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.
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.
Flowers – Annuals
‘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.
Angelonia Archangel Cherry Red (Angelonia angustifolia)
The first red Angelonia, this is a huge color breakthrough in the class! Archangel has large-size blooms on upright stems. Makes an excellent heat-tolerant choice to extend your colorful gardening season and celebrate summer. Cherry Red lets you finally create a red-and-white design with your angelonia! A low-maintenance plant that looks delicate but has tough garden performance. Requires full sun.
‘Scarlet O’Hara’ morning glory (Ipomoea purpurea)
A quick growing vine with large foliage that is ideal for growing on trellises or fences. Large brilliant red trumpet flowers, up to four inches across with a velvety texture will add a luxurious look to any bare space. Best grown early from seed
‘Endless Illumination’ browallia (Browallia speciose)
Still one of our favourites for shade, browallia is an excellent substitute for impatiens. Brilliant purple or white flowers bloom profusely throughout the season in part to full shade.
Petunia ‘Night Sky’
New to the market last year, these petunias cleared out of the greenhouses like hotcakes. Night Sky boldly goes where no petunia has gone before with a never seen before bloom pattern. Vigorous growers with distinctive flowers that offer different patterns of white spots on dark violet petals, creating an ever-changing constellation of flowers, just like the night sky.
A new vegetative petunia series with big-time vigor and even bigger landscape performance. ColorRush provides mounds of color for municipal containers. It holds up in the heat and bounces back from rain like a champ. Ideal for landscape applications, balconies and large baskets that receive full sun. Available in Blue and Pink.
Coleus ‘French Quarter’
French Quarter is versatile with a stunning color pattern for full sun to full shade. Its late to never flowering habit makes it a low-maintenance option. The high-impact plants are perfect for large containers or as a back border foliage plant in the landscape. Its pink coloring adds depth and texture to your landscape designs. It’s a familiar pattern of seed coleus but with the more vigorous and much later flowering vegetative variety.
Interspecific Impatiens Bounce Bright Coral
The Bounce series of interspecific impatiens are not susceptible to Impatiens Downy Mildew, yet it offers a high flower count and spreading habit that give them the look of traditional impatiens. Bounce thrives in both sun and shade gardens but truly give great colour for the shade. Plants “bounce back” from wilt when watered without dropping flowers. Bounce is available in several colors, including the new Bright Coral, and are great for mixing in baskets and containers! The series also comes in a Big Bounce variety, which is a more vigorous landscape option. New for 2017 is Big Bounce Pink.
Striking, non-stop flowers keep plants covered in huge color all through the summer. Sturdy flower stems hold the flowers above the foliage for superior show versus others. Megawatt is a beautiful plant with lush foliage perfect for filling landscapes, large containers, and borders. It performs well in heat and drought with no deadheading needed and will last well into the fall season for extended color.
Super Elfin Red and White Mix Impatiens (Impatiens wallriana)
Made for the shade! Super Elfins are the leader in impatiens with large blooms, excellent colour and well branched plants. Compact, 8 to 10 inch plants are covered with masses of red and white 1 1/4 inch blooms. One of the quickest impatiens to bloom, just 7 to 9 weeks from seed.
Petunia Easy Wave Yellow
New Easy Wave Yellow has better branching with strong rooting compared to vegetative yellow varieties. The Easy Wave series offers the widest array of decorator colors. They’re perfect for solo and mixed planters, hanging baskets and landscapes. Best of all, these spreading petunias deliver pleasing performance all summer.
Pansy Cool Wave Morpho
The popular bicolor is now available in our premium spreading and trailing Cool Wave Pansy series. It crushes the competition in trailing and filling containers. Makes excellent early spring baskets.
‘Star’ series of asters (Asteraceae)
These large spider-like blooms are gorgeous in the garden and available in new colours this year. Be on the lookout for ‘Star Pink’ and ‘Star Violet.' They are late blooming
Canadian Pride Collection This collection contains 55 bulbs, 5 No Place Like Home Dahlia Blend, 30 Glad to Be Canadian Gladiolus Blend and 20 Our True Colours Asiatic Lily Blend. Buy them as a group or individually.
Wisteria 'Summer Cascade' (Wisteria macrostachya) Excellent winter hardiness, it is cold-hardy to -40 C, and is extremely fast growing. Plant blooms on new growth with dark, lavender-blue flowers that are large and showy, hanging in long racemes like enormous grape clusters. Zone 2 to 3.
‘Praying Hands’ hosta
This is a stunning hosta, and a must have for collectors. White-edged leaves have a matte finish on top and a shiny underside, both of which can be admired. Upright, narrow, tightly folded leaves resemble hands folded in prayer, setting itself apart from any other hosta. Zone 3.
