Spring Newsletter 2014
Spring is in the Air at In The Country!
Finally...spring has returned! What a long, brutal winter it has been. It is still too early to fully assess how the bitter cold has affected our gardens, but I’m hopeful that we will be pleasantly surprised by nature’s resiliency. If a few plants don’t pull through, that is a great opportunity to try something new. We have you covered, when it comes to new and exciting hostas, perennials, succulents, and so much more!
This is Hosta Country!
The quest for the elusive red hosta continues and we are excited to have two hostas that push the red envelope a step further. Hosta 'Blushing Blue' is a new hybrid from Europe with an amazing purple blaze through the center of each blue leaf. We have lusted after Arthur Wrede's Hosta 'Almost' since we first saw it several years ago. The glossy, deep green foliage is accented by a bold, blood red central vein. Both of these hostas bring a new dimension of color to our favorite plant!
Other new hostas we are especially smitten with this year include Hosta 'Joy Ride'. This new hybrid from Hans Hansen is alive with big, fun waves around the blue-green leaves. Hosta 'Tokyo Smog' is a very unusual speckled selection of Hosta longipes from Japan, and we are thrilled to once again be able to offer what may be the most incredible blue hosta ever, Hosta 'Skylight'.
For you miniature hosta fanatics, among our mini offerings are three new Mouse Ears to add to the family. Hosta 'Mini Skirt' is the variegated counterpart to last year's popular introduction, Hosta 'Church Mouse'. A wide, wavy white margin circles the blue-green leaves. Hosta 'Mystic Mouse' is a shy creature with subtle, chartreuse and blue foliage, and Hosta 'Ruffled Mouse Ears' is a frilly, wavy edged sport of Hosta 'Blue Mouse Ears' from Mark Zilis.
Mark Zilis’ Field Guide to Hostas
Mark Zilis' original Hosta Handbook was published in 2000 and many gardeners have wished for an updated version. The Hostapedia is a must-have for any serious hosta lover, but it is much too heavy to carry around the garden! Mark Zilis' Field Guide to Hostas is a totally revised and expanded version of the immensely popular Hosta Handbook.
2014 Hosta of the Year
We continue to explore the beautiful world of dwarf conifers, with numerous new varieties and larger sizes. Pinus pumila 'Blue Dwarf' is a dwarf Serbian Pine with vivid pink cones that contrast wonderfully against the long, soft, blue needles. Tsuga canadensis 'Cole's Prostrate' is a dwarf Canadian Hemlock that grows like a carpet over the ground. Plant this where it can cascade over a retaining wall for a nice show! Pinus x schwerinii 'Wiethorst' is a dwarf selection from a hybrid of the Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) and Himalayan white pine (Pinus wallichiana) first discovered in Germany. Long, silvery-green needles make a stunning, small, upright tree. It is easy to see why this was selected as the 2014 Collector Conifer of the Year by the American Conifer Society!
If you visited our garden last June, you may remember seeing the Martagon Lilies is full bloom. These dainty lilies thrive in a lightly shaded area amongst hostas and drew lots of comments from visitors. Martagon Lilies are almost never found in garden centers, but as you know, we are not content being like any other garden center! We are very excited to offer you 10 different Martagon varieties this spring! They are all very limited and I have no doubt they will go fast. Among other new shade perennials is Heuchera ‘Magnum’. This is a coralbell on steroids! The silvery-purple colored leaves can reach 10 inches across and a mature plant will grow to at least two feet across!
For those sunny parts of your garden, we have a couple new plants that will really add a big splash of color. Knautia ‘Thunder and Lightning’ forms a mound of cream edged leaves that is dotted with vivid raspberry colored flowers through the summer. Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’ (commonly called Avens) blooms all summer with 30 inch stems of bright orange flowers. Our hot, sultry summers will not faze these two go-getters!
We have grown and offered ‘Crystal Confetii’ Pennywort for years. It makes a nice, thick, cream and green variegated mat along the shallow margins of the pond. It is a tiny little plant, though, and can easily get lost in larger water gardens. ‘Crystal Ball’ Pennywort is a new introduction that is a bigger plant with bold, white and green variegated leaves. It will creep among the rocks around the pond margin or meander through a stream.
Digiplexis 'Illumination Flame'
Have you heard about the newest plant that has the entire country buzzing? Digiplexis is a hybrid between a common foxglove (Digitalis) and a distant cousin from the Canary Islands (Isoplexis). The result was thought to be impossible, but here it is...and what a show stopper! Imagine a robust foxglove that blooms all summer with 3 foot spikes of electric rose and tangerine flowers. That is Digiplexis ‘Illumination Flame’. This annual is a true thriller in a large mixed container or a season-long color explosion in the garden.
Of all the plants we grow, it is a succulent-like bulb from South Africa that has everyone going gaga. New to us last year, Albuca 'Frizzle Sizzle' was an instant hit. Grow it along with your succulents in lots of sun and on the dry side. This crazy, coiled-leafed oddball will even have your brown thumbed friends fascinated! Succulents make ideal plants for memorial planters. They will dress up your loved one’s headstone all summer long, with little worry about frequent watering! Plant your own planter or choose from one of ours.
The shop has never been so full of fun, unique gifts and garden decor! How about a little whimsical bling in your garden with a Bead Tree? Hosta fanatics will love our giant, colorful, metal Hosta Signs! If you are a quilter, our metal Barn Quilts will be right at home in your garden. For those of you who are into miniature or fairy gardens, you will not be disappointed with our extensive selection of miniature accessories. New stone items, animals, seashore and oriental themed items, fairy houses, and many new fairies...girls and boys!