Friday, 27 May 2011

Everything is Growing So Fast!

Calamagrostis 'Overdam'
Wow, can't believe it's May 27 already!  What A Beautiful Day on P.E.I.!  Busy, Busy days dividing and transplanting grasses and pulling a few weeds.  The rest of the weeds will have to wait until transplanting is over!  For a backward, cold Spring, the plants are all racing to catch up!  Peonies are already out in bud and some of the perennials are already too big to move.  This will probably be the last week for selling the Cool Season Grasses.  They are sending up their flowering stems already!  We will sell them again in the fall for those of you who are not ready yet.  I have to get out and back at it, they're talking showers for this afternoon and evening!  The transplants can use it!  These photos were taken this morning.
Calamagrostis 'Karl Foerster'
Deschampsia cespitosa
Blue Oat Grass
Ligularia 'Desdemona"
Geranium 'Jolly Bee'
Echinacea 'coneflower'

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Lavender Plants are Ready for Sale Today

Lavandula angustifolia
Wow, what a Change in the Weather!  Going to be 22 degrees today!  YEah!!!  We are OPEN for business Today, Friday & Saturday, Sunday afternoon & Monday May 23 to make up for all the Cool Wet Days we've had in the last couple of weeks!  A lot of plants are up and Ready for sale despite the cool temps.  Miscanthus Giganteus & Miscanthus Purpurascens are now ready for sale!  Lavender Plants are trimmed back and Ready for Sale as well!  You don't usually see Lavender plants  for sale until they are really growing and sending out blooms and look much prettier but since we would rather sell them field dug instead of potting up it is better for you and the plants if they are transplanted earlier and That Time is NOW!

Lavandula angustifolia Krajova
This Photo shows you the size of plant we are selling.  It was dug this morning for a photo session!  This Lavandula angustifolia Krajova plant was grown in our Zone 5a garden without any winter protection except the snow.  We dry lavender for our personal use;  I especially love using it in a muslin bag in our dryer instead of chemical dryer sheets.  It adds such a relaxing smell to your clothes, especially nice for sheets and towels!  Makes your laundry room smell wonderful, as well!

Pruning of Lavender Plant in progress

Pruning Lavender
In an earlier post on Lavender I said I would post photos of Pruning Lavender.  Hopefully you can see how much I trimmed in the shot, probably trimmed off about 4 inches or 10 cm.  These are two year old plants that I grew from seed and were given a Lot of Attention to be this Big already!  Trimming the plants not only tidies them up but encourages new growth in the center of the plant.  If you look close in the last photo you can see all the new branches coming up!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus' Ornamental Grass at Lovegrass Farm in P.E.I.

Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus' at Annapolis Royal Botanical Gardens in mid-August
Keep in mind it takes several years for a plant to fill out to this size!
Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus' is another antique cultivar that has irregularly spaced horizontal bands of cream yellow variegation (commonly referred to as Zebra striped).  It can grow to 7 ft. or 2.1 m. tall with copper-red-tinted flowers in the fall.  Zebrinus makes a great specimen plant or can be mixed in borders.  They are limited in quantity for sale as well.

A close-up of Zebrinus stripes

Zebrinus in late October

Miscanthus sinensis 'Variegatus' Ornamental Grass at Lovegrass Farm in P.E.I.

Miscanthus sinensis 'Variegatus' in late July
Miscanthus sinensis 'Variegatus' is an antique cultivar and still one of the whitest of the variegated Miscanthus in overall appearance.  It's a slow grower; not as robust as 'Gracillimus' & 'Sarabande', stems are fewer but they are wider.  It is another variegated grass that newcomers to ornamental grasses confuse with ribbon grass, however it is not a spreader and can grow to 7 ft. or 2.1 m. tall and arches into a large fountain shape.  It is good in part shade or full sun if in moist fertile soil but will need water in hot dry conditions.  It seems to do well for us with a bit of a break from the Hot West exposure; a softwood hedge about 25 ft. away and one cedar about 8 ft. away on the South.  We don't water any established plants, but then we haven't had a drought for many years.  It will bloom for us with red-tinted inflorescences.  We have a limited supply for sale.

'Variegatus' in our perennial bed

'Variegatus' blowing in the wind

Monday, 16 May 2011

Miscanthus sinensis 'Sarabande' Ornamental Grass at Lovegrass Farm in P.E.I.

