I'm submerged, reveling, in writing my favorite series of columns for Pacific Northwest magazine - the entire month of April is devoted to four pieces on new trees and shrubs, new perennials, new annuals and new kinds of edibles. So you can imagine the enticing plant descriptions and images flowing across my desktop. I'm well aware that some of these plants won't turn out in the long run to be "good-doers" as Irish gardener Helen Dillon would say, but they're very fun to salivate over anyway. Here in the blog, I'll introduce you to a few of the fresh new plant faces that didn't make the cut into my "Plant Life" column - due to lack of space, not because they aren't tantalizing. There are far, far more new plants than any of us will ever have time to read about, let alone grow. So here are just a couple of temptations for you - all should be available in retail nurseries later this spring:
Monrovia is introducing a new, compact clematis called 'Saphyra Indigo' with dark blue flowers. It blooms continuously through the summer, and is small enough (grows to two and a half feet) to grow in a hanging basket or container.
Wouldn't that sapphire blue look gorgeous set against the brilliant color combo of Geum 'Eos', introduced by Terra Nova nurseries? (you can go to their website and check out an entire gallery of new beauties). Named after the goddess of the dawn, this geum is bright, bright, bright, with orange flowers blooming atop golden leaves. This easy to grow perennial works well in containers or front-of-the-border; it needs moist soil, does well in sun or partial shade, and isn't a prolific bloomer - figure you're growing it for those golden leaves and you won't be disappointed.
Question: I agree with your article on the wonderful wallflower....only problem is I'm having difficulty finding plants to buy. Any clue where I can purchase plants, preferably not seeds. My garden is on a tour at the end of May and I don't have the luxury of time to grow them from seed and wait for flowers next spring. I had gotten them from Spring Hill nursery a couple of years ago but they no longer have any. Thanks for any help you can give me. Best regards, Beverly
Answer: Since wallflowers (Erysimum species) flower continuously for so many months, they are short-lived plants, literally blooming themselves out after a season or two. So I replace my 'Apricot Twists' often, and haven't had any problem finding nice, big gallon-sized plants in full flower - which would be ideal for your garden tour. But don't bother looking until after mid-April or you'll be frustrated - I've hunted for wallflowers in March and learned to wait a little longer for them. I've had great luck with wallflowers from Swansons Nursery in Ballard and Christiansons Nursery in the Skagit Valley, both of which carry a good supply of healthy plants.