Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. day! Today was light on staff and volunteers as freezing rain descended in this area all morning and the roads were horrible. Our primary focus in the coming months will be the dismantling, retrieval, collection, processing and storage of our Holiday Light Show (HLS) which is officially done with the exception of having limited lights around the Parker Education Center for some rentals this month. We will begin in earnest tomorrow with continued take down and processing of the show with Larry H., Larry O., Big John and Cindy leading the charge along with many volunteers. Our carpenters and some other volunteers have plenty of indoor work to accomplish as well while I’ll focus on seed ordering over the coming weeks. Information on our 2017 Garden Art project will be coming out soon as well as more information on our wonderful educational opportunities this year. Don’t miss our first lecture on Thursday, January 26th at 6:30 pm on “The Bugs You Love to Hate” by Phil Pelliterri (distinguished faculty emeritus, UW-Madison) and check out future offering as well.
I thought some color would be in order on this dreary day and am featuring eight relatively new false indigo selections from the Chicago Botanic Garden (CBG) and more specifically, from the exceptional breeding program of Dr. Jim Ault from CBG. I should mention that all of these photos are courtesy of the Chicago Botanic Garden. Many years ago, the Chicago Botanic Garden, through the Chicagoland Grows® program, introduced four excellent selections of false indigo (Baptisia) selections from the Prairieblues™ series. These initial selections, ‘Twilite’, ‘Starlite’, ‘Midnight’ and ‘Solar Flare’, are all excellent and do well in the garden with long lasting spring blooms. While each of these varieties has a different color contribution, their needs for full sun, room to grow, average to good soils, etc. are very similar and I encourage you to research these selections (and their needs/contributions) further or come see them at RBG next spring. However, eight more beautiful selections are now being offered as Prairieblues™ introductions and they are all shown in this blog. Visit the Chicagoland Grows® website at www.chicagolandgrows.org/ for more information on all twelve of these wonderful selections and see the complex breeding and/or selecting that has occurred to bring these tough perennials to so many gardeners. The photos above and below show the selection ‘Blue Mound’.
‘Lavender Rose’ (above and below)
‘Lunar Eclipse’ (above and below)
‘Mojito’ (above and two photos below)
‘Royal Purple’ (above and below)
‘Sandstorm’ (above and below)
‘Spilled Buttermilk’ (above and below)
‘Sunny Morning’ (above and two photos below)