Attention, plant shoppers: The Friends of Manito are holding their spring plant sale on Saturday. Have you made your shopping list yet?
There are photos and a list of the plants on their website, www.thefriendsofmanito.org. After perusing the list and attending a recent lecture on must-have plants given by their plant sale manager, Janis Saiki, I’ve found some real knockouts that are worth checking out:
Adlumia fungosa (Allegheny Vine): Looking for a vine for your garden? This one has white flowers and lacy foliage reminiscent of bleeding hearts. They bloom from July to a hard frost. They are hardy down to USDA zone 3 and will grow in part to full shade.
Baptisia (False Indigo): You might be familiar with the purple varieties but how about Lemon Meringue with its yellow flowers and black stems? They are very hardy and will grow 3 feet tall in part to full sun.
Euphorbia (Cushion Spurge): I am crazy about Bonfire euphorbia because it is a real standout in the landscape. The foliage is a combination of red, gold, purple and chartreuse all season long. They have a mounding growth habit and reach 12 to 18 inches in height.
Hellebore (Lenten Rose): These plants are very early bloomers, deer resistant and drought tolerant so you can’t go wrong. Varieties available are Berry Swirl, Cotton Candy, Harlequin Gem and Peppermint Ice. They’ll grow about a foot tall and prefer part shade.
Hydrangea: While there are several outstanding hydrangeas at the sale, a new one is the Oakleaf variety called Little Honey. It features chartreuse foliage that turns red in the fall. They bloom on new wood so you should get flowers every year no matter how cold our winters get, grow 3 to 4 feet tall and prefer part to full sun.
Papaver (Oriental poppy): These plants bloom in June and make nice additions to flower beds with their fuzzy green leaves and long-stemmed flowers that dance in the breeze. Of the seven varieties available, I’m particularly attracted to Harlem for its burgundy-red flowers with purple centers and Miss Piggy with her unbelievable 10-inch flowers that have ruffled petals in white and soft pink. Wow.
Peony: If you read my May 20 article on growing peonies, perhaps you are in the market for some. There will be 18 cultivars at the sale. Saiki said that “peonies are called the century plant because you never have to divide them. They have wonderful attributes of gorgeous blooms in the spring, lush summer foliage that turns red in the fall, and most have a light fragrance.” Two varieties that caught my eye are Hot Chocolate with its chocolate-red petals and Pink Hawaiian Coral that has 5-inch salmon-orange blossoms.
Syringa (Lilac): Because we live in the Lilac City, all gardens should have at least one, right? They are very hardy and easy to grow and their blossoms have such a delightful scent. There is a new cultivar called Bloomerang Purple that blooms in the spring and again in the summer until it frosts. They prefer full sun.
The Friends of Manito is a nonprofit organization that raises money for improvements at Manito Park.