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"Unsung hero" plants

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by Flinty, May 26, 2008.

  1. Flinty

    Flinty Gardener

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    Do you have a soft spot for some plants that never seem to get the general recognition they deserve? For me, it’s goat’s beard (aruncus sylvester). I was given a small root many years ago by a dear neighbour and I’ve grown it ever since. By late spring, it has delicate foliage and then produces fluffy, creamy white plumes in June. These plumes are irresistible to bees and other winged insects although I’ve never seen this aspect of goats beard mentioned in gardening books. It resents root disturbance so when I knew I was moving house, I put a big chunk of it into a very large pot while it was dormant. I let it stay in that pot throughout last summer and then planted it out in my new garden last October.

    [​IMG]

    It likes its roots damp and so I dug in plenty of compost and composted manure. When well established, it grows to a full height of about 2m each year and then you cut it down to the ground in late autumn. It looks after itself pretty well but needs a drink in dry spells. It likes mulching in early spring. Sawfly larvae may cause a small amount of leaf damage in some years but nothing to worry about.

    So, if you have shady side to your garden where the soil holds the moisture, why not give goat’s beard a try?
     
  2. pete

    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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    An interesting plant as you say flinty, should be better known.
     
  3. Cookie Monster

    Cookie Monster Gardener

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    I feel sorry for the splendid red hot pokers (or Kniphofia if we are going to be posh!)

    My mum has always grown them in abundance and they make a fantastic springtime/early summer show in her border! But they seem to have become 'unfashionable' and when she tries to thin them out she can't give them away for love nor money!

    They don't ask much - just some good sunshine and a bit of slug and snail control and whammo.... away they go!
     
  4. Flinty

    Flinty Gardener

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    So true, so true. In all the local gardens that I walk past regularly, I can only think of one clump of kniphofia.
     
  5. shiney

    shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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    Flinty, I agree with you. We have three very large clumps of aruncus and it is a lovely plant. As your picture shows, it has attractive foliage and when it is in bloom it looks very ethereal (fancy word :)). Our plants are already over 5ft high this year.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    How can anyone not like this plant? :D
     
  6. Diziblonde

    Diziblonde Gardener

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    I think 'forget me not's are an unsung hero. They fill in gaps and stop the weeds. Require no effort and look lovely!
     
  7. Aesculus

    Aesculus Bureaucrat 34 (Admin)

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    forget-me-nots are one of my favorite flowers:)
     
  8. StarJules

    StarJules Apprentice Gardener

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    Thrift, I have a real problem area and its the only thing that grows there its shady and dry.

    Jules
     
  9. Tracy Pearman

    Tracy Pearman Gardener

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    Cerasticum for me :) i love the way it covers the ground and takes over from the weeds :)
     
  10. Slinky

    Slinky Gardener

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    I have a soft spot for two Un-sung heros,they are Nasturtions....Well underated in my opinion and a fav of mine since i was a child.

    The Daddy of all climbers......
    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,Geneva,Swiss,SunSans-Regular][SIZE=+3]Parthenocissus quinquefolia
    [/SIZE][/FONT][FONT=Arial,Helvetica,Geneva,Swiss,SunSans-Regular][SIZE=+2]Virginia creeper[/SIZE][/FONT]



    Love em:)
     
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