Carol Mackie Daphne Sudden Death

I am sad to say my 6 year old Carol Mackie Daphne, planted in 2005, succumbed to what I believe was root rot this past spring. Despite not disturbing the roots and only pruning out damaged wood, my once thriving Carol Mackie started showing signs of branch wilt in 2010. By 2011 the damage was… Read more »

Weigela ‘French Lace’

Height: 1.25 m (4 feet) Spread: 1.25 m (4 feet) Bloom: deep rosy red, funnel shaped Exposure: full sun Foliage: bright green with yellow edges Pluses: long bloom, foliage colour, attracts hummingbirds Weigela are an old-fashioned plant but newer varieties are showing up every year. French Lace is a tall cultivar with variegated foliage and… Read more »

Weigela ‘Midnight Wine’

Height: 30cm (1 feet) Spread: 60cm (2 feet) Bloom: deep rosy pink, funnel shaped Exposure: full sun Foliage: black purple Pluses: foliage colour Weigela ‘Midnight Wine’ (sometimes called ‘Elvera’) is a dwarf version of the popular Weigela ‘Wine & Roses’. With a height of no more than one foot, it is ideal for the front… Read more »

Magnolia x ‘Susan’

Height: 2.5 m (8 – 10 feet) Spread: 2.5m (8 – 10 feet) Bloom: fuschia pink in April Foliage: glossy green Fall Colour: bronze-yellow While they are a sight for sore eyes in early spring, the flowers of both Saucer Magnolia and Star Magnolia are susceptible to frost, especially in southern Ontario. For the last… Read more »

Lonicera tatarica (Bush Honeysuckle)

Height: 3 m (10-12 feet) Bloom: pink in May Fall Colour: none Tatarian Honeysuckle is a large shrub with an erect, vase shaped habit. Lonicera tatarica has heart-shaped, bright green leaves and remains healthy throughout the season although it offers no fall colour. Flowers are abundant, pink (occasionally white) and appear in mid-May in my… Read more »

Itea virginica (Sweetspire) ‘Little Henry’

Height: 1 m (3 feet – see below re hardiness) Spread: 1.25 m (4 feet) Bloom: Arching fragrant white flowers in early summer Exposure: Full sun to part shade Foliage: green, great scarlet fall colour Pluses: fall colour For me the jury is still out on this one. Itea virginica ‘Little Henry’ (Sweetspire) is a… Read more »

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Westerstede’ (Witch Hazel)

Height: 3 m (10 feet) Spread: 2 m (6 feet) Bloom: primrose-yellow with copper red centre, very early spring before foliage Exposure: Full sun Foliage:green Pluses: blooms even in the snow, an early start to the season Hamamelis x intermedia hybrids are a cross between H. japonica (Japanese witch hazel) and H. mollis (Chinese witch… Read more »

Fothergilla gardenii (Dwarf Fothergilla)

Height: 80 cm (32 inches) Spread: 65 cm (24 inches) Bloom: white in spring Foliage: blue-green, textured Exposure: part shade Pluses: unusual flower, nice texture, fall colour It’s surprising that Fothergilla gardenii is not used more often in gardens. A small shrub, it bears white bottlebrush-like flowers in spring before leafing out. The small one-inch… Read more »

Forsythia x intermedia ‘Spectabilis’

Height: 3 m (8-10 feet) Spread: 3 m (8-10 feet) Bloom: golden-yellow, early spring before foliage Exposure: Full sun Foliage:green Pluses: an early start to the season One of the first signs of spring are the bright golden yellow flowers of forsythia. ‘Spectabilis’ (Showy Border Forsythia) is hardy enough for zone 5 so most years… Read more »

Euonymus alatus ‘Compactus’ (Dwarf Burning Bush)

Height: 1.2 m (4 feet) Spread: 1.2 m (4 feet) Bloom: small yellow-green in early spring Foliage: medium green with brilliant scarlet fall colour Berries: small red berries persist through winter Exposure: full sun to part shade, best fall colour in full sun Pluses: shape, ease of care, brilliant red fall colour A must have… Read more »