This young lady visiting the Ozark Cottage Gardens booth at the Greater Springfield Farmer's Market knows exactly what flowers are for.
David Smashey's space at the Market was an oasis for gardeners who like the fun of discovering new and unusual plants. This visitor is taken with a 'Sunshine' Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum superbum 'Sonnenschein'). It grows to 36 inches high in sun or partial shade and bears cheery, 3-4-inch-wide pale yellow flowers that turn creamy white with maturity.
The wonderful garden plant (Campanula persicifolia) is known to have been in cultivation since the mid-16th century. A perennial, its delicate beauty belies its toughness. it blooms from spring till frost, grows in sun or shade, and is both heat- and drought-tolerant. The blooms are an inch or better wide on stems that can rise to 24 inches and the plant spreads to two inches wide. A winner in every way.
Copperleaf Acalypha, often simply called Copper Leaf, is one of a genus of 400 species of tropical and subtropical shrubs. This one is most likely Acalypha wilkesiana, which grows to 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Its curious mottled, multicolored foliage makes it an outstanding garden specimen plant. It grows in sun or part shade and likes plenty of water. It's not perennial in the Ozarks, but we're thinking if brought indoors, it might survive season-to-season.
|'Graffiti Salmon Rose'|
David's gift for growing unusual plants of all kinds included some very special geraniums. Yes, despite its hydrangea-like flower clusters and oddly shaped leaves, this plant really is a geranium.The variety is 'Graffiti Salmon Rose', one of a Fischer USA series titled "Graffiti" introduced for 2005.
|'Avenida Fire' geranium|
'Avenida Fire' (Pelargonium x hortorum) is a new zonal geranium with prominent purple "zones," deep-green foliage, and vivid reddish flowers. This striking plant, also from Fischer USA, should be nothing less than superb in containers or the garden. David notes that while zonal geraniums get their name from the colored "zones," some new zonals lack such markings.
'Charmant' (Pelargonium x hortorum) is another distinctive zonal geranium, so distinctive that it won the Pennsylvania State 2003 Top Performer award. The blossoms are actually more salmon in color than they photograph. A superb container plant that also combines beautifully in baskets with petunias, ivies, and other plants.
|'Tango White' Geranium|
Whiter-than-white blossoms and dark green leaves make the 'Tango White' zonal geranium (Pelargonium x hortorum) an extremely popular plant. Striking enough on its own, it's even more effective--and affecting-- when mixed with flowers of other colors, either in the garden or in containers.
|A 'casual' geranium|
The unusually casual, "natural" look of this ivy geranium really caught our eye, David told us at it's an Alpine geranium and that Alpines are "the standard window-box flower in Europe--people grow them rather than ivy." He added, "They're tough, the most heat-tolerant of all the geraniums." The varietal name of this charmer is 'Sophie's Cascade.'
|'Pink Blizzard' geranium|
We don't want to overdo it on David's geraniums, but we have to note 'Pink Blizzard', another remarkable ivy geranium. It features clusters of beautiful single flowers over light green foliage.
This common name of this breathtaking plant is Clustered Bellflower, the species name Campanula glomerata. More to the point, the variety is 'Superba Campanula' and it's an exceptionally vigorous grower, producing deep violet flowers atop stems that can reach 2-1/2 feet tall.
'Eveline' Veronica (Veronica longifolia) features beautiful purple spikes of flowers outstanding in the garden or in flower arrangements. It blooms from summer throughout the season and prefers average soil (not rich) and full sun, although it will grow in partial shade. The plant reaches 20 inches tall and spreads 12-16 inches.
|'Peach Blossom' Astilbe|
The flowering plumes of this remarkable Astilbe (Astilbe x rosea 'Peach Blossom') are known for their delicate coral hue and delicious fragrance. The plant grows in shade to partial shade to 20 inches high and 12 inches wide. An excellent cut flower. Also known as False Spirea.
|'Purple Emperor' Sedum|
The dark purple, nearly black leaves and purple stems of 'Purple Emperor' Sedum make it a striking presence in the garden all season. In the summer it shows heads of pink-purple flowers and in July-September the flowers are showy red. Also known as Stonecrop, the plant is a hardy perennial, grows to 15 inches tall and 12-24-inches wide, thrives in most soils, and is drought tolerant. A winner in every sense,'Purple Emperor' was honored as the Outstanding Perennial Plant for 2002 by the International Hardy Plant Union.