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So when you think of fall flowers you think of mums, right? Well, I have 2 awesome plants that are really producing and actually surprised me: Blue Chip Dwarf Butterfly Bush(Buddleia) and Hot Lips Salvia(Salvia microphylla).
Blue Chip Dwarf Butterfly Bush(Buddleia)
Perfect compact plant that was cultivated right here in Raleigh, NC at NC State University. Talk about local genius, Dr Dennis Werner of the JC Raulston Arboretum breeding program created this fabulous plant. I love this plant. It blooms in spring and summer and now, as I found out, fall too. I was surprised to see a comeback of blooms this late. Perfect for containers or if you need a low growing shrub–growing at its max 2-3 feet. BONUS: Heat and drought tolerant and deer resistant and produces few seeds. You should grow the Blue Chip Butterfly Bush.
Hot Lips Salvia(Salvia microphylla)
Who wouldn’t want hot lips in their garden. Perfect for coffee talk…my hot lips are rocking…in my garden I have to admit, I have never seen a salvia I haven’t loved, but this one has whimsy and sass….two of my favorite qualities. Again, another surprise to see its resurgence of blooms this late in the season. A unique quality of this plant is in the summer sometimes you see all white flowers or all red flowers, but as soon as the evening temps cool down…bi-color comes back and you see the hot lips wonder. BONUS: it is heat and drought tolerant, plus isn’t as susceptible to leaf spotting as some Salivias. You should definitely grow Hot Lips Salvia. What a party plant.
I was impressed.
During this long, hot, dry September when so many plants have needed watering– that’s the first time Persicaria (common name: Knotweed) has needed any help from me.
Which means it’s a super-tough, drought tolerant plant that’s easy to establish. My three little rooted sprigs were planted just this Spring.
That’s very good news. I’m always looking for new plants for my woods garden which even in the best of summers gets really dry.
Red Dragon Knotweed came from the annual Raleigh Garden Club Sale at the State fairgrounds–a recommendation from noted Apex gardener Rita Mercer who lives just down the road.
When Rita speaks, I listen. Her garden is very impressive–she opens it to the public each spring– and since Rita’s Garden is on a shady slope it’s even drier than mine.
So I put down another plant and picked up the Knotweed. And it’s been a wonderful purchase for me.
Not only is Red Dragon tough and drought tolerant, it’s has a subtle beauty, small white flowers and looks good all summer long–a rare combo in my woods.
Persicaria “Red Dragon” –You should grow that.
Another note about plants you should grow–Check out the Garden Section of today’s Raleigh News and Observer for a great article about what plants local gardeners are buying this fall. Columnist Carol Stein picks one of my favorites, the locally propagated beauty, Blue Chip Buddleia. This plant still looks fantastic, as it has all summer, in my sunny garden by the street. Campbell Road Nursery has them for 15 dollars each. Nursery boss, Lane is co-propigator of the variety. Love this plant. You should grow it.