Perovskia Blue Steel (Perovskia atriplicifolia)
A superb garden plant with exceptionally long blooming. This Russian sage is very hardy. It grows in heat and drought and always looks fresh! Blue Steel has aromatic, silvery foliage that carries clouds of small blue flowers on sturdy silver stems that do not break or split easily. Deer resistant yet it brings in bees and hummingbirds! Full sun. Zone 4a.
Coreopsis Up Tick (Coreopsis hybrid)
The UpTick series has a tidy, mounded habit that makes very attractive for landscape designs! This North American native offers bigger flowers and longer blooming for more color in the garden. Available in stunning new colors: Gold & Bronze, Yellow & Red, Cream & Red, and Cream. Sun. Requires full sun. Zone 5.
Salvia Mirage (Salvia greggii)
This new series of Salvia greggii makes an excellent component plant in combos and blooms all season with bold, bright color. Available in nine varieties for 2017, Mirage has a self-branching, mounding habit that resists breaking for low maintenance in the landscape. Excellent for the perennial border, it’s a standout in the garden! Attracts pollinators from early spring through the frost. Sun. Zone 7, used as an annual in most areas.
‘Lies and Lipstick’ daylily (Hemerocallis)
Lies and Lipstick is a reblooming daylily with a showy, ruffled edge and eye zone on soft white-pink petals. It’s bright yellow throat, and black stamens add the final touch to this amazing bloom. Zone 3 to 9.
Canadian Shield Rose
Celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary with this made in Canada rose. It was developed in Manitoba, so you know it’s hardy. An ideal centerpiece plant with loads of lightly fragrant and double red blooms atop dark green foliage. Height 4 feet. Zone 3b.
Primo ‘Black Pearl’ Coral Bells (Heuchera)
A stunning black foliage plant for both shade and sun! Forms an incredibly dense habit of shiny, jet black leaves with scalloped, ruffled edges and rosy purple undersides. Topped with white flowers with pink calyxes. Zone 4.
Godzilla Fern (Athyrium Godzilla)
This towers above all other ferns and is a perennial favourite of many gardeners. Fronds form a massive arching clump of silvery leaves with green highlights and dark purple stems.
Shrubs and Trees
‘Fire Light’ hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata)
A panicle hydrangea with large, full flowers that emerge an ivory-white and mature to a deep-pink, near red colour. It's easy to grow, long blooming, hardy and reliable. Zone 3 to 8.
Hazelnut Tree (Corylus)
This tree is bred for our northern climate. The tree is small in size but makes up for its size with a large production of nuts. You will not be disappointed with its bountiful crop of nuts, also known as ‘filberts’. Trees mature at three metres (nine feet). Zone 3 to 6.
Beedle Pear (Pyrus ‘Beedle’)
Named after John Beedle, the former Parks Director and Parks Planner for the City of St. Albert, Alberta. This pear is zone 2 hardy and produces medium size pears comparable or better than the Ure variety. Beedle produces a good size crop with sweet fruits that ripen in September. Good storage qualities. Zone 2.
Japanese Tree Lilac (Syringa reticulate)
One of the most stunning specimen trees used in landscapes. This tree is filled with fragrant, perfect, creamywhite fragrant flowers and cherry-brown bark make a grand display. Mature height of 20 feet with a spread of 13 feet. Zone 3.
Lace Weeping Willow (‘Lace’ Salix babylonica)
A truly hardy weeping willow from Mongolia! Graceful branches spread 25 feet and produce rich, glossy green foliage. Young branches are bright gold in colour. Hardier tree with more consistent weeping features than Prairie Cascade. Matures at 30 feet. Zone 3.
Super Elfin Red and White Mix Impatiens. Petunia Easy Wave Yellow.
Wisteria 'Summer Cascade'.
Pansy Cool Wave Morpho.
Perovskia Blue Steel.
Glad to be Canadian gladiolas.
‘Praying Hands’ hosta.
Coreopsis UpTick Gold Bronze.
Angelonia Archangel Cherry Red.
Petunia 'Night Sky'.
Browallia 'endless illumination'.
Interspecific Impatiens Bounce Coral.
Coleus 'French Quarter'.
Petunia ColorRush Pink.
Begonia Megawatt Red.
‘Scarlet O’Hara’ morning glory.
‘Ballerina Series’ Datura.
‘Tiger Eye Yellow’ viola.
‘Frizzle Sizzle’ viola.
‘Tepary Brown’ bean.
‘Orient Wonder’ beans.
‘Minor Sweet Baby’ corn.
Take 2 Tomato Combo.
Canadian Shield Rose.
Japanese Tree Lilac.
‘Fire Light’ hydrangea.
Lace Weeping Willow.
Primo ‘Black Pearl’ Coral Bells.
‘Lies and Lipstick’ daylily.