Miscanthus sinensis "Sarabande'
Miscanthus sinensis 'Sarabande' is very similar to 'Gracillimus' except that we get to see the copper-red flowers in late summer because it flowers earlier.  It is also slightly shorter than 'Gracillimus' at 5 ft. or 150 cm. and is even more hardy at a rating of Zone 4.  'Sarabande' looks great massed, as a specimen, mixed in a border, or as a hedge

Miscanthus sinensis 'Gracillimus' Ornamental Grass at Lovegrass Farm in P.E.I.

Miscanthus 'Gracillimus' in Nantucket in early September
Miscanthus sinensis 'Gracillimus' (Mis-KAN-thus sin-En-is Gra-SILL-mus) (Maiden grass) is one of the oldest cultivars of Miscanthus and is hardy to Zone 5.  It has very fine textured foliage and a graceful rounded overall shape to 7 ft. tall (more like 6 ft. for us).  You might have noticed Gracillimus in front of UPEI on University Ave. if you live on or visit P.E.I.  They have large groupings in several beds; keep meaning to get some photos, maybe this year!  It is among the last of the Miscanthus to bloom, we only ever see the beginning stages of flowers in our climate.

'Gracillimus' in our Sale row with one 'Sarabande' to show the difference
Yeah, that's why that plant is there (sounds good to me)
 Gracillimus requires full sun or bright shade and fertile soil.  It needs water if in hot dry conditions to reach optimum size but the narrow leaves make it fairly drought tolerant.  They look lovely as a specimen, in a hedge, massed in a group, mixed in a border and make a tall screen.  Be sure to give them room to show their shape.  They turn golden bronze after a hard frost & the dried grass curls under in an attractive way. 

Miscanthus 'Gracillimus' & 'Variegatus' in mid August at Kenneckbuckport Beach, Maine
Great Seaside Plants if in fertile ground

Friday, 13 May 2011

We Make Our Own Sunshine at Lovegrass Farm

Blogger has been unavailable for a while so I jumped at the chance to put a short Post on to let you know that despite the cold wet weather we're still Open and The Best News is that the mist is keeping the black flies away!

Yellow willow and Beech Twig Wreath
 Finished a wreath today with some pretty yellow willow that we cut earlier this Spring and mixed in some Beech twigs to add Our Own Sunshine to Lovegrass Farm!  You'll see it on the building when you come to visit and see all our other Twig Wreaths as well!

The Deschampsia is Looking Great
 The Cool Season Grasses are growing like mad; they love this weather and a lot of perennials seem to like it as well.  A lot of the Warm Season Grasses are starting to come up but we're reluctant to dig them for a few more days until the ground warms a little more.  The long term forecast tells us that by next Wednesday the warmth will be here!  Send us an Email if you'd like to come for plants next week.  We're open today and tomorrow selling cool season grasses and perennials.  We also have some red rhubarb plants, ferns, and a few red and gold raspberry plants for sale.

Miscanthus Giganteus is peeking up out of the ground on May 12, 2011

Czech Lavender is starting to send out new branches, soon be time to shear them back

Red Rhubarb ready to be dug

Monday, 9 May 2011

Eragrostis spectabilis Ornamental grass at Lovegrass Farm

Our Farm is named after this Genus.  I tried to pick a name that would be easy to remember.  We figured we'd get the usual teasing; "I'd like to smoke some of your Grass, Man!".  Since I've started this Blog I've Googled Lovegrass Farm only to find sights about Viagara and we've had a Fella from India joining our Blog because of the word Love in our heading, not that he was interested in Ornamental Grasses.  Gotta Love It!!  Eragrostis is new to us so I don't have many photos to share yet.

Eragrostis spectabilis (Purple lovegrass)
 Eragrostis (air-uh-GRAHSS-tiss) spectabilis (Purple lovegrass) is a warm season Native grass that is clump forming  but can spread slowly by rhizomes and low growing at 18" or 45 cm. tall with a spread of 2 - 3 ft. or 60 - 90 cm.  It has light green foliage in summer turning to a bronzy-red in fall.  Fluffy clouds of bronze-red inflorescences cover the entire plant and create a cloud of color from a distance that glows in early light or setting sun.  It is Breathtaking in sweeps or masses.  Purple lovegrass tolerates infertile, sandy and poor soils in full sun; good for coastal and dry sites.  It can self-seed.

