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What’s Hot – September/October 2006

March 6, 2008  By Lorraine Hunter

What’s hot on the consumer magazine front this summer? New and improved
versions of some old favourites, that’s what garden writers are hyping
this season.

New Spins on Some Old Favourites

What’s hot on the consumer magazine front this summer? New and improved versions of some old favourites, that’s what garden writers are hyping this season.


Canadian Gardening, August/September 2006, for example, looks at hostas, zeroing in on 20 new cultivars well worth growing, including some with vibrant springtime colour that stays true all summer. There are gold and yellow species such as ‘English Sunrise’, a small slow-growing sport of ‘June’, and ‘Great Lakes Gold’ with large, rippled leaf margins and the medium blue ‘Queen of the Sea’.

Variegated cultivars include ‘Hanky Panky,’ which has dark green leaves with gold borders and narrow, white threads and there are miniatures like ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ and ‘Lemon Frost’ as well as three slug-resistant varieties: ‘Orange Marmalade’, ‘Super Nova’, and ‘Touch of Class’.

Gardening Life, Summer 2006, profiles sunflowers as not just pretty yellow faces anymore. The article describes some of the newer forms that come in “juicy colours” and a range of sizes from petite to plus. The multi-hued hybrids are popular as cut flowers because “many are practically pollenless,” writes horticultural editor Karen York.

Some of these new cultivars are: Sundance Kid, with a semi-double bronze to gold flower on a 16- to 28-inch stem; Teddy Bear, with fuzzy, orange-gold double flowers some five inches across on sturdy, multi-branched stems; Double Dandy, a ruffled double red dwarf sunflower; Prado Red, with a burgundy flower; Sunburst Lemon Aura, with spiky yellow flowers seven to eight inches across; Ruby Eclipse, a red or dark pink flower with lemony tips; and Italian White, a cream-coloured flower with a chocolate brown centre.

Ontario Gardener Living, Planting 2006 issue, features Canadian Explorer Roses, bred not only to survive but to thrive in northern gardens. Developed over three decades, the series has over two dozen roses including: ‘William Booth,’ a single red rose with a white heart, ‘Martin Frobisher’ with warm, glowing double pink tea roses that have high-pointed buds blooming on shrubs from June to October; ‘JP Connell’, a clear yellow rose with leaves that start out bronze and turn into a glossy deep green with red-brown canes; ‘Henry Hudson’, a low-growing ground spreader with pale lavender-tinted buds and fragrant white semi-double blossoms as well as bedding roses ‘Champlain’ which is deep red and ‘Frontenac’ which is deep pink, both of which have none-stop prolific blooms from spring to fall.

Ontario Gardener also highlights lilacs in this issue, from some of the oldest varieties to some of the newest including Meyer lilac (Syringa meyer ‘Palabin’), and resent hybrids ‘Tinkerbelle’ and
‘Sugar Plum Fairy’ which grow to four or five feet in height, are fragrant and have pink to rose-lilac flowers It also mentions shrubby lilac species, Japanese tree lilac (S. reticulata), a small tree that thrives in gardens across the prairies and Ontario.

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