Top 20 Bestsellers for 2012
Peonies made it to number 1 this year!
No. 1 — Paeonia (Peony)
Well I've certainly found my new focus. I love these guys. This summer I immersed myself with our thousands growing in the field for the cut flower market. The subscription bouquet program we offered was a complete success and I had the best time combining peony with other flowers and foliage from our gardens. I think they actually last longer as cut flowers than in the gardens but I'll always have a dozen or so in my gardens. Pictured p. Coral Charm
To see all of the Paeonia we grow, click here.
No. 2 — Primula (Primrose)
Finally we were able to offer the marginata and the hirsuta primula that bloom at least twice in a season. These tiny beauties are an absolute must for your rock gardens. We've potted up another group for next year but you do have to get here early. With over 20 varieties, I'm sure we have something on your must have list. Pictured Primula florindae
To see all of the Primula we grow, click here.
No. 3 — Trollius (Globeflower)
Of course you know about the early, fragrant, workhorse Europaeus (pictured). But did you know we carry 4 other varieties including the rare Alabaster? Check it out.
To see all of the Trollius we grow, click here.
No. 4 — Meconopsis (Blue Poppy)
They are right when they say it is the bluest colored flower available. Most blues are lavender or muddy but not these splendid specimens. And they love Alaskan gardens. This year the question was Theyve outgrown their allotted spots with over 50 blooms. What do we do??. We should all have this problem-right?
Photo courtesy of Brenda's Garden by Design.
To see all of the Meconopsis we grow, click here.
No. 5 — Ornamental Grasses
Gardeners are catching on that ornamental grasses are really cool. They don't spread all over the gardens but stay in a nice mound and when the slightest breeze passes by they provide motion in the garden. Grasses can be tall, focal points or shorter for borders or the blues look great in rock gardens. Grasses fill that pointy requirement in the pointy, frilly, moundy equation for aesthetic gardens. Pictured Calamagrostis Brachytrichia
Photo courtesy of Gardens by Design
To see all of the Ornamental Grasses we grow, click here.
No. 6 — Iris (Flags)
Once again in the top 20. All gardens need something spiky and iris sure fit the bill. One of the most asked questions in our gardens What kind of iris is that thing?? And the reason for the question, our Caesars Brother (pictured) are humongous. But, what is also so great about these guys is there are always some new colors. Five great varieties will be on the 2012 list. Pictured I. Sibirica Bountiful Violet
To see all of the Iris we grow, click here.
No. 7 — Vines
So versatile in their use. Maybe what you didn't know is you can use them to meander through your shrubs, up a tree or as a ground cover. They aren't just for climbing up trellises or arches. Forget all those things folk say about vines. They are easy to grow and very hardy if you get the right varieties. Clematis Constance (pictured) blooms twice per season reliably for us.
To see all of the Vines we grow, click here.
No. 8 — Dicentra (Bleeding Heart)
I attribute the big move up the charts to my (finally) display by the bridge. You know I always get the leftovers for my gardens and last year we had pink bleeders. So we put them in a spot by the bridge and they loved it there. When they bloomed, we sold out completely the old fashioned spectabilis. However the cultivar that got the most attention was the Burning Heart in the rock garden. This exquisite tiny cultivar bloomed all summer in our rock garden.
To see all of the Dicentra we grow, click here.
No. 9 — Aquilegia (Columbine)
These beauties would have been higher on the top 20 if we hadn't sold out I'm sure. There is just no end to the offerings these days and columbine love our long cool days. Remember though, they are quite promiscuous. Your original plant will remain the same of course but it's off spring will cross with any other columbine within I think at least a 1,000 mile radius. I gave up trying to control them and have enjoyed some beautiful results of crosses surpassing the beauty of their Moms.
To see all of the Aquilegia we grow, click here.
No. 10 — Papaver (Poppy)
Allow this exquisite poppy to naturalize in your less than formal gardens and you'll be rewarded with happy, cheerful blooms everywhere.
