Saturday, April 28, 2012


 Oenothera fruiticosa
Our next free Walking Tour led by Master Gardeners will be this Thursday, May 5th beginning at 10:00 AM.  The theme for our May tour is 'Passalong Plants'.  Come spend an hour with us to learn about these perennial plants that are eagerly shared by your family, friends and neighbors.  We will also stroll around the other gardens at the Arboretum to see all the lovely plants now in bloom.  Click on the Map link in the right hand column for directions.  If you aren't able to participate in our regular monthly tours, we are always happy to schedule private tours for groups.

Friday, April 27, 2012

WHAT'S IN BLOOM - Hot Lips Salvia

Hot Lips has been blooming for weeks now in our Perennial Border.  We expect it to continue blooming all summer long.
This description from Plants Delight says it all:

Salvia microphyllaHot Lips Salvia
"Outrageously cool! This wild selection of the Mexican Salvia microphylla was introduced by Richard Turner of California after the plant was shared with him by his maid, who brought it from her home in Mexico. The fast-growing, 30" tall x 6' wide clump is adorned with stunning bicolor flowers with red tips and white lips...attractive to hummingbirds. When the nights warm in summer, the new flowers are all red with an occasional solid white one. As fall approaches, the flowers again will be bicolored red and white. Even if your school colors aren't red and white, this   is truly a "must-have" salvia!"

But wait there is more to say!  Along with 2,000+ other plants, Hot Lips will be offered for sale at our annual plant sale.  It is sure to go fast, so become a Friend of the Arboretum so you can shop at the Preview Sale.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

WHAT'S IN BLOOM - Spring Flowers

It is beginning to become difficult to pick out just a few plants of interest at the Arboretum.  Many things are starting to put on their best show for you to see.  You may enjoy a trip out to the Arboretum to for yourself what's in bloom.  Below is just a small sampling:
Dianthus gratianopolitanus 'Bath's Pink' - Cheddar Pinks
in the Mixed Border

Navaho Thornless Blackberry
in the Small Fruit Garden (as sweet smelling as pretty!)

Punica granatum - Dwarf Pomegrante
in the Small Fruit Garden

Wisteria fruescens 'Amethyst Falls' - American Wisteria
on the Rabbit Tunnel in the Children's Garden
Phlox pilosa - Downy Phlox
In the Wildflower Garden
Photos by TS

Friday, April 13, 2012

WHAT'S IN BLOOM - Native Columbine

Photos by TS
You will find a bed of our native columbine, Aquilegia canadensis, growing in the outside circle of our herb garden. As decribed at :
This is an erect, branching perennial, up to 2 ft. tall, well-known for its showy flowers. A nodding, red and yellow flower with upward spurred petals alternating with spreading, colored sepals and numerous yellow stamens hanging below the petals. The compound leaves, divided into round-lobed threes, are attractive in their own right.
This beautiful woodland wildflower has showy, drooping, bell-like flowers equipped with distinctly backward-pointing tubes, similar to the garden Columbines. These tubes, or spurs, contain nectar that attracts long-tongued insects and hummingbirds especially adapted for reaching the sweet secretion. It is reported that Native Americans rubbed the crushed seeds on the hands of men as a love charm. European Columbine (A. vulgaris), with blue, violet, pink, or white short-spurred flowers, was introduced from Europe and has now become well established in many parts of the East. Aquilegia canadensis readily hybridizes with the popular Southwestern yellow columbines (A. chrysantha, etc.), yielding some striking yellow-and-red color combinations in the flowers. This genus has been referred to as the flower for the masses. Once started, Columbine propagates for years and, although perennial increases rapidly by self seeding. (Andy Fyon)   The genus name Aquilegia comes from the Latin aquila which means eagle and refers to the spurred petals that many believe resemble an eagles talons.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

WHAT'S NEW AT THE ARBORETUM - Vertical Gardening

Vertical Gardening
on Tool Shed

The beginnings of the Sedum Window

We have decided to try something new at the Arboretum.  Instead of planting in the ground we are planting on the side of our tool shed.  This is a fairly new trend and is useful if you are gardening in small spaces or just want to decorate a blank wall that might otherwise be an eyesore.  Our hope is that eventually the sedums will fill the entire space so you will see nothing but a mosaic picture.  We used sedums as they don't have a deep root system and require less water than other plants.  The possibilities are endless and left only to your imagination of what plants to use.  Online you will find annuals, herbs, strawberries and lettuces have been used.  Our planter from Florafelt Vertical Gardens is made from 100% recycled water bottles.  We don't know how it will do, if it will work, or if it will live up to its promises, but one of our purposes of the Arboretum is to be a testing ground.  Keep following this blog and we will do updates as we go through the year.  You can do an online search for vertical gardening, living walls, green walls, etc. to find more information about this new concept.  We don't recommend one product over another, but you can start here for some basic information:  PLANTS ON WALLS

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


A threat of rain did not keep our Master Gardeners from holding their dedication of our new potting bench this last Saturday.  The bench was built and will be used in memory of Mary Helen Garris.  Mary Helen was one of our dedicated volunteers who passed away last fall.  We all know she would approve of our new bench to be used when potting up plants for our Annual Plant Sale.  We all agree this is better than working over wheelbarrows and sitting on buckets!  Several of Mary Helen's relatives and friends also attended.
Attaching Memorial Plaque
The Dedication

Potting Demonstration
Family and Friends