I have a guilty little secret. It is something I look forward to as soon as Christmas is behind me.
Not in chocolate, although I do enjoy finding them in my Christmas stocking. (Kids, are you listening?)
No. My indulgence is looking up the new plant introductions which will be landing in the nurseries come spring. And boy! Am I getting revved up for my secret fling this year!
Just looking out any window, there is evidence of what 12-13 inches of snow can do to some plants. Like our beautiful nine-foot-tall hibiscus. The branches are now laying almost flat on the ground. Does not look good.
Warming spring temperatures will settle the prognosis on many of the suffering plants but it never hurts to be prepared. Just in case the unthinkable has to happen.
Okay. I must fess up as I do want to stay on Santa’s Good List.
I peeked. Just a little. I wanted to see what new shrubs might replace the hibiscus, if it must come out. Being rather attached to the hibiscus I felt warranted a bit of cheating.
That little peek? I am officially drooling.
Want a hint? I saw two clematis. Both are in the Boulevard series: Daiyu and Nubia. The latter reminds me of the intense deep red on ‘Niobi’. Stunning. Three daylilies: cream, pink wing, and yellow punch. Two pieris shrubs: ‘shy’ and ‘Cabernet’. Fell in love with Moonlight Parfait, a scented daphne, which sounds delicious enough to eat.
Speaking of eating… how about the bluest of blue-foliaged blueberry shrubs, which only gets three to four feet tall? Supposed to produce a bountiful harvest of large berries after only 150-200 hours of winter cold temperatures. Keep your eyes open for Bountiful Blue.
And wait until you see Camellia japonica ‘Nuccio’s Bella Rossa’! Imagine masses of four-inch wide, multi-layered, crimson red blossoms stretched over a longer bloom period.
But the golden-leaved Weigela florida ‘MonRigney’ really caught my eye. Tooted to be the brightest yet, and while it resembles ‘Rubidor’, it handles full sun better.
I certainly have had enough eye candy to get me through Christmas now. (Kids…you can forget the chocolates.) What a treat. Cannot wait for the new growing season to start!
Leslie Cox co-owns Growing Concern Cottage Garden in Black Creek. Her website is at www.duchessofdirt.ca and her column appears every second Thursday in The Record.