My order from Romence Gardens in Michigan came today, and though the taller agastaches were a bit frazzled by box confinement, the plants were in fine condition. Romence is on Dave’s Garden Watchdog list of the 30 best reviewed mail order companies in the US. I had never ordered from them before, and I have never seen an order shipped in five inch pots. 3.5 inches is more standard. These are not plants that are going to take a year to look presentable either. Pay 18.00 at other nurseries and you will get a sprig or a twig, and when you see the same plant on sale down NH Route 13 at the garden center you will be mortified-
Though Elizabeth Lawrence mentions growing Anthemis, or Golden Marguerite, in her legendary North Carolina garden, I never saw it in any garden in Nashville, and never saw it for sale. Lawrence describes it as a “coarse” plant, and the Missouri Botanical Gardens website says it does not like the southern climate. I bought two plants after reading that it needs poor, dry soil in sun. I have that kind of soil, and it is my favorite ground to garden in. I do not try to fix the unfixable with soil tests or amendments. Given a field that was once blueberry barrens, I plant what will thrive there- The silver rod. The Tall Primrose, the Late purple aster, and the Showy goldenrod. Add lavender, and dry land Salvias, Russian Sages, yucca, Sea Lavender, and Globe Thistles and you have a garden you do not have to beg or coddle. Their gray, tough, smelly, spiny leaves repel groundhogs and chipmunks too, and I have never seen a deer track there.
The tall blue agastaches are perennial, but the South west sunset colored ones are annuals or iffy. I had one come back this year. They come in the orange and coral shades I love, and they like it dry.
Though today is cool and gray, I looked out at the suet feeder this morning , and there was the first Baltimore oriole of the season. It is heartening to know that the Color birds- the Indigo Bunting, the Rose- breasted Grosbeak, the Scarlet Tanager are on their way. As are the soulful singers. The Veery, the Wood Thrush, and the Hermit Thrush. I saw a Hermit thrush down by Lang Station two days ago , on a path lined by reindeer lichen. Unfortunately, that morning he had nothing to say. I have not heard him sing in almost forty years, though he winters in the South. The Veery I will hear when I am out in my garden since I live beside a river and many Hemlock trees.
I walked down to the leaf and litter dump by the woods today. The Giant Knotweed has a forest down there, and I found two nice ferns for my garden on the mounds.