Category Archives: Old and True Varieties

The dialogue will be about old and true plants that are excellant but not used as often.

PLANTS FOR THE CURE

PLANTS FOR THE CURE

PLANTS FOR THE CURE
In the past years, there have been many gardens of pink to honor the lives of Breast Cancer victims however a few breeders and growers have stepped up to give gardeners some impressive plants for the foundation.

As we all know Breast Cancer has been a devastating disease in the past half-century. Every family that not been affected in some way by this disease. Breast cancer has been the most published form of cancer. It has been not talked about the problem facing American women.

Then in 1982, Susan G. Komen for the Cure was founded by Nancy Brinker to honor the memory of her sister, Susan G. Komen.

In 2001 Sandy De Boer succumbed to Breast cancer, her fellow workers at Walters’s garden knew that her favorite hosta was June. When the next sport appeared it was named “Remember Me” and as it is sold a donation is given to the Susan G. Komen foundation. With this hosta, a great cause it was a beginning helped. Selling plants to help make a contribution to the cause to cure cancer was a new idea for the plant industry.

There have been several other plants that have come and gone in this process for plants donating money to the Susan G. Komen foundation. One a poinsettia, some geraniums, other one-shot plants that have not lasted.

In 2003 another employee of Walters Gardens, Inc Laurel Hall was diagnosed with the disease and due to the valuable research efforts of Susan G. Komen Laural has a clean bill of health. Hope’. Working with Terra Nova Nurseries, Walters Gardens added yet another plant Echinacea ‘Hope’ this plant was added in honor of breast cancer survivors. With this pink Echinacea ‘Hope,’ a cure can be found for Breast Cancer.

A breakthrough 2010 with Hydrangeas was made by Thomas G. Ranney at Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center in North Carolina. This was the first pink Hydrangea ‘Annabelle’ it is called ‘Invincible Spirit. It is a great find on the native plant Hydrangea ‘Annabelle’ The blooms occur on both new and old wood and can be trimmed in the fall so it can bush out and bloom again next year. Desires two to three years to reach its full impact as the stems on the new plant are week and cannot carry the heavy blooms well, it also needs full sun and heavy fertilizer to make a happy compact plant. This plant has won several awards in its short time. It is also supported by Proven Winners. With the sale of each plant, one dollar is donated to Susan G. Komen foundation.

Every year some of the box stores produce a pink-flowered plant that is sold with the money going to the Susan G. Komen foundation. Most of these plants are annuals and do not add any longevity to the garden.
A bulb company was selling pink tulips with this same theme each company has a good thought behind the efforts but there needs to be a more centralized push. There needs to be more perennials and shrubs and trees that the gardener can enjoy for years and an effort that is not pushed just for sales. If you know any other plants please let me know and I will publish them.
©Ken Wilson Gardening Whisperer 2014

This entry was posted in Breeders / BreedingOld and True Varieties and tagged Echinacea ‘Hope”Hosta ‘Remember Me’Hydrangea ‘Invincible Spirit.Susan G Komen on January 16, 2015, by Ken WilsonEdit

Snow Drops

Snowdrops

Snow Drops

On a dull cloud covered rainy winter day I noticed that the Snowdrops ‘Galanthus nivalis’ that I planted 20 years ago were coming up and starting to bloom. This is in contrast to last year as they waited until it was February before they poked the little heads out of the ground to bloom and announcing that spring was coming.

Snowdrops are one of the first spring bulbs that flower followed by Grape Hyacinths and Crocus. In reality, there are twenty types of snowdrops only three are in commercial production.   The standard is ‘Galanthus nivalis’ but if you can find ‘G. nivalis Flore plena’ you will have a great show of white spring flowers. Their cold requirement is 15 -18 hours of temperatures below 45 degrees, this why they bloom early.  They can even bloom under the snow, however in extreme cold with no snow cover the blooms seem to give up the ghost.

Planting of Snowdrops is done in the fall, which is when they are harvested, then shipped to a location near you. Snowdrops are hard to find in the fall in most garden stores. They do not count for high dollars in the store but add great beauty in the early spring. The best effort to find a retail mail-order garden catalog that sells many types of fall bulbs. If you are looking for one let me know I have several.

Frequently Snow Drops like several other early winter spring flowers are left out of landscape design because their bloom time is before people are active in the yards. If you find a garden location as you travel in the winter going in and out of your house that is the best place because you will be able to enjoy their beauty. Planted around trees is another great location.  In some areas when planted in the grass as they have gone before lawn mowing has commenced. The bulbs are small and when planted they should be groups of five to six they will make larger clumps over the years and give that early hello that spring is coming.

©Ken Wilson & Gardening Whisperer 2015

Flowering Dogwoods

Preparing for Spring

Pink Dogwood Enhanced

One can gain knowledge of what spring-flowering dogwood trees will be like from looking at what is occurring in the fall. In the late summer tree Dogwoods or (Cornus florida) or (Cornus rubrum) types start their groundwork for a grand spring flower show. This requires both proper water and temperatures. Several years ago when we had hot temperatures in August and with little or no rain there were little or no spring dogwood blooms the next spring. Supplementary watering should have been given early to mid-August in order to offset the dry summer. This also will intensify the brilliant fall red colors of the dogwood leaves. As seen in this picture the buds are set for a spectacular show next spring.

Native dogwoods grow at the edge of the forest and in clearings. In urban settings placed into too much shade, the tree will be thin and blooms will be meager. Yet in the full sun they tend to struggle, this is also the situation is enhanced by poor soils. One solution is using more mulch around the tree roots as this holds moisture and keeps the roots cool like as on a native forest floor.

Flowering Tree Dogwoods come in a number of common types and varieties (Cornus florida) or (Cornus rubrum)

WHITE; (Cornus Florida), (Cornus Florida Appalachian Mist), (Cornus Florida Cherokee Princess), (Cornus Florida Cloud Nine), (Cornus Florida Cherokee Daybreak with variegated leaves), (Cornus Florida Holman Gold), (Cornus Florida Pendula), (Cornus Florida Prairie Splendor).

RED; (Cornus florida Cherokee Brave), (Cornus Florida Cherokee Chief), (Cornus Florida Cherokee Sunset with variegated leaves.

 PINK: (Cornus rubrum).

©Ken Wilson & Gardening Whisperer 2014