Summer 2012


When to Use Foliage Crops

ipomea_margauriteSometimes, a landscape design gets caught “in-between”—one wave of flowers has passed by but the next wave hasn’t started up yet. To provide yourself with a buffer, consider using foliage crops to keep the garden design interesting and vibrant even during those lulls in the action.

Foliage crops also tie the seasons together in a design. They provide spring, summer and fall interest, even though the center of attention in the garden might change. Some varieties are perfect for providing a dramatic statement or a long-lasting center of attention; others excel as supporting players, adding background interest while covering up an unattractive piece of ground. 


Strobilanthes (Purple Persian Shield)

strobilantheseStrobilanthes is known as Purple Persian Shield. We use it for its silver and purple foliage, which makes a striking accent in the middle or back of any garden or container. The color patterns on each leaf are unique and distinctive to this variety.

Persian Shield is extremely vigorous, so it serves as an important structural element in the garden. It mixes well with other plants because of the silver in the leaf, but the dark purple also infuses the garden design with some extra personality.


Ornamental Peppers in Color

orn_pepperOur summer crop of Ornamental Peppers has come into color very nicely. This is a successful plant for the high summer because it loves the heat and the breeders have been busy with new colors and variegations. As a result, we have added even more cultivars to our growing list.


Hibiscus ‘Luna Red’

hibiscusAlthough we treat it as an annual, Hibiscus ‘Luna Red’ is really a perennial and hardy in the Cincinnati area. It requires absolutely no maintenance—just stick it in and the plant will thrive. It is very drought tolerant once it’s established. For example, we planted a couple of ‘Luna Reds’ out by the barn where the soil is a mixture of concrete, clay and rock. Even though we never water them, they’ve been thriving and blooming since we threw them in there.

The natural season for Hibiscus began about three weeks ago, and they will keep putting forth large, two-foot blooms all summer long. Although the day length will slow them down in autumn, they will keep on blooming until the frost gets them.