Since I am a "loyal customer" or some such nonsense, every fall I receive from Arbor Farms a birthday coupon, good for one perennial of a certain (small) size. In truth, the coupon may be applied to any purchase, and usually I walk away with more than just the one plant (which is their nefarious plan all along). Last week I popped in, in search of my birthday plant.
I find it more and more difficult to find perennials I want at the local nurseries, especially at the end of the season. "Got that, got that, got one of those, got WAY too many of those," is usually what I am saying as I wander the tables. Last year I came home with several selections, but this year the only plant that spoke to me was this ironweed (sorry for the sorry photo):
It's a Veronia lettermannii 'Iron Butterfly' (named for George W. Letterman, NOT Dave Letterman) and I initially was going to squeeze it into a bed where there are already too many plants. Since it is supposed to get three feet tall and three feet wide, I changed my mind. Instead, I put it in a section of the south privacy bed where there used to be a Onondaga viburnum. Thus hatched the plan for next year: add another Wentworth highbush cranberry viburnum and move the pink asters here as well. (Another sorry photo)
These pink asters of unknown heritage have been barely surviving in the meadow for probably a decade or so. Every year I think they are a weed, but a metal plant label spares them. This year I moved them out of the meadow before mowing it down and they thrived. So they will get their own place of honor next to the new ironweed.
If I remember to move them. Yardening season is not over and I already have a long list of to-do items for next year.