PLANTING

What's New for Perennials

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WHAT’S NEW FOR PERENNIALS

The number of new varieties of perennials coming on the market is staggering! We carry about 200 varieties of different perennials in stock (and this is just a fraction of what is available!)  

We thought you might enjoy hearing a little bit about where we buy our perennials. We have 3 suppliers of perennials, but our main one, and one of the most outstanding, is Walter’s Gardens of Michigan. They are a family owned business of 70 years and grow thousands of perennials. They offer some of the highest quality perennials grown anywhere. Their staff has hybridized and grown hundreds of award winning perennials, and they have hundreds of new introductions.  Every year they offer more new introductions. So we have access to the “latest and best” in perennials!  The main problem we have is that there are too many to choose from, so many we would like to carry!

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Here are some of the newer varieties of perennials we are carrying this year:

Bee Balm (Monarda): Pardon My Cerise – A butterfly favorite, dwarf  variety (14”) with red blooms

Black Eyed Susan : Little Goldstar – A dwarf version of the old favorite Black Eyed Susan, grows 14” 

Butterfly Weed: All butterfly favorites.

  • Cinderella (pink)

  • Hello Yello (yellow)

  • the old fashioned Tuberosa (orange).

Clematis: In addition to the old favorite Jackmanni, we carry other colors including (but not limited to):

  • Julka ( burgundy red)

  • Sapphire Indigo (sapphire blue)

  • Sweet Autumn (a white fall favorite)

Coral Bells:  The number of new varieties is huge. This year look for a few of our new ones:

  • Electric Plum (bright purple with black veins)

  • Midnight Rose (Purple/black with pink accents)

  • Peach Parfait (Ruffled peach/orange)

  • Plum Pudding (plum purple with pewter)

Day lilies: So many to choose from including:

  • Big Time Happy (Ruffled, rebloomer, yellow)

  • Chicago Apache (Ruffled scarlet red)

  • Passionate Returns (Ruffled rosy red, rebloomer)

  • Rainbow Primal Scream (orange).

Hibiscus: These varieties are very north hardy, easy to grow, and have blooms the size of a dinner plate! :

  • Dave Fleming (Red foliage, pink variegated flowers)

  • Starry Night (Burgundy leaves, pink/white flowers)

  • Vintage Wine (Green leaves, scarlet red flowers)

Hostas – We carry about 20 varieties and get new varieties each year along with a few of the old favorites. They vary in size from Sun Mouse (6” with yellow leaves with green edge) to Empress Wu (thick green leaves growing 4’ tall and wide) and every size in between.  Colors vary from blues to whites to greens to yellows.

Lavender – Finally !!! A north hardy lavender Phenomenal – Zone 4.

Peonies- Always a favorite – Now in yellow! Sunshine – it is expensive but worth it!  This year we also have the very hard to get Fern Leaf Peony

Turtlehead- A shade tolerant perennial with the cutest pink “turtle heads” popping out of bright green foliage.

Sedums – A must have for fall gardens. They attract butterflies like magnets. We carry several varieties in both groundcovers and upright varieties. A favorite is Mr. Goodbud– Compact, upright, vibrant purple/red flowers in fall.

 FINAL DAYS OF OUR OPEN HOUSE SALE HAPPENING NOW!

What's New for Shrubs

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The varieties of new shrubs coming on the market is staggering! We can hardly keep up with all the new ones. But the new varieties offer great qualities of disease resistance, better and longer lasting color, more blooms, and dwarf selections of some of the “old favorites”.

Here are just a few of the newer varieties that we carry at NP that you may want to consider.

Barberries (Multiple new varieties -here are some of the ones we carry)

Cabernet:  Deep burgundy foliage, grows 2-3’

Cherry Bomb: Crimson burgundy red, compact, grows 3-4’

Japanese Concord: Deep burgundy/purple, compact grows 1 ½-2’

Golden Ruby: Coral to orange foliage, Grows 2’

Orange Rocket: Bright coral to orange foliage, Grows upright 4-5’

Sunsation: Golden Yellow, slow growing 3-4’

Exochordia (Pearlbush)

Green with profuse beautiful pearl like white blooms in spring. Grows 4-5’

Hydrangea (Multiple new varieties -here are some of the ones we carry)

Bobo – Dwarf, white flowers turn to pink, grows 3’

Candy Apple – Flowers lime green, grows 4-5’

Quick Fire – White blooms turn fiery red , grows 6-8’

Seaside Bar Harbor – Similar to Annabelle but more compact, grows 4’

Seaside Cape May – Large lacecap blooms in blue/pink, grows 3’

Strawberry Shake- Large blooms white turning pink, grows 4-5’

Spireas:  (Multiple new varieties- here are some of the ones we carry)

Birchleaf: A smaller version of the old fashioned “Bridal Wreath”, blue green foliage which resembles eucalyptus leaves, grows 3-4’

Dakota Goldcharm: Dwarf, compact, gold leaves, pink blooms, grows 2-3’

Pink Sparkler First Edition: Deep green with pink blooms, Grows 3’

 Weigelas (Multiple new varieties – here are some of the ones we carry)

Dark Horse: Burgundy/bronze leaves with pink blooms, grows 3’

Rainbow Sensation First Edition: Variegated leaves, pink blooms, grows 3-4’

Wine and Roses: Deep burgundy foliage, pink flowers, grows 4-5’ 

Pruning Evergreens and Boxwoods

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Pruning evergreens and Boxwoods

I hope you have enjoyed some of our other articles on pruning (click the title below to view the other articles!)

