Monday, July 14, 2008

The rudbeckia that ate my garden and other scary quandaries

Well, I’ve done the research and I see, sadly, that the rudbeckia “Herbstomme” I have does get to 7 feet tall. It is not hirta, as claimed by the nursery; instead, it is (arguably) laciniata (though Alan Armitage says some think it should be nitida). Nonetheless, here it is, whatever it’s called, towering over everything right at the front of my lily/perennial bed. You can see it hulking over some rather tall trumpets. Of course, everything pretty much has to be tall in this bed, because it has a sizable wall all around it, one that cannot be dismantled, unless you’re one of those who enjoys sawing rebar.

I must say in passing that Alan Armitage’s new Herbaceous Perennial Plants seems excellent; I will have to review it soon. It has all the information I was looking for, and how often does that happen? Even if it’s information you don’t want to hear.

My second problem (I will only share 2 this post) is where to put the boehmeria I bought from Plant Delights. It’s a foliage plant, mostly, with large, showy, serrated leaves and seems like it will get big. Such a plant belongs in shade, I feel. I like foliage, but if there won’t be any decent-looking flowers, then I would like shade-tolerance, please. How did I not notice that the care says “sun/part sun?” Well, we’ll just see about that.

Stay tuned for more hideous and unsightly dilemmas as we enter the final days before Garden Walk.


PlantingOaks said...

I don't know where to put your boehmeria, but love ligularia 'the rocket' for shade sites you describe. It has similar large dramtic toothed leaves, plus big spikes of yellow flowers. Quite a remedy for the modest delicate pulmonarias, hostas, and heucheria you normally see in the shade.

EAL said...

Thanks plantingoaks. I did try it once--boy did the slugs love it. Indeed, if you look at the images of ligularia on Bluestone's site, even they have slug holes. And those are supposed to be promotional images!

But perhaps I should try again.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

This year I tried the ligularia 'rocket' one more time and it seems to have taken. I haven't had slug problems, so far. I didn't know they were particularly suseptible to slugs. They will just have to pout with my hostas regarding slugs. I love that big yellow bloom they have.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Too bad rabbits or deer haven't pruned that Rudbeckia for you. Ruthless pruning might make that plant garden worthy, but I'm afraid you'd end up with carpal tunnel syndrom.

Apple said...

I always seem to end up with one or two too tall plants at the front of the border. It's a shame it hides the very pretty lily. Is it possible to swap it out with something in the back?

I'd try the boehmeria in the shade. If it is unhappy you can always move it.

herself said...

Isn't that the truth? I was at a landscaping lecture and the lecturer stated that you should pick the plants to suit a certain spot.

He claimed that gardeners do not go into nurseries and just randomly pick out plants. I'm thinking I've never met a gardener like that.

I never bought a plant to fit a spot. Kinda like buying a painting I guess?

Mine come home, get put where I think they belong and grow or die. That might explain the large garden bills?

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