Thursday, October 11, 2012


Day 232
The Daily DuBrule

One of the benefits of hiring new people is that they bring to the business a fresh perspective. A few years ago a woman came to work for Natureworks who was a true plant geek. I knew she wasn't taking this part time job for the money. She was coming to work to be in the company of all of the amazing plants-and spend her paycheck on them!

She introduced me to many new perennials but my hands down favorite is Rabdosia longituba. When she asked me if I could get it I said "Whaaa?" I had never heard of it before and I was on a mission. I did find a few plants and planted one at Natureworks and one at home. When I came home yesterday afternoon I was delighted to see it in full bloom and glowing with pretty blue flowers. 

Spur trumpetflower does best in partial shade. It has an arching habit, a bit lax, and a delicate texture. You wouldn't think that it would call to you when looking at the garden out the window but, en masse, it does. Mine is growing beneath a rose of Sharon tree. To the right of it is Aster laeavis 'Bluebird' which is in full bloom. To the left and in front, in more sun, is good old Sedum 'Autumn Joy'. The flowers on the Sedum has gone from pink to bronze. To the left of that is a nice stand of white Anemone 'Honorine Jobert'. The entire combination is just so pretty and so filled with color for the middle of September. At Natureworks it is at the feet of a large clump of fragrant white Cimicifuga ramosa 'Atropurpurea' which is full bloom right now. This combination also works well. The more years I grow this plant, the more I get to know it. I am eager to try it with more shade flowers and foliage plants.

Rabdosia grows up 24-30" tall and then arches over a bit. Don't be fooled by its appearance in a pot. Plant it in your garden and let it establish itself. You will ask yourself "what is that?" next spring. It is so unobtrusive for most of the summer. But when October rolls around you will be very happy to have a large cloud of blue tubular blossoms waving in the fall breeze.