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A FIRST LOOK AT WHITE FLOWER FARM'S FAVORITE SPRING 2010 PLANTS
Raking season may be just about over, but the gardeners at White Flower Farm (www.whiteflowerfarm.com) already have their eyes on spring. They have been busy selecting and growing the best and newest plants for the spring planting season. Among their early favorites:
Buddleia 'Miss Ruby'
A unique color among Buddleias, these vibrant pink blooms perch above silvery foliage on compact, semi-upright plants that don't set a lot of seed. Developed by the JC Raulston Arboretum, 'Miss Ruby' is a great choice for smaller gardens and mixed borders.
Hydrangea Invincibelle™ Spirit
The first Hydrangea arborescens that blooms pink -- think of it as a pink version of the popular 'Annabelle'. The flowers emerge dark, hot pink and mature to rich, clear pink. Plants bloom from early summer until frost on new growth, and the dried flower "mops" remain decorative in winter. Use Invincibelle™ Spirit as low-growing hedge or add it to borders and foundation plantings. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation will receive $1 for each plant sold.
Dianthus 'Pop Star' ('Devon Esther')
The Star series of compact Dianthus updates the old-fashioned charm of Garden Pinks with new disease resistance and vigor. Pop Star's deeply fringed, double flowers -- lavender pink with a dark eye -- perch above diminutive mounds of gray-green foliage. Bloom, heaviest in spring, continues on and off until fall if deadheaded.
Hosta 'Empress Wu'
Looking for an impressive and unusual specimen? This tribute to the only female emperor in Chinese history certainly fits the bill. One of the largest Hostas available, dark green 'Empress Wu' matures to a height of 4ft in about five years. Flower scapes with light lavender blooms stick their noses just above the foliage.
Zinnia 'Swizzle Cherry and Ivory'
The plump blossoms of this delectable, bicolor Zinnia are a sweet confection of cherry and vanilla-cream petals on low, bushy plants. Use these swirls of color to decorate containers and trim the edges of sunny borders.
Dahlia Karma Sangria®
Dahlia Karma Sangria® is a brilliant combination of salmon pink and vivid yellow. Classified as a semi-cactus flower form, the striking blooms measure 6 inches across. Dahlias in the Karma series make long-lasting cut flowers with sturdy stems.
Petunia 'Shock Wave Denim'
The purple blossoms of this latest entry in the Wave series of small-flowered Petunias gently age to the color of stonewashed jeans, creating a two-tone pattern. This compact and tightly branched, spreading variety is the earliest to flower and blooms into fall. Tip: feed weekly to maximize the show.
Developed by a top breeder in the world of lilies, aptly named 'Eyeliner' has milky white flowers delicately lined in purple-black. The scented blooms are rather large and face a bit upwards, reflecting its parentage (it’s a hybrid between Asiatic lilies and the Easter Lily). This sturdy plant with beautiful dark green leaves grows 30-36 inches tall and doesn’t need staking.
Thyme 'Hi-Ho Silver'
As you might guess, this one has brighter white variegation than other silver thymes. It can be used in any recipe calling for the herb, and makes a handsome ornamental plant in beds, lawn, and containers. ‘Hi-Ho Silver’ grows about 6 inches tall and bears pink flowers in midsummer.
Scabiosa atropurpurea 'Beaujolais Bonnets'
Like the wine it's named after, these floral pincushions on willowy stems are a rich burgundy red. The white “pins” are protruding stamens. Scabiosa is an enduring perennial, sought after for bouquets.
Echinacea 'Hot Papaya'
Another exciting double Coneflower, this hybrid from Dutch breeder Arie Blom is the very first in tropical, fiery orange shades. The blooms are uniform in color, resistant to fading, and held on thick, well-branched maroon stems.
Barb Pierson, the nursery manager at White Flower Farm, is available for interviews upon request, as are other experts.
Please contact: Deborah Broide,
Deborah Broide Publicity,
White Flower Farm is a family-owned nursery located in northwest Connecticut. Since 1950, they have been gathering, evaluating, growing, and selling a wide range of annuals, perennials, shrubs, vines, bulbs, and houseplants representing the very best varieties from around the world. Plants shipped are true to name, free of disease, and in prime condition for growing. While in the area, stop by White Flower Farm with its five acres of display gardens, or visit www.whiteflowerfarm.com, where you will also find helpful gardening information including how-to videos. White Flower Farm -- we make your garden grow.