Recently, I was lucky enough to have Mary Ann Fink, one of the top gardeners in the St. Louis area, come and visit my garden. Here are a few notes from my conversation with her.
How can we grow flowers in a non-irrigated area?
Solomns Seal can take lack of irrigation.
Rudeckia will take lack of irrigation, but will look rough.
Shasta Daisy – to keep blooming, as soon as they are fading, not done, but just past their prime, take off just the top flower. There is a dormant bud just below the flower that may come into bloom. If you wait until they have gone to seed, it’s probably too late.
Asclepias tuberosa – plant pansies or small bulbs around it in the fall. It’s a late spring plant, and you want to mark the area where it is growing so you don’t dig it up accidentally.
Jerry Pence – great landscape designer.
Consider adding a walkway in my milkweed bed in the front to give it some visual interest and it’s easier to get into and weed.
10-6 Rule – This is for plants that tend to get tall. When it gets to ten inches, you cut it back to six inches. She suggested putting plants together that grow at the same rate so that you can just go in and trim the entire area at one time. New Englad Aster will take three prunings.
MA volunteered to help me during one of my talks.
(Possibly we could have her come and talk to Crestwood gardeners.)
Privet – cut to the ground every few years to rejuvenate.
MA likes the Claw – garden tool.
She suggests trying White Ball Buddleia – as it gets larger you can shear it.
She likes Veronica and Vervain.
Pom Pom Echinacea is borderline hardy,
Verticillium wilt – I may have in the soil. Killing Shasta Daisy?
Profusion zinnia – should be a good pollinator.
Bee Balm – cut to the ground when it is done blooming.
Hopefully Mary Ann will do a gardening program in the near future. I’ll keep you posted when she starts her class.