Friday, July 20, 2012
Foliage Follow-Up July 2012
Well...since I was late for Bloom Day, of course, I'm also late for Foliage Follow-Up. I decided this month to focus on one particular plant that has caught my fancy, Pennisetum 'Vertigo'.
Like SO MANY of my plants, I first discovered this on Nan Ondra's blog Hayefield last year. I've always liked the dark-leaved Pennisetums, but wasn't quite tempted enough to plant a $16 annual every year (yes, they almost always seemed to be that expensive at nurseries around town).
Pennisetum 'Vertigo' soon after planting in May
For some reason, however, seeing this arresting plant in Nan's garden struck a nerve, and I knew I had to find it! I searched online and finally found an online seller, Garden Crossings, who had it...of course, for $16 per plant! That brings me to one important point about this plant...it's techincally hardy to Zone 8...so I should be able to overwinter these. That's what make the difference for me...I can't bring myself to spend that much on a plant I know will die at the end of the year...but for a plant that might come back...well, that I can do!
'Vertigo' in June
The plants arrived this spring, and I was extremely impressed with the quality of the plants...big, vigorous and well-packed. I would hearitly recommend this retailer to others, based on this one experience. I planted them in some galvanized pots (from IKEA...home of the inexpensive container), watered them and stood back.
'Vertigo' on July 6
As Nan mention on her blog, 'Vertigo' kind of grows "out" before it grows "up". It sort of spreads out a bit, then starts really putting on height. Also, the coloring really didn't start to darken until July or so...but now is fabulous. Depending on the light, it can seem reddish-brown, greenish-black, or jet-black.
'Vertigo' this week
So, while I found it to be pleasant enough for the past few months, since the beginning of July it has really seemed to take off...and is now quite stunning. I love how it provides such a dominant focal point at the corners of the garden. I debated planting them in the garden, rather than in pots, but decided that if I really ended up liking them by the time fall rolls around, I can move them into the backyard (which is more shleltered) to help them overwinter.
So, here it is this week...and I'm wondering just how big and bold it's going to become in the next few months. For more posts celebrating fabulous foliage, Head over to Digging, hosted by the always-inspiring, Pam Penick!