Favorite or New Plant
'Hocus Pocus' Veronica
I grow a number of veronicas in my flower garden, both for their colors (deep violet-blue 'Goodness Grows' and 'Royal Candles', white 'Icicle', light pink 'Minuet', reddish-purple 'Red Fox') and their upright forms, which provide a nice visual contrast to many of the more rounded forms of my early summer bloomers. But I've found that the blues, at least in my garden, are often troubled by leaf spot and the tall 'Sunny Border Blue' lost its lower leaves so regularly that I had to banish it.
That's why I'm looking forward to trying 'Hocus Pocus', a new offering from Walters Gardens that should be in garden centers and nurseries this spring. Growing 16-20 inches tall and 12 inches wide, the top two-thirds of this veronica is adorned with long, violet-blue wands of flowers that bloom from early to midsummer. It has a uniform habit; clean, disease-resistant foliage; and branching flower stalks that prolong the bloom season. Adapted to Zones 4-8, it does best in full sun and rich, well-drained soil. For more on 'Hocus Pocus' veronica, see http://www.waltersgardens.com/images/lib/pages/veronica-hocus-pocus.pdf.
Safe Lawns for Kids and Pets
Need some reasons to consider going organic with your lawn care? Visit Citizens for a Green Camden and learn about the dangers lawn pesticides can pose, especially to children and pets, as well as how you can grow a healthy lawn without them. This citizens' group was formed to work for a healthier Maine by eliminating the use of toxic lawn chemicals, but the information and resources listed will be helpful to gardeners interested in practicing and promoting natural lawn care throughout New England.