Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Woodruff, Wood Spurge, and Penstemon

I was in a small town about 4 hours south of Chicago last week. It was raining and cloudy, but still, everything was just a bit greener down there, with more flowers in bloom--particularly the pink and white flowering dogwood trees. I am grateful again today for my grow light...although my seedlings outside are just now gaining some vigor, and I wonder if they will eventually outperform my indoor seedlings (we will see!).

Today, three newish plants: 

Galium Odoratum (Sweet Woodruff)
My husband picked out this Sweet Woodruff at Gethsemane a few weeks ago. It is now flowering (will probably flower later next year). Galium Odoratum - that got my hopes up. But I'm sad to say I cannot smell anything. I've read that it will smell better as it ages and the flowers wilt. ... As you can see, the front has fallen forward. The stems of this plant are not hardy or 'woody' (at this stage, in April). In my very small garden, this may be a problem, since I wind up stepping on everything a little bit.
 Euphorbia Amygdaloides (Wood Spurge)

Now this Wood Spurge is doing rather well. I picked it up at Gethsemane also. It is now sprouting bright green, leafy 'buds'. It's apparently toxic, but I can't imagine my alley's rabbits will bother with it. I love the red leaves...though I wonder what it will look like this time next spring (if it comes back at all). It is so easy to be fooled by plants from the nursery.

Penstemon 'Prairie Dusk' April 21st, 2011

I am glad, I guess, that this penstemon is still alive. It was planted last summer and bloomed nicely. I got it for the hummingbirds that come through here in September or so...but they weren't interested (they love my nasturtiums).

Further, this pic was taken about two weeks ago, and it doesn't look much better now. Perhaps it will shoot up as soon as it's warm. But since I am eager for 'early risers' this plant is so far unimpressive in my garden.

By the way, all three of these plants are situated along the chain-link fence, which means that as soon as the morning glory and clematis grow up and leaf out, they will be largely shaded (except for about 3-4 hours a day when the sun is directly overhead). The woodruff and the wood spurge apparently want shade, and the penstemon tolerates part shade, so that should work out. ...Shouldn't it?

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