Blooming new plants for 2010

Spectacular flower selections for your garden in 2010

Credit: Terra Nova Nurseries

Add these spectacular selections to your garden

2010 is an extra-exciting year for new plants! Not only do the reports from breeders look promising, but in 2009 we received advance shipments of many new introductions for trial. Having grown many of these new plants already, I’m excited to highlight those I think will be winners.

Pictured above: Echinacea ‘Flame Thrower’

At our 2009 “Hellebore Hurrah!” Marietta O’Byrne’s Winter Jewels Series stole the show with large double flowers on vigorous plants. More widely available now, these Lenten roses include ‘Amber Gem’ (apricot), ‘Berry Swirl’ (warm purples), ‘Cotton Candy’ (light pink), ‘Golden Lotus’ (buttery yellow), ‘Harlequin Gem’ (purple with lighter streaks), ‘Jade Tiger’ (green with burgundy picotee), ‘Onyx Odyssey’ (purple-black), ‘Painted Doubles’, ‘Peppermint Ice’ (light and dark pink), and ‘Sparkling Diamond’ (white).

Painted Doubles

Helleborous ‘Painted Doubles’
Echinacea ‘Firebird’

If you’re overwhelmed with the selection of coral bells (Heuchera), consider this new range of superior cultivars. We trialed many and were most impressed with the performance
of three: ‘Berry Smoothie’, ‘Plum Royale’ and ‘Sugar Plum’. Equally impressive was ‘Lime Marmalade’, a ruffled, lime-yellow, sun-tolerant choice – the best we’ve yet seen in this hue. This year, look for the even newer ‘Autumn Leaves’, ‘Christa’, ‘Fire Chief’, ‘Midas Touch’, ‘Mint Julep’ and ‘Midnight Bayou’, and the new foamy bells (Heucherella) ‘Golden Zebra’ (bright yellow, feathery foliage centred with red) and Sweet Tea (orange and cinnamon).

The introduction of not-so-purple coneflowers had a rocky start, but the new releases are strong and robust. We’ve tried and love: ‘CoraReef’ (double coral-orange), ‘Hot Lava’ (orange-red), ‘Firebird’ (orange-red shuttlecocks) and ‘Flame Thrower’ (two-toned orange and red). Even newer will be ‘Tangerine Dream’, ‘Maui Sunshine’, ‘Hot Papaya’ and ‘Hot Summer’ with flowers that age in colour, so you end up with yellow, orange and scarlet all on the same plant.

The introduction of dwarf, mildewresistant, upright garden phlox will delight gardeners with small spaces. These six different cultivars have mouth-watering names like ‘Classic
Cassis’, ‘Fondant Fantasy’, ‘Grenadine Dream’, ‘Peppermint Twist’, ‘Piña Colada’ and ‘Watermelon Punch’.

While a new butterfly bush might alarm gardeners concerned with invasive plants, the new light purple Buddleia ‘Asian Moon’ from the University of Arkansas is sterile! Its inability to produce seeds also means it blooms for longer.

Brunnera ‘King’s Ransom’ is a sport of the renowned ‘Jack Frost’. ‘King’s Ransom’ offers the vigour and silver foliage of its predecessor and boasts a gold edge around each leaf showcasing the forget-me-not-like blue flowers.

Spurges are useful for gardens and planters. Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’ has sage-green, gold and lime variegated foliage and ‘Ruby Glow’ has red new growth deepening to black.

Veronica spicata ‘Foxy Lady’ is the first bicolour of the genus, sporting bright fuchsia pink flowers, candystriped with white.

2010 Healthy Garden Guide

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For gardeners with more eclectic tastes, the little known Indian Pink, Spigelia marilandica ‘Little Redhead’, has tubular red fl owers and yellow starry centres, which are popular with hummingbirds. Bletilla ‘Soryu’, a hardy ground orchid, will excite shade gardeners with its bluish purple flowers.

Gary Lewis owns Phoenix Perennials in Richmond. He serves with the Perennial Plant Association, the Perennial and Bulb Selection Committee of Great Plant Picks, and works with E-Flora BC.