Monday, April 25, 2011

See You at Saltscapes Expo!

Some days it sure feels like spring of late, other days...not so much. But this is the season of colour and fragrance, and plants seem to be mostly on schedule with other years. This photo of Rob with 'Ramapo' rhododendrons is from last year, and a little later in the spring, so don't panic--we're just trying to get you excited about this spring!
Things are hopping around the nursery as we get ready for the 7th annual Saltscapes Expo. Baldwin's Nursery has been attending since the second year, and we're happy to be at this uniquely Atlantic Canadian show again this year. We can't say for sure what we'll be bringing along for plants, but there could be a fragrant viburnum...

A Japanese maple or two...maybe some seedlings?

Perhaps a magnolia that's just ready to burst into flower...
Or one of the amazing tree peonies we're carrying...
Some of the hellebores, like 'Winter Jewel Apricot Shades'
Though we probably won't be bringing any along, we're carrying a variety of spring ephemerals this year, including the delicately lovely bloodroot (Sanguinaria).

Or this unusual dapple-leafed red trillium.

The Saltscapes Expo runs from Friday, April 29, 12 noon-9 pm; Saturday, 30 April, 9am-6 pm, and Sunday, 1 May, 10 am-5 pm. Please come and say hello to us, and have a look at some of the great plants we have for sale this year! We hope to see you this weekend. Now, back to working with the nursery.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Springing into the Season

Although this hasn't been the most weather-pleasant of springs so far, we feel pretty safe in saying that all signs point to it being time to kick off the garden season. We are open for business daily, and the staff are busily tending to our thousands of container grown perennials, trees and shrubs. The propagation house is filled with flats of seedlings and cuttings, and there's all kinds of bloom in the yard, like this Acadian daphne (Daphne mezereum).
No, your eyes do not deceive you. These are black pussywillows, (Salix gracilistyla var melanostachys) showing off their striking catkins. The twigs are equally attractive, displaying red and black colour over winter and flushing green as spring goes on. Best kept out of the worst of our winter winds, you should keep it well pruned to keep it robust and producing large, healthy catkins.
We love seeing the rich variety of colours in the young evergreens in the nursery. Most of these plants are still displaying some of their winter colour, but are equally striking and unique in their summer foliage hues. From Chamaecyparis to Thuja, from Picea to Juniperus, from Microbiota to Pinus, we have conifers in all shapes, sizes, colours and textures.
'Burning Hearts' bleeding heart (Dicentra) was very popular last year, and we're pleased to have it again this year. It's a beautiful plant in any stage, but especially striking as the new growth appears and unfolds.
The variegated periwinkle (Vinca major 'Variegata') is a good choice for a shady spot where you want a ground cover. It's not as vigourous as the all-green form, and the periwinkle-blue flowers are larger and more numerous.
One of our favourite creeping sedums for containers or rockeries is 'Angelina'. Its winter colour is spectacular and hard to describe, but as these shades fade, the gold and green is still very eyecatching. This sedum grows quickly but is not difficult to control.
The native wintergreen, Gaultheria, makes a fine evergreen groundcover if you have acid soil. The plants produce an edible, fleshy red berry that tastes more strongly of wintergreen than do the leaves, and which often last through the winter and into spring. The foliage changes colour through the fall and winter.
We are really excited about the selection of hellebores we have this year. These handsome plants are like potato chips--you can't possibly have just one. Our biggest dilemma was deciding which ones to order, as there are so many fascinating new colours and forms. This is 'Winter Jewel Double Painted', a fantastically ruffled and speckled variety.
This delicate hued lovely is 'Winter Jewel Apricot Blush'. There is some variation in the flower colours but that's the appeal of hellebores.
For those who fancy green flowers, we have H. argutifolius 'Silver Lace'. This one is best suited for milder parts of the province, and should be protected with a good mulch around the crown in late autumn. But it's definitely worth pampering a little, we think.

These are just a few of the spring jewels you'll see at the nursery. Come and visit us, and check our our blog for more posts as spring continues. We'll have a booth at Saltscapes Expo again this year, and our free tree seedling giveaway will happen for the month of May, so keep checking back!