Cousins to the gladiola, these plants produce clumps of broad sword shaped leaves with tall arching spikes of funnel-shaped blossoms appearing mid to late summer. They range in height from 2 to 3 feet and flowers lasting at least a month. Foliage is very architecturally pleasing in any landscape as it has nearly the same movement as ornamental grasses during a wind. Crocosmias are ridiculously easy to grow. All they require is a place in full sun in reasonably fertile but well-drained soil. No problems with pests or diseases – even deer shun them. All make excellent cut flowers and last a long time when cut. And best of all, hummingbirds love them.
Two of the best cultivars are:
Emily McKenzie – glowing orange flowers with a crimson throat; 24-36” tall
Lucifer – brilliant flame red flowers; 36” tall
Dahlia – Pompom (Viking), (New for 2015)
Pompom dahlias have fully double flowers that are perfectly globe shaped. “Viking” produces ball-like, 2-3” velvety burgundy red flowers July to October. Plants reach a height of 3’ and are quite wind resistant.
Gladiolus ‘Glamini Series’ (New for 2015)
A new dwarf series of gladiolus half the height of their counterparts developed specifically for pot culture but equally as good in annual beds and mixed borders. Strong windproof stems supporting up to 10 blooms each with two to three spikes blooming at the same time resulting in up to 30 flowers on a plant from a single corm. Blooms last longer than most other glad varieties (up to 21 days), and are the same size as other gladiolus varieties. This series also blooms up to 2 weeks earlier than most other glads. Plant these at two week intervals to enjoy blooms for months during our short growing season. This series prefers the same conditions as all glads – sunny location and well-drained soils. This year we are carrying the following varieties:
Christopher – maroon petals with white centers
Emily – soft pink flowers with a bright red blend
Waris – non-fading dazzling bright purple flowers
Zoe – peach orange petals with hints of lemon yellow
Lilium orienpet (Oriental x Trumpet)
Also known as “Tree Lilies” these are a group of interdivisional hybrid lilies that give increased hardiness over both their parents (the Oriental and Trumpet type lilies), but sport the same large blooms these have become known for. This group of lilies easily weather late spring frosts without bud kill and have the same sweet fragrances as Oriental lilies with the same huge flowers, many of which are out or down-facing. All range in height of 3’ to 6’, attaining their full height of 6’ or more after being in the ground for 3 years. Most bloom mid to late summer. All make great cut flowers. Plant 4-6” deep in well-drained soils in a sunny location.
Following are some of the best available this season:
Beverly Dreams – down facing soft white to cream colour with a chocolate maroon center
Debbie – tall growing, down facing flowers in a deep cerise red edged in golden yellow, ip to 6’ in height
Honeymoon (New for 2015) – very large (8”) blooms, creamy white blushed pale yellow in the interior with a subtle fruity fragrance.
Purple Prince – huge 8” upward facing trumpