Sunday, February 22, 2009

Cool New Plants for 2009 III

OK, one more "New Plants for 2009" post before spring. We had a good thaw here a few weeks ago, but it's been up and down ever since. It's -8C at the moment, and I would expect that we will get one more good dump of the white stuff before April.

Cypripedium reginae (Showy, or Queen's Lady's Slipper) of course is not new, but I'm so excited that we finally have a decent crop of this exotic beauty, that's is certainly worth the honour. It is native to most of the provinces and states in North America's northeast quandrant, but is endangered or threatened in most of those areas. My crop has been produced via tissue culture -- not harvested from the wild. In the garden, it's not one for the average sunny border, but with an evenly moist, neutral to slightly alkaline soil in partial shade, it is not difficult. For some excellent photographs, click here.

Eryngium planum 'Jade Frost' is a wonderfully variegated version of the Flat Sea Holly, and originated in the Cornwall (UK) garden of James and Megan Cave. Most photographs show off the foliage with a dramatic pink tinge on the cream-edged green leaves -- this trait apparent during periods of cooler temperatures.

Less common are photographs of the plant in a mature state with the "blue" flowers. In either case, this is a definite "must-have" for any serious gardener.

Heuchera 'Beaujolais' is another excellent introduction from Frenchman Thierry Delabroye -- this one with large, dark leaves overlaid with silver. It is a great intermediate colour between the brighter types like 'Caramel', and the darker ones like 'Mocha'. As with most of Thierry's hybrids, there is significant H. villosa influence which should add to its vigour, especially with our hot, humid summers.

These are another three new plants I intend to add to my garden this spring. I hope you will too.

Here's to dirt under your nails.


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