We have a few updates to our plant availability list, which was posted yesterday evening. Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis), and Eastern Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata var. pulchra) are now ready. Eastern Swamp Milkweed is a subspecies of Swamp Milkweed that is usually found in sandy wetlands in the coastal plain and piedmont versus the more inland (and more readily available) subspecies Asclepias incarnata var. incarnata. Var. pulchra is slightly stockier than the more inland var. incarnata and has broad fuzzy leaves. Because of its larger leaves it may be better at providing more foliage for monarch caterpillars than the typical subspecies that has thinner leaves and smooth stems. The population that my plants originated from have individuals that bloom in various shades of color from deep pink to white, so my plants likely will exhibit this same genetic variation in bloom color.
Species that will be upcoming include Zig-Zag Goldenrod (Solidago flexicaulis), Culver’s Root (Veronicastrum virginicum), White Wood Aster (Eurybia divaricata), Golden Ragwort (Packera aurea), Showy Goldenrod (Solidago speciosa) and Golden Alexanders (Zizia aurea). Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) and Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) are on the way as well, but a bit further out. We are temporarily sold out of Coral Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens), but have more in propagation that will be ready a bit later on.
We still have plenty of bales of long-leaf pine straw that can be used to mulch your new and existing garden spaces. Each bale covers roughly 40 square feet at 2.5 inches deep. If you’re used to using wood mulch, another good conversion is 3 bales of pine straw covers roughly the same area as 1 cubic yard of wood mulch. Pine straw, when used as a mulch has a nice natural look to it. I find that it looks even more natural and established as leaves fall onto it, which tends to make wood mulched areas look a bit on the messy side. Pine straw bales are priced at $17 each, including NJ sales tax.
Images below show Eastern Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata var. pulchra) and Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis).