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purple-black leafed ‘Blackie’ that will sometimes thrill with a mauve, petunia-shaped flower in a warm year.


9 Cyperus papyrus ‘King Tut’ puts on a majestic showing.


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It’s a wonderful plant for a wet location or in a giant pot where you want to make a loud statement. The grass grows on tall, straight stalks with a ball of ‘hair’ on top, reaching as high as 72 inches.


Two of the best grasses for the urban garden are the


annual Pennisetum setaceum, ‘Purple Fountain Grass’ and the perennial Calamagrostis acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’. They are both very popular and with good reason. Purple fountain grass glows in the slanted sunlight of late August and early September. Karl Foerster stands in golden upright dignity at the same time. They both did their duty with great aplomb this year.


There is a dreadful fungus disease called downy 12


mildew that is killing our common but reliable shade-loving impatiens, Impatiens walleriana. The new ‘Sunpatiens’ is immune to downy mildew but this plant will appeal more to the folks who love ‘New Guinnea’ impatiens, which they resemble far more than our old standby ‘Busy Lizzies’. At 24 to 36 inches tall, this is a plant that may not reach the hearts of tidy gardeners who love the compact form of our old impatiens, but unless a treatment is found for the fungus, ‘Sunpatiens’ and ‘New Guinneas’ may be all we have left.


Fewer people are buying and planting lilies because


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the scourge of the red lily leaf beetle is so heart breaking when it destroys our lily plants. Lily growers are experiment- ing with daylilies, but they don’t really replace lovely Lilium, not to mention the majestic martagons. One big lily gardener has decided to buy them ready-to-bloom from the garden centres so he doesn’t have to worry about survival or chasing lily leaf beetles and their ugly offspring.


Our old correspondent, Mr. Tomato was in mourn-


ing when he heard that ‘Early Girl’ tomatoes were no longer available, but fickle hearted as he is, he is now in love with ‘New Girl’, a very delicious, small- to medium-sized tomato that is an improvement on ‘Early Girl’. ‘New Girl’ is very meaty and prolific.


English cucumbers ‘Sweet Slice’ will hang happily


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on a trellis, staying straight and clean, waiting for harvesting. The Japanese variety, ‘Summer Dance’ also does well on a trellis and is crisp and excellent for slicing.


‘Black Pearl’ peppers are very ornamental with bril-


liant black leaves and glossy black fruit that will eventually turn red. They are very, very hot!


Yellow peppers ‘Banana Supreme’ also eventually


turn red and hot and are suitable for growing in a container. Last year saw one very black and aggressive variety


of petunia. ‘Sophistica Blackberry’ from T&T Seeds was a very sturdy plant. No amount of cutting back could stop it from eagerly reaching heights of two and even three feet on strong stems that seemed very fungus resistant. P


localgardener.net ‘Banana Supreme’ yellow pepper. ‘Black Pearl’ Pepper. Beautiful Gardens 2014 • 7 Pennisetum setaceum, ‘Purple Fountain Grass’. Salvia ‘Wendy’s Wish’ was a hummingbird magnet, too. Ipomoea ‘Blackie’ can thrill with flowers. Impatiens ‘Sunpatiens’.


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