Saturday, September 12, 2009

Nebraska Statewide Arboretum Plant Sale

Was a delight. Got to talk to the assistant director Bob Henrickson--who in many ways reminded me of Mr. Renegade Gardener Don Engebretson. You know, the mavricky (not the Palin kind), opinionated, occasionaly swearing, dirt under the nails, overly tanned plant junky. We lamented the state of arboretums planting way way way waaaaayyy too many annuals and non natives (pricey and tacky), after I mentioned I was surprised with such at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum a week ago. Bob said you'd think regional, large arboretums and botanical gardens (like the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha) would demonstrate the local and regional areas and various micro climates, thus teaching most folks good things.

Then he gave me a free liatris squarrosa because he said it needed a good home and couldn't stand another winter potted up. Other plants I got:

Aster ptarmicoides--upland white
Allium cernuum
Echinacea pallida
Liatris scariosa 'Alba'
Liatris microcephala 'Alba'
Echinacea angustifolia--narow leaf coneflower
Monarda fistulosa
Pulsatilla patens
Zizia aptera (bring on the black swallowtails!)
Lespedeza capitata--roundhead bushclover
Filipendula ulmaria

And my 15% member discount was lovely.

Now I'm off to spread my proprietary seed blend on A Street here in Lincoln: various members of joe pye weed, ironweed, milkweed, liatris, and coneflowers.

Side question--anyone know why my Helianthus 'Lemon Queen' buds go limp and fall off just before blooming? A dark spot forms about 1-2" down the stalk where it sags and drops. I am at 50% bloom this year and it sucks.


Chloe m said...

You described my Dad in that first paragraph.

our friend Ben said...

Go Benny Wildflowerseed go!!! Sounds like you had a great time and got a great haul. Now you, ahem, need to update your plant list to reflect all these 2009 purchases...

IlonaGarden said...

updating plant lists sounds like a pleasant *winter* occupation of time:)Sounds like you did get some great plants!

This has been a bad year for bacterial problems, so maybe the spots on your helianthus is simply sign of a bad patch.

IlonaGarden said...

"are simply signs" to correct the grammar.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Rosey--Your dad is a fine man then.
OFB--Don't tell me what to do! Do you know how painful it is updating a plant list? I don't think you do.... :)
Ilona--Winter? Lalalala.... Surprinsingly it has been a powedery mildew summer for me--too dry I guess. But at least it was a mild winter and most things came back for me.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

I have been so busy blogging and gardening that I forgot to find out when the fall plant sale was. I have joined the arboretum before, but haven't since 2007. I should join again, then maybe I'd get emails from them to know when the sales are.

I don't know why your helenium blooms get limp and fall off, but I wonder if it would help to trim the stems back a few inches when they are about 15 inches tall. I usually trim mine back, but can't remember for sure how tall they are when I do it.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Sue--I cut them back 50% when they were 2' tall in June. Maybe I won't do that next year. They're done blooming now, alas. Just have some asters left and eupatorium.

Anonymous said...

The flower heads of Helianthus are attacked by the sunflower head clipping weevil. The weevil lays eggs in the head and then clips the stem so it falls to the ground.The egg hatches and the larvae overwinter in the soil, now conveniently adjacent to the sunflower head. This usually happens just as the first ray flowers are visible.