Thursday, June 4, 2009

tired of monkey grass in the medians?

Here is a clump of Baptisia australis or wild indigo. Whenever you see this, it is usually the mark of a serious gardener or someone who hired a landscape designer. It shouldn't have to be that way. But because it isn't available at all the super centers, you don't find wild indigo in enough home gardens. It is a circle that folks in the nursery and horticulture industries know far more about than me. The market gets what the market wants. And sometimes that is a shame.

In my humble opinion, wild indigo is wonderful alternative to the oceans of overgrown daylilies you see in parking lots and along highways everywhere. It thrives in drought and has beautiful flower spikes. The foliage, even though it dies back in the winter, is a great light green. I would like to see it planted more often.

This informal grouping is part of the planned landscape around Duke's Fitzpatrick's Center. If you cannot find this plant at the local garden shop, ask for it. If that does not work, try Niche Gardens or Plant Delights Nursery. The daily plant sale at the NCBG in Chapel Hill is also a good place to seek out this specimen or other native plants that do just fine without a lot of coddling.

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