New Garden Must Haves May 2011

Well, the weather thus far has left much to be desired but not to fret there is good weather on the horizon and lots of time to have fun in the garden. I always find new and exciting plants each year to put into production and here are just a few selections that could (should) find their way into your gardens.

Brunnera macrophylla Dianes GoldBrunnera macrophylla ‘Diane’s Gold’

BUGBANE – An absolute staple for any shade garden, brunnera make a bold statement with their large heart-shaped leaves and sprays of blue spring flowers. An absolute stunner, ‘Diane’s Gold’ is an amazing cultivar with golden foliage.

If given enough moisture, (very important to avoid damage to the plant) it is even fairly sun tolerant and holds its golden colouring without fading to chartreuse. The typical blue flowers add to its charming appeal. Height: 30cm Spread: 60cm Zone: 4

Brunnera macrophylla ‘Emerald Mist’

An elegant brunnera that has large heart-shaped leaves of emerald green with splashes of antique silver and a fine misting of silver over the entire leaf.


Sprays of sapphire blue forget-me-not flowers herald in spring and are wonderful as cut flowers. they are an excellent choice for a cool shady site or in a shade container. Height: 40cm Spread: 60cm Zone: 4

Brunnera macrophylla ‘King’s Ransom’Brunnera macrophylla Kings Ransom

A sport of ‘Jack Frost’, this new selection displays a wide gold margin (fading to creamy white in summer) and a light cream frosting over the silvery green leaves.

Sprays of dainty blue forget-me-not flowers in spring add to this selections richness and appeal.

A compact grower, ‘King’s Ransom’ makes an excellent container plant on its own or in mixed company, and does well as a mounding groundcover when planted en masse. Grow in shade on rich, moist soil. Height: 30cm Spread: 50cm Zone: 4

Centaurea montana Black SpriteCentaurea montana 'Black Sprite'

KNAPWEED – Robust perennial with bushy foliage of silvery, grey green. The unique spidery, thistle-like blooms appear in early summer and are a rich, silky burgundy black colour.

An exotic looking addition for the sunny perennial border it is easy to grow and drought tolerant once established. It is excellent as a cut flower. Height: 40cm Spread: 60cm Zone: 3


Clematis recta purpureaClematis recta ‘Purpurea Select’

CLEMATIS – A wonderful rambling shrub-type clematis with velvety, deep purple foliage that is complimented by a profusion of starry white flowers in early Summer.

This low maintenance and easy to grow clematis fits well into a mixed perennial border.

Plants do best and show their best colouring if planted in full sun on well-drained soil. Height: 1m+ Spread: 1m Zone: 3

Erysimum x 'Fragrant Star'

WALLFLOWER – An old-fashioned perennial with a twist, this wallflower has stunning variegated green and yellow foliage on a neat compact evergreen form. Very fragrant bright yellow flowers begin to show in early spring and continue through summer. This shrub-like perennial makes a great addition to any landscape with its year round interest; it also makes a great container plant on a patio or deck where the fragrance of the flowers can be enjoyed. Plant in full sun on well-drained soil. Height: 30-40cm Spread: 50-60cm Zone: 7

Geum EosGeum coccineum ‘Eos’

I love yellow in the garden and this little beauty does not disappoint. Named after the Greek goddess of dawn, ‘Eos’ is just stunning with round, pleated leaves of glowing gold.

Bright orange flowers in summer add impact to this carefree and easy to grow perennial. Plants do their best in full sun and may remain evergreen during mild winters.

Height: 15-20cm Spread: 30-40cm Zone: 5

Iberis auricosa ‘Sweetheart’ Iberis sweetheart

CANDYTUFT - A pink candytuft! What a wonderful addition to an old garden favorite.

Plants have a neat mounding habit, dark evergreen foliage and are covered with small clusters of fragrant light pink flowers in spring which age to a soft lilac. Ideal as a rockery plant, garden edger or allowed to cascade.

They are easy to grow in full sun on well-drained soil, and are drought tolerant once established. Height: 10-15cm Spread: 30-45cm Zone: 5

Iris x robusta 'Gerald Darby'

IRIS – A beardless iris with early spring growth that begins dark purple, then maturing to green later in the summer. Tall purple-black stems bare dark violet blue flowers in early summer. A wonderful iris for naturalizing along pond or stream edges. Also great as a container or border plant and will grow quite well in water. Plants will tolerate full sun to light shade. Height: 60-90cm Spread: 60cm Zone: 4

These and many other great plants are available at Art's Nursery Ltd. in limited quantities. Call or visit to get your treasures today.

Photography courtesy of Jelitto Perennial Seeds, Skagit Gardens & Terra Nova Nurseries

Author: Lyle Courtice Source: Harkaway Botanicals


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