It was nice to get back in the office today although I certainly enjoyed the previous two days at the 2015 Garden Center Symposium / Midwest Perennial Conference in Waukesha, WI. I hope my presentations were well-received and my shameless promotion of the gardens should hopefully inspire some future visitors and supporters! I spent the day catching up on seed orders, presentation preparations and general desk work as winter is certainly not a slow time around here. We had some great volunteer help today as well. Pat M. was in to process more lights from the Holiday Lights Show (HLS) for storage and both Urban and Dr. Gredler continued to wrap up and store more of our thousands of drop cords. Vern was in for some carpentry work and made some timely supply runs. Dr. Yahr stopped by for a nice visit and we also saw Shirley C., Mary W., Kathy P., Chuck S., Dave T., Dorothy T. and some others.
I’ll never tire of promoting the ornamental calico plant (Alternanthera sp.) as they are excellent for adding foliage appeal to the full sun or part sun garden, border or container. Alternanthera is a seasonal for us and is not winter hardy. There are some very neat ones out there like ‘Red Carpet’ seen above. The flowers of Alternanthera (sometimes called Joseph’s coat or creeping copperleaf) are unexciting but the variability in foliage coloration is well represented in this blog. There are different species and hybrids and it’s important to consider the form and height of calico plant species/varieties as some are tight clumpers and others have irregular or trailing habits that might be more appropriate in compositions or containers. Do more research on those of interest but realize they are another colorful tool in your design toolbox!