New plants for 2019 - first look
As we look out of the office window we can see snow covering the nursery sales area and the Paddock Plants van as the sun shines from an icy blue sky. Not much scope for work outdoors then, but a perfect opportunity to sip a reflective coffee and look forward to warmer days ahead. It’s always nice to anticipate a new season, and one of the greatest pleasures associated with that is to think about all the new plants that are being added to the list of what we grow. Not all at once, mind you, but certainly in the course of the 2019 season. Which is perhaps just as well, given that we are expecting to have no fewer than 82 new plants jostling for space on the nursery and on the website.
Now 82 does sound an ambitious total, but there are a couple of cheats in there, plants that we have been growing and selling already, but which just didn’t make it on to last year’s new plant listing. In this category fall houseplants such as the chunky windowsill dweller Aloe Tiki Zilla, the Hawaian plant with a sad back story Brighamia Insignis, or everyone’s favourite spiky thing Echinocactus Grusonii. Then there’s the odd plant that has been missing, presumed lost, in action for a while but has now done the prodigal son thing, such as the lovely Phlox Cleopatra. But that still leaves a lot of new entries.
Quite a number of them are either Abutilons or Echinaceas, two plants that we seem to be building collections of, which is odd thing, having for years resisted the temptation to develop any kind of specialism. The abutilons (and we have some great varieties not usually seen here in the UK) will gradually filter on to the availability side of things as our propagation programme gathers some kind of momentum: we are feeling quite excited about this, so watch the abutilons section of the website! The same is true of the new echinaceas, which will bit by bit increase numbers of coneflowers that we have in our range. Building a collection of echinaceas is in itself quite a remarkable step, as Rob in particular was always very sniffy about them.
Beyond those categories of plant, there are still lots of novelties coming on stream. For years we have grown the bizarrely beautiful Carex Sparkler but never tried its baby cousin Carex Spark Plug: well, in 2019 we will be doing just that, so if you want some evergreen grassy groundcover with a bit of a difference, you will know what to look for. We have always grown a gaggle (if that’s the word) of geums, as we like them and so, it seems, do lots of gardeners. Our selection has been much the same for a while, so we are adding a couple of new varieties in Geum Pretticoats Peach and Geum Pink Petticoats. Lots of frilly analogies going on there, we think. And, after years of waiting to acquire suitable stock, we are growing the brilliant compact Stokesia Peachie’s PIck which, we are thinking, must be very nearly ready in their 2 litre pots.
Well, we have at least scratched the surface of the subject of new plants for 2019. If we find the time in between potting things up (and that season starts in earnest in a week or two’s time), we will try to feature a few more of the additions to our catalogue. In the meantime, we think it’s time to make some more coffee.
Rob and Joanna
Images of Carex Spark Plug and Geum Pretticoats Peach courtesy of Terra Nova Nurseries Inc www.terranovanurseries.com