What's new, what's hot
It’s that time again where we share our picks of the hottest plants on the market this year. Some are old favourites from last year, and some are new releases for 2017. People often ask why they have a hard time finding some of the new introductions. The first year a plant is released in the market, much smaller numbers are available to the public as the company trials the plant and its popularity with consumers. A word to the wise, new releases are not always easy to find. They may take more time and commitment. I searched for some of my favourites for some time last year, before I found them, but having found them, I felt like I had won the lottery. This year, 2016 introductions will be easier to find so those white pineberries should be everywhere and the elusive cucamelon is now available through several seed catalogues. Keep your eyes open while shopping, you never know where some of these favourites may show up. We hope you enjoy our picks and happy treasure hunting.
Edibles: Take 2 Tomato Combos
A hardworking, first-of-its-kind solution for small space gardening! The new “Take 2” combos from Burpee features a slicer, and cherry tomato trialed together for habit and fruit timing. Gardeners will get a steady supply of tomatoes from one container all summer long. Available in three combinations for spring 2017. Plants require full sun and take 55 to 65 days to mature.
‘Tepary Brown’ bean
New from some of our seed catalogues, these beans are indigenous to North America and developed by First Nations People to be drought tolerant. What we love about these beans is that they are higher in fiber and protein than other beans and have a unique nutty, sweet flavour. They'll be great to use in dips, salads, soups, casseroles and more! Matures in 80 days.
This watermelon is almost seedless and grows on short vines making it ideal for small garden spaces. The fruit matures sooner than other melons and has a sweet, smooth texture. Try this in a patio container! Matures in 83 days.
‘Early Purple Vienna’ kohlrabi
Try this twist on kohlrabi to celebrate the year of the brassica. Kohlrabi is a delicious vegetable that tastes like a cross between a turnip and cabbage. You can eat them raw or cooked. We highly recommend using them in coleslaws and sautéed. Matures in 55 days.
‘Orient Wonder’ beans
These long, slender, stringless bean pods are very crisp and tender. They are also known as asparagus beans or Chinese long beans. Orient Wonder has great flavour and is a wonderful addition to your garden. Matures in 70 days.
Cucamelon (Melothria scabra) These were hard to find last year but worth mentioning again as they are so good. (Try your seed catalogues to order them.) Cucamelons are perfect for snacking, pickling or adding to salads. They are best started indoors, and you can store their roots overwinter and replant them the following year.
Pineberries (Fragaria ananassa) There are several types available, and they were hard to find in nurseries last year, but we hear they will be more plentiful this year. These white hybrid strawberries won’t produce fruit until their second year, but their unusual colour and pineapple like flavour are worth the wait. Hardy to Zone 2.
Baby beets that grow one to two inches round, they have dark stems and pretty green leaves. This is a great hybrid that produces uniform beets ideal for eating or pickling. Matures in 25 to 30 days.
‘Minor Sweet Baby’ corn
Baby corns perfect for stirfries and fresh eating. They grow in sets of four to five cobs which can be harvested just as the silks emerge. Plants will grow tall, but the cobs remain miniature. Do not plant next to other corn varieties or they may cross-pollinate.
Lemon grass (Cymbopogon) This is a wonderfully scented herb that will add a zesty lemon flavour to soups or stirfries. It is commonly used in Thai dishes and can be used as a non-toxic insect repellent and potpourri addition.
‘Ballerina Series’ Datura (Datura stramonium) These flowers are lovely but poisonous so beware if you have children or pets. That said, these elegant trumpetshaped flowers have an intricate combination of petal whorls that are simply beautiful. Also known as angel’s trumpet, the flowers are highly fragrant and can grow three feet tall with six-inch blooms. Flowers are followed by highly ornamental, green prickly fruits. This series offers purple, white and yellow blooms.
‘Tiger Eye Yellow’ viola (Viola odorata) Stunning, petite yellow blooms with striking black veins. These are sure to make a statement in any container or garden. Non-stop bloomers will add colour all season long. They are also available in orange.
‘Frizzle Sizzle’ viola (Viola odorata) This is one eccentric viola, with a dazzling appeal in any garden. Blooms are surrounded by ruffled edges and come in vibrant colours up to three inches wide. Available in orange and a mix of colours.
‘California Bluebell’ (Phacelia campanularia) A true blue flower that is easy to grow, they attract beneficial insects and are early bloomers. Low growing with silvery foliage, they are drought tolerant and look fabulous in mass plantings. They grow six to 12 inches high.
‘Tepary Brown’ bean.
‘Orient Wonder’ beans.
‘Minor Sweet Baby’ corn.
Take 2 Tomato Combo.
‘Ballerina Series’ Datura.
‘Tiger Eye Yellow’ viola.
‘Frizzle Sizzle’ viola.