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A Plethora of Penstemon!
Nothing is more the child of art than a garden. -Sir Walter Scott 1828

I have always admired the penstemon in the wild. Usually braced against the alpine climate of windswept hillsides at high elevations. It has only been recently that I discovered the penstemon hybrid. While the plant itself is nothing to get excited about, the tall spikes of vivid colored flowers make a lasting impression.

Rather than spread them randomly about the yard I have decided to go for the big impact statement. Just outside the front door we have a small courtyard surrounded by a wrought iron fence. It receives mostly full sun and is visible from the dining room window and front door.

The plan is to fill that area with an abundance of color from a collection of as many varieties as I can squeeze into the space. Here's what I selected -

Bev Jensen
Cherry Glow
Cerise Kissed
Elfin Pink
Elizabeth Cozzens
Garden Star

King George V
Mother of Pearl
Pikes Peak Purple
Pink Chablis
Prairie Dusk
Prairie Jewell
Purple Passion

Razzle Dazzle
Red Rocks
Violet Kissed

A Key to the Penstemon Plot can be found HERE

Garden planner's hint: Take your digital camera with you everywhere you go. None of the penstemon in my yard at this time have bloomed since being on the first day of spring this year. The pictures in the above links came from my planning trips to the nursery. I will replace them with pictures of my own plants as they become available. My collection has been assembled from two sources - Joy Creek Nursery in Scappoose and Forest Farm in Williams, both in Oregon.

Planting Day! 03/20/2005 - Six wheelbarrow loads of blue and yellow clay removed and replaced with a sandy loam mix and a little gravel for drainage. All 38 plants in the ground, and not a minute too soon. The smaller plants supplied in tubes were wrapped in plastic bags and had considerable water standing in the bottom, accumulated from light rain earlier in the week. I'm sure they were none too happy. Fortunately they hadn't been in this state for more than two or three days. I hope they're ok.

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