My new Garden Spots page is growing nicely, and it's even looking lush already. I decided to include local commercial nurseries and garden centers, and I also added the US Department of Agriculture's PLANTS Database. This I just found when I did a web search for dwarf blazing star or gayfeather, Liatris microcephala, a native of the southern Appalachians which I found while shopping for the more familiar Liatris spicata at Sun Nurseries this weekend. Liatris is a genus of native perennials, and I particularly like the way L. spicata attracts American goldfinches when its flower fronds go to seed later in the season. My condominium let me introduce a specimen of the purple or lilac Kobold* variety in a sunny parking lot island, which we're cultivating with meadow flowers after losing a tree there. I also sneaked in some blue-eyed grass, the miniature native Iris cousin with brilliant blue star-like flowers growing on the ends of the blades. (You can see a smaller variety of blue-eyed grass growing in sunny spots along woodland paths here in central Maryland.)
I bought a specimen of the dwarf Liatris, too, even though I'm not sure where I'm going to plant it yet. One thing I've learned from reading Elizabeth Lawrence: No matter how small or large your garden, you will never have enough space for everything you'd like to plant. So I'll be content with my small area and be glad that our condominium encourages cultivating common areas by individual residents.
*Is the larger white Florestan variety named after the character in Beethoven's opera, "Fidelio"?
May 4, Brighton Dam Azalea Gardens
2 weeks ago