What's new, what's hot

Ontario Gardener Magazine - - CONTENTS - By Ta­nia Mof­fat

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.

‘Quet­zali’ wa­ter­melon

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.


(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.


(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.

‘Robin’ beets

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.

Herbs Lemon grass


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


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.

Pe­tu­nia ‘ColorRush’

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.

Be­go­nia Megawatt

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


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


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


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


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.

‘Tepary Brown’ bean.

‘Ori­ent Won­der’ beans.

‘Mi­nor Sweet Baby’ corn.

‘Quet­zali’ wa­ter­melon.

Take 2 Tomato Combo.




'Robin' Beets.

‘Cal­i­for­nia Blue­bell’.

‘Bal­le­rina Se­ries’ Datura.

‘Tiger Eye Yel­low’ viola.

‘Friz­zle Siz­zle’ viola.

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.

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.

Salvia Mi­rage.

Canadian Shield Rose.

Ja­panese Tree Li­lac.

Godzilla fern.

‘Fire Light’ hy­drangea.

Lace Weep­ing Wil­low.

Primo ‘Black Pearl’ Coral Bells.

‘Lies and Lip­stick’ daylily.

Hazel­nut Tree.

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