Advertisement

While Waiting for Winter


While my back was turned (okay, I was out of town), we got a little frost. I didn’t realize it until I walked around my garden yesterday and discovered that the New Guinea impatiens, coleus and zinnia had collapsed. The dahlias also had gotten zapped. The cannas, however, were still standing tall in their pots, and I’m going to leave them there until the frost makes a repeat performance.

Losing annuals is to be expected. But what really caught my eye were the flowering plants that were looking so fresh that you might have thought it was June. ‘Indigo Spires’ salvia, for example. It’s a 6-foot tall plant with 12-inch deep royal blue flower spikes, and next year, if I have any smarts, I will have a lot of tall stakes so my three plants will no longer need to get support by leaning against a nearby boxwood. (Santa Claus, are you listening?)

Also helping to hold up the salvias is a ‘Lady Elsie Mae’ rose. This shrub is a marvel, brimming with salmon-pink double flowers from the moment it breaks dormancy until the end of November—or later. No disease or pest problems, ever. Oh sure, it gets nibbled by Japanese beetles now and then, but nothing that can’t be managed as long as you’re not squeamish about squishing. This is a low-maintenance rose.

But what really surprised me was the calamintha. Last year at the Lurie Garden’s plant sale I bought this Calamintha nepeta subsp. nepeta (I know, it’s a mouthful) since it’s a real bee magnet and we need to provide help for bees whenever we can. As it grew this year, I noticed that its flowers really do have a lavender tint to them, although from a distance you would probably call the flowers white.

Calamint

Whatever you call them, as we move into November, they are blooming their little heads off, full steam ahead. And if you run your hands along the stems, they will give you a lovely whiff of mint. To read more, check out our September/October issue in which Nina Koziol wrote about calamint.

categories

Lincoln Park Zoo Advertisement

popular

Article Thumbnail
Columns
All Together Now

What is it about starting a community garden that makes people react as if you just pulled a cocker spaniel puppy out of a ...


Article Thumbnail
Columns
Mike’s Holiday Hort Sing Along (Again?)

Did I ever mention that in my childhood I was severely traumatized when I happened to discover two snowflakes that were ...


Article Thumbnail
Blog
A Conversation on Color

At some point in a gardener’s life, he or she will likely come across the writings and photographs of the renowned gardener ...


Article Thumbnail
Columns
Attack of the Killer Asparagus

I had one of those horticultural dreams the other night. You know what I’m talking about. The ones where you’re being ...


Article Thumbnail
Departments
From the Editor - JanFeb 2017

At Chicagoland Gardening we duly make our resolutions, chief among them our determination that 2017 will be the magazine’s best


questions

Last summer my neighbor told me the black spots on my peony were a blight, although my peonies bloomed nicely. What can I do about this?

I am sick of slugs. Perhaps if I knew their life cycle I could get rid of them. Where do they go over winter? Where do they come from? What is the best way to get rid of them?

What ratio and amounts of fertilizer would you use for a perennial bed and a vegetable garden? For growing annuals in a greenhouse, should the fertilizer be fast or slow-release, organic or inorganic?

ChicagolandGardening Advertisement