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
Liatris scariosa 'Alba'
Liatris microcephala 'Alba'
Echinacea angustifolia--narow leaf coneflower
Zizia aptera (bring on the black swallowtails!)
Lespedeza capitata--roundhead bushclover
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.