Clean up "bad" bugs

BiosBeneficial Insects, Compost Tea, and Biological Controls a greenhouse growers development.

One is never too old to learn. Growing up, as a greenhouse grower, any bug on the plant was the enemy. Now, the insect kingdom is being used by us to help clean up "bad" bugs.

It started in July of 2010 with a series of seminars on biological methods to combat normal greenhouse pathogens, a visit to a Connecticut grower, their in-house seminar, and meeting a good consultant, Alison from Sound Horticulture. These encounters put confidence behind the excitement that this may actually be a practical way of dealing with aphids, spider mites, whitefly, and thrips.


Carex pensylvanica

Carex-02Pennsylvania Sedge 

Carex pensylvanica is a native sedge that is found from Georgia to Canada, and Maine to the Dakotas.

Native to the open woods, this plant is an excellent choice for understory plantings, mulch substitutes, and shade gardens. With graceful foliage and tight clumps, it makes a great display as it interplays with the wind. Choose well-drained areas. Think about what an open forest provides- filtered light, good drainage, and air flow. Be careful not to crowd with low limbs or dense brush.


The Shutter Bugs...

92 ...have a photo finish!

'Angelina', 'Britney', 'Gaga', 'Lindsay', 'Miley', and 'Paris', these starlets are now immortalized in a wonderful new Phlox series called Paparazzi™.

Developed by EuroAmerican's Matt Mart, Phlox Paparazzi™ incorporates some excellent genetics. It is a cross between Phlox subulata, Phlox divaricata, and a secret Phlox species- making these gals quite intriguing. Each variety has a unique dazzling quality that brings out the fine attributes of its parents. They all have a great retail shelf life- much better than Phlox subulata. And let me tell you, during this summer's heat, the foliage is still gorgeously glossy green. 


Hydrangea 'Snow Queen'

HYD Snow Queen 0001Oak leaf Hydrangea makes a bold statement in the garden.

Majestically rising to over 5 feet, she thrusts her pure white panicle 8 to 12 inch sceptors.

These white blooms last long in the garden. The blooms start in June, and are a favorite for drying and even saving for that Christmas tree decor in December. Her sceptors extend over a robe of deep green foliage. This foliage turns red in the fall and early winter, casting a red carpet over its brown stems.

I personally have a three year old plant in my garden. I prune it to a pleasant shape and cut away some of the lower drooping branches. I do this to expose the bark which is brown to red, and quite pleasing to look at. Plus, I have grand children that fit nicely under the plant's canopy to explore the other perennial treasures planted around her.


Hibiscus 'Cristi'

HIB Cristi 0001For three years now,

we have been dazzled at Creek Hill Nursery by a knock out of a Hibiscus named 'Cristi'.

Bred by Hugh and Ruth Cocker in Minnesota, and introduced by Bailey Nursery, 'Cristi' has a lot of great heritage.

She is a consistent performer, and grows about three feet high and wide. Her black buds unfold to a nine inch, deep red saucer. Bloom time starts in June and lasts well into fall. We have it next to Amsonia hubrichtii in the garden, and 'Cristi' was still blooming when Amsonia turned golden.


Agastache 'Tango'

aga tangoOne noteable hit to come out of our Sneak Peek program at MANTS this year is Agastache 'Tango', a Hummingbird Mint with bright orange-red blooms. The color comes from small trumpets that open up along a tall dark stalk that stands about 12 to 16 inches in height. A really happy Tango can get up to 20 inches at the top of its flower stalk.

'Tango', like all Agastaches, is a good nectar producer that attracts hummingbirds, bees and butterflies (hence, the common name of Hummingbird Mint). The flower is lightly aromatic, not heavily scented. If you crush the leaves, you will get a strong anise scent (hence, their other common name of Anise Hyssop).

'Tango' is a Jelitto introduction in 2011, and a top pick from their Agastache breeding program. Jelitto selected this one for its dense flowering spikes and more vigorous growth. 'Tango' also has a compact habit and good branching when compared to prior cultivars.