Eragrostis trichodes (Sand lovegrass)
 Eragrostis trichodes or (Sand lovegrass) is the Big Sister of Eragrostis spectabilis growing up to 4 ft. or 1.2 m. tall.  It has looser light pink tinted flowers that bloom in July and early August.  Being very drought tolerant Sand lovegrass is becoming popular for use in mass plantings and water-wise gardens.  William Cullina recommends it in his book " Native Ferns Moss & Grasses"  as a hardy and long lived species that is near the top of his list of ornamental grasses.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Panicum virgatum Ornamental Grass at Lovegrass Farm

Native Panicum with morning sun on dew covered panicles
Panicum (PAN-ih-kum) virgatum (veer-GAH-tum) or Switchgrass is a long-lived warm season grower that is Native to Canada.  Before European settlement, it was a major component of many grassland ecosystems.  Switchgrass tolerates a broad range of soils.  It is drought-tolerant once established, somewhat salt-tolerant and can withstand soggy soils.  For us the Native Panicum grows about 4 ft. or 1.2 m. tall in our dry sandy soil.  It is a great plant for stabilizing slopes and is now being researched for use as a biofuel.

Panicum 'Heavy Metal' July 1, 2010
'Heavy Metal' is one of the most upright growing of the blue-leaved varieties and has better than average drought tolerance.  It grows to about 5 ft. or 150 cm. in flower making a tall screen.  Panicum begins growth late in Spring, grows quickly with the heat of early Summer and flowers in July and August.  Panicum sways and rustles in gentle summer breezes.  Mainly clump-forming it may also spread slowly by below ground rhizomes.

The flower Panicles of Panicum
The delicate airy seed panicles of Panicum rise a foot (30 cm.) above the foliage and are often pink tinted when first opening.  These flowers look lovely covered with dew or frost and back lit with the rising or setting sun! 

Autumn color of Panicum
Panicum takes on a soft golden color in Autumn.  They make a good specimen plant, great in sweeps or masses, for screening, for around pools or ponds, or in large containers.  I'm going to try a grouping of tall yellow coneflower with 'Heavy Metal' this year. 

Panicum in December
Switchgrass stands up well in winter unless we have heavy snows making a perfect winter cover and food source for wildlife.

'Heavy Metal' in late July

Panicum 'Shenandoah' in early July
Panicum virgatum 'Shenandoah' is a very colorful plant, more delicate than other panicums and grows to 4 ft. or (1.2m.) in flower.  It is a slow spreader which makes it great for mixing in perennial borders. 

Panicum 'Shenandoah' in late July

Frost on 'Shenandoah'

Panicum 'Prairie Sky' in Fall

Panicum 'Prairie Sky' in mid July
'Prairie Sky' is the most blue Panicum with soft powder blue foliage to 4 ft. or 1.2m. in flower.  It tends to flop in shade or moist conditions.  It is a lighter textured plant than 'Heavy Metal' and tends to flop over or lodge if the soil is fertile.  So keep it lean and mean for 'Prairie Sky'!

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Open for The Season At Lovegrass Farm

Hardy Roses
Tomorrow; May 6, is our First Day Open for Sales this year!  It's been a busy time cutting back, weeding, transplanting and sowing seed in our Hoop House!  The weather has warmed up and things are really jumping out of the ground!  I'm surprised so many perennials are up; it's a Great time to move them while there is still lots of moisture in the ground and the blackflies aren't here yet (Hope I didn't Jinx Their Arrival Saying That).  We have Catmint, tall Yellow Coneflower, Purple Rain Salvia, Bronze Fennel, Daisies, Daylilys, Geraniums, Knautia, Ligularia, David Phlox; just to name a few as I was doing a Walkabout!  Our Hardy Roses are budding out in leaf; not in flower, (the photo was taken last summer).  They make a Great Hedge!  Thought I'd show you some photos just taken this evening of some of our Grasses that are ready for Sale so you'll know what size of a plant you'll be getting!

Deschampsia cespitosa

Blue Oat Grass

Calamagrostis 'Karl Foerster'