2017 Perennial Plant of the Year

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It rained most of today although we had some brief forays out in to the gardens between rain drops.  We had oodles of indoor work to accomplish including the unpacking and processing of about 30,000 new lights (mostly LED) for the Holiday Light Show (HLS).  Big John, Larry H. and Larry O. all worked on HLS related tasks after some work out in the gardens during the “not so dry spells”.  Janice and I had desk work to catch up including some closure on the Fall Plant Sale.  Our indoor help today included Kathy, Eva, Sutton and the Chestnut House volunteers.  Jim H. also brought in some RECAPPERS and the guys were able to an hour of clean-up in the drizzle before it became a real downpour!  It was a timely day to process all of these new lights as they’ll go out in the gardens shortly and will be ready to go.  We also saw Mark S., Pam G., Dr. McCoy, Dr. Gredler and many others today.

I thought I’d include some color in the blog on this dismal day and all the orange you’re seeing is from butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa).  The Perennial Plant Association (PPA) has selected this plant as the 2017 Perennial Plant of the Year which doesn’t surprise me at all.  This stalwart native can tolerate a wide range of soils, blooms for three months (June, July and August) and attracts a wide range of wildlife (butterflies, bees, hummingbirds) that enjoy this plant as a nectar source.  The monarch butterfly is certainly a big fan and we see no shortage of pollinators on this perennial during this long bloom period.  Reaching a mature height of 30″ or so, this long-lived perennial prefers full sun and is very drought tolerant.

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