Documents: Garden Design:

Six more new herbaceous perennials that will be available to you in Canada next spring! [II]
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

December 3, 2017

Above, Echinacea purpurea ‘Green Twister’; Echinacea ‘Kismet Intense Orange’; and Heucherella ‘Onyx’. Below, Hosta ‘Munchkin Fire’; Hemerocallis ‘Spacecoast Freaky Tiki; and Paeonia lactifolia ‘Kiev’.
All photos courtesy of introducers or suppliers.




My first new herbaceous perennial this week shows a new ‘twist’ on the well-known Echinacea purpurea. It is E. p. ‘Green Twister’. Horizontal flower petals, uniform sturdy habit, abundant flowering are three short statements about this new Echinacea.

Unique petals are tipped in lively shades that vary from light green to nearly yellow. Towards the centre, the colour changes dramatically to a reddish-pink, becoming carmine-red on the cone. Green Twister’ is a unique and colorful seed selection. This lively green coneflower will show natural variation in the color and size of the green edge. A few flowers are light green but some are almost yellow-edged each with an increasing carmine-red center.

This eye-catching coneflower is excellent in bouquets and arrangements, but you can also leave some spent blooms to feed finches and other birds through the winter. Attracts beneficial pollinators.

Flowering stems are slightly shorter the first year but reach a useful 100 cm in the second season with stems having an attractive deep burgundy colour.

There is also a second Echinacea being offered as new in 2018. It is Echinacea purpurea ‘Kismet In-tense Orange’.

Blanket your landscape in shades of orange and red with 'Kismet Intense Orange'! You will be overwhelmed with the bold color and amount of blooms that you will receive from this dazzling perennial. Expect large, bold flowers which are living magnets for butterflies and other pollinators. Intense Orange is extremely floriferous and sends up a great number of blossoms to enjoy. Due to their slender yet sturdy stems, eye-catching colors and sheer number of blooms, these blanket flowers are ideal for adding to the cutting garden. Intense Orange is a wonderful plant because it resists deer and performs well even during drought conditions.

KISMET™ Intense Orange is different due to sheer flower number and a fabulous habit. It blooms first year, early in the season, with large flowers and continues until a hard frost. A great plant!

A new Heucherella is also scheduled for introduction next year. It is H. ‘Onyx’.

No longer the thin-leaved plants of the past, Heucherellas now have the tremendous strength of the best Heucheras bred to the strongest Tiarellas. The result? Vigorous, medium to large plants with strong leaf colors and great flowers. Jimmy Turner of the Dallas Arboretum has declared the Heucherellas as perfect plants for the high heat and humidity of Texas. We enjoy them immensely in the North in containers as well as in the landscape. Heucherellas have prov-en to be highly resistant to rust disease.

What is unique about this new cultivar is simply its colour. The leaves are a “true black”, glossy and deeply cut.

‘Onyx’ is shy to bloom but always remain neat and clean. The dense, medium-large, mounding habit makes this Heucherella suitable for landscapes or mixed containers. Even though ‘Onyx’ loves the heat and humidity, it flourishes in hardiness zones 4-9.

The plants I’ve chosen to report on this week are as diverse as could be, I think. For example how about a Hosta? And it is a miniature one at that!

Hostas are exceedingly popular perennials in today's gardens due to their versatility in the landscape. Hostas also grow well in city environments where the air may be polluted by car exhaust, etc.

This vigorous new yellow miniature hosta (Hosta ‘Munchkin Fire’) is the perfect size for troughs and the ever-popular fairy gardens. Short and narrow leaves hold their bright yellow colour all season long. Since the leaves are so narrow, there isn’t a prominent leaf base, and the leaves simply taper to become part of the petiole.

Lavender flowers appear above the petite habit in midsummer.

Last week I mentioned I would write about a daylily (Hemerocallis) this week, So, here is the info about H. ‘Spacecoast Freaky Tiki’.

Daylilies like sunshine so much but be careful, in hot areas, they do not grow well in completely dry soil in sunny places.

Daylilies also like an average amount of moisture in the soil but will not be happy in soils that are water logged. Give them water regularly during their first one or two growing seasons. Their flowers will be larger and will bloom richer if regularly watered in the first part of the season.

When in bloom, feel free to cut the flowers for bouquets or even decorating of salads (as the flowers are edible). This will not injure your plants. While each flower blooms only a single day, choose stems with several larger buds.

After blooming has finished, leave the foliage in place, don't cut it off. The leaves will gather sunlight and will provide nourishment for the next year's show. Your daylilies will need rest for a few months, before beginning the next growing season.

Hemerocallis 'Spacecoast Freaky Tiki' is a registered rarity by Kinnebrew in U.S. in 2006. Round flower, petals slightly curved back with slightly curled edges. Orange flowers dotted with many small red patches and stripes. Originated from a cross between 'Spacecoast Tiny Inferno' x 'Raven's Rage'. Orange-yellow with purple-red stripes and spots.

My final plant for this week, and the last of the herbaceous perennials, is another dwarf—a peony. Paeonia lactifolia ‘Kiev’ has large single pink flowers which soften towards a centre of yellow stamens.

This Patio Series produces peonies for containers featuring strong stems and hard flowers. This particular selection has single, dark pink flowers with a cream centre appearing in spring.

Next week I’ll take a look at some shrubs or woody plants, starting with a new ornamental crabapple, Malus ‘DurLawrence’ Courageous which though it does produce some very small fruit, they dry up and fall off, and so are not a nuisance.


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