August 18, 2011 at 8:37 a.m.
Peggy Boike - Lives and Gardens in Chisago Lake Township
Favorite perennials, both of which were awarded Perennial Plant of the Year:
Veronica "Sunny Border Blue", (in 1993), and Coreopsis "Moonbeam" (1992.) Both plants grow best in full sun to very light shade, have long bloom periods and are very hardy and maintenance free, with very few, if any, disease or insect problems. Sunny Border Blue has spikes of violet-blue flowers and Moonbeam has numerous small yellow flowers.
Favorite flowering shrub: Spirea "Anthony Waterer". Covered with pink flowers in early summer. If sheared back after flowering, it blooms again. I have three of them in a small grouping that fits perfectly in a small area 5' by 8', with Coreopsis Moonbeam peeking out from between them.
Joan Chouinard - Lives and Gardens in Wyoming.
Basil, the old variety called "Genovese"; we grow bushes of it. Used as an herb, to flavor salads, vegetable and Italian dishes. But in quantity to make a basil-spinach pesto sauce cooked with garlic, then processed with olive oil and parmesan cheese until smooth, served on pasta. We call it "Green Spaghetti." I guarantee that no kid will turn up their nose at spinach prepared this way - our grandkids love it, too!
"Provider" for bush beans. Early and disease resistant, dark seeds allow germination in cooler soils.
"Kentucky Blue" for pole beans. This white-seeded hybrid of two old varieties needs warmer soil to grow but very few plants can feed a family. Grows to 6-8 feet and bears until frost.
Donna Tatting - Lives and Gardens in the Southwestern part of Chisago County
Hostas - Big, small, and in between, I have a serious weakness for Hostas. I grow them in my large shade garden with the shade being provided by four very large oak trees. Any new variety gets my attention but my favorite of the over 150 different varieties I have in my garden is Guacamole because of its large white and very fragrant flowers.
Pagoda Dogwood - This small understory tree loves growing under my large oaks. I carefully prune them each year to encourage the "umbrella" shape which is somewhat natural even without the pruning. Average height is 10-15 feet with a broad spread of about 10 feet but of course this could alter with regular pruning. Its early summer blossoms become black-blue fruits by August and are much loved by birds. This tree is healthy, hearty and easy to grow.
Jerry Vitalis - Life long resident and gardener in Franconia Township.
Favorite Sweet Corn:
"Bodacious" - Ripe in 75 days. Yellow and very sweet. Lasts in the field for 2-3 weeks and even when over ripe, has great flavor.
"Celebrity" - Ripe in 70 days, has great disease resistance, is a uniform medium size with lots of flavor.
Tom Dickhudt - Lives and Gardens in rural Center City.
Golden Rod Yellow Bean. - Freezes great and has great flavor
Oliver Brussel Sprouts - Picked in late October and November. Freeze well and taste sweet.
Ace Beets. - This beet has never let me down.
Favorite Native Plants:
Saxifrage - a great foliage plants for moist areas.
Sweet black eyed susan- about 3 feet tall and mildew resistant.
Bottle gentian- can only be pollinated by bumblebees.
Tamara Anderson - Lives and gardens in the south end of Chisago County
I love Annabelle Hydrangeas! I love all things old fashioned and they go well with my house!
My favorite plant is Miniature Hostas! They are just as easy to grow and as winter hardy as all other hostas. They have the most adorable mini flower stems that shoots up and is just too precious. I plant them where they have the most visual exposure to people walking by!
This is just a small sampling of what our Master Gardeners put forward as their favorite plants. Being asked what our favorite plants are is always a welcome question.
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