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I have to confess, that is exactly the way I feel in spring when plants begin arriving at the nursery. Truck doors are opened like Christmas packages and we can’t wait to get our hands on the goodies inside. Boxes of tiny starter plants arrive from around the country filled with treats as sweet as candy and are as fun to open as birthday presents. Anticipation has my appetite for new plants to a fever that can only be cured with a shovel-full of (moist yet well drained) soil. Those who are not gardeners may think the craving to plant, the urge to garden, the passion for making things grow would subside over time and be replaced with a more sedentary pursuit. But we know better… don’t we.
That being said, there are more than just a few extra-special plants that I am especially looking forward to getting into the ground this spring. Considering my overwhelming appetite for new, different and exciting plants I find myself (not unlike many of you) succumbing to the temptation of “impulse purchasing” biting off more than I can proverbially chew. I am afraid my plant buying eyes were way bigger than my gardening space stomach so can you help a guy out and take a look at the following noteworthy garden specimens and see if you can take a few extra (special) plants off my hands?
Azalea viscosum Weston’s ‘Pink and Sweet’
This native Azalea grow 6-8’ tall and wide in 15 years. Fragrant flowers appear in June on this shrub which acts like a small tree. Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’ (Variegated Chinese Forget-me-not)
This is the 2012 Perennial Plant of the Year. A shade loving (and deer resistant) perennial that has perfect blue flowers and wonderful silver variegated foliage.
Coreopsis ‘Sienna Sunset’ (Fern-leaf Tickseed)
We love Coreopsis for their ease of care, drought tolerance and extra long blooming season. Sienna Sunset has a unique, soft apricot-orange hue that blends well with many other garden flowers.
‘First yellow’ Geranium
The name says it all. This annual Geranium has the large flowers you expect in a Geranium in an unexpected yellow color. There are very few of this brand new Geranium available so don’t tell anyone or they will sell out before you get yours.
Dicentra x ‘Valentine’ (Everblooming Bleeding Heart)
This extra dwarf Bleeding Heart has extra bright red flowers and extra bright blue foliage. Valentine likes shady areas and is deer resistant.
Pinus parviflora ‘Fukai’ (Variegated Blue Japanese White Pine)
Commonly used as a bonsai specimen, Fukai offers unique shape, color and texture… all the things you want from a garden specimen. Slow growing to 15’, (in as many years) Fukai is an exceptionally special evergreen tree.
Acer japonica ‘Huff Red’ (Japanese Maple)
The plant for someone who thinks they have everything! I came across just a few of these specimens and I couldn’t find any story behind them but the finely dissected, red foliage captured my attention from a 100’ away. Too cool to resist!
Sohpora japonica ‘Pendula” (Weeping Scholar Tree)
This small weeping tree is graceful and extremely rare in this country. Abundant white flowers appear in late summer.
Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Doubletake Pink Storm’ (Quince)
I had given up on Quince even though it is hardy, grows anywhere and is deer-proof. The flowers appear so early in the spring nobody is at the nursery to see them and the flowers were not especially showy. The new Doubletakes have huge, fluffy flowers that are AWESOME and the plants only grow 2-3’ tall.
I can’t tell you how hard it is to stop the list right here. There are probably too many great new plants out there these days… it gets a bit overwhelming trying to keep up with the introductions. One thing for sure is these few plants listed are extra special and I’m sure they will give you a real show if you give them a chance. Now go outside and have fun in the dirt!