Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Spring is Springing at Baldwin Nurseries

Spring has caught most of us by surprise in the past few weeks, being deliciously warm one day and distractingly cool the next. We had snow on Easter Sunday, and double digit warm weather two days later. It's confusing for the gardener and nursery operator, but the plants seem to be thriving anyway.
We are featuring a wide selection of hellebores this year, including the exquisite and almost black 'Black Diamond'. Its early foliage is almost as dark as the flowers and sepals are!
We will be offering potted herb gardens for sale again this year. Here, some basils are basking in the warmth of the big greenhouse.
We've become smitten with the fantastic, fragrant pinks, and have them in a rainbow series of delectable colours. The photo of Black Cherry doesn't do it true justice, as it's darker than this. We also have 'Apple Slice', 'Candy Floss', 'Frosty Star', 'Eastern Star', 'Neon Star', 'Fire Star and more varieties to choose from.
Hamamelis 'Diane' is a long-blooming favourite--it's been blooming for six weeks in a friend's garden, and is holding its flowers in containers here. We also have 'Arnold Promise' and 'Primavera', both of which are fragrant yellow varieties.
The magnolias are blooming ahead of schedule because of all this extra warmth we've been enjoying. This is 'Leonard Messil', an excellent choice for most gardens.
Trilliums are wonderful choices for planting under deciduous trees and shrubs, where the shade will encourage them to grow (providing you mulch well if it's a dry season.) This unusual form is Trillium cuneatum, known as whippoorwill flower, Toadshade, or Sweet Betsy. It's not native to our region but is hardy so do try it--the mottled foliage makes it wonderful whether in bloom or not.
This is Trillium grandiflorum, the white trillium that is floral emblem for Ontario. It's illegal to pick or dig up this plant in Ontario for that reason. Here, we don't recommend wildcrafting any wildflowers because some are growing more scarce. Ours are brought in from a small nursery that specializes in growing these plants.
We love the fragrant viburnums, including the Judd viburnum. It's starting to open its buds in containers, but in your garden is probably just starting to swell, so don't panic--plants flower earlier in containers than they do in the ground.

Should we mention that we have Meconopsis x sheldonii, one of the hybrid Himalayan blue poppies? Sure we should. They won't last long, so do come visit. We're open 7 days a week now, 9-5. Here's hoping we all have a great spring!