Category Archives: Plant of the Week

Plant of the Week — Salvia Nemorosa


GardenArt’s Plant of the Week:


Salvia Nemorosa; Meadow Sage/Perennial Salvia


Meadow Sage (2)


Yes, there is a perennial Salvia.

This is a relatively short perennial, generally a reliable long-term performer.  While many cultivars exist, the best known are May NightEast Friesland and Caradonna with their electric purple blooms.

The foliage is perceived by some as course, so take a look at the leaves before you install it.  The foliage is also fragrant. Cultivar heights range from 16 to 18 inches (East Friesland) to the larger of the cultivars at 24 to 30 inches (Caradonna). This is a plant that will repeat bloom once dead-headed (removing the expired flower blooms).  The dead-heading will also enhance the general appearance of the plants.

There are other cultivars offering alternative bloom colors.  Blue Hill has a light to medium bloom color and new cultivars are coming to market on an annual basis.  A word of caution with new cultivars: don’t plant copious quantities of new cultivars.  A single plant or a small grouping is the best method for new plant evaluation.

Salvia Nemorosa is an excellent perennial to kick off the bloom in your perennial border as well as to pick up the color once the spring bulbs are done blooming.



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Plant of the Week — It’s a Mystery!


GardenArt’s Plant of the Week:


Mystery Plant


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OK. Plant geeks, let’s have some fun!

We have this beauty blooming in our garden. The plant was spectacular this Spring. The plant is currently 3 feet by 3 feet, and I have good idea what the Genus is….but am not willing to divulge the Species or Cultivar until some brave souls step forward to ID this small flowering shrub.

Fire away with potential answers.


mystery2

Fire away with potential answers.

mystery3
Fire away with potential answers.



The easiest way to set up a meeting with the GardenArt team to discuss your vision for improving your outdoor living space is to fill out the simple GardenArt contact form, click HERE. Do it today!



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Plant of the Week — Siberian Iris


GardenArt’s Plant of the Week:


Iris Siberica Cultivars – Siberian Iris


siberianiris


The Siberian Iris is an excellent, low maintenance perennial for gardens in our area. Providing bloom on in May and June, the Siberian Iris also exhibits a medium green, upright foliage which remains attractive throughout the growing season.

The cultivar Caesar’s Brother (pictured in this post) has deep violet and blue flowers providing two to four weeks of bloom. Other cultivars such as Butter and Sugar introduce yellow and white into the Spring perennial garden.

The Siberian Iris can be left ‘up’ in the garden throughout the winter, providing visual interest with medium size seed pots and rich, bronze foliage.


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The adaptability of the Siberian Iris is one of its assets. The Siberian Iris tolerates moderately wet soils; can be planted under Black Walnut due to the fact it tolerates juglone, a toxin produced by Black Walnut; and also exhibits good deer resistance.

With a height of 30 to 36 inches, Siberian Irises can be the backdrop if a shorter perennial border is in order or a mid-border plant in perennial plantings with a taller backdrop.


Siberian Irises will benefit from division every five to seven years for increased bloom vigor. If left ‘up’ in the winter garden, be sure to cut the plant back in late Winter to early Spring.



The easiest way to set up a meeting with the GardenArt team to discuss your vision for improving your outdoor living space is to fill out the simple GardenArt contact form, click HERE. Do it today!



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Plant of the Week — Ruby Horsechestnut


GardenArt’s Plant of the Week:


 Aesculus x carnea ‘Fort McNair’ or ‘Briotti’ – Ruby Horsechestnut


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Ruby Horsechestnut is an outstanding, under used large ornamental tree. Attaining a height and spread of 25-30 feet, this is an ornamental for larger spaces such as open lawns or parks.

The plant produces large (6-12 inch) conical blooms in mid-Spring – this year, the plant began blooming in our area on May 9th. The bloom color is medium to deep pink and has a yellow throat. The foliage is a glossy and darker green in color. In some years, the Ruby Horsechestnut will have a yellow fall color typical of the Buckeye (Aesculus) genus. Other years, the fall color is a brown color.

ruby horsechestnutRuby Horsechestnut prefers a well-drained soil, so it is best to keep it out of low areas. On sites with new construction and marginal soils, be sure to amend the backfill with a soil amendment high in organic material.

It is common for the leaves to scorch (turn brown on the margins and/or curl) the first year it is installed. Be sure the plant receives one inch of water per week (use weather.com or weatherunderground.com to monitor rainfall). Once the plant is established, scorch is generally not a problem unless we are in a period of drought.

The plant has huge buds over the winter, offering subtle winter interest. With our winters in Indiana , we can use all the interest we can round up during those months.

If you have the space, this is a must-have ornamental for the residential or commercial landscape.


 ruby horsechestnut3


The easiest way to set up a meeting with the GardenArt team to discuss your vision for improving your outdoor living space is to fill out the simple GardenArt contact form, click HERE. Do it today!



