After another dusting of snow arrived last night to maintain our white landscape, I thought some summer color was in order for the blog. This 'Blazin' Rose' bloodleaf (Iresine hybrida) is an exceptional performer in the part sun garden. We use this seasonal (non-hardy) for the extremely colorful foliage which is evident in all of these photos. Bright pink veins on a dark maroon leaf really catch the eye. I first saw this plant at the Ball Seed Trial Gardens (West Chicago, IL) many years ago where it was used in a partly shaded garden with ferns, hostas and other perennials (see further below). This plant really needs some degree of shade as it will get "crispy" by late summer in full, blazing sun. They can never be allowed to "dry out" either! Dappled light and part sun are ideal for showcasing this colorful seasonal plant that will reach 30"+ in one season. This shade of pink/magenta is amazing in the shadier garden and the variety 'Blazin' Lime' (seen in the fourth photo down) is also quite nice with bright cream veins on green foliage. The impact is more subtle than with 'Blazin' Rose' but certainly not without merit. I will continue to use both of these varieties every year. Moisture is very important although bloodleaf (Iresine) is forgiving of a wide range of soil types. Extra fertilization on a three week schedule will really make these beautiful plants grow!
We had a busy day at the Horticulture Center today. There were some forays out in the the gardens but most of the work was inside today. Big John and Larry continue to "stay the course" with packing away elements of the Holiday Light Show (HLS). Ron P. worked on repairing lights for the HLS. Marv B. and Alan M. helped wrap up cords and lights as well. Gary B. and Dr. Gredler had painting projects and Gene started sanding the next bench which will also be re-stained once ready. Ron Y., Dave, Jim and Vern continue to have no shortage of carpentry tasks and worked on a couple of different projects. Dick H. helped here and there and worked with Maury on sizing up a donation to the gardens. Bill O. had plenty of projects in the Horticulture Center and continues to help prepare items for painting. We also saw Polly, Maryam and many others today as well.
Iresine hybrida 'Blazin' Lime' in the background (above)
above and below at the Ball Seed Trial Gardens (West Chicago, IL)