and compressed and busy that I still have a list of gardening chores that I wanted to get done before it got too hot. Before today, I guess.
Below are a handful of spring lovelies that I'd like to share before it's too late.
A couple saxifrages
More saxes and a draba gone to seed
Semp gone supernova
Silene sp. grown from seed by my friend Susan Deeks
Yes, it's a gorgeous time of the year in trough land. Each day when I get home from work I first rush to the driveway to see what's blooming, then later on I (reluctantly, sometimes) go in to see the family.
My new crush is thishaberliasp. Case (possibly haberlia ferninandi-cobourgi according to the Wrightman website, which I believe is synonymous with haberlia rhodopensis). I bought it four years ago from Wrightman Alpines Nursery at the annual plant sale at Stonecrop Gardens in Cold Spring, NY. I had never seen it for sale before and was excited to try it, as I told Harvey Wrightman as he rang me up that day. He assured me that it was easy, as long as it was north-facing, planted vertically, and free draining, but he warned me that it was slow to come to blooming size. Haberlias are gesneriads like African violets, but hardy, and evergreen, here in zone 6B. They originally hail from limestone cliffs in Greece and Bulgaria.
I planted it between two larger-sized rocks, north-facing, in a trough...and waited until this year for it to bloom. It's a gorgeous thing in bloom, and totally worth the wait. Harvey passed away in 2016, but I still think about him, and his patience and generosity with a total stranger that day, every time I enjoy this haberlia.
Thankfully his daughter Esther is still running the nursery, and coming to the Stonecrop sale every April.
Walking by one of my troughs the other day I wondered what the hell I saw out of the corner of my eye. Turns out it was the new buds of pulsatilla pratensis 'Bohemica' covered in fine droplets of mist. What a bizarre sight.
I'm in love with saxifraga 'Pluto' and I don't care who knows.
Despite the April (ahem) snowfall, these guys believe that it's spring.