Whats Hot- Sept/Oct 2007

September 26, 2007
Written by Lorraine Hunter
Canadian consumer magazines are touting good plants for fall foliage, ornamental grasses and favourite roses in late summer editions.
Roses and ornamental grasses take centre stage for Fall Gardens

14Canadian consumer magazines are touting good plants for fall foliage, ornamental grasses and favourite roses in late summer editions.

The 2007 planting issue of Ontario Gardener Living features an article highlighting month-by-month garden stars. Best bets for September and October include burning bush (Euonymous alata) with brilliant red foliage; cutleaf staghorn sumac ‘Tiger Eyes’ with bright gold summer foliage that fades to orange and then scarlet; ornamental kale; Autumn Joy sedum with its rusty red flowers and colchicum and autumn crocus to plant in late August and early September for almost immediate bloom.

For November and December the list includes shrubs and trees that keep their berries and have strongly coloured stems including mountain ash, with large clusters of red berries that persist until after Christmas, winterberry (Ilex verticillata) with bright red berries on black stems and Viburnum dentata ‘Blue Muffin’ with stunning, true blue berries beginning in late fall.

Canadian Gardening, summer 2007, combines ornamental grasses with shrub roses to produce a perfect partnership for late summer and fall gardens. Mix and match rose choices include R. ‘Kakwa’ and R. ‘Fru Dagmar Hastrup’, each with large, brilliant orange and red tips that last into fall and winter, extending their ornamental value in the landscape. Ornamental grass choices include:

• ‘The Blues’ Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium ‘The Blues’), which grows from 60 to 90 cm high with clump-forming, upright, blue-tinted, slender foliage, purplish bronze flowers in late summer and fluffy silver-white seedheads that persist into winter.

• ‘Overdam’ Feather Reed Grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Overdam’) measuring from 90 cm to one metre high and is compact and clump-forming. It features narrow, variegated green-and-white foliage, upright wheat-coloured summer flowers and subsequent seedheads.

• ‘Adagio’ Maiden Grass (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Adagio’), that grows as high as 1.2 metres and is narrow and clump-forming. Its silver-grey foliage turns yellow in autumn, the silvery tan flowers are pink-tinged and appear in late summer and creamy white seedheads show up in fall and winter.

• Red Fountainbush Switch Grass (Panicum virgatum ‘Rotstrahlbusch’) grows to 1.2 metres. This clump-forming grass has green foliage with red-tinged tips that intensify in colour and enlarge as the season progresses and burgundy flowerheads that turn beige as seeds form in the fall.
The summer 2007 edition of Gardening Life asked five of Canada’s top rosarians to name their favourite roses. Answers included:

• David Austin’s ‘Abraham Darby,’ chosen by Lynn Wood of Cedar Hollow Rose Farm in Lumby, B.C.

• Explorer ‘J.F. Quadra,’ a red climber for cold climates from Anne Pineau from  Heirloom Roses, Halifax, N.S.

• Rugosa ‘Snow Pavement’ (‘Schneekoppe’) , a dense mounding plant with large white flowers infused with light lavender, from Robert Osborne of Corn Hill Nursery, Corn Hill, N.B.

• ‘Windmill,’ a modern shrub rose whose single white flowers have mauve-pink edges and a unique twist to its petals, from John Vanderkruk, of Hortico Inc., Waterdown, Ont.

• ‘Fellowship,’ also called ‘Living Easy,’ a floribunda rose from Brad Jalbert, Select Roses, Langley, B.C.

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