Report From PIA – October 23
This summer, fur balls came to my garden, and I’m not talking about the stuff coughed up by cats.
Two nights ago I spoke to a group of Master Gardeners in Rhode Island. As we finished the evening up, they asked what plants I was excited about this year. I told them about Fornari’s Favorites, posted on my website, and then went on to rave about Gomphocarpus physocarpus. This plant is also called Asclepias physocarpa, and neither name exactly trips off the tongue, which is probably why this plant is stuck with the common name of fur balls.
Plant this Gomphocarpus if you want something dramatic to use in flower arrangements in September and October. Plant this if you want to attract pollinators to the garden. Plant fur balls if you want something that will delight children, or if you need a tall annual for that certain spot in the garden.
I got seeds for this annual from Thompson & Morgan, and started them in late April, in the shed. The cold wet summer that we had this year probably delayed the flowers and the hairy green balls, but next spring I’ll plant the seeds earlier to give them a good head start.
If you have a passion for plants or other positive pursuits, there is always something new to learn. We are well served by making a commitment to growth, in our gardens and in our lives.