fall planting is upon us

Yesterday I went to Meadowbrook Farm for my PHS plant dividend. I toured some of the gardens until I got too rain damp and of course I couldn’t resist the sale plants outside the plant shop.

Now I showed great restraint (for me) because when I see giant amazing shrubs for $7 and $14 well… I have a plant problem as in they always seem to follow me home.

One for $7 in like a 5 gallon pot seemed manageable to me. I wheeled it into check out. I did not have my glasses on because the combination of COVID19 face mask and the humidity in the rainy air yesterday kept making them fog over . At first I thought I had found some kind of a Witch Hazel (no tags) then I thought maybe something else and I remember the volunteer checking me out asked if I knew exactly what it was and I told her I thought I had one of the same at home and no matter what it was in the end, it would take the same light. You see dear readers, I wasn’t leaving that giant plant bargain there no matter what….yes, file under more confessions of a plantaholic.

My husband was a good sport and put cardboard down in the back seat of his car because it was too ginormous for the trunk. As I was looking at it going home I realized it was actually a viburnum.

So I got home and did a viburnum head count (I have a slight viburnum problem too.) The leaves are exactly like the viburnum we inherited with the property. It is a Korean spice viburnum or Viburnum carlesii. Now I won’t know for sure until next spring because the blooms have a scent like no other, but I am fairly certain! And yay me!

So yesterday all I did was plant my plant dividend which was a lovely little Hydrangea arborescens ‘Haas’ Halo. Now this was so small – about a four inch pot that I planted that in a giant pot that stays outdoors. (The photo is off of the Internet so you can see how pretty it will be.) It will actually do well there for probably a few years, depending how fast it grows. Then it may get moved to a regular garden bed. It really is a huge pot so I will just see how it grows! According to Plants Nouveau:

📌This new selection was found and brought to us by Frederick H. Ray, a former horticulture professor at Delaware Valley College in Pennsylvania. Rick selected Haas’ Halo from a batch of seedlings given to him by Joan Haas. He selected this plant out of the batch because it has strong, sturdy, erect stems, deep bluish-green, glossy foliage, and huge white lace-cap flowers.
Each bloom is up to 14” in diameter. These are some of the loveliest dried flowers I’ve seen in a long time. Haas Halo is one smooth hydrangea that will not wilt on the first dry day of summer. It can handle massive droughts and a long, hot summer full of heat and humidity. It is beautiful planted as a specimen and just as lovely en masse along a woodland edge. This fantastic, strong new selection would prefer morning sun, but if it’s got enough water, it can handle anything you give it. Bring on the heat for this native beauty

But I also have some random acts of perennials left to be planted including Fatsia japonica “Spiders Web” or Japanese Aralia. Now the Fatsia is a gamble because I am not sure it will survive zone 6a winters. But I think if I plant it in a sheltered spot it might adapt and survive. It can get 4 to 5 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide and is more often referred to as a shrub versus a perennial. But it’s one of those plants I see in English gardens and it’s leaves fascinate me so I want to try it!

Me being me I went to sleep wondering where I was going to plant my newly adopted viburnum and the Fatsia, and woke up the same. So being the nightgown gardener, when I woke up I wandered around in my nightgown and slippers and worked out where everything will go. Yes, it was super early, even the squirrels were still sleeping.

So I will get these planted out and soon bulbs will arrive, one last shrub order and some peony roots. As the leaves change and fall they will be shredded and not shredded but will all be piled on my flower beds. Nature’s free fall mulch is great for protecting plants and enriching the soil!

Last photo is the Fatsia and a couple of ferns. Happy gardening!

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