SKAGIT PLANT PICK RECAP
This past season we had our
plant picks sponsored by Skagit Gardens, a great Northwest grower of top quality
perennials and annuals. Since it is the end of the season William and Judy
wanted to talk about their favorite plants from Skagit. We had the opportunity
to receive the plant picks from Skagit and so we were able to test them in our
own gardens. William started with one of his favorites, Centaurea ‘Black
Sprite’. He loved the dark flowers and that it looked great in containers and
even as a mass planting in his garden. Judy loved the Cape Fuchsia (also known
as Phygelius) called Candy Drops ‘Deep Rose’. It is a short variety, working
well in a container as well and that it is still blooming in her garden right
now. The hummingbirds love it as well. Another favorite of the hummingbirds is
the fuchsia ‘Flamingo Fever’. This one is a little tender and has been moved
into the greenhouse for protection, but during the summer it was striking for
the flower color that included greens, hot pink and even orange shades. Another
of Judy’s favorites was the most recent plant pick, Hellebore ‘Jacob’. It is one
of the new ‘Gold Collection’ of plants. This one looks great indoors for the
holidays and then it can be moved outdoors into the regular garden. It is a long
bloomer, starting now and carrying its color through to March. The final
favorite from William was the Scabiosa ‘Violet’ from the Mariposa series. Older
forms of this plant grew longer and would tend to flop over. This one is loaded
with shorter bloom spikes and stays shorter and more upright.
These were just a few of our favorites. You can check out all the different
featured varieties on the Plant Pick page and then keep an eye out for them when
they return to your garden center next year.
Centaurea Black Sprite
This week’s plant pick is our
last one from our friends at Skagit Gardens. It is a new variety of a favorite
winter bloomer, Hellebore Jacob. Hellebore Jacob is one of the Gold Collection
from Skagit and is a great plant for indoors or out during this holiday season.
It has pure white flowers on burgundy stems that fade to a pink blush and then a
light green. These blooms are not your typical downward facing blooms, these
point up and present a wonderful bloom for all to see. You can have it indoors
and then move it to a protected area outside before moving it into your garden
to stay. You can find it at your local independent garden center for the next
month or so.
EUPHORBIA - GLACIER BLUE
This week’s plant pick from
Skagit Gardens is one that they introduced to the market a couple of years ago.
The Euphorbia ‘Glacier Blue’ is a great foliage plant. The variegated foliage
is a soft gray-blue and is edged in a cream color. It is outstanding in a
container and is hardy down to 0 in our area. It does have a bloom that shows
up in spring, but the foliage is why it is so popular. It really stands out as
a contrast plant in the flower bed. This evergreen perennial is drought
tolerant and loves the full sun. Pick one up at your local garden center and
add it to your garden this fall so you can enjoy it in your garden next spring.
ACHILLEA - SAUCY SEDUCTION AND STRAWBERRY
This week we have
another great plant pick from Skagit Gardens, Saucy Seduction and Strawberry
Seduction. All Seduction Achillea are known for their sturdy, compact growth
habit, long bloom period, and interesting flowers. Both of these plants will
bloom all summer, providing abundant, large rosy-pink or deep red flower
clusters. They are easy-to-grow, drought and heat tolerant and will thrive in
almost any soil. Like all achilleas, these are great for cut bouquets and also
can be used as a dried flower. The abundant flat flower clusters are
irresistible to butterflies. Deadhead and cut back to promote continuous
flowering and a tidy plant.
SCABIOSA 'MARIPOSA VIOLET'
The late summer blooms may be
looking tired in your garden, but we have a plant that will brighten up any
flower bed! Our Skagit Garden plant pick this week is the Scabiosa ‘Mariposa
Violet’. This perennial is covered in pincushion blossoms in a soft violet
color. It will stay short, around a foot tall and wide, so it will work well in
any border or even a pot. This one is also very hardy, surviving to below
zero. You can use the blooms as cut flowers, or leave it in the garden to
attract butterflies or other nectar feeders!
RUDBECKIA - LITTLE GOLDSTAR
Garden plant pick this week is a delightful and hardy Rudbeckia called ‘Little
Goldstar’. This one is smaller than its cousin ‘Goldsturm’ and it stays compact,
only getting about 16 inches tall, which makes it a great plant for smaller
gardens and containers. It blooms in the late summer through fall and is a bee
and butterfly magnet. It is very hardy in our area, surviving down to -30
degrees. It is just a wonderful, bright and cheerful plant, and a must have for
any garden! We found these at
Dennis 7 Dee’s (,
503-297-1058) in Cedar Hills, but you can find them at quality garden centers
around the Northwest.
PHYGELIUS - DEEP ROSE
Our plant pick from Skagit
Gardens for this week is a tasty treat for any garden! I say that because the
Phygelius Deep Rose is a part of the ‘Candy Drops’ series from Skagit. This
series of phygelius are a bright rainbow of colors. The Deep Rose is one of the
best perennials for the summer garden because of its great color and other
attributes. This plant is known for its clusters of flowers on long stems. It
blooms starting in late spring, through summer and right up until the first
frost. Plus it is a hummingbird magnet! It stays compact and would work well
in containers mixed with other plants. It is fairly hardy for our area and will
survive down to 10 degrees. Check out this great perennial at your favorite
independent garden center that carries Skagit Garden plants.
AGASTACHE - NECTAR GRAPE
Our plant pick from Skagit Gardens
for this week is a real stunner! The new ‘nectar’ series of Agastache have
vibrant colors and are very hardy for our area. New varieties in the series
include Apricot, Grapefruit, Orange and Raspberry, but this week we are
featuring Grape. This one has heavy blooming spikes of flowers that are a real
butterfly magnet. It stays compact so it will work well in smaller gardens or
containers. It will just get a little taller than a foot and will bloom all the
way through fall! It is a winner in any garden. Check out the list of Skagit
Garden retailers for a nursery near you that carries this beauty.
