Jack, barely visible behind the caladiums, is known as a good source for a diversity of interesting plants at reasonable prices. Among his most popular choices are white columbine (doubles and singles), purple honeysuckle, red foxglove, yellow foxglove, Asiatic lilies, Dutch iris, and hardy carnations.
Fun and easy to grow, Ornamental Peppers (Capsicum annuum) thrive both in the garden and as indoor potted plants. This hybrid variety changes color from purple to orange to red. Is it hot? Jack said, "My cat ate one two or three weeks ago and now it takes a 3-foot path around the table."
Prairie Mallow is a free-flowering, easy-to-grow perennial whose hollyhock-like blooms and foliage earn it the even more popular name Miniature Hollyhock. The plants are all of the Sidalcea genus, and this one appears to be Sidalcea x 'Party Girl'. Prairie Mallows can grow to 4 feet tall, like full sun to light shade, and once they bloom in summer bear flowers until frost. A good cottage garden plant.
|'Blackie' Sweet Potato Vine|
Most gardeners have seen the 'Blackie' variety sweet potato vine, but this one (shown with some 'Pinwheel' petunias) is a dwarf. Jack carries both regular and dwarf plants. The species, Ipomea battatas, is a vigorous annual that thrives in gardens or indoors. It's especially dramatic in containers and hanging baskets.
A customer buying two varieties of Jack's most popular plant, dwarf perennial phlox. By the way, Jack doesn't wear his straw hat when it's windy.
|A closer look|
A Hamilton Farms Dwarf Phlox up close. These compact, miniature varieties of Phlox drummondii grow 8-10 inches tall. Charming in their own right, they're also perfect for gardeners who love the full-size perennial Phlox but lack the space to grow them.
A perennial Missouri wildflower, Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica), likes full sun or part shade and moist soil. It grows to 3 feet tall and blooms in August. It's also called Blue Cardinal Flower because, except for the color, it closely resembles the more well-known red Cardinal Flower.
Among the Farms' more colorful stock are these perennial Dianthus barbatus, or Sweet William. Jack is also known for such pleasant (and often bargain) surprises as starter-size 'Heavenly Blue' morning glories.
Some of Hamilton Farms' more popular plants are red, white, pink and purple varieties of Astilbe.
This beautifully ruffled white petunia is especially elegant as a hanging basket plant. We think it's Petunia grandiflora 'Dreams White', but we'll check to make sure.