Combine with Trollius pumilus, Ajuga 'Golden Glow' or naturalize with forget-me-nots.
No. 11 — Sedum (Stonecrop)
What a jump from no recognition to number 9. Must be something good about these guys. And there really are some excellent reasons to have sedum in your gardens. From the tiny, tiny 1 inch guys that are completely covered in blooms, to the taller almost shrub like s. Autumn Joy (pictured), from bright orange blooms to subtle pinks. And all of them attract butterflies and bees.
To see all of the Sedum we grow, click here.
No. 12 — Ligularia (Ligularia)
Did you say shade? Thats probably one of the biggest challenges an Alaskan gardener experiences. With our cold soils, adding shade makes is very difficult. Ligularia just might be the answer to all your problems. They do extremely well in our cold, shaded soils, on the north side, but also they will take some sun. And now there are so many varieties. From the tallest 4-6 feet Rocket to the newest Bottle Rocket (pictured) and everything in between including the dark, huge leaved Desdemona types.
To see all of the Ligularia we grow, click here.
No. 13 — Viola
Old-fashioned-looking little violas. White and purple flowers, tie-dye look, good in containers or where they will be seen easily.
No. 14 — Lilium (Lily)
I've come to the conclusion most bulb (lilies are bulbs) only last for about 4 or 5 years. But for those 4 or 5 years, there is nothing like the regal bloom of lilies. They bloom the first year you plant them, each one of our pots have at least 2 plants and each plant has several stems and thus several flowers. So when you get right down to it, they give you more bangs for your buck than a lot of other perennials, even with a life expectancy of 4 or 5 years. Huge thick, hunky flowers, regally tall thick stems, tons of color choices, yep, these are really winners.
Photo courtesy of Cassie Hillstrand.
To see all of the Lilium we grow, click here.
No. 15 — Hosta
We're glad to see hosta back in favor again. Don't be fooled however with the tags that say shade. Our cold soils make many plants later than normal, add to that shade that keeps the soils colder longer, and then there is our short season-results- hosta just will not survive in total shade. They need some sun, lots of compost and moisture. We've done extensive experiments with same species. Excellent drainage and full sun is definitely the key for the huge guys you see in all the magazines.
To see all of the Hosta we grow, click here.
No. 16 — Delphinium
These days there are so many more choices for these beauties. Tall, and I mean TALLLLL, short, doubles, singles and of course many colors. The D. elatum hybrids are the tallest and probably the showiest. The books will say 5 to 6 feet. Don't believe it. Ours often reach 8 feet. Staking required. Pictured d. New Millennium Pagan Purples
No. 17 — Polemonium (Jacob's Ladder)
These are not the native ladders that take over jack but the well behaved, multi flower colors, multi options for foliage and heights. Bressingham Purple has beautiful dark burgundy foliage, Stairway to Heaven has a slight pink cast in its variegated green and white flowers, and the new San Juan Skies is a shorter cultivar perfect for rock gardens and borders. And probably one of the most important features is the versatility of growing. Polemonium will take some shade or full sun. Pictured p. Bressingham Purple in our gardens.
To see all of the Polemonium we grow, click here.
No. 18 — Dianthus
Masses of fringed pink flowers appear above wiry stems. Blooms up to 8 weeks. Charming old fashioned look.
Plant carpets of this gorgeous carnation for a "wow" appearance or plant along a border.
No. 19 — Veronica
I love Veronica. Once they start blooming in midsummer, they bloom forever. If purple is your favorite color, Veronica is your ticket. Just a few plants will provide a mass of spiky purple blooms. A new Veronica Sunshine is the newest offering chartreuse foliage.
To see all of the Veronica we grow, click here.
No. 20 — Fern
Very lush, compact fern with tall bright green fronds with ruffled edges and curled tips. Perfect for Alaska. Ferns do great in sun in AK and Ok in the shade. They prefer moist soils however.