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Saturday, February 16, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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In the Garden: Friends of Manito ready to help you spring forward

Saturday’s Friends of Manito plant sale will feature thousands of hardy perennials like Coneflower (Echinacea) Supreme Flamingo. (Susan Mulvihill)
Saturday’s Friends of Manito plant sale will feature thousands of hardy perennials like Coneflower (Echinacea) Supreme Flamingo. (Susan Mulvihill)

Are you ready for some serious plant shopping? The Friends of Manito spring plant sale is Saturday and the more organized you are, the more likely you are to score cool plants for your garden.

Held east of Manito Park’s Gaiser Conservatory on Spokane’s South Hill, the sale runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., though Friends members can begin shopping at 9 a.m. Proceeds from the sale go toward improvements in Manito Park.

Visit to view photos and descriptions of the plants that will be available. Here is a sampling of the ones I’d love to make room for:

Coneflowers (Echinacea) are tough perennials that love the sun. Gone are the days of purple or white cultivars being our only choices. At the sale, check out Hot Papaya, Marmalade, Piccolino, Quills & Thrills, Julia, Raspberry Truffle, Supreme Flamingo and Solar Flare.

Have you ever tried Heucheras? Commonly known as Coral Bells, these plants are prized for their colorful foliage. Some of the newest cultivars that will liven up any flower bed include Ginger Peach, Solar Eclipse and Tapestry. Heucheras do well in sun to part shade, are quite hardy, drought-tolerant and deer-resistant.

Daylilies are always popular, with their gracefully arching leaves and attractive blossoms. Blackthorne is one of the newest offerings. It has ruffled white petals with a wide violet eye and blooms for an extended period. Raspberry Swirl is also stunning, with deep rose-colored petals edged in soft pink and a yellow-green throat. Both plants will reach 2 to 3 feet and tolerate full sun to part shade.

Phlox aficionados should take a look at Phlox paniculata Shockwave. It has cream-and-green variegated leaves and lavender flowers with white centers. They will grow 12 to 18 inches tall and prefer a sunny location.

If you want to take a walk on the wild side by adding chartreuse foliage to your landscape, there are many options at the sale that come in all shapes and sizes:

Sedge (Carex elata) Bowles Golden is a striking ornamental grass that reaches 1 to 2 feet in height and does well in full to part shade. It will brighten any corner of the garden.

Caryopteris Gold Giant is a small shrub with golden leaves and blue flower clusters that attracts bees and butterflies. It thrives in sunny locations and is deer-resistant. Another shrub with striking foliage is the Elderberry (Sambucus racemosa) Sutherland Gold. It has fernlike golden leaves that start out copper in color and white flowers. It grows from 5 to 10 feet tall.

The native shrub Ninebark (Physocarpus) always makes a nice addition to a landscape. There will be two hybrids available. Nugget has yellow to chartreuse leaves, white flowers and brown seedpods, and reaches about 6 feet when mature. Tiny Wine has burgundy-colored foliage and will only grow 3 to 4 feet tall. Both are very hardy and prefer full sun to part shade.

For those who like the early-blooming Bleeding Hearts (Dicentra spectabilis), Gold Heart has the typical heart-shaped blossoms but yellow foliage for an interesting twist. It grows 2 to 3 feet tall and thrives in full to part shade.

There will also be a selection of edible plants including berries, grapes and hardy kiwis at the sale.

Susan Mulvihill can be reached via email at her blog at for more gardening information, tips and events.

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