Growing Milkweed

I found a foolproof way to grow milkweed starts from seed.  Last year I had a 100% yield

20160618_160355

Oregon Native Milkweed – John Day, Oregon

on 3 different kinds of milkweed. (Seedlings are pictured on the second page of newsletter)

Click to download newsletter with instructions: Starting_Milkweed_RockbirdGardens

For anyone interested, I’ll be giving a presentation at the offices of the Pollinator Project in Phoenix, Oregon, on March 10th. “Planning and Growing a Butterfly Garden” 

Best regards,
Robin McKenzie
Rockbird Gardens

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Horticulture Report: Dwarf Purple Willow

Plant Name:        Salix purpurea ‘ Nana’Salix_purpurea_Nana
Common Name: Dwarf Purple Willow
Plant type:          Deciduous shrub
Height:                 6 ft
Spread:                6 ft
Blooms:              April – May
Flowers Color:  White, Green
Exposure:          Full Sun to Part Shade

Soil Requirements:  Lean, well-drained
Water Needs: Evenly Moist, somewhat drought tolerant when established.
Attributes:  Prized for it’s blue-green foliage  and deep purple stems. Quick growing. Deer resistant. Showy flowers attracts butterflies & hummingbirds.
Note: Can be kept smaller with winter pruning to the ground. Tolerates Black Walnut.
Uses:  Pollinator garden, Good for wet areas,  Beds and borders, Foundation planting, Rain garden. Whips used in basket making. Pond and Creek-side plantings.
Native to: Europe and Western Asia
USDA Hardiness Zone: 3a-8b

Horticulture Report: Gaillardia aristata

Gaillardia_Gallo_Peach

Plant Name: Gaillardia aristata
Common Name: Gallo Peach Blanket Flower
Plant type: Herbaceous Perennial
Height: 12-16 inches
Spread:   12-16 inches
Bloom Time:  Spring to late summer  
Flower Color:  Yellow with peachy gold blush, Yellow-orange center.
Exposure: Full Sun
Soil Requirements: Best in poor sandy soil,  does not like clay soil.  
Water Needs: Water well until established, then water occasionally  
Attributes:   Showy prolific flowers, Long bloomer, Drought tolerant once established, Deer resistant, Attracts Butterflies, Interesting globe seed pods 
Note:   Clip spent flowers to encourage repeat blooms. Cut back in late summer to encourage second blooming in the fall. Divide every 2-3 years.
Uses: Cut flowers, Borders, Perennial garden, Pollinator garden, Native garden, Butterfly Gardens. 
Native to: Patented plant
USDA Hardiness Zone: 6-10

Horticulture Report: Verbascum

20170901_ southern charmToday in the garden…
Plant Name:  Verbascum
Common name:  hybrid  ‘Southern Charm’
Plant type: Herbaceous perennial
Height: 2-3 ft
Spread:   1-2 ft
Bloom Time:  May- September (de-head to continue blooming time)
Flower Color:  Pastel shades: lavender, buff, cream, soft rose
Exposure: Full sun
Soil Requirements: Well drained soil, grows on rocky slopes. Avoid highly fertile and wet soils!
Water Needs: Dry to medium
Attributes:   Showy erect flowers, velvet leaves
Note: Drought tolerate, deer resistant ( maybe!), short lived perennial but it self-seeds  
Uses: Perennial garden, cottage garden, vertical accent, cut flower
Native to: Europe to North Africa to Western and Central Asia.
USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-9