Sunday, August 5, 2007

Astonishing Agastache 'Ava'

I have received some comments asking about the 'Ava' Agastache that I featured with the sleeping bee. Since this is one of my VERY favorite plants (gosh, what isn't) I decided to do a post dedicated to it.

This is the third year for this plant. It is getting shadowed by a large Russian Sage next to it, which I keep cutting back so that 'Ava' can get more sun.

Two seasons ago I purchased four plants from High Country Gardens. The 'Ava' was their 2005 introduction and they are their specialty. I couldn't resist when I saw the photo in the catalog. The first year, of course, they pretty much slept, but the next year (last year) they were spectacular!! I was in love for sure. Last year, I'm afraid to say, they didn't do so well. Do you think it might have been the 1-2' snow drift that covered the area for weeks on end?? Huh? You think? It is highly unusual for snow to stay on the ground that long in this area. But then, it certainly was an unusual winter. I lost two of the plants. But I love them so much that I'm going to replace them next year.

'Ava' seems to be a bit temperamental, but as the catalog states, "This plant takes two to three growing seasons to reach mature size and will live for many years when happy." They go on to say what it is that makes them happy. Being buried under 2 feet of snow for weeks on end wasn't one of them. They are fairly expensive ($9.29 each for 5" deep pots). I think they are worth every cent. I really think they would continue to do well if not for so much snow. Also, some of the Russian Sage are invading their territory, so I need to do something about this. But I love the combination of the two. I am going to order some of their "Yum Yum Mix" winterizer fertilizer to help them out this year. I love these plants so much that I feel they are worth it.

This is 'Ava' in her second year (2006). She was spectacular. Unfortunately both she and the beautiful Rabbit Brush behind her succumbed to heavy snow drifts last year. I was very sad to seem them go. It was just one of those bad years.

Another view of 'Ava' in all her beauty before the winter storms. This plant remains lovely way into Fall if it can withstand the winter. (Two out of my original four survived).

And here she is in 2006 with Russian Sage (Perovskia) and Sedum 'Autumn Joy.'

This "vignette" from last year (2006) includes the Russian Sage, Agastach 'Ava,' Agastache 'Sunset Hyssop' and Sedum 'Autumn Joy,' together with other companion plants.


LostRoses said...

Bev, I'd say Ava is a winner and well worth the price. One of the things I most admire about your garden is how you showcase each plant, giving them plenty of room to grow and do their best. Just about all my plants are jammed in their beds and I know I should be a bit more selective but I can't seem to do it. And it's lovely to see the pictures of someone who can!

ABQ-B-Fly Guy said...

Great pictures! I visit the High Country Gardens here in ABQ often, sometimes just to look. I did get a few 'Avas' this summer. I am now looking forward to seeing them in future summers!


Bev said...

LR - thank you for your encouraging words. I do try, but as the season goes on things get more and more crammed together. I often have to make a conscious effort to trim back plants that are taking over it's neighbors sun and space. However, I do love that "crammed" look. Much better than seeing the scattered all about without any friends to cuddle with.

ABQ - How great that you get to visit High Country often. I have never been there and that has been a goal of mine for the last few years since I started my strips. One of these days I'll actually make it! Good luck with the Ava's. Hope you like them as much as I do.

Connie said...

'Ava' is lovely and looks great with her companion plants!

Annie in Austin said...

The agastache and perovskia make a lovely couple, Bev. You use a lot of each plant, just as we're always being advised to do!

I was afraid you'd tell me your agastache were in lots of well-drained sun - my yard is mostly shade or part sun. My Perovskias flower, but boy are they floppy - that would probably happen to agastache, too. Guess I'll just admire yours!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Bev said...

Thanks Connie. I love the two together. Their colors complement each other.

Annie, it might not happen as much to the agastache. It seems to stand up better. Mostly shade can be very challenging to work with. I didn't realize you have that much shade. You do well with it though.

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Ava is a winner, that much is clear. Unfortunately Agastaches are not hardy in my country. I've tried them several times but each spring I find that they have died.

BTW I'm also into cramming them in so you won't see the soil and the weeds have no space to grow.

My pervoskia do the floppy thing too, but, as you say, the agastaches don't.

Bev said...

Yolanda, sorry you can't grow Agastache there. They really are difficult to get started. I'm surprised you have perovskia over there.That's great.

kate said...

Ava and Sunset Hyssop are beautiful. They are stunning paired with the perovskia - I will probably just admire them since I doubt they could survie the winter here! Beautiful blog!