I'm a sucker for cheap perennials - annuals too for that matter. If I go to a nursery I look first at the shrubs and trees just to look - to see what they have. Then I hang out and hover over the perennials, herbs, and even the annuals. I gravitate to the cheap prices marked on perennials and annuals that will grow to nearly full size in one season. Those 4 inch pots are like a magnet for this gardener! Today my attention was caught by six little plants that I'm pretty excited about: Coleus 'Rustic Orange', Ornamental Pepper 'Black Pearl', Catnip, Pineapple Sage, Salvia 'Mystic Spires', and Cinnamon Basil.
The coolest of the bunch (in my opinion) is the coleus. The leaves are an orange shade with burgundy hues mixed in. This coleus seems to glow in the light.
I'll be propagating more 'Rustic Orange' coleus using the water method since it isn't protected by a plant patent. Coleus is really a perennial but isn't a fan of our winter cold. I overwintered some (of a different kind) as a houseplant last year effectively and put it back out into the garden this spring.
Here are my other purchases in order from the left to right:
'Mystic Spires' Salvia - I buy this one every year. Once the greenhouse is finished up I hope I can over winter some cuttings to keep from having to purchase it each year. It's a perennial but isn't hardy here in zone 6b. Some plants are worth buying each year aren't they?
Pineapple Sage - Pineapple sage is both and herb and an attractive perennial. The leaves can be used in cooking and have a faint pineapple scent to them. I think plants that encourage you to touch them whether through the texture or a scent enhance the garden experience!
Catnip - (Catnip isn't the same as catmint but they are related.) I was intrigued by a recent article in the Tennessee Gardener magazine where Cindy Shapton explained that there was a chemical in catnip that was an extremely effective mosquito repellent. I figured we could make a tea from it and see if it helps repel those nasty bloodsuckers. Both my wife and my oldest daughter swell up where they are bitten by mosquitoes. If nothing else we may be seeing a lot of kitties in our future! (Catmint probably has the same effect.)
Cinnamon Basil - This basil has a scent/taste of cinnamon to it. We used it last year in our pestos some and it was just a unique basil I wanted to have around. Basil is good for repelling flies. I only bought one but intend to propagate a few more basil plants for the garden.
'Black Pearl' Ornamental Pepper - Peppers are perennials that can't take the cold and either need to be treated as annuals or brought inside. 'Black Pearl' is attractive enough to go the extra mile and try to overwinter it indoors. I planted it in a pot so that it could be easily moved. The peppers are edible but extremely hot - I've not tried it myself this is just what I've heard! (I'll probably be too chicken actually to try it!)
That's it for now! I think I need to restrain myself for the next two weeks on plant purchases since there is a plant swap coming up. You can find all sorts of neat plants at swaps.
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