Documents: Latest From: Art Drysdale:

This week it is four more new woody plants including a purple dwarf Hydrangea
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 17, 2017

AAbove, Weigela Datenight Strobe; and Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Little Angel’. Below, Hydrangea arborescens Mini Mauvette; and Exochorda ‘Magical Snowdrops’.
All photos by the introducers or suppliers.




Most gardeners like Weigela shrubs because of their generally bright flower colours, in addition to the colour tinges of their foliage. In the case of next year’s winner—W. ‘WoF/R’ Datenight Strobe it is both attributes that gardeners like.

If you blink, you may miss one of the many flashy colours of Datenight™ Strobe™ Weigela. From spring through autumn, you’ll see bright pink flowers against green and bronze – then orange – then crimson red foliage.

The whirl of colour is intense and beautiful, making Strobe a showy choice for mixed borders, walkways or patio containers. Because it’s compact and low-maintenance, you’ll spend less time on care.

It is a zone 4 plant that can handle temperatures down to -34 Celsius or -30 Fahrenheit. It likes full to part sun, or 4-6 hours of sun per day. It grows 75 cm (3' tall and 3' wide), mounding. The flowers are bright pink, tube-shaped and hummingbird magnets!

The next shrub for this week is Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Little Angel’, which is a very dwarf form of the common Ninebark.

This ninebark has only just been introduced, but already it is winning awards. It has a well-branching structure that means there is lots of lush foliage, which is bright orange-red when it first appears, but will mature to a darker shade of burgundy-red. This colouring is very useful for adding depth of colour and contrast to the mixed or shrub border, and in early summer, the clusters of white flowers (and subsequent fruit) offer even more interest. A compact plant, it will also look great in a pot on the patio.

Prune old stems back to the base after flowering. After pruning apply a generous 5-7cm (2-3in) mulch of well-rotted garden compost around the base of the plant. It grows well in full sun or partial shade. Preferably it likes acid, fertile, moist but well-drained soil. It’s rate of growth is average and its flowering period is the month of June.

The next shrub is a Hydrangea closely related to the dwarf white-flowering Wee White discussed here last week. H. a. ‘NCHAT’ Invincibelle Mini Mauvette.

Cold climate gardeners, rejoice: there's finally a purple hydrangea for you!

Introducing Invincibelle Mini Mauvette® hydrangea - it's unlike anything that's ever come before. Why? Well, it blooms every single year, even in cold climates and is impervious to bad pruning. It's the same type of hydrangea as the classic and much-loved 'Annabelle' but instead of plain white blooms, the flowers are a deep pink-mauve, and they're held up on strong, sturdy stems that don't flop. The show begins in early summer and because Invincibelle Mini Mauvette is a re-bloomer, it continues clear through frost for an endless supply of flowers for the landscape or vase (both fresh and dried!). Available in better garden centers in spring 2018.

This one grows to a height and spread of one metre (40”).

Finally this week a new Pearl Bush. Exochorda ‘Magical Snowdrops’. Exochorda is a small genus of flowering plants in the family Rosaceae, native to China and central Asia (Turkestan). They are used as ornamental plants with the common name pearl bush, or pearlbush. Numerous species have been described on the basis of differing appearance and geographical separation, but a systematic study revealed that the different types are closely related and probably all descended from a single species that formerly had a wide distribution that has been fragmented by habitat loss.

Magical Snowdrops is a new form of the well known 'Pearl Bush' with a beautiful appearance. Shrubby in nature, it features compact growth and a height and spread to around 75 cm, making it the perfect choice for patio planters and garden borders alike. The masses of pearly white buds open to pure white flowers reliably every spring, doing best in fertile, well drained soil in full sun or partial shade.

Just space this week to wish all my regular and occasional readers a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, 2018! I am planning on taking a couple of weeks off from this blog the next two weeks, so no new articles until January 7, when I expect to have more new plants for the new year, specifically some new annual flowers. Hope you’ll check us out then.


  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row