The Best In the West: Planting Hunting In Oregon

I've seen a lot of plants in the last five days; I've been in Portland, Oregon visiting nurseries and gardens. This is a great area to visit nurseries and see interesting plants, especially if you get into some of the smaller, more specialized nurseries. Here is just a few plants that caught my attention. What do you think?

Agastache 'Cotton Candy'
This plant is a sea of flowers. It's an easy growing, vigorous perennial that blooms from mid-summer until frost. The dense flower spikes have numerous light pink flowers. It has a compact, low branching growth habit. It tolerates dry conditions and prefers well drained soils. All Agastache are popular with hummingbirds.

Agastache 'Summer Love'
This new Hummingbird Mint has masses large red-purple flowers all summer and into fall. It forms an attractive upright mound to 36" tall and has bright green, fragrant foliage. This is a great perennial if you're in zone 6 or warmer and have good soil drainage.
Jasminum officinale 'Flona's Sunrise'
This colorful vine is a yellow version of the Poet's Jasmine vine. It is a strong climer that can reach twenty feet if you give is something to twine up. I especially like its fragrant white flowers in summer. It is hardy to zone 7 and warmer but those of you in Zone 6 might have some luck if you plant it in a protected location and mulch it each year to protect the roots.

Stokesia laevis 'Purple Pixie'
My friend and trusted Perennial Diva Stephanie Cohen turned me on to this little beauty. It is the first ever dwarf Stoke's Aster! It has large violet blue flowers and a short, compact habit that does not fall apart with maturity. It blooms in early July and sporadically until fall. It's a great little plant for the areas with high heat and humidity. Hardy to zone 5, it is happiest in full sun. It's best to avoid soils that are wet or high in lime.

More New Plants: The Plant Hunter In Europe Part II

It was quite evident that there is a lot of shrub breeding going on in Europe. It appears that the trend in shrub use continues to grow in Europe just as it is here. And based on what we saw Hydrangea breeding is as strong as ever . Here is a small sample of what we ran across on our last trip across the big pond.

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Selina'
developed by Kwekerij Sidaco. These flowers were quite striking as the flower color is an unusual color. I'm not sure how to descripe the color.

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Selma' developed by
Kwekerij Sidaco. I love the ruffled sepals and the cream and pink coloration.

Quick Fire Hydrangea paniculata - The origianl plant developed by plantsman Mark Bulk

Pinky Winky Hydrangea paniculata - The original plant develpoed by Johan Van Juylendroeek at the Belgian Breeding Station in Flanders. Note how new white flowers continue to emerge from the tip of the inflorescens.

Edgy Hearts Hydrangea macrophylla - A new series of dramatic, "edgy" plants developed by master breeder Katrin Meinl.

Edgy Orbits Hydrangea macrophylla a new lacecap with doubled sepals in the Japanese style developed by yours truly.

On the Hunt: New Plants In Europe

Having been in Belgium and the Netherlands the last week I have a back log of 7200 emails to get through. Still I promised to share some new plants with you upon my return. I don't have the time to give you greater detail than the photographs and the names but I think you enjoy the post anyway. I'll share a few more new plants as I have time.

Dicentra 'Burning Hearts'

Chamaecyparis nootkatensis 'Gloria Polonica'

Daphne odora 'Rogbret'

Populus deltoides 'Purple Wave'

Prunus laurocerasus 'Ivory'
What do you Like?