Two new stars

This post is about two native plants, one that I planted for the first time this spring and one that’s been in my garden for many years.

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This is Verbena stricta, or hoary vervain. It’s about 3′ tall, prefers full sun and dry soil, and is coming into bloom now. I planted it for the first time this year to provide some contrast to the incessant yellow (Rudbeckias and sunflowers) of mid- to late summer. I put it in several different places, and it’s doing well in all of them. It’s supposed to be a butterfly magnet, but there are few butterflies in my garden this year (that’s an upcoming post). I think this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship. 

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This towering plant is Eupatorium purpureum (sweet joe pye weed). It’s the shade-loving, dry-soil-tolerating joe pye weed, and it’s supposed to be 4′ tall. It’s been in this shade garden, which gets a few hours of morning sun, for at least 10 years, and most years it doesn’t even bloom because the deer repeatedly lop it down. This year it’s spread across my entire shade garden and is over 8′ tall. I’m not complaining. Another beautiful relationship. 

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