Archive for March, 2012

Paeonia ‘Bartzella’

A Garden Crossings new introduction for 2012, Peony Bartzella is really showing its colors.  The butter yellow, 8″ double blooms load this beautiful plant full of color. Peony Bartzella has an extra long bloom time, the plants send out new growth from the side creating more blooms for later blooming.  Bartzella is a  new cross of the herbaceous garden peony with the woody tree peonies. Due to this excellent breeding, staking is NOT needed. ‘Bartzella‘ would be a great choice for landscape design because of its tidy habit.


Shade doesn’t have to be dark and drab, there are so many great colorful choices for your shade gardens. Color comes in a few different forms. For some, color means that the plant has to have a colorful flower. In that case my top two annual picks for shade are Impatiens and Begonias. Many shade gardeners will say ‘but I have used those plants every year’. Is that a bad thing? I would have to say ‘NO’!  My absolute favorite is Impatiens they give such a huge impact of color that lasts ALL SEASON. Why would that be a bad thing? Impatiens come in a wide range of colors from white, red, salmon, orange, and an array of pink colors.

Another option for color comes in the form of foliage. The top choice for shade gardens is the Hosta, but for many they feel that Hosta is just ‘to plain’. Hosta do come in a wide range of size, texture, and variations of blue, green, yellow and white but for many this is just not enough. So for those of you who want to take foliage color to the next step I recommend trying Heuchera.  Heuchera offer a rainbow of color in foliage with chartreuse, purple, orange, green, burgundy, and variations in between. Also many varieties of Coral Bells offer a unique bell shaped flower that stand tall above the foliage for an added splash of color.

Now if shrubs are more your style, I would recommend trying any of the Proven Winners Color Choice Euonymus. The variegated foliage comes in shades of white and green, yellow with green edging, and green with chartreuse edging. These shade loving shrubs stand about 2-3′ tall with an equal spread.

So don’t think that shade has to be boring take a look at all of the plants we recommend for your shade gardens.


Hosta ‘Rhino Hide’

If slugs seem to be winning the battle in your Hosta Garden, we recommend giving Hostas one more try.  Hosta ‘Rhino Hide‘ is as tough as nails!  The thick substance of  ‘Rhino Hide‘ make this a real match for slugs.  The extra thick leaves have extra wide blue margins with a splash of light green up the center.  The leaves are cupped shape, giving this Hosta more dimensional look.  Although ‘Rhino Hide‘ can withstand full sun, it is recommended that it be planted in a more part shade location.  In mid summer watch for the white flowers to emerge.