My annual spring sale is set for Saturday May 31 at 1186 Flos Road 10 East
and I’m quite pleased with some of the plants I have on offer. It will run from 9am to 5 pm.
People often ask for a native ground cover and this year I have a nice Foamflower with a pale leaf that's very pleasing in dry shade conditions. I also have the Wild Strawberry – if you’re in a sandy situation and need something that will spread under your pine trees, this is the one. And Wild Ginger, for a more moist shade – a patch will spread slowly, with beautiful light-capturing leaves
Nothing is more wonderful than the ferns at this time of year, their delicate spirals unfurling into fronds of soft green. I have Ostrich Fern (stately) and Sensitive Fern (sculptural).
You can get Columbine (Aquilegia) in every form and colour but my favourite is the bright red and yellow Aquilegia canadensis. The Lupins have also been hybridized into a rainbow of shades, none of which in my opinion surpass the deep blue of the native Lupis perennis.
Phlox is another North American plant that has responded generously to breeders’ efforts. I have a few varieties on offer – including a striking variegated Phlox as well as a couple of others that arrived unnamed in my garden as gifts from friends. One is white-flowered and doesn’t get mildew, and the other an equally healthy cultivar with black stems and red flowers.
I agree with those who advise restraint in the use of variegated foliage, but there’s a Solomon’s Seal edged with white that is itself the epitome of restraint, extending the charm of this plant through the growing season. And a variegated False Dragonhead (Obedient Plant) that also adds interest before and after the mauve flowers appear.
I have been concentrating on extending the perennial list this year (White Turtlehead, Oswego Tea and Ohio Spiderwort are among other additions and there will be more later in the year from seeds that have just germinated), so less work has been done in the shrub and tree sectors.
But I do have Black Willow, a handsome native willow that’s perfect for shoreline restoration – and Hackberry, a fast-growing deciduous tree that many are planting as the replacement for the American Elm. Both in 1-gallon pots. I still have some Northern Catalpa – in 2-gallon pots. When mature, this tree blooms with exotic tropical-looking flowers. I also have Canadian Hemlock, a beautiful slow-growing conifer.
Among the shrubs, I have some cultivars of Ninebark with varying foliage colours, ranging from dark green to golden. For berries for wildlife, I have American Elderberry and Highbush Cranberry.
And then there are grasses (Switchgrass, Big Blue Stem, Sweetgrass), pond plants (Sweet Flag, Smartweed, Blue Flag Iris), pollinator plants (Golden Alexander, Oswego Tea, Anise Hyssop, Rose Milkweed) and just plain beautiful plants (Pink Turtlehead, Purple Coneflower, Foxglove Beardtongue, Woodland Phlox). And more – check out my plant list
and drop by on May 31.