Thursday, August 21, 2008

My favorite plant of the week

I love this plant.  It is right for a specimen plant in the garden, or as a landscape perennial en masse.  Agastache foeniculum 'Blue Fortune' (commonly known as Anise Hyssop) is beautiful, care-free, and attracts many insects including the beneficial ones that eat aphids and other nasty creatures.  The leaves when bruised have an anise scent.  The North American native Agastache foeniculum is appropriate for the wild garden.  The native plant is not as bushy, and re-seeds quite a lot, which is not a problem in the proper place.  For the more 'well-tended' garden, the cultivar works very nicely.  I find that cutting this plant down by 1/3 to 1/2 in June (in zone 4) keeps the plant more compact and not prone to flopping.  I have often seen this plant listed as zone 5 hardy, but it seems to work in zone 4.  

Friday, August 15, 2008

Sassafras Propagation???

My vacation is winding down. Three weeks on the shores of Lake Michigan. Perfect.

We have been working on erosion control during this vacation. We put down straw blankets over a fairly steep slope that needs stablization. I will throw down some rye seed before we go, and there is already some Sassafras coming in. My goal is to stabilize the soil enough so that the native plants will seed in. I may want to help that along, however.

Does anyone know how to propagate Sassafras? I am from Zone 4 world where we don't have the beautiful Sassafras, but would love to help it along on our sloped area.

Thanks to all (or anyone) who read this blog.