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Spring Newsletter 2014

Spring Open House

Find all the details on our Spring in the Country Open House!

Country Calendar
May 2
Water Hyacinths & Water Lettuce arrive
May 10 & 11
Spring in the Country Open House

Bring some friends and join us for a Spring Celebration!

May 30
Tropical Water Lilies arrive
June 10-14
National Hosta Convention
Cedar Rapids, IA
We will be CLOSED June 10-14
June 25-29
Midwest Regional Hosta Convention
Green Bay, WI
We will be CLOSED June 25-29
July 19
Hosta & Dessert Social

Mingle with fellow hosta lovers while enjoying dessert in the hosta garden! Bring a named, healthy plant if you’d like to participate in the Hosta Swap (1 pm sharp, no exceptions!). Test your hosta knowledge to win hosta prizes! Biggest hosta leaf contest. See website or call for details.

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!

Hosta Blushing Blue

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!

Hosta Joy Ride

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.

Hosta Mini Skirt
Hosta 'Mini Skirt
Hosta Mystic Mouse
Hosta 'Mystic Mouse'

Mark Zilis’ Field Guide to Hostas

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 - Hosta Abiqua Drinking Gourd

2014 Hosta of the Year
Hosta 'Abiqua Drinking Gourd'

Hosta 'Abiqua Drinking Gourd' is an old introduction, but remains one of our best selling blues. Perhaps the most deeply cupped of all hostas, the rounded, blue foliage is strongly corrugated and of excellent substance. Hosta 'Abiqua Drinking Gourd' forms a large upright, open mound and is a must-have for even the most casual of hosta lovers. Near white, fertile flowers barely rise above the foliage in early summer. A solid performer and a great choice for the 2014 Hosta of the Year!

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Dwarf Conifers

Dwarf conifers in container

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!


Martagon Lilies 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!

Knautia Thunder and Lightning 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!

Water Gardening

Waterlily Wanvisa 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

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.


Succulent Shadowbox 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.

Gifts & More

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!

Metal Hosta Sign

Website by Josh Spece
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