March 2003 Archives

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With winter almost over many of us are looking forward to the new plant introductions that will be available come spring. I have been trialing some of these new plants in my greenhouse this year and am anxious for the arrival of spring so that they can be placed into the yard and enjoyed by all.

One of the biggest joys I have being a garden writer is the option to see these plants first and share my opinion with you. The first plant I wish to talk about is Campanula ‘Kelly’s Gold’ a plant that first came from a garden in Bainbridge Island and was introduced into the trade by Kelly Dodson of Reflective Gardens in Poulsbo, WA. This plant is now available from Terra Nova Nurseries.

Upon receiving this tiny plant last spring, I immediately placed it into my garden, watered it in and waited. The first thing I noticed was that is it going to be a spreader. It definitely was putting out new shoots long before it began to grow upwards.

The golden foliage on this plant makes it worth growing without mention of the white flowers which are kissed with blue on the edges. Overall I really like this plant. It gives brightness to the garden that typical green foliage cannot. It is hardy in zones 4 through 9. Once it was established in my garden it has been an extremely carefree plant.

From the Euro American Proven Winners selection we will be seeing the introduction of two new Angelonia Angelface varieties. Angelonia ‘Blue’ and ‘Blue Bi-Color’ will be making their way into our hearts this spring with their cheery flowers. The real plus to these two plants though is that they flower continuously and are also carefree once established even in pot culture.

These Angelonias are both heat tolerant and will grow happily in full sun. I placed one in full sun and the other in part shade. They both seemed to thrive equally well. They were introduced into my garden in August during a time that other plants were having trouble thriving, however these little beauties came through with shining stars.

An All-American Selection Winner for 2003, Carnation F1 Hybrid ‘Can Can Scarlet’ definitely deserves to be grown in your garden. Introduced by Sakata Seeds, this plant has received honors from the All-American Selection committee as well as Fleuroselect.

‘Can Can Scarlet’ flowers freely from mid-spring through summer and has a delightful spicy fragrance. It has a good branching habitat and strong stems. This plant is perfect for addition in a flower bed border or as a container plant. In cool climates it should be treated as an annual.

I grew my ‘Can Can Scarlet’ from seed in a pot. It readily came up and has required absolutely no maintenance so far. It seems to grow moderately fast from seed and does germinate well.

New introductions from Blooms of Bressingham this year include a Helenium ‘Mardi Gras.’ I have not seen more than a photo of this plant, but the multicolored blooms which they say will last six to eight weeks make it appear to be a real showstopper in the garden.

Dianthus has been a plant that recently caught my attention due to the wonderful fragrance as well as the spreading habitat. Blooms of Bressingham have introduced a new one this year which they claim continues to flower well into the fall and produce a delightful fragrance. It is Dianthus ‘Rosish One.’

For Crocosmia lovers, there is a new introduction as well. Crocosmia ‘Irish Sunset’ was introduced by Alan Bloom whose most poplar introduction previously was Crocosmia ‘Lucifer.’ The yellow buds of ‘Irish Sunset’ are tipped with red. Once open, the flowers seem to glow of yellow and orange throughout the summer.

Finally, for those of you who have trouble with cats and dogs getting into your garden, be sure to visit Carolee’s Herb Farm on April 1st for the new scented coleuses known as Scardy Cat and Dog’s Gone!

This plant was created in 2000 by a gardener from Germany . According to trials ran by Carolee Snyder of Carolee’s Herb Farm, the plant definitely deters cats from digging in flower pots.

While the scent is offensive to humans, it is said that the plant only emits a scent when it is brushed up against. To date more than eight million plants have been sold.