New Plant Review – Noteworthy Fall Garden Additions

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Fall is fully here and that means there are plenty of bargains to be had if you know what plants to stock up on. (Annuals are a bad idea; winter-hardy perennials are good idea.) With that in mind, I decided to point out some of the noteworthy perennials that I have in my yard so you can easily snap them up if you see a decent looking specimen at a plant sale near you before winter is in full swing. The following are all new garden additions that show great promise.

Hardy Hibiscus

The bug has landed!
The bug has landed! Hibiscus, shown not quite in bloom – and with a hitchhiker if you look closely.

This plant is noteworthy because it produces blooms the size of large, pink saucers. I’ll admit that you can’t really tell from the buds in the picture; you’ll just have to take my word for it. The hibiscus also holds its own in the sunny portion of the front yard and they are also said to tolerate boggy or moist soil. It’s always nice to know that you picked out a good plant for your garden without realizing it, right? (If it doesn’t quit raining soon the dry half of the yard is probably going end up submerged). Of course, the main reason I bought the hibiscus last month was that I mistakenly thought it was on sale (oops). But, more importantly, this plant will survive the winter without any coddling. That’s always a plus because if I manage to find somewhere to squeeze all the current plants I own into the new apartment, it will be nothing short of a minor miracle.

Butterfly Bush

Admittedly not its' best close up.
Clearly not its’ best close up.

I will be the first to admit that the plant in the picture is in a much smaller container than it actually needs. Butterfly bushes actually end up being very large shrubs, but it was either that or leave in the tiny carton it arrived in. This is also why you should never buy plants in the middle of the summer. All the containers are filled up and you’re generally reduced to putting garden specimens in miscellaneous buckets, leftover tin cans, and that random dish from the kitchen that your spouse is still complaining about not being able to find. Anyway, getting back to the shrubbery!

For all its currently diminutive size, this butterfly bush has produced comparatively large blooms. It was also easily cured of an attack of powdery mildew with a light round of organic bug spray so it gets bonus points in the game of life. However, you may want to be careful about turning it loose in your yard. In some places, butterfly bushes are so easy to grow that they qualify for the invasive species list, so be sure to check with the all knowing Google before setting it free.

Pitcher Plants

Bugs beware.
Bugs beware.

Pitcher plants are colorful, low maintenance, and winter-hardy in most portions of the United States. They can also handle full sun as long as they get enough rain or distilled water to drink. They even make a good conversation point with curious neighbors if you are into that sort of thing. I admit the garden stores that sell these are few and far between, so I tend to snap up any that I manage to find. The one in the picture is a recent addition I got for about $13 at a local garden center.  When you figure in size, condition, and the cost of acquiring a similar one from an online retailer, that’s not as expensive as it sounds.

It was also reassuring to deal with a sales clerk that clearly knew about these plants rather than dealing with one nameless idiot who advised me to augment the diet of a Venus fly trap with hamburger, which is something that should never be done. This is why you probably shouldn’t get your plants from a big box store. Even if they’re offered for sale at reasonable price like $5, it’s probably best not to give into temptation. I have twice and both times the plant in question died. If they clearly doomed anyway, is it really worth the heartache and the hassle of trying to get a refund? I keep telling myself no it’s not. Then again, who knows? Next week I might decide to go on a rescue mission to save those that remain. Until we meet again: sale on, you guys, sale on.

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About Lauren

Lauren Purcell is a freelance writer from Savannah, Georgia. She is the proud owner of two spoiled little dogs. Her hobbies include gardening (in case you hadn't noticed), cooking, traveling when she has money, and waiting on her key lime tree to produce fruit.

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