COREOPSIS 'COSMIC EYE'
Our Skagit Plant Pick of the
week is a non-stop performer in the summer and fall garden. The Coreopsis
‘Cosmic Eye’ is part of the Skagit ‘Big Bang’ series of coreopsis plants. This
plant loves full sun and once it is established it is incredibly hardy surviving
down to -20 degrees. The blooms are claret-colored daisies tipped in golden
sunshine yellow. It stays compact and that makes it a great plant for
containers and smaller gardens. It gets about a foot tall and a little over a
foot wide. Check out our link to local garden centers that feature Skagit
Garden plants and keep a look out for other varieties in the ‘Big Bang’ series.
CAMPANULA RINGS A BELL 'MULBERRY ROSE'
Our Skagit Gardens plant pick
this week is the Campanula - Rings a Bell ‘Mulberry Rose’. This plant is great
for the middle of your garden beds. It isn’t too short and it isn’t too tall.
It will stay about a foot high and spreads about 15 inches. ‘Mulberry Rose’ is
very hardy for our area and will survive temperatures down to -20. Other
Campanulas are known to spread, but this one stays in a nice clump and will
thrive in full sun to part shade conditions. Like its name says, it has a bunch
of rose/pink bells that will bloom until mid to late summer. If you love this
one, Skagit is working on another one for next year called ‘Indigo Blue’, but
you have to be patient for that one. Skagit Garden plants are available at lots
of independent garden centers around Oregon and Washington. We have a partial
list on our website.
Just click here to
see a list of local retailers.
CENTAUREA 'BLACK SPRITE'
Our plant pick from Skagit
Gardens is a hidden wonder. The Centaurea ‘Black Sprite’ is a wonderful
plant that could get lost in your garden. The colors are so muted that it
might be lost in the showy flowers of your other perennials, but make no mistake
it is a true winner in your early summer garden! The silky black petals of
the bloom are like delicate starbursts. The best news is that this plant
is incredibly hardy to below -30 degrees! All you have to do is make sure it
gets plenty of water when it is first planted. Just put it in full sun and
enjoy the show! To find the local Skagit Garden retailer where you can get
this wonderful plant, check out the list here!
This week the wonderful plant
growers at Skagit Gardens sent us a really cool plant for the plant pick. This
is one that we couldn’t wait to share! The Fuchsia ‘Flamingo Fever’ is so
stunning you will want to add one to your garden. This is an up-right fuchsia
that will show off in any part of your garden. It has a pink bloom that is
edged in green and it opens up to a striking orange flower in the center! It
will get 2 to 3 feet tall and it spreads out a little and will bloom all summer
long. It is a little tender and so you will want to bring it in next fall when
the temperature drops. We found a whole bunch at
Bauman’s Farm and Garden
(503-792-3524) and Brian was very excited to share his knowledge about the
plant. You will also find it at quality garden centers and nursery retailers
around the Northwest.
Our plant pick this week is a
cool bloomer that will just keep going all summer long, the coreopsis. Skagit
Gardens our favorite plant grower from Washington State turned us on to this one
and we are happy they did. The Coreopsis ‘Salsa’ and ‘Jive’ are great plants
for the summer garden. They have constant blooms that show up about now and
continue until after the first frost. These plants will get about a foot tall
and about 18 inches across. ‘Jive’ has white blooms with a burgundy eye and a
orange center and ‘Salsa’ has a golden yellow bloom with a wide burgundy eye.
You can find these great Skagit Gardens plants at your local independent garden
center. We found a great selection at
LADDER 'STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN'
April 30, 2011
We have another great plant
from Skagit Gardens in Washington. They grow some really great plants and this
one is a great one for the small garden. It is the Jacobs Ladder ‘Stairway to
heaven’. Jacobs Ladder is also called Polemonium. This variety has a
variegated leave that has a pink edge on the new growth. The blooms start out
a white and then fade into a pale blue. It takes morning sun and a little
afternoon shade. You can find this Skagit Gardens plant pick at most of your
local independent garden centers.
March 26, 2011
We welcome Skagit Gardens as
the sponsor of the plant pick of the week. This week we featured the Erysimum
‘Fragrant Star’. For early spring color, Erysimum, or Wallflower, sports
bright and often fragrant blossoms. Fragrant Star, a new perennial Erysimum,
glows with very fragrant, yellow flowers and has the added bonus of radiant
green and yellow, variegated foliage that always looks brilliant even when the
plant is not in bloom. It’s very compact and bushy, looking great in beds and
borders. Because the flowers are sterile, Fragrant Star has a long bloom season
in spring and often reblooms later in the year. This shining star is not fussy
about where it’s planted, given full sun and good drainage.
Skagit Garden plants
can be found at a large number of local independent garden centers. We found
these at the Dennis' 7 Dees
(503-636-4660) location in Lake Oswego. Look for these wonderful plants and try
them in your garden.
March 12, 2011
St. Patrick’s Day is
close at hand and the traditional plant for the day is the shamrock. For most
gardeners the shamrock is a nasty reminder of the clover in their lawn, but the
plant you will find in your garden center right now is slightly different than
that garden visitor. The plant you find now is Oxalis regnelli, also known as
Wood Sorrel. This small bulb loves the full sun and is in bloom right now. Don’t
be alarmed that you see it die back in the next couple of months. It goes
dormant and ‘sleeps’ through the late summer. Just leave it alone and set it in
a cool, dry place. When fall returns you can pull the plant out and start to
water it again. For right now, enjoy this early spring bloomer and hope it
brings luck to your garden this season.
PLANTS OF THE WEEK