We had a nice crew today for our Grumpy Thursday. Gary was in for labeling duties while Urban and Pat went out in the gardens for some pruning. It was a nice day to get outside and we hope to finish our winter pruning by next week before it warms up too much. Ron W. led the charge with hauling our refinished benches to safer storage and had the help of Dick H. Gene was also in for sanding benches. Vern, Dave T. and Jim continued on bench repairs and sanding. Some of our older benches really need some help and I'm glad we're addressing all the benches this winter. Cindy B. and Janice were in this morning and later went to work with our Chestnut House volunteers off site with a seed project related to the Spring Plant Sale (see our website for plant offerings and sale details). I worked on various projects and had to leave early today for an overnight trip / presentation up Nort' der (Shawano). Maury, Glenn D. and I also met about our upcoming Spring Tree Sale (April 19, 20, 21, 8 am - 3 pm daily). We'll have over 7,500 trees (2-3 year old transplants, bare root) representing seven varieties. There is more information on our website and this is the third year in a row we've partnered with the Blackhawk Golden "K" Kiwanis Club for this fundraiser.
The photo above is anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) which is one of many selections of hyssop available for gardeners. There are many available selections of hyssop, also called hummingbird mint, with species native to various portions of the world. In fact, many drought tolerant species are native to the Southwest United States. I'm excited to see so many selections and I've featured many here (identified under the image) in this blog posting. The majority of the agastaches available to us (and all of those below) are listed as a zone 5 winter hardiness. While we've grown many as annuals, we also have those that have come back very well for us with the milder winters and ample snow cover. Hyssops need full blazing sun for the best flowering and while tolerant of dry, sandy soils, ours do well in richer soils and get some nice height as well. Selections will range in height from 15" to 60". Some species will drop seed and babies will appear the next spring so keep that in mind. Hyssops typically have fragrant leaves and the flowers spikes with tubular flowers will attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds galore. The flowers of agastaches are also edible. I need to state that this blog doesn't do the Agastache genus justice as there are many other available varieties and there are also historical, herbal uses for these plants too. Regardless, do some more research and consider the value of these marginally hardy perennials. Every variety has its own merits that should be explored prior to acquisition. We will be featuring many hyssops in the Pollinator's Paradise theme located in the Nancy Yahr Memorial Children's Garden. .
'Desert Sunrise' (cool foliage too!)
Agastache cana 'Purple Pygmy'
'Acapulco Salmon & Pink'
'BiColor Salmon Rose'
Agastache cana 'Heather Queen'