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Saturday, May 15, 2010


HELLO & welcome to Garden Daddy here at the urban farm! I would like to share with you something I have been growing in my perennial bed in the front-side of this garden home. It is a Penstemon digitalis "Husker Red". I think you will find this to be a true show stopper in your garden with its lovely spikes of white to pale lavender tubular flowers on top of rigid stems, reaching almost 3-feet tall . The name gives this little beauty its name of "Husker Red" in that the leaves are under shaded, along with stems, in deep maroon. The name "Penstemon" in Greek means 5-stamens, 4-fertile & 1-sterile. Penstemon is also often called "beard tongue" as the sterile stamen has a tuft of hairs on it.

With blooms from April through June, this specimen is hardy in Zones 3 to 8. This is a clump forming perennial spreading to about 2-feet and one should avoid wet, poorly drained soil. This plant is good in borders or as a single specimen like I have in my garden. I like the odd and strange items that the average home gardener does not have in their collections. I want something to draw your eye and bring on the comments like, "Have you ever seen this?" or "This is very unusual!". You should shop around and find things that are unusual and you might not see in just every ones garden. But be sure that it is a good choice in your growing zone or for your soil type. It does no good to spend your money on something just to have it either drown in a boggy area or burn up in too much sun if either is not a match for that species or variety. By the way, both of these photos were taken by this Garden Daddy here at the urban farm. I think they came out great and hope you enjoy getting to know this plant and maybe try it in your garden.
I leave you today with our ongoing gardening affirmation: "GARDENING: ONE YARD AT A TIME!"

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