It’s always fun selecting new plants for the garden, and this month, some birthday money gifts allowed me to go for it! A birthday trip up to the amazing Christianson’s Nursery in Skagit Valley offered so many choices, it was difficult to narrow down the field and make selections.
Not all the new plants are in the earth yet. The three largest shrubs we are adding to replace ones that have aged poorly or broken beneath heavy snow are: 1) a Weigela florida ‘Alexandra’ (also known as Wine & Roses) 2) a Salix (willow) ‘Flame’ and 3) a Chaenomeles speciosa (flowering quince) ‘Double Take Peach.’ These three add variety in gorgeous blooms, foliage color, winter interest, and texture.
I’ve also been adding new purchases to the rose bed as companion plants while my seeded salvias and other plants mature enough to be planted out. This is the bloom season for perennial Erysimum or wallflowers, and ‘Apricot Twist’ and ‘Super Bowl Mauve’ have added excellent color in early spring since I added three of each. A new plant to me, three perennial Knautia macedonia ‘Thunder and Lightning’ show beautiful, variegated leaves already and promise to bloom a deep purple-red, which will hopefully mimic the nearby English rose ‘Munstead Wood’. I’ve been a fan of Baptisia since our Virginia days but never grew one at Coppertop, so I purchased two healthy bareroot specimens of ‘Sparkling Sapphires’ also for the rose bed. They will grow alongside the obelisk that supports a new ‘Iceberg’ climbing rose.
I’m waiting until all roses are planted before sharing photos of the new, large bed. Sixteen of 20 roses (10 varieties) are in and just starting to break dormancy. The others are supposed to be shipped out this week.
Finally, I was able to locate plants that have been on my wish list for ages: Corydalis flexuosa ‘Hillier Porcelain Blue.’ We’re adding these three perennials beneath the black arches in a perfect, shady spot. Unlike previous corydalis, this new variety isn’t supposed to fade in summer, but should bloom heavily again in fall. The blue is about as vibrant as the Meconopsis blue poppies I grow, offering such a gorgeous color in the garden.