flowers

What's Blooming: 5/22/19

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I know the weather hasn’t been feeling like spring, but the blooms at the nursery and around town are telling us otherwise!

Here’s a round up of some of the things that are blooming at the nursery, in my yard, and around town!

First up, creeping phlox. The top left picture was taken on Main Street in Clear Lake. They are putting on quite the show right now!

First up, creeping phlox. The top left picture was taken on Main Street in Clear Lake. They are putting on quite the show right now!

I’m sure we’ve all noticed the Crab trees around town in all their glory. I just wish they would last longer!

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Lilacs are blooming! And they smell so good! Want to add some fragrance to your landscape? Here’s an article to get you started  HERE

Lilacs are blooming! And they smell so good! Want to add some fragrance to your landscape? Here’s an article to get you started HERE

Daffodils and irises make a lovely combination.

Daffodils and irises make a lovely combination.

And an old classic, the bleeding heart, pic taken from my yard.

And an old classic, the bleeding heart, pic taken from my yard.

So many beautiful blooms right now and we are just getting started!

What’s blooming in your yard?

The Beauty of Spring: Flowering Crabs

The beauty of spring: Flowering Crabs

For many gardeners the first couple weeks of May are their favorite time of the year.  Tulips, daffodils, bluebells, rhododendrons, creeping phlox and other flowers are in full bloom. To top off the spring glory, flowering crabs and other spring blooming trees are in full array.

Flowering crabs are a great addition to any yard.  They are hardy and easy to grow. Blooms range in color from white to pink to reds and sizes vary from 8’ to 30’.

Now is a good time to purchase and plant a flowering crab as you will be able to see bloom colors at the nursery.

New varieties of crabs have been chosen so that they have no berries or very small berries. In addition, they are resistant to a fungus (cedar apple rust) that would cause older varieties to lose their leaves by July.  New varieties also come in dwarf sizes for the homeowner with limited space.

Here are some of our favorite varieties of flowering crabs:

Prairie Fire: (probably our best seller) – blooms are deep pink/red, grow 15-20’, small berries birds will mostly clean

Spring Snow: White blooms, no berries, grow 25-30’

Rejoice: Semi double rose pink blooms, grow upright 15-20’, small berries birds will mostly clean

Royal Raindrops: Leaves are burgundy, flowers deep pink, grow to 20’, small berries birds will mostly clean

Camelot:  Dwarf, grow 10’, Buds red changing to pink and then fade to white, blooms follow entire length of branches, small berries birds will mostly clean

Golden Raindrops: White blooms, tiny golden yellow fruit (1/4”), grows upright (20’), vase shaped

Showtime: Large bright fuschia pink showy flowers in the spring, dark green foliage with a red overlay, grows 15-20’

Read similar articles:

WHAT WE RECOMMEND: SPRING FLOWERING TREES

EARLY SPRING BLOOMERS

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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!

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.

SUMMER PERENNIALS

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Summer perennials

The best of summer is now on display – flowers blooming around every corner. Summer perennials are showy and most are easy to grow.

Perennials grow and bloom, die back over winter, and regrow year after year. Planting perennials can save time and money as, unlike annuals, they don’t need to be purchased and planted every year.

Before planting perennials make sure you know their main characteristics such as height/width, sun or shade tolerance, bloom colors, and specific characteristics for planting.

Here are some of our favorite perennials:

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·      Daylilies – Stella De Oro (which bloom golden yellow) and Happy Returns (which bloom lemon yellow) are everywhere. They bloom most of the summer and take little care.  There are hundreds of varieties of other daylilies as well – from heritage varieties to new varieties that often re-bloom. Colors range from white to reds, yellows, purples, and greens

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·      Native perennials – Ditches are now full of natives that have been reseeded after decades of spraying. Some of those you are seeing are coneflowers, blazing star, butterfly weed, bee balm, and black eyed susans. These can now be planted in the home garden. New varieties are also available for some of these old faithfuls. New varieties have vibrant new colors and/or are dwarf varieties.

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·      Phlox – Phlox come in beautiful colors of purples, pinks, corals, and whites. Their downside is susceptibility to mildew. Newer varieties are resistant to mildew. Most varieties are quite invasive so plant in an area where they can spread.

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·      Hibiscus – Perennial hibiscus are a most showy summer perennial are very hardy. Plants grow to about 4 feet and blooms are the size of a dinner plate. Blooms come in a variety of colors – most are reds or pinks. Be sure to choose north hardy varieties.

·      Coral Bells – Coral Bells grow about 8-12”  and are mainly planted for their vibrant leaf colors. Colors include yellow, deep red, copper, and greens. Most are tolerant to sun or shade and are a nice filler in shade gardens or for borders in sun gardens.

·      Russian Sage and Hyssop – Both of these plants grow about 3 foot tall and have spikes of purple blooms. These are a butterfly favorite and make a wonderful background plant.

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·      Other perennials – There are hundreds of more perennials you can choose from. Some of these include balloon flowers, baby’s breath, beardtongue, coreopsis, etc.

Do your research before planting perennials and they will reward you with blooms and color for years.

 At Natural Plus we can help you plan a perennial garden if you need help.

Enjoy the beauty of summer!