By Molly Day
All the Dirt on Gardening
After a lifetime of growing plants for her customers, Anne Pinc knows what succeeds in our area. There will be only two more chances to buy from Pinc at the Cherry Street Farmer’s Market in Tulsa (http://www.cherrystreetfarmersmarket.com) since she stops selling at the end of May.
The Cherry St. Farmer’s Market is open Saturdays from 7 to 11 a.m. on 15th St. near Peoria St., and it is so popular that many people plan to arrive well before the opening hour.
Here are some of the many plants to look for that she grows and recommends for area gardens.
Pinc grows several varieties of the ever-popular clematis vine. Clematis is generally reliable in our area, climbing fences, trellises and shrubs and blooming with white, purple, red or pink single flowers. They thrive with 5-hours of daily sun, neutral soil that has plenty of compost added and weekly watering.
Shade loving hostas range in size from miniature to quite large and have colors from deep green to bright yellow-green. They are herbaceous perennials that die back to the ground during cold months and return in late spring to decorate areas under trees. Hostas form large clumps that can grow to 6 feet across in zones 3 to 8. They flower, but many gardeners remove the flowers since they are insignificant.
Pinc offers several hosta varieties including Elvis Lives, Dancing Queen and Lemon Delight.
Hosta Elvis Lives is blue with wavy leaf edges. The clumps can grow 5-feet wide. The flowers are lavender, hummingbird attractors. Dancing Queen has unique, large yellow leaves and purple flowers. Dancing Queen grows 18 inches tall and 3 feet wide. Lemon Delight is a small, rapidly growing, variegated variety. The leaf-centers are dark green and the edges are yellow. Lemon Delight has purple flowers on 12-inch stems.
Flowering Maple, Albutilon Fairy Coral Red, is also called Chinese bell flower. It is not a maple but acquired that common name because of its maple-shaped leaves. All albutilons are popular food plants for butterfly caterpillars. The plants like half-sun and mature at 2.5 feet tall. The gorgeous mallow-type flowers are sunset colors of orange and pink. They are cold-hardy to zone 7 so might have to be protected in an unusually cold winter.
Campanula is another plant that is commonly called bellflower. Campanula is grown for its long-lasting, blue, cut flowers for vases. They prefer well-drained soil and full sun to part-shade.
Pinc also grows miniature Solomon’s seal, Polygonatum humile, for shade and for fairy gardens. It forms a colony over the years, with tiny white flowers close to the ground in contrast to full-size Solomon’s seal which grows up to 2-feet tall with the flowers hidden under the leaves.
Amsonia Blue Ice or Blue Star thrives in full or part sun in zones 5 to 9. Amsonias bloom in May and June with pale blue flowers. In the fall their leaves turn gold and add beauty to the fall garden. It is a wildflower native that thrives on moist or dry soil, sun or part shade, and is deer proof. Bluestar grows 1.5 feet tall and wide and can be planted in masses in rock gardens or woodlands.
Lead plant, Amorpha canescens, is another great, woody, native plant for our gardens. It grows 2 to 3 feet tall, with silver-leaves and purple flowers. Like most silver-leafed plants, lead plant can withstand a long drought; its roots grow as much as 15-feet into the soil. Give it full sun and average soil and it will thrive, attracting bees, moths and butterflies.
If you visit the Cherry St. Farmer’s Market this weekend, stop by Pinc’s Collector’s Garden and ask about perennial plants for your garden. Information: firstname.lastname@example.org.