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Report From An Opinionated Gardener – June 18

Do you know the song Popular from the musical Wicked? This tune was running through my head after a facebook conversation with Barry Glick of Sunshine Farm and Gardens. I sent him a message via fb asking about the name of a plant that I got from him two years ago.

Side note: isn’t it funny how some plant names will instantly stick in your head and others continue to fly out of the memory bank? Or is it just me?

In any case, this plant, Hedyotis purpurea, has been a favorite of mine since Barry sent it. It is low growing, has bright green, fresh foliage all summer and blooms for about eight weeks starting in mid-June. It gently self-seeds and grows thickly enough to choke out surrounding weeds. All in all, a fantastic plant.

“Why don’t we see this perennial more often?” I asked Barry. He responded that it is up to garden writers like myself to spread the word. So let’s do it.

This plant is hardy in zones 4 through 8 I understand, and in my experience is pretty drought tolerant. I have it growing on a slope where the soil is a combination of rock and clay, amended by my sometimes-mulch.

How can we make this plant more popular? I’m not talking about hiring a marketer and giving it a sexy name or a colorful pot. Is it possible to just spread the word that about this low-maintenance, attractive, in-my-humble-opinion-very-desirable perennial? Spread the word.

This photo doesn't do it justice...I'll take more in the days to come.

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