Documents: Special Interest: Organically Minded:

Two Exciting New Plants for Next Year’S Garden and Some Further Comments on the Availability of So-Called Cosmetic Pesticides
by Art Drysdale
by Art Drysdale


Art Drysdale, a life-long resident of Toronto and a horticulturist well known all across Canada, is now a resident of Parksville, British Columbia on Vancouver Island, just north of Nanaimo. He has reno-vated an old home and has a new garden there. His radio gardening vignettes are heard in south-western Ontario over radio station Easy 101 FM out of Tillsonburg at 2 PM weekdays.

Art also has his own website at

June 29, 2014

Above, two shots of Trollius ‘Dancing Flame’. Below, two of Hydrangea ‘Miss Saori. Photos by the plant suppliers.


Following up on last week’s tome here, specifically going back to my age-old arguments in favour of Health Canada-endorsed chemicals for what some call “cosmetic” garden use, I’ll have a bit more to add on that topic at the end of this week’s effort.

But first let me tell you about some plants that were unveiled at last week’s United Kingdom Horticultural Trade Association’s (HTA) National Plant Show, held in Stoneleigh Park, Coventry, Warwickshire. The HTA is promoting the show under the banner "back to basics" this year, saying it is all about plants and nothing else. On show were 1,000 varieties from 100 UK suppliers, with at least 100 new plants for visitors to see.

The show is a celebration of all things plant. It showcases the best of British plant suppliers and offers a ‘back to basics’ approach, focusing purely on plants to help retailers plan their ranges for the following season. There were some great new introductions this year and these are plants you ought to look out for in 2015 if you want something unique for your garden.

Winning one of the five new-plant prizes at the show can have a big impact on sales, says New Leaf Plants sales and marketing manager David Higginson, who took the best new plant crown for Clematis 'Beautiful Bride' in 2013. For 2014, the nursery promoted Clematis 'Prince George', a white sport of 'Blue Angel' found on the nursery. Higginson says winning the show prize caused 'Beautiful Bride' to sell out and the nursery is now trying to bulk up after having only 1,000 plants last year.

The big (read ‘huge’) winner this year was a new Trollius called ‘Dancing Flame’. The plant has striking bright orange open flowers and sturdy upright stems with pronounced sepals. With good bud colour and clean foliage this compact and hardy Trollius is easy to grow and is suited to any moist good soil in a sun or part shade position.

Judging Panel member HTA President Stan Gree, said: “Trollius ‘Dancing Flame’ has great appeal with its vibrant colour, dramatic flowers and upright form making it a fantastic plant for any herbaceous border. It has a real ‘wow factor’ and I am sure will be a popular choice for garden centre customers when it comes to market next year.

“With a huge number of entries to the New Plant Awards this year the judges were faced with some extremely tough decisions--not least picking the best in show plant from the category winners. After viewing the plants in natural light, Trollius ‘Dancing Flame’ with its glimmering and vivid flowers, came out on top, with Hydrangea ‘Miss Saori’ a very close second.”

As just mentioned Hydrangea macrophylla Miss Saori was the runner-up for the best-in-show title at the HTA National Plant Show. However, at the May Chelsea Flower Show in London, this Hydrangea was chosen as winner in the Plant of the Year contest. It was originally bred by Ryoji Irie—a Kyoto, Japan-based plant hybridizer and exhibited at the show by Hillier Nurseries & Garden Centres. Following a 90 second pitch by Chris Campbell, a representative of Javado UK on behalf of Hillier Nurseries and Garden Centres, the vivid colours and qualities of the Hydrangea macrophylla Miss Saori were enough to take first place at Chelsea.

Features include deep rose margins which soften into white centres and unusual double-petalled flowers giving the bloom a lacy appearance. Burgundy foliage adds interest in autumn and it stands as a good cut flower overall. Miss Saori flowers on first year wood and reaches 1m x 1m (42” x 42”). Hardiness is to -18 degrees C.

Keep in mind, these two plants were being shown at a wholesale show (in the case of Miss Saori, also at Chelsea) and will not be available to the public until next year. It is too early now to predict who will be handling their distribution in Canada or the U.S. but if you are interested in either, do tell your favourite nurseryman about it and advise them to be sure to obtain what you want.

At the outset this week, I said I would add a little bit of additional information about the “cosmetic pesticide” situation, particularly as referred to by Carol Anderson in her letter to me about my talk in Squamish back in April.

One of her (their) main concerns was my talking about “smuggling” such chemicals from the U.S. As I mentioned, it is not really illegal as the laws against these products are provincial at the most, and Customs and Border officials are only looking to uphold Federal regulations, and all of the products are considered perfectly legal by the Federal Health Canada officials.

However, if you don’t wish to try the U.S. method, or you don’t cross the border often (as I do not), there is an even simpler method of obtaining products such as Roundup and 2,4-D; and that is by purchasing them off the Web! And lo and behold, they will be delivered directly your own home by Canada Post.

There are several such suppliers, but I shall name only one: Canadian Lawn Care who ship from Lloydminster Saskatchewan and Calgary Alberta, using their Expedited Parcel product. If you are reading this on a public, or a friend’s computer, you may order using their toll-free number: 1 (800) 650-3220. They list at least seven products: Roundup, Wilson GrubOut, Killex, Ortho Grub-B-Gone Max, Wilson SpiderBan, and Wilson Ambush. Special discounts are offered for multiple orders of a mix of products.

Here is what Canadian Lawn Care say on their Website: Every day, staff at Canadian Lawn Care Ltd. are hard at work in to ensure a seamless experience for the Canadian consumer pertaining to all their lawn care needs. Locally and nationally, our goal is the same: to provide the best products and services for everyone in our communities.

To conclude this topic, at least for today, let me reprint just one of the encouraging e-mail messages I have received this past week. It comes from W.G. in eastern Canada.

“Carol Anderson may be a so-called master gardener, but, judging from her acts of coercion against you, she operates as a mere anti-pesticide terrorist. Anderson and her organization should be so lucky as to get someone of your caliber to come and speak to them in Squamish. In response to your efforts, generosity, kindness, and professionalism, she terrorizes you with threats, and stifles any possibility of free speech because she has an anti-pesticide agenda. Moreover, the gardening links on her organization’s web-site are loaded with illegal recommendations-- . Her despicable actions are typical of master gardeners in other parts of the nation-- . Anderson and the master gardeners arbitrarily conspire to prohibit against safe and effective pest control products. They do so under the pretext of protecting the environment, but, in fact, they are merely supporting those stores and distributors that sell for-profit the so-called kinder green alternative pesticides. These very same stores and distributors also directly finance Anderson’s organization-- . Greed and avarice motivate Anderson, and not the protection of the environment. Her opinion of you is valueless and worthless.”

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