Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring arrives at Baldwin Nurseries

After the spectacular moon of last night, spring has been ushered in today with cool temperatures and winds but sparkling blue skies and brilliant sunshine. We're all feeling pretty happy that the snow has mostly disappeared and while we're a ways from planting yet, we just had to tell you about some of the new and new-to-us plants we're carrying this year at Baldwin's Nurseries.

The daphne that grows around here is budded up and will be blooming soon, and don't we love its fragrance. This year, we're also carrying the variegated-foliage 'Carol Mackie' daphne, hardy to zone 5 and beautiful whether in bloom or simply in leaf.
Winter-weary gardeners always welcome the sight of spring blossoms, including those of Chaenomeles, or flowering quince. This year along with the red and salmon-coloured varieties we've carried, we're offering the cheery 'Pink Lady' for those who are more fond of rosy colours.
Hamamelis or witch hazels bloom even earlier when they're in containers than when they're planted out, but it's about time for 'Arnold Promise' to be blooming in much of Nova Scotia. The hamamelis is very important for early-waking pollinators to visit for nutrients, and they're pretty important for those of us who want flowers in March, too.
There are many different types of flowering viburnums, and we at Baldwin Nurseries carry a great selection of native and introduced species. Some are spring-flowering and very fragrant; others are later blooming and cherished more for their prodigious amounts of sparkling white flowers, like 'Summer Snowflake'.
We've talked about hellebores before, and for many of you, the flowers are stirring and beginning to open. We are carrying a wide selection of hellebores, which are deer resistant and easy care perennials once they are situated where they like to grow. Look for the double or waterlily-type hellebores as well as new introductions in striking new colours,
...Such as 'Metallic Blue Lady', from Fraser's Thimble Farms in British Columbia. We're looking forward to seeing this and other unusual-coloured varieties bloom this spring.

We've carried 'Tricolor' beech (Fagus sylvatica) for several years, and while it's a pricy tree, it's perfect for those looking for a unique, marvelous specimen tree.
Cratageus or hawthorn is a terrific small tree, with a number of species native to Nova Scotia. Birds love the fruit of these thorny shrubs or trees. We are carrying 'Paul's Scarlet' this year, a popular hybrid with good disease resistance.
The dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) is sometimes called the dinosaur tree because for years its existence was only known through fossil records. In the 1940s living specimens were found and propagated, and today this marvelous tree is widely available. The dawn redwood is similar to larches (Larix) in that it drops its needles in the autumn, and produces a new crop in spring. We have carried the standard species for several years, and this year have added the brilliant yellow-foliaged 'Gold Rush' (also known as 'Ogon' ) to our inventory.
While not for the colder parts of Nova Scotia, the redbud (Cercis canadensis) is a terrific tree for early spring flowers. It covers itself with pink or white flowers in May, and has beautiful heart-shaped foliage to boot.

These are just a few of the new plants you'll find at Baldwin's this spring. Others include a number of new Japanese maples; 'Satomi' flowering dogwood as well as the beautiful native Pagoda dogwood; a hardy apricot for the fruit tree fanciers, the bald cypress (Taxodium), and more. Stay tuned for more new arrivals very soon.