Thanks to Sheridan Nurseries team of horticulture experts for providing this month’s article on some of their favorite reliable, certified Handpicked for You® plants.
After plants have passed our local testing at the SynRG growers’ locations (New Jersey, Connecticut, Virginia, Ontario, and Ohio), they are ready to receive the Handpicked for You® Trustmark. Reliable plants mean success in your gardens, wholesale programs, and landscape design projects. They are disease resistant, low maintenance and zone hardy. Gardening Made Easy is possible when plants thrive. Here’s a look at our favourite HPFY plants for garden centres that are hardy from zone 5-9.
Boxwood is cherished landscape plants with their superior hardiness, year-round deep green colour, and deer resistance. In 1973, Sheridan Nurseries introduced ‘Green Velvet™' (Buxus 'Green Velvet™') that has bright green new growth which provides great contrast against other perennials. In 1975, ‘Green Mountain’ (Buxus 'Green Mountain') was introduced and it cherished for requiring minimal pruning to make a formal pyramid shape. Both are hardy to Canadian/USDA zones 4-9 and grow well in shade or sun.
‘Annabelle’ hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle') has massive white snowball-like blooms that make a breathtaking display in any garden or landscape design. It flowers on new wood, so even hard freezes won’t hold this plant back. Flowers will appear in late spring to summer and will reach up to 12 inches. The firm, sturdy stems hold the blooms up to show off every inch of beauty — ideal for sun or partial sun locations.
Miss Kim lilac (Syringa patula 'Miss Kim') is a slower growing lilac with dazzling purple buds that open to icy-deep purple fragrant blooms in May. Prune after flowering to help the promote new growth and more flowers next year. Lilacs are enjoyed as a spring plant, but the foliage turns burgundy-red in autumn. Plant in an area that receives full sun.
Sometimes we need a plant to thrive in harsh winters and drought tolerant areas. Yucca (Yucca filamentosa 'Color Guard') adds architectural shape, structure, and colour to containers and beds in sunny areas. The long green and yellow foliage are striking, and white flowers bear a dramatic contrast mid-summer. Great for rock gardens, erosion control, mass plantings, and areas that receive coastal exposure.
Junipers are one of our favorite coniferous plants to add year-round interest. Juniperus procumbens 'Nana' commonly known as Dwarf Japanese Garden Juniper thrives in an area that receives partial to full sun. Bright green growth emerges from the centre and deeps to a blue-green as it matures. In winter, the plant will have a purple-tinge that contrasts great against snow. This juniper is better left un-pruned and will cascade down slopes or can be staked upright.
If you’re looking for a juniper to cascade over walls, grows in rocky, sandy soil, we love to reccomend Blue Chip (Juniperus horizontalis 'Wiltonii'). This conifer is prized for its green-blue foliage. This plant is native to regions in Alaska, Canada, and northern U.S. such as Wyoming and Montana.
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