Welcome to the HPS/MAG "Staying Connected" Page

This is a difficult time. All of the many activities HPS/MAG had scheduled are canceled, at least, or postponed to next year. We will be having virtual events such as garden tours and talks. Since we miss seeing each other's gardens, Vice President Nora Sirbaugh has set up a YouTube channel for us: Hardy Plant Society, Mid Atlantic Group. Check it out to get a glimpse of Nora’s garden. Be sure to click the Subscribe button. You will then be notified whenever new content is added to the channel. We invite our members to share their gardens as well. If you wish to create a short video of your garden for our YouTube channel, please contact Nora at [email protected].

We will also be having events and talks on Zoom. They will be password protected with online registration required and online payment, if any. If you would like to present a program on Zoom, please let Sandy Vernick know at [email protected]. We would also welcome articles and photos for the newsletter. To submit newsletter material, contact Kathy Yocom, [email protected].

As you must be aware, our finances have been disrupted because of the cancellations and postponements, which have resulted in a loss of income. Our investments have also lost some ground as have investments all over the world. Despite this, HPS is not in immediate financial danger, but we will be acting prudently and exploring cost savings.

One of our major goals has been expanding our grant program which will be impacted financially this coming year. Please consider a contribution to HPS/MAG to ensure that our grant program can continue to support worthy groups who will need our help more than ever in these challenging times. To donate, click here.

HPS/MAG is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and your donation is deductible to the extent permitted by law.

I hope gardening is helping you all to get through this. Be well.

Sandy Vernick, President 

 

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Garden Videos

Click here to be redirected to our Hardy Plant Society, Mid-Atlantic Group You Tube Channel. Be sure to click the Subscribe button. You will then be notified whenever new content is added to the channel. We invite our members to share their gardens as well.  If you wish to create a short video of your garden for our YouTube channel, please contact Nora at [email protected]

 

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Fresh Flowers and Gardens for You

New This Week -  The Bold Goat's Beard

    

What do you see? Yes, a tall, bushy, clump-forming plant. Pinnately compound, dark green leaves. However, your attention is quickly grasped by the plant's showy, plume-like spikes of tiny, cream colored flowers, rising well above the foliage. In bloom right now, Aruncus dioicus or Goat's Beard.

Text and photos by Thom Mrazik, Goodly Gardens in Worcester, PA  [email protected] 

 

Also New This Week - A Touch of California

It all started in my garden with sowing of purchased seeds that I received as a gift from my son who lives in California. Now, these brightly colored California poppy flowers shine throughout. Eschscholzia californica (California poppy) shows finely divided blue-green leaves. Atop are solitary, long-stalked, poppy-like yellow, orange flowers, followed by long seed-pods. The flowers close at night, opening again each morning as the sun warms the day. State flower of California.


 

 

Text and photos by Thom Mrazik, Goodly Gardens in Worcester, PA

 

 

 

A Different Stachys

Most gardeners are familiar with growing Stachys primarily for their gray woolly leaves (e.g., Stachys byzantina or lamb’s ears).  For something a little different,  Stachys officinalis 'Hummelo' offers a vivid display of flowers at this time of the growing season.  Wrinkled, scallop-edged, dark green leaves (to 5” long) form a basal clump. Upright flowering stems rise to 12-18” above the basal foliage, with each stem topped by a spike of reddish-purple, two-lipped, tubular flowers.  A nice color pop in the garden!

Text and photos by Thom Mrazik, Goodly Gardens in Worcester, PA  

 

Prairie Smoke

 
What do you think of a prairie plant that is only 6-12 inches tall?  When I was looking for new plants for my meadowscapes, Geum triflorum's ornamental features caught my attention.  Little did I know that this plant is very small and petite, not tall like meadow wildflowers and ornamental plants.  Yet, this plant, commonly referred to as Prairie Smoke, undeniably attracts curious gardeners.  After its flower fades, the styles elongate 


and become erect, developing a dense cluster of achenes with long feathery tails which collectively resemble a plume, creating a gauzy effect that resembles smoke hovering close to the ground.  Blooming in spring to early summer. 

Text and photos by Thom Mrazik, Goodly Gardens in Worcester, PA  

 

 

The Majestic Peony

Soon after my tree peonies bloom in early May, this deeply coral-colored herbaceous peony stuns the gardener's eyes with its deeply vibrant coral color. "Coral Sunset" (parentage reported as Paeonia lactiflora 'Minnie Shaylor' x Paeonia peregrina 'Otto Frobel') is considered a semi-double with cupped outer guard petals and a full showing of its inner stamens and carpels. Considered by many as the deepest coral colored peony. Mildly fragrant too! Awarded the American Peony Society Gold Medal in 2003.   

Text and photos by Thom Mrazik, Goodly Gardens in Worcester, PA  

 

Guardian of the Monastery 

 Among woody tree peonies (Paeonia suffruticosa), the Gansu/Rockii hybrids are cherished by many peony aficionados. Gansu is a southeastern province in China where such peonies are found. It is reported that in 1925, Joseph Rock collected seeds of a tree peony growing in a monastery courtyard in southern Gansu. Stock from this introduction entered Western horticulture as 'Rock's Variety' or 'Joseph Rock' Thus, today, we have the subspecies rockii and hybrids. This Guardian of the Monastery' is one such Rockii hybrid, having very large flowers (lotus form) described as a blend of cream, pink and lavender colors. And, most notably, with its characteristic deep purple inner flares or blotches. A showpiece in any home garden.  

Text and photos by Thom Mrazik, Goodly Gardens in Worcester, PA