This weekly column is being reproduced with the permission of Steve Smith, The Whistling Gardener, and owner of Sunnyside Nursery in Marysville.
Back in late September of this year, I introduced you to several new shrubs for 2020 and promised to continue later this fall with several more new introductions.
After reading through the November/December edition of Horticulture (one of many gardening magazines that my wife and I subscribe to) I have cherry picked a few to expound upon.
As our gardens go into dormancy for the winter, what could possibly be better than to dream about new plants for the coming season. Happy salivating!
"Ringo" Shrub Rose — If you are looking for a sun loving, “constantly blooming all summer” shrub, low maintenance and disease free plant, then look no further than "Ringo" shrub rose. "Ringo’s" single blooms open a bright golden yellow with a blazing red center, mellowing to a soft yellow before turning white with a distinct pink center. It’s never a dull moment with "Ringo in the garden." Growing three to four feet tall and as wide, simply shear it back to a foot tall every February and keep it dead-headed through the summer. Easy peasy!
Sedum "Boogie Woogie" — If you have a hot sunny spot with poor soil (but good drainage), then you need to "Boogie Woogie" with this sedum. Colorful foliage with creamy leaf margins and yellow flowers in summer will liven up any rockery or slope where nothing else seems to want to grow. Combine it with other “Hens and Chicks” for a “thrive on neglect” garden bed. Grows six inches tall and 18 inches wide.
Begonia "Silver Treasure" — I have always been a sucker for begonias - blame it on my Southern California upbringing. "Silver Treasure" is hardy in our zone (with mulch), so I plan on giving it a try next year. It does best in full shade or morning sun and can be planted either in the ground or in containers/hanging baskets. The large four to six inch heart-shaped leaves have a silver patina and are complimented with soft pink flowers throughout the summer. Grows to 14 inches tall and 25 inches across.
David Austin Roses — It’s hard to talk about roses without including the wonderful English roses from David Austin. Here are two that are noteworthy:
"Emily Bronte" — Flowers on this vigorous rose are three and a half inches across and soft pink with the smaller inner petals a deeper rich apricot for a total of 100 petals on each bloom. The fragrance starts out a delicious tea-rose scent that over time becomes more old rose with hints of lemon and grapefruit. (I bet you are salivating now!)
"Tottering-By-Gently" — Personally, I love the simplicity of single roses and this variety provides masses of three and a half inch single yellow flowers surrounding a center of golden stamens. The fragrance is a “light-medium musk with fresh notes of orange peel” and if not deadheaded, will produce a nice crop of long-lasting orange-red hips that are great for winter interest or flower arranging. Grows four feet by four feet and prefers full sun to part shade.
Petunia "Midnight Gold" — Here’s a new twist on the traditional petunia. This is a basket variety with fully double flowers that are deep crimson to black with a lemon border. Use it by itself or combine it with a chartreuse sweet potato vine. Either way it will be a stunner.
This is just a taste of what is to come for spring so keep your bibs on, I will reveal a few more treats over the next several months. It’s never too early to start planning for spring.
Steve Smith is the owner of Sunnyside Nursery in Marysville, WA, and can be reached at email@example.com
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