By Dan Heims, president of Terra Nova Nurseries
Photographs courtesy of Terra Nova Nurseries
Welcome to Spring 2020! Plants don’t know anything about COVID-19, but it has cancelled several trade shows, ultimately limiting customer’s exposure to new plants. However, Terra Nova Nurseries’ breeders are still creating the newest and hardiest perennials.
Terra Nova Nurseries has long been on the map for launching the first commercial heucherella. These hybrids of heuchera and tiarella have great vigor and interesting foliage and flowers, while also having a trailing, groundcover habit. It’s become one of the best varieties to use in combination pots as they play well with their pot-mates. Terra Nova Nurseries has launched two new colors of heucherella with Indigo Frost and Peach Tea. These varieties have done well in hot, humid areas of the south.
Nothing says “hi!” to early spring like hellebore. Positively shade- and deer-proof, these long-lived beauties have been offered as seedling mixes or seedling strains. That’s where you may have a few prize winners in the mix; you have variability in the pots and a few dogs (no offense, dogs…). Terra Nova Nurseries has been selecting some great forms and putting plants in tissue culture, which gives the plants vigor and perfect uniformity. Terra Nova is happy to be adding NORTH STAR™ Pink and Plum to their helleborus offerings.
Heucherella ‘Indigo Frost’
Our most petite heucherella to date makes a perfect gift pot, or fairy garden candidate. People will love its small habit with dark purple and sharply cut leaves, adorned with silver veils. Multiple crowns produce pink buds and develop into delicate white flowers, adding a precious accent wherever it is placed. Reaching only 8″ high by 8″ wide, Heucherella 'Indigo Frost' is perfect for fairy gardens, smaller mixed containers, rock gardens, and borders. U.S.D.A. Hardiness Zones for this variety are 4-9. Combine with dwarf Narcissus like Narcissus bulbocodium for a fun combo in a pot.
Most people are familiar with Terra Nova’s hit, Heucherella ‘Sweet Tea’. Terra Nova’s breeders have a new, peachy-red alternative with Heucherella ‘Peach Tea’. The tea-tinted peachy-red leaves contrast beautifully with its creamy-white flowers. Heucherella does well in high humidity areas which can sometimes be oppressive for heuchera. Those in areas where rust is prevalent will find this plant highly resistant to rust or mildew. Gardeners will note this U.S.D.A. Zone 4 plant is vigorous, fuller and more compact. It also gives off a glow of warm daintiness in the landscape. Heucherella ‘Peach Tea’ is also useful in containers, summer borders or mass plantings; keep your borders radiant with Heucherella ‘Peach Tea’!
Helleborus is the perfect plant to kick-off spring with a bang. Terra Nova Nurseries Helleborus NORTH STAR Pink features elegant, pink flowers that are uniquely “painted” with dark-sangria brush strokes. Double, semi-nodding blooms are held on upright stems above mounds of thick, pine-green foliage. This variety is perfect in full sun to dappled shade and resistant to pests, diseases and deer. Helleborus NORTH STAR Pink was bred for reliable tissue culture production planning, which means all plants are identical clones.
Helleborus NORTH STAR Plum has stunningly rich, plum-purple double flowers that are held just above the pine-green foliage. Each of the plant’s flowers are lightly brushed pink at the petal edges, giving them a gorgeous picotee effect. Helleborus NORTH STAR Plum’s height reaches 30” each year. Its flower count also increases each year, so avoid placing the plants too closely together to prevent overcrowding. Sun-, semi-shade and full-shade tolerant, this resilient variety has few pests, is long lived and tolerant of drought. This evergreen, deer-resistant plant adds dramatic color to sunny borders and tree understories as late winter turns to spring.
Christmas is a special time at Biltmore, in Asheville, N.C, and has been ever since George Vanderbilt welcomed his first guests to his new home, Biltmore House, in 1895. That year started a tradition that Biltmore’s guests enjoy today.
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