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In the Garden: Manito sale worth making space for

Bitterroot (Lewisia) is not shy about blooming in late spring and early summer. It will be available at Saturday’s sale.
Bitterroot (Lewisia) is not shy about blooming in late spring and early summer. It will be available at Saturday’s sale.

So many plants, so little space in my garden. The Friends of Manito spring plant sale is rapidly approaching and here I am, trying to figure out where I can squeeze in more of their wonderful plants.

This popular sale will be Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., although TFM members can start shopping at 8 a.m. It takes place in Manito Park on Spokane’s South Hill, just east of the Gaiser Conservatory.

Here’s a highlight of plants that sound very appealing:

• One look at the large red flowers of Sweetshrub (Calycanthus) Aphrodite and you’ll know why I’ve singled it out. This deciduous shrub has glossy leaves and fragrant, reblooming flowers in summer. It grows best in full sun to part shade and is deer-resistant. Height: to 6 feet.

• The lush, attractive leaves of umbrella plant (Darmera peltata) are ideal for shady areas in the garden. Its name comes from the way water pools on top of the leaves. Light-pink flower clusters borne on thick stems are a bonus in the spring. Plants prefer moist soil. Height: 30 inches.

• If you’re looking for a hardy plant with stunning foliage, Meadowsweet (Filipendula) Red Umbrellas makes a great choice. This hybrid features green leaves with deep crimson veins and tall, rosy-pink flower clusters in spring. This plant prefers full sun to part shade and slightly-moist soil. Height: 30 inches.

• Everybody loves daylilies, right? While there will be several Hemerocallis cultivars at the sale, Lake Effect stands out with its huge – more than 7 inches across – amethyst flowers with yellow throats. The plant is a rebloomer and the petals have lightly-ruffled edges. They are easily grown in full sun or part shade. Height: 2 feet.

• Even though it’s dainty in size, Bitterroot (Lewisia cotyledon) Little Plum stops folks in their tracks with its profusely-blooming flowers in shades of salmon pink. The evergreen leaves are strap-like and leathery. Plants are very hardy, prefer full sun to part shade and even become drought-tolerant once established. Height: 6 inches.

• Creeping Mazus (Mazus reptans) is an eye-catching groundcover that works well when grown around stepping stones or allowed to naturalize. It has showy lavender blossoms in early summer and prefers part shade with moist soil. Height: 6 inches.

• Ornamental grass lovers will find variegated purple moor grass (Molinia caerulea Variegata) makes a lovely choice. It features cream-colored foliage with a green stripe and provides winter interest. Best grown in part sun, it’s deer-resistant. Height: 12 to 20 inches.

• Phlox (Phlox paniculata) Peppermint Twist adds some fun to the garden with its profuse, candy-pink-and-white striped blossoms. It’ll grow in full sun or part shade. Height: 16 inches.

• Salvia Silver Sabre is a culinary sage featuring attractive variegated leaves with hints of pink. Grown in full sun, it is drought-tolerant and deer-resistant. Height: 8 inches.

• If you enjoy growing stonecrops (Sedum), wait till you see Dazzleberry. It’s a low-growing plant with fleshy, smoky-blue leaves and huge, raspberry flower clusters in the fall. If that isn’t enough to win you over, this sun-lover is also deer-resistant and drought-tolerant once established. Height: 8 inches.

Susan Mulvihill can be reached via email at inthegarden@ her blog at and Facebook page at susansinthegarden.


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