Blog #1 "Fireworks"
It is a ritual of ours to celebrate the passing of one year and the coming of a new one with a display of fireworks. The swirling blend of bright colors and patterns against the black of the night sky often remind me of the dazzling petal and plant combinations that nature provides us in our gardens every day. It's no wonder plant breeders often use "Fireworks" when naming a new variety - it certainly conjures up a showy and exciting image.
I thought I would put together a list of some of these plants. After the recent storm that brought with it snow, and today a wind chill factor of -25 degrees C (eep!), I thought we were all deserving of some rich color and bring our thoughts closer to spring.
There are 13 plants for 2013!
Leucospermum cordifolium (Salisb. Ex Knight) Rourke
These Pincushion flowers belong to the Protea family and are popular in South African gardens (sorry, not hardy to NS!) Proteas are used in flowering arranging and can be ordered through your florist.
In their native country the Leucospermum cordifolium is a rounded spreading shrub up to 2 m in diameter and 1.5 m high and only grows in areas with wet winters and hot, dry summers. Difficult to grow from seed.
1. Fireworks Fountain Grass
Pennisetum setaceum 'Fireworks' is a variation of the Purple Fountain Grass but has burgundy-purple leaves with a bright pink stripe. It has a graceful arching habit reaching to a height of 2 - 3' tall and looks great in a container.
Because it is considered a zone 9 plant I usually treat it as an annual but it can be overwintered in a basement window. Cut it back to 6 inches in late fall and water sparingly throughout the winter. Do not fertilize until April. The lack of light may make the leaves revert to green or purply-green. It would be a good experiment but unless you have a heated greenhouse I would advise to just repurchase each spring - well worth the money to ensure a bright, healthy plant in season.
2. Hosta "Fireworks"
Hosta "Fireworks" is a relatively short perennial with its leaf base reaching 8"-10" in height; 12" with it's lavender flowers in mid-summer.
This hosta can be grown in a sunny to shady position. I would not plant it in a full shade area only because it will show more green than white. Also you may want to avoid planting it in areas that get a hot afternoon sun.
The leaves are narrow with the same upward and out exploding similar to that of its namesake.
3. Globe Amaranth "Fireworks"
Gomphrena globosa "Fireworks" is a 3'-4' annual plant that thrives in a hot and sunny position. It has 1" flowers that are tipped in yellow that provide color throughout the growing season in the garden and containers.
I grew this beauty in a large container this year which brought it to eye level when standing in front the pot - it's every bit as delightful as it is pictured here.
I am certain that it will be widely available in the local nurseries this year.