June 24, 2014

If RED is your color, and it is one of the most eye-catching colors within a landscape, we offer these recommendations:

ONE OF OUR FAVORITES…..      Hibiscus Moscheutos “Red Cloud”Hardy Hibiscus (Hibiscus Moscheutos)

Intense deep red 10″ perennial flowers in abundance are perfect match with the bold, maple-like foliage. 5′ tall x 3′ wide. Breaks dormancy late in the season. Moist rich soil.


  • While the soil can be average garden soil, they do benefit from a fertile soil with lots of organic matter and respond positively to yearly top dressings of compost as well as mulch.
  • Sould be planted in a sunny spot with moderately moist to wet soil. While it grows mainly in swampy areas in the wild and sometimes even occurs in standing water, it can nevertheless put up with a bit of drought and does not necessarily need more water than most other garden flowers – in my family’s first Michigan garden I had a beautiful specimen that flourished in a spot with sandy soil and full sun with minimal irrigation. Now about eight years old, it was still there and covered in blooms.
  • Apart from sun and soil requirements, it is also important to keep in mind that Hibiscus moscheutos can get quite large and to plant it in a spot where it will have sufficient space to develop without crowding other plants. Finally, since this species begins growth rather late in spring, it is a good idea to site it away from plants that leaf out or spread rapidly in spring or early summer since these might easily overgrow it.
  • Should be planted between late spring and early summer so that the plant has enough time to get properly established before the winter. Bought plants might be further along than they would normally be if planted outside, so if you buy a flowering plant in June be aware that it might not flower until July or even August in subsequent years. Remove spent flowers regularly to keep the plant from wasting its energy on the production of seeds.


Red Crocosmia Lucifer:       Hummingbirds LOVE these flowers!

Image00017The name comes from the Greek language and means “saffron smell”, which reportedly can be detected when dried flowers are submerged in water. Abundant eye-catching, brillliantly red, tubular flowers appear in midsummer atop bold, slightly arching, sparsely branched 3-foot-tall stems. Crocosmia’s mid-green leaves are pleated and swordlike.




  • Thrives in a warm, south-facing location.
  • Apply a thick layer of mulch in winter.
  • Plants also require well-drained soil.
  • Lift and divide clumps in spring to maintain vigor.


Cockscomb or Chinese Wool FlowerCockscomb or Chinese Wool Flower

Celosia flowers, also called Wool Flowers or Cockscombs, have unusual flowers that can bloom up to 10 weeks. These flowers can have red, pink, purple, gold or bicolored blooms. When many celosia flower blooms are next to each other, they collectively resemble fire, which is why the genus name Celosia, meaning burning in Greek, was chosen. The common name of cockscomb comes from the bloom’s resemblance to a rooster’s comb. Not all celosia flowers look this way – there are many shapes, colors and sizes (from 6 inches to 2 feet). And each blossom is made up of many tiny flowers, which is why this flower will produce numerous small seeds and keep sprouting in your plant containers with no extra effort on your part. Celosia flowers also look great in vases and bouquets, so you can bring their beauty indoors.


  • The cockscomb flower requires full sun to do best.
  • Keep the celosia flower’s potting soil moist, but not wet.
  • Fertilize the celosia flower once a month. These flowers thrive with a rich potting soil, so you may want to include compost or a fertilizer with a high amount of nitrogen.


Red Witch Hazel

bigstock-Red-Witch-Hazel-Flowers-57741902Common name: Witch hazel, winterbloom, snapping hazelThis deciduous, slow-growing shrub, one species each native to China and Japan and two from North America, is somewhat of a rarity. Reaching a height of 10 feet, it showcases alternate, broadly ovate green leaves to 6 inches in length. Starting in winter, initially on bare branches, curious flowers with strap-shaped petals unfurl from dense, axillary clusters on warm days. The 1-inch flowers feature four “fingers” each and range from yellow to orange to red, depending on the variety.

What makes witch hazel a rarity is that the flowers, next year’s leaf buds and the fruit can appear at the same time (the name hamamelis translates as “together with fruit”). Along with the distinctive flowers, certain witch hazel varieties put on a fall color show, their foliage aging from butter yellow to orange, finally turning scarlet before falling. The climax to this show comes with the fruit. Two-parted capsules about 1/2 inch long, each containing a single glossy black seed, split open explosively at maturity, ejecting the seeds with sufficient force to land 30 feet away!


  • Grow in fertile, moist but well-drained acid to neutral soil in full sun or partial shade. Plant in an open but not overly exposed site. Protect from drying winter winds.
  • Witch hazels should not be pruned in mid- to late winter, as they bleed copiously and the plant may become desiccated.