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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Evening Primroses

Some perennials have been around forever. They're those plants that when you first begin gardening, somebody will gladly share a plant or two.

After gardening for years many of us tend to turn our noses up at those beginner plants. That too is a phase, it's taken me many more years to realize just how valuable those old fashioned perennials are.

A nickname I love is pass-along-plant. A plant that is easily passed from one gardener to another, or if you are lucky, one generation to another.

Since my parents and I are immigrants, I don't have plants that have been handed down in my family but I do have many pass-along plants that have been given to me. One of the first plants shared with me was evening primroses, more formally known as Oenothera tetragona.

Some parts of the country use the nickname "Sundrops" for this plant family, that's the danger with using nicknames instead of learning the botanical name.

The photos you see here (number 2 and 3) are actually a hybrid form of Oenothera, one that goes by the name 'Cold Crick'. If you've grown the old fashioned Oenothera (evening primrose), this variety is quite different. It doesn't travel by underground runners, instead it stays nicely in a small, compact clump. It also is shorter that the old fashioned variety but when it blooms, well put on your sunglasses because it's just as bright as it's family member.

There's also a pink variety of Oenothera, it's full name is Oenothera speciosa. This plant does have the underground runners and in my garden it has run a bit. The funny thing though is it all ran in one direction (south) and ended up butted up against the Belgium block border of my driveway.

It really is a lovely little perennial, I keep forgetting to slip out a few pieces and add them to different parts of the garden so I can have some to share. Actually, there might be a few extra pieces, it's not an early emerger so I have to go take a careful look tomorrow morning.

We'll begin our big Mother's Day plant sale tomorrow afternoon, around 1:00 pm. That gives me time to dig out a few more perennials in the morning. The weather has been so uncooperative here this week.

We'll also be here all day on Saturday and for a few hours on Sunday morning (unless we're sold-out by then).

Stop by and say "hi"!

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