Posts Tagged ‘Salvia’

On a quick trip out to the nursery last week I came across a gorgeous plant with spiky pink flowers that made me stop in my tracks. October is not the time of year I would expect to see Celosia in full glory, but this cultivar, called ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ looks fantastic even now. Nestled into a mixed annual bed, it fits right in with Verbena bonariensis in the backdrop.

Celosia ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ with Verbena bonariensis in the Background

Celosia ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ was discovered in Peru and features magenta blooms. It is recommended to pinch the plants back when they are smaller to produce more stems, but if you leave it undisturbed, it can grow up to 9′ tall! The flowers are excellent for cutting and can also be dried. The reddish tinge to the leaves and veins are also ornamental in my book. Try it out in a garden bed with other annuals like Verbena or Salvia or try it next to fail-proof perennials like Rudbeckia or Perovskia for an Erb-approved planting scheme!

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One of my favorite things about my job is that I get to see so much of New York City every single day. Now that it is a little cooler out I love to walk extra blocks instead of going to the nearest train station. The result is I get to see more of the good, the bad and the ugly landscaping. I came across a literal sidewalk sensation on 23rd Street between 8th and 7th Avenues. I found this portrait and immediately thought about the NY Times article featuring the chewing gum art by Ben Wilson . Any New Yorker will tell you that walking down the sidewalk consists of watching out for holes, dog crap and other obstructions. I found this little piece of art by Paul Richard to be a pleasant surprise.

Chelsea Street Art on 23rd Street by Paul Richard

As I continued on my trek today I found this lovely planting on the Broadway Mall at West 66th Street. It seems that the plantings on this narrow strip in the center of Broadway have never looked quite this good. It really stood out to me today with a lovely mixture of Cleome, Salvia, Geraniums, Begonias and Coleus. None of these annuals are necessarily showstoppers, but the arrangement was very cheerful on this pleasant fall day. Perhaps the influx of fashionistas and nearby fashion week events influenced the level of attention given to this particular landscape.

Plantings on Broadway and West 66th Street

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Pycanthemum muticum AKA Mountain Mint (photo from http://www.sproutdc.com)

Pycanthemum muticum, also referred to as Mountain Mint, is a favorite native perennial that has many useful purposes. Commonly found at the woodland edge, it attracts butterflies, bees, and other wildlife.  Mountain Mint can tolerate light shade to full sun and grows to be about 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide.  It will clump from the base so be sure to give it extra room as it grows.  Evenly moist, sandy soil is best but it can adapt to a wide range of soils.  Mountain Mint is hardy in zones 4-8.

Use Mountain Mint as a replacement for mint in any recipe including tea.  The leaves produce a refreshing minty odor when crushed. While it doesn’t have a splashy color found in many native perennials such as the yellow of Rudbeckia or the purple of Echinacea, the flowers create a billowy cloud of silver color in planting beds. Mountain Mint is a subtle and elegant filler plant that would look gorgeous among Artemesia, Astilbe, Liatris spicata or even Salvia.

If you want to see Pycanthemum muticum in person. Check out the High Line section 2 where you can find it growing between the old railroad tracks and perennial borders.

Article written by lilyofthevalley for Jeffrey Erb Landscape Design.

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