I think I'm done ordering on line as local nurseries will open in April and I want to have space in the garden to take advantage of all the larger offerings I can find shopping where I live. But these are a few of the other plants that I ordered online this winter. My bulb list is here and my shrub list is here.
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Primula japonica 'Apple Blossom'
I have had great luck with Primula japonica but they are virtually all the same color, a red that is probably 'Miller's Crimson.' A friend gave me a pink seedling but it didn't like where I planted it and disappeared. So I am trying again with P. 'Apple Blossom', a seedling from Odyssey Perennials. This will be a small plant but that's OK given the price and the fact that I haven't seen one to buy elsewhere. This time I will plant it with the other primulas since I know they like that spot. It will lighten up the red flowered plants and they will make this one look less sweet! Zone 4.
Helleborus x 'White Pearl'
Hellebores are a dream plant for gardeners in my area. The leaves look great all season and the flowers don't seem to be bothered by the ups and downs of of our temperature swings in early spring. They can even handle a certain amount of snow while in bloom. 'White Pearl' is a strain from the Winter Thrillers Series of Hellebores from Ernie and Marietta O'Byrne.
This is a 1 year old plant and Avant Gardens Nursery says it will probably not bloom until next year but that's OK. Typically these often get shipped after they bloom anyway in order to accommodate my preferred shipping date. I'm thinking of adding a couple of other Hellebores with this one, since I have room to put some at the top of the driveway wall where I will actually be able to see the blooms while standing up! Zone 5
Astrantia major 'Vanilla Gorilla'
I have been growing a Geranium macrorrhizum with variegated leaves and I don't like the flower color. And the whole plant seems to never look that good. I have to agree with Graham Stewart Thomas who declares in "Perennial Garden Plants" that "there is an ugly variegated form." So I am replacing it with this Masterwort with white edged blue-green foliage. The Astrantias I am already growing seem to do well in my garden and bloom for a long period. This one should fill a similar function as the Geranium but with better flower and leaf color. Zone 5
Far Reaches Farm describes this as a a Jpanese-Chinese-Korean species with no common name, but with lovely amber scales on the stipe. What I like is that it can take full shade and grows 30-40 inches tall. I ordered 3 on the assumption that they will make quite a statement down the road. Zone 5.
Sinopodophyllum (Podophyllum) hexandrum MD97150 ex
Who could resist the description of this Chinese Mayapple from Far Reaches Farm:
"Second generation plants from our collection from a grassy bank above a stream in Tibetan Yunnan where it was growing in moist rich topsoil at around 10000'. This is a choice herbaceous member of the Barberry Family with rich darkly mottled new growth and broad sharply lobed palmate leaves up to a foot across with a crystalline pink chalice of a flower giving way to large red fruits in fall. Gorgeous moist shade plant to 3' tall although we've seen this same collection at a friend's garden pushing 4' tall. Hardy to Zone 5 and best of all — it's easy. These are very large flowering size plants of a size that is seldom if ever available. Beautiful as a single specimen plant or especially effective in drifts of 50."
If it gets as large as they think it may, I won't need 50 to make a statement in my garden. This one will be enough.
Milium effusum 'Aureum' aka Bowles' Golden Grass
I first saw a picturs of this plant in a woodland garden in an article years ago in Horticulture magazine. I still have the article but but I've never found this plant for sale until this year at Odyssey Perennials. I'm already growing Carex alata 'Bowles Golden' and this is similar but not the same. This is a millet grass with leaves that are more broad. They're chartreuse-gold turning to lime-green during the summer. It's short lived but seeds enough to make it perennial — or at least I hope so. Zone 5.