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That New Plant Smell

Received a load of new goodies for the right side bed out front from Plant Delights yesterday.  I have to say, their shipping packaging was impressive.  Damp, shredded newspaper around the plants themselves, and the pots wrapped in newsprint (sans print, of course), and everything cushioned by foam peanuts.  So, even though it is still in the 90s here, everything looked pretty good when it came out of the box.

There’s the Texas Onion (Allium texanum):


The Bright Eyes Montbretia (Crocosmia ‘Walbreyes’):


The Sundown Coneflower (Echinacea ‘Evan Saul’):


The Starry Eyes Nierembergia (Nierembergia gracilis):


The Giant Purple Wandering Jew (Setcreasea pallida ‘Kartuz Giant’):


The Stokes’ Aster Honeysong Purple (Stokesia laevis):


And the perennial Verbena (Verbena peruviana):


All of which will be SOOO much more interesting when they’re actually blooming, of course.

Other goodies in the right planting bed include the from-seed French Hollyhocks ‘Zebrina’ (Malva sylvestris):


The wonderful acid green ornamental sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas):


The Persian Shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus), which combines that acid green again with a gorgeous dark purple:


And this, friends and neighbors, is a Bearded Iris.  


A Bearded Iris that has grown three inches in the past two days, thankyewverymuch.  Yes, I’m in zone 9a and despite the naysaying, I’m giving them a whack.  I might get all foliage and no blooms, I might get nothing at all…from all the reading I’ve done a large part of the trick seems to be letting the fellows stay dry-ish, with rainfall and incidental watering more than enough to satisfy them.  Which means even if we do have a successful blooming spring, our Summer O’Rain might do them in.  But still, one has to try.  It’s the curse of being a gardener.