Stachys monieri 'Hummelo' - Two Planted in Front - October 2023

Fall planting continues with a few more plants that required me to 'step out' a little bit from my gardening comfort zone with another flowering perennial.  Yesterday, I shared the three dark-foliage, flowering Midnight Masquerade Pentsemons that I put IB2DWS - extended and talked about how I was drawn to them because of the dark foliage, but bought them based on Roy Diblik's "Appropriate Plant List".  'Midnight Masquerade' is an improved habit of a few varieties that are included on Roy's list, so I had confidence in adding them to our garden.  

I was walking the nursery tables at The Growing Place during their 50% off end-of-the-season sale and found a few things that I've decided to add to the garden. The first one was the Cardoon that I posted about earlier this week.  I noted that I wasn't sure it was going to be hardy for our zone, but my plan is to 'mulch it in' pretty hard with biosolids and leaves and hope for the best.

The sign at TGP for something called Stachys monieri 'Hummelo' rang a bell in my brain.  Here's the sign: 

It talks about this being a 'good cutting flower' - which I love.  It was the Perennial Plant of the Year in 2019 and has a 'long bloom time' and 'neat habit'.  Sounds great, right?  I pull up Roy's "appropriate plant list" and take a look.  I scroll down to the {s} and see this listed:  Stachys officinalis ‘Hummelo’.

Hmmm... officcinalis.  While this tag reads monieri.

I dig a little deeper, and find this article from Horticulture Magazine where they say....these are the same plant.  Pfew.  See below for a screenshot from Hort Mag:

Walters Garden also has some relevant information in their listing - including how, while it may be unknown, it is a unique addition to any sunny spot and how it emerged from trials at the Chicago Botanic Garden.  From Walters Garden:
Though this plant is relatively unknown to many gardeners, it makes a unique addition to any sunny border. Once you try it, you'll see that it goes with just about everything else in the garden. It is very easy to grow and deserves to be planted more widely in American landscapes.

'Hummelo' received the highest rating out of 22 Stachys studied in the Plant Evaluation Trials at the Chicago Botanic Garden. The trial was run from 1998-2004 by Richard G. Hawke.
That's enough for me.

They had two remaining, so I grabbed both.   They need full sun, so I figured the front yard was the right move.  I posted recently about the mass of Little Henry Sweetspire that are planted in the corner of our driveway and front walk and talked about how they're showing a little red.  Those shrubs are in a bed all by themselves.  So...I cut the bed on the sidewalk side a little bigger and decided to plant these in front of the Sweetspire shrubs.  Below is that newly-expanded bed.  You can see the fresh part with the darker soil in front of the shrubs:

I put them in the ground, amended the soil with a load of biosolids as there's some gravel in that soil thanks to the driveway guys. 

This small bed expansion sure feels like the first step towards planting even more around these shrubs - as soon as tomorrow.  

My Fall Planting List - so far - includes a number of new and divided plants.

Now up to 25 new plants.  3 new via division.  28 total for 2023 #FallPlanting.

Here are the front and back of the plant tags for these two Stachys monieri or Stachys officinials 'Hummelo'.  


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