Love This!

I Love Verbascum Chaixii – aka nettle-leaved mullein

Name:  Verbascum chaixii aka nettle-leaved mullein

Type of Plant:  A biennial that sometimes only lasts a year and other times might live three years, this plant self-seeds around the garden. The straight species has spires of yellow flowers, and the variety ‘Album’ has white blossoms…both have purple stamens which add to the charm of the plant.

Why I love This:  I love this biennial because in June it adds some upright, exclamation points to the garden. It’s a great cut flower and the bees love it. I also love how it travels around my gardens dependably but not invasively. Verbascum species do well in rocky or sandy soils and dry areas, so use them in gardens that you don’t irrigate frequently or to add height to a rock garden. They are also perfect for cottage-style flower gardens.

A Word to the Wise:  Don’t plant this is you don’t like working in the perennial bed. You’ll need to edit out seedlings and plants that are in the wrong place, remove plants that are growing inside another perennial, and cut down most of the stalks when they start to form seeds. You’ll want to remove most of the seed-stalks because otherwise you’ll have too many in future years, and besides the seed-stalks aren’t attractive in the garden. I will commonly leave one of the most branched and full plants to go to seed but cut away all the rest. Once you have this plant you’ll always have it popping up, so plant this with your eyes open.

You’ll want to grow this Verbascum from seed as it is seldom found in garden centers.

All types of bees love this Verbascum.

All types of bees love this Verbascum.

In the garden Verbascum is a good upright element. This one self-seeds around the garden so when it gets too numerous you have to be willing and able to edit down the numbers.

In the garden Verbascum is a good upright element. This one self-seeds around the garden so when it gets too numerous you have to be willing and able to edit down the numbers.

You Can Grow That

Change? You Can Grow That!

And here is that same area in 2014 - we added onto the existing patio with "patchwork" rocks and pavers, and planted an assortment of perennials, shrubs and annual plants.

Anyone who has a garden comes, at the very least, to accept change. When we’re fortunate, we come to value it. Over the past 8 years I’ve watched great growth and development here at Poison Ivy Acres as I’ve created new gardens and watched them fill in. Now I’m at the stage where I’m tweaking

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Love This!

Different Strokes for Different Folks

I think that the stamens add a great deal of drama to these flowers.  And yes, I'm careful not to brush by them with light-colored clothing or have them positioned over a white couch.

Recently when I spoke at a garden club I listened to the flower show judge comment on the various arrangements that members had brought in. Her comments were about how the displays would be judged in a formal flower show, of course…we are all free to put flowers together in any manner we want at home.

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Gardens

Better Connections Through Vegetable Gardening

Borrowing a caption from the Forest graphics of a similar nature. (Get it? NATURE?)

Borrowing a caption from the Forest graphics of a similar nature. (Get it? NATURE?)

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Gardens

I Hate Artemisia vulgaris!

Here is how you can tell that the young plant you see is mugwort. The tops are green and the underside of the leaves is silver. The plant has an herbal smell.

I was talking to Bill, from the Cape Cod Alarm Company last week and he said that he’s been listening to my radio programs for years and has never heard me say I hate a plant! Is this because I love all plants? In fact, I love more plants than I dislike, but there have

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Crafts

Decorating in Mid-Winter

The finishing touch was to string some outdoor LED micro-lights around the trellis. Why should tiny lights be confined to the Christmas season?

I’m a person who often leaves Christmas lights and holiday decor up as long as possible…sometimes too long. I remember the year when I finally went to take down my wreath in the spring and birds had nested in it. Since I couldn’t disrupt the nesting wrens, the wreath stayed on the front of my

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