Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Gardener's Corner - PC Plant Frenzy

I’m like any other gardener that’s interested in new selections offered each spring and when I attended the Sneak Peek of the new President’s Choice plants for this year, the frenzy factor was high in the room.
I can’t cover them all, but will tell you about my favourites and when the garden edition of the Insider’s Report starts on May 10, you can see everything for yourself at a Superstore, Loblaws or Zehrs.
To start, a few annuals that caught my eye.  Verbena Lanai Twister Purple has an inner ring of purple that fades to a light pinkish purple; a colour combo not seen before in a verbena.  If purple is not your colour, there’s also Red Twister.
Purple Twister
Midi Dark Fireball Gerbera is a stunning bright orange with a yellow centre; add this to a container planting and it will add a punch of colour.
If time or knowledge prevents you from potting up your own containers, worry not for Kwik Kombos are available in a one gallon pot.  The pinks and blues of Night in Pompeii provides annuals that grow well and flower together for a pretty display.
Giant Calliope Geraniums give you a head start with their large size and the new colour this year is lavender rose; a romantic colour I was smitten with.
On to the perennials and a few shrubs.  Last year the Haskap berry bush was introduced which produces a fruit that tastes like a cross between blueberries, raspberries and Saskatoon berries.  To ensure cross-pollination, the pots this year will contain Borealis and Honeybee which are two compatible varieties.  An early fruiting shrub, the haskap berries are perfect for jam and baking.
Ever thought about growing your own figs?  Now you can with a Canadian hardy fig tree that can be planted outside over winter and will shoot back up to refruit each year.  The roots are hardy to zone 4 and the upper growth to zone 6 and if planted in a protected area, good results can be expected.  The trees grow 2.5-3 m tall and will produce figs the first year since they fruit on new wood.  If the fig tree is planted in a container, it can be brought inside for the winter.
Hostas and heucheras; collector plants for many.  Heuchera Amber Lady is a PC exclusive from Walters Gardens in Michigan and the photo in the Insider’s Report doesn’t do this lady justice.  She’s beautiful, the colour of an orange marmalade sunset.
Pair her in a shady garden with Hosta Rainforest Sunrise, a compact bright yellow with green edges and thick slug resistant leaves.
There’s also Hosta Designer Genes that has lemony yellow leaves atop red rhubarb- looking stems reaching 60 cm tall.
Echinacea Butterfly Kisses is such a sweet name for a new shorter plant that will reach 45 cm and it has sturdy upright stems.
Campanula Purple Get Mee (featured here) is flowering already and will do so off and on all summer.   A Fairytale selection from Sunrise Green houses, the deep purple is spectacular with chartreuse and lavender plants.
I’ve merely touched the tip of the iceberg with the plants offered by PC this spring, there are many more exciting plants.  (As a garden writer, I don't receive money for promoting these plants, but some of the plants themselves to review, trial and feature if I like them.)


  1. I am not great with names of flowers, except the basic ones, but I did enjoy this and the flowers are so pretty.

  2. What fun to get to learn about more gorgeous new plants! Your mention of hostas reminded me I am going to be visiting a hosta farm in my area soon, and one of the varieties is called Tea and Crumpets. I can't wait!

  3. How wonderful to be able to see and plan all that. All floweres are beautifulk but some are even more don't you think?

  4. Hi Judith, I do love that geranium... funny I was just starting to look for some geraniums to put on my screened in porch ... this one has my attention :D thanks for the enlightenment as always my friend!
    Beth P

  5. Always so much going on in the gardener's world. Hope that your prizes work out beautifully in your garden. Are you trying the fig tree?

  6. The flowers are so beautiful! Purple is one of my favorite colors. I'll be buying flowers tomorrow to plant. Spring is here at last.

  7. It's nice to hear about the new plants this year from someone 'who knows'. Thanks for sharing these beauties with us. I'll be watching for the Insider Report too. Thanks!

  8. I'm discovering gardening is a lot like enjoying shoes ... you can never have enough and there is always a new "flower" that would look just brilliant in one of the gardens. I was at Glen Echo today and there are so many lovelies out ... Happy Wednesday... hugs and blessings, C. (HHL)

  9. Those are gorgeous flowers!

    I have all my seeds and bulbs in the ground, now..trying to keep squirrels from eating them is another battle!

  10. Some beautiful plants, Judith. I enjoyed seeing them. The verbena especially caught my eye.
    Have a great wknd!
    Blessings, Beth

  11. Oh I adore the first 2 Judith....that purple is amazing as is the orange.


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