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Plant of the Week — Korean Spice Viburnum


GardenArt’s Plant of the Week:


Korean Spice Viburnum – Viburnum Carlesi


Korean Spice Viburnum (Viburnum carlesi) is an excellent mid-sized flowering shrub for the residential garden.  With a 6’x6′ to 8’x8′ size, Korean Spice Viburnum provides flower, fruit and fall color with few significant pests.

Its most significant feature is the fragrant bloom.  Typically, bright pink flower buds emerge in early to mid-April and remain visually effective as buds for approximately seven days before opening up to a white cluster of blooms remaining visually effective for seven to ten days. The foliage is a medium to dark green with a pubescent (hairy) leaf, attractive out of bloom.  The fruit is red for a period of a few weeks, and then turns black before being eaten by birds. The fall color is orange to red, generally later in the fall color cycle (late/later in October), which helps to extend seasonal change in the garden.


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In most residential gardens, Viburnum carlesi should be used as a specimen due to its mature size. Its growth rate is three to six inches per year, making it one of the slower growing Viburnums. On larger properties, consider using it in mass where the dynamic seasonal changes are seen on a daily basis. It is important to note Korean Spice Viburnum blooms on ‘old wood,’ meaning its flower buds are set on the growth from the previous year.  In order to maintain bloom from year to year, prune after the plant is done flowering.  If you have this plant in your garden and you think it is getting too big, prune it in a week or two.  If you look at the plant mid summer or later and want to give it a whacking, wait until the following spring after it is done blooming.


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Dwarf cultivars are now in production at better wholesale nurseries.  Viburnum carlesi ‘Compactum’ offers the same ornamental features in a slightly smaller stature, perhaps as small as 5’x5′ to 6’x6′ at maturity.  Some sources list the mature size as 3’x3′, but we have seen plants available at 36 inches (it’s hard to imagine it won’t continue to grow though). The growth rate is three inches per year or less, making it a more expensive plant. Generally speaking, slow growth or dwarf signifies it will be a more expensive plant. As with any new plant introductions, mature size may not be realized for a decade or two.

Look for more Viburnums to be featured in our GardenArt Plant of the Week later in the year.  It is a diverse genus offering many options in a variety of sizes.


The easiest way to set up a meeting with the GardenArt team to discuss your vision for improving your outdoor living space is to fill out the simple GardenArt contact form, click HERE. Do it today!



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Plant of the Week (to avoid) — Callery Pear


GardenArt’s Plant of the Week (to avoid):


Callery Pear – Pyrus calleryana Aristocrat & Pyrus calleryana Cleveland Select (various cultivars of Callery Pear)


Callery Pear (2)


Prized for its uniform habit, heavy white blooms, dark glossy green foliage during the growing season, and reliable red-orange fall color, cultivars of Callery Pear such as Bradford, Aristocrat and Cleveland Select (shown above in flower) have been heavily planted over the past 20 years.

While Bradford fell out of favor in the late 1980’s to early 1990’s due to a branching habit that is susceptible to serious damage from ice or snow loads, other cultivars continued to be planted extensively.

Over the past five years, it has become evident Callery Pear cultivars have produced viable seed and become invasive. A local example is the vacant lot on US 52 W between the MED Institute office (the former Great Lakes headquarters) and Applebee’s. The multi-acre tract is covered with Callery Pear, most in flower as of mid-April.


Callery Pear (1)


The above image, taken in the fall of 2012 in a vacant commercial lot in West Lafayette, is a good example of seedlings showing fall color.

Until seedless cultivars of Callery Pear are developed, this is a tree that should not be planted despite the many desirable ornamental characteristics.


The easiest way to set up a meeting with the GardenArt team to discuss your vision for improving your outdoor living space is to fill out the simple GardenArt contact form, click HERE. Do it today!



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Plant of the Week — Serviceberry


GardenArt’s Plant of the Week:


Amelanchier canadensis – Serviceberry


Serviceberry (1)


Serviceberry is generally a multi-stem (clump) ornamental tree reaching 15’ in height with a 12-15’ width. A generally long-living plant,  Serviceberry offers seasonal interest throughout the year. The white spring blooms emerge in early April, but have yet to bloom this year.

The white flowers produce a red fruit in mid-summer, one of the first fruits produced for birds. The foliage keeps a good, medium green color during the growing season. From time to time, pear slugs may cause minor leaf damage. If you notice the leaves having a  skeleton type appearance (plant tissue eaten between the leaf veins), use an insecticidal soap to manage the pest. (As always, read the label of any pesticide  prior to using.)


Serviceberry (2)


The fall color of Serviceberry is excellent, showing bright yellow and orange. The multi-stem form of the plant offers subtle winter interest and makes it an excellent candidate for lighting.

Serviceberry tends to sucker and is therefore not a good choice for a single-stemmed plant. While some single stem cultivars exist, the clump form produces a better plant over the long run.


The easiest way to set up a meeting with the GardenArt team to discuss your vision for improving your outdoor living space is to fill out the simple GardenArt contact form, click HERE. Do it today!



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