GARDEN FOR JULY 23, 2005
SPOTS AND STRIPES
BY GLADYS JEURINK
Several years ago I
started noticing the variegated plants and decided my yard could use a
few. The first one I tried
was “Houttuynia”, a short
water loving green, yellow and red perennial.
This one turned out to be one of the most invasive plants I have
ever had. It can go under
obstacles and likes either sun or shade.
Some people use it as a bog plant. It also looks good as part of
a container pond with its bright colors warming the entire pond. The
little white, waxy blooms are a neat addition.
surprise was variegated “Fallopia”, which is listed as a vine in the plant encyclopedia.
Mine is a vigorous bush about 5 feet high and as wide.
I planted this small spotted and striped plant with pink tipped
leaves in front of my “Buddlia alternfolia” (Butterfly Bush) with its drooping branches. By the second spring I could not even
see my “Butterfly Bush” so this year as soon as its red tips showed,
I dug up some and moved them to the back of my garden and killed the
rest. It didn’t even
notice I had moved it and it is already 3 feet high and wide with
flowers are not in bloom the foliage and fruit must give interest to
your garden. The “Ampelopsis”
(Porcelain Vine) with its white edged leaves has variegated fruit that
is small, round shiny beads of blue, purple and green all at the same
time. I cut mine back to the ground every fall to keep it from being too
large. It has many branches
and they may be 20 feet long.
wants a ground cover that will do well in shade and also grows in sun, “Aegopodium
podagraria” grows rapidly to fill in space. It is also called “Bishops Weed”, “Goutweed”, and
“Snow on the Mountain”. There is a solid green form as well as the
white edged one. Both can compete with tree roots and poor soil.
Plan on cutting it back as it is very aggressive and prefers to
find any spaces it can. If it gets ratty looking during the summer it
can be cut back and will fill in again.
foliage plant for shade is “Brunnera”
with its dainty blue flowers in spring. But its main attraction, if you
have “Jack Frost”, is the wide areas of white in the frosty green
areas of the leaves. Sometimes it is called “Siberian Bugloss”
because of the frosty look caused by the white hairs. It likes damp
shady soil. I have heard
people call it “Forget Me Not”, but I know of several other plants
also called that. It never gets over 12 inches tall but may be 12 to 20
inches wide. If it dries out, it will go dormant until the next spring.
lover is ‘Solomons Seal” (Polyganatium
variegatum). About 2 to 3 feet tall the white stripes run length
wise along the long leaves. The
buds hang suspended on the underside of the leaf and become tiny dark
fruit. I like the foliage
as a background in bouquets.
One of the
strangest blooms I have had for several years is the torch lily (Kniphofia
uvaria). The variation is in the bloom. The plant is also call
“Red-hot Poker”, “Torch Lily”, or “Poker Plant”. The blooms
are a 12 to 15 inch long spike, most commonly yellow at the bottom of
small flowers and bright red at the top. Now you can find different
colors with the spike 2 to 6 feet tall.
It comes up looking like a clump of grass.
Most nurseries list it at hardiness zone 6 but mine has lived
here, on a slight south slope, in hardiness zone 5 for a number of
years. They do not like to be moved.
Grasses have a
number of color variations, some for sun, and some for shade.
“Hakonechloa aureola” (Hakone Grass) is only about 12 to 18 inches
high with bright yellow stripes that loves shade and water. “Zebra Grass” is 8 to 9 feet tall withy vertical
stripes across its stems after it is about a foot or so high. “Zebra
Grass” fountains and “Strictus Grass” looks the same but is more
upright. A variegated grass
that prefers sun but grows in shade is “Gardeners Garters”, or
“Ribbon Grass” (Phalares arundinacea). It grows about 3 feet high, can be
aggressive, and will spread rapidly if you let it. Its leaves are white
and pale green. I mow mine
down about the first of July. It grows in the worst part of the yard-the
west side of a brick garage with a cement walk in front-hot and dry!!
noted for its various arrangements of blues, greens, yellows, and white
to create any look you might want.
One of the interesting big house plants is the “Scheffleria”
with each leaf pattern a little different. Mine spends its summer on the
east side of the house and in winter it has a north window.
Either place seems to suit it well.
When it reaches 6 foot it can be cut back or air layered to make
it the size you prefer.
FALL VEGETABLE GARDEN
BY GEORGE EDGAR
can be the most productive and satisfying when planted in midsummer.
Also pests and diseases are less in warmer weather. For your fall garden
select the shortest season cultivars available to insure harvest before
a killing frost arrives or look for “early season” or “fall
garden” on the package or display at your garden center.
You can still
plant the following in South Central and Southeast Nebraska for a fall
Carrots, and Cucumbers plant between now and first week in August
Lettuce, Okra, and
Peas, plant between now and August 10th – 15th:
Turnips and Radish
need to be planted before September 1st.
Spinach can be
planted between August 1st and September 15th:
seeds, don’t forget to keep seeds moist while germinating. Sometimes I
put a board over the row of seeds to help keep the soil from drying too
fast. I remove it when the seedlings appear. For
more information contact your local County Cooperative Extension office
or on the internet go to http://ianrhome.unl.edu/search.
At this website in the top box scroll down to “Extension”. In the
bottom box type in “fall vegetable garden” or NebGuide G98-1342A.
Any of the publications that are listed can be printed for your use.