Today’s topic is all about pruning your evergreens (shrubs and trees) and your boxwoods.

Evergreen shrubs and Boxwoods

A few of the varieties of evergreen shrubs require little or no pruning.

Some of these include Hetz Midget and Danica Arborvitae, Blue Star Junipers, and Dwarf Japanese Garden Junipers.

Most other evergreen shrubs will benefit from trimming. These would include plants such as Boxwoods, Yews, Mint Julep Junipers, Mugo Pines, upright evergreens, and many others. 

Generally trim once or twice a year in early spring and/or in early fall. Trim just to shape the plant. Do not do extreme pruning.

If evergreen plants have become very overgrown, you may have to trim severely to get them back in to a good shape. However, they may not look good for a season or two. Avoid this problem by trimming once or twice a year.

Evergreen Trees

Young evergreen trees can be trimmed to help shape them. Trimming will also cause them to be more full and dense.

Check the leader (top branch ) of the tree. If there are 2 main leaders, trim out the weakest of the 2. This will allow 1 strong leader to take over.

Generally the best time to trim evergreen trees is just after the new growth, or the “candle” has emerged (usually early June). Trim off about ½ of each candle. You may also trim as needed to shape the tree.

SHRUBS FOR SMALL SPACES

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SHRUBS FOR SMALL SPACES

Most gardeners have made the mistake of planting something that gets too large for its space.  Before planting anything check out how tall and wide the plant you picked will get.

(GET our guide to CHOOSING THE RIGHT PLANT HERE)

Once you’ve determined how big your space is, and that you need a smaller plant, look for new smaller varieties of old favorites.

Many of the old favorite varieties of plants have been hybridized into dwarf versions.  We can help you pick the right plant for your space. Here are some of our favorite dwarf shrubs:

Hetz Midget Arborvitae – dwarf globe evergreen that grows 2-3’ tall

Danica Arborvitae- dwarf globe evergreen that grows 2-3’ tall

Holmstrup Arborvitae – upright evergreen that grows 4-5’ tall

Dwarf Barberries – multiple varieties that grow 1 ½-2’ tall – some include Concord, Pygmy, Golden Nugget, Golden Ruby, Pygmy Ruby

Buckthorn Fineline  - grows 2-3’ wide, 5-7’ tall

Hydrangeas – some new dwarf varieties include Bobo, Endless Summer Bloomstruck, Little Lime, and Hamptons

Junipers- Blue chip, Blue Star

Ninebark – Little Devil   Grows 3-4’ high and wide

Blue Shag Pine – Makes a mound 3-4’ tall

Potentilla – Mango Tango, Gold Star  (grow about 2’ tall)

Rhododendron Ramapo – Same lavender flowers, grows 2’ tall

Roses – Multiple varieties of Easy Elegance Roses : Coral Cove, Kashmir, Paint the Town, Flower Carpet varieties, Nearly Wild

Spireas – Multiple new dwarf varieties including Birchleaf, Dakota Goldcharm, Little Princess,

Spruce – Birds Nest, Dwarf Norway

Viburnum – Opulus Nanum (grows 2’), Bailey Compact (grows 5-6’)

Weigela – Minuet (grows 2-3’), Dark Horse (grows 3’)

ADDING FRAGRANT PLANTS TO YOUR LANDSCAPE

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Most of us are familiar with the wonderful sweet fragrance of an old fashioned lilac in the spring. A gentle breeze carries the fragrance through out a whole neighborhood.

 Would you like to add some other varieties of plants that add fragrance to your yard?

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Here are some Natural Plus favorites:

Trees:

All fruit trees (apples, pears, cherries, plums) have a wonderful fragrance in the spring when blooming. Plums are especially fragrant. 

Some other ornamental trees that give a sweet fragrance in spring when in bloom are flowering crabs, serviceberries, hawthorns, Japanese tree lilacs, fringe trees, and dwarf Korean tree lilacs.

Lindens are an upright pyramidal shaped shade tree with a heart shaped leaf. In June they produce very small yellow blooms that are barely visible unless you get up close to the tree. However, those blooms are very fragrant and you may be able to smell them from a half a block away.

 Shrubs:

Many shrubs are fragrant when in bloom. Some you may want to consider are: lilacs, (bloomerang lilacs rebloom to give a second set of fragrant blossoms mid-summer), mockorange (dwarf and standard size), snowberry, and elderberries.

Roses may or may not be fragrant. Newer hybridized varieties often have beautiful bloom colors and are more disease resistant, but have little fragrance. Older varieties such as rugosa roses bring back memories of fragrant rose gardens. One of our favorites is Purple Pavement.

 Perennials:

Most people are aware of the fragrance of peonies – a sturdy perennial that goes back generations. At Natural Plus we have a row of peonies that are over 50 years old and still produce hearty blooms every year.

Some other perennials that will add fragrance to your yard include:

Garden phlox (come in many colors), lavender (there is now a variety hardy for zone 4), iris, hyssop, astilbe, dianthus, most coneflowers, helleborus, bee balm, and sweet autumn clematis.  

Bulbs and Woodland Plants

Hyacinths (bulbs) and Lily of the Valley are spring bloomers that are particularly fragrant.