We have been working with growers across southern Ontario for months and months to source and bring you new and choice plant material for the 2015 Plant Sale. Here are some of the varieties that I’m most excited about. Please shop early for the best selection!
Plenty of perennials
‘Anna’s Red’ hellebore (Helleborus (Rodney Davey Marbled Group) ‘Anna’s Red’)
Another advance in the world of hellebore breeding. Imagine a hellebore with beautiful long-lasting burgundy to red blossoms and two-toned foliage. The leaves emerge in spring with pink-coloured veins that mature to a cream colour. What an amazing plant! Hellebores provide months of perennial eye candy in light to partial shade. As a group, hellebores have long been underrated for the rich, bold and dramatic foliage they display from late summer until winter. Several other choice hellebores will be available at the sale, too. [image: Paul Zammit]
Wild Swan anemone (Anemone ‘Macane001’)
We are pleased to have recently added the winner of the prestigious Chelsea Plant of the Year Award to the TBG collection. The rich green basal foliage is topped with fresh white blooms that have a unique purplish blush on the back side of the petal. Last year, this eye-catching hybrid bloomed from summer to fall in the TBG gardens. Wild Swan prefers a moist, loam-rich soil and should be planted in full sun to part shade. It grows to just under 60 centimetres tall. [image: Paul Zammit]
‘Millennium’ ornamental onion (Allium ‘Millennium’)
For those who want to attract butterflies to their gardens, Allium ‘Millennium’ is a must. This recent introduction to the TBG’s Entry Garden has attracted much attention from a variety of pollinators and garden visitors alike. A prolific and long-blooming ornamental onion with sturdy stems that grow to about two feet in height—no flopping! It produces round clusters of purple- to rose-coloured flowers from mid- to late summer. Plant in full sun. Also watch for Allium senescens ‘Blue Eddy’ another low-growing, late-blooming perennial that has been a terrific new addition to the TBG gardens. [image: Walters Gardens]
Kosmic Kale (Brassica oleracea (Acephala Group))
Just when you thought kale could not get any better, here’s an exciting addition to this very popular green. It’s both beautiful and edible! The upright green-blue foliage is edged with irregular, creamy white margins. Plant it in the veggie garden, the perennial border or in mixed planters. Last year I trialled a few plants and I was most impressed with both the vigorous growth and the long-lasting display. Although I enjoy kale and know it is very nutritious, I did not harvest any of the leaves—they looked too great! Very limited supply. [image: Paul Zammit]
Tempting tropicals and quasi-annuals
Yes, brown is a colour, a beautiful colour both inside the home and out in the garden. This plant may not be for everyone (although it has long been a favourite of mine). It’s a unique, unusual, slow-growing tropical. Although it is not new and has long been in cultivation, it’s available only occasionally, and I am thrilled to have a few specimens as part of this year’s plant sale. Euphorbia platyclada is endemic to Madagascar where so many distinct plants and animals have evolved in isolation over time. (Sadly the wild native populations are threatened as a result of habitat loss.) I invite you to at least have a look at this unique plant. From personal experience, I can say that it will grow on you! [image: Paul Zammit]
‘Illumination Flame’ foxglove (Digitalis ‘Illumination Flame’ syn. Digiplexis Illumination ‘Flame’)
Winner of several new plant awards, this hybrid foxglove has recently received much attention. Released in Ontario for the first time last season, it quickly sold out within the first few hours at last year’s TBG Plant Sale. We even sold all of the plants that were intended for the TBG gardens. Digiplexis is a breakthrough in plant breeding that is the result of a cross between Digitalis purpurea and Isoplexis canariensis (reclassified as Digitalis canariensis). The unique and colourful flower spikes of tubular flowers are produced freely from summer until fall. It blooms and blooms and blooms! The verdict is still out on whether this new plant will overwinter in our Ontario gardens. Considering the flower power I have observed, it’s worth growing, even as an annual. Fingers crossed—we may have a few of the new Digiplexis Illumination ‘Berry Canary’! [image: Paul Zammit]
Note: Despite the most careful and best of plans, we have no control over Mother Nature. As a result, we are at the mercy of the weather and cannot guarantee that all of these selections will be ready for the Plant Sale.
Bring your wish list to the 2015 Plant Sale!
- Friends Breakfast and Shopping: Thursday, May 7, 10 a.m. to noon.
- Members Preview and Sale: Thursday, May 7, noon to 8 p.m.
- Open to the public: Friday, May 8, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, May 9 and Sunday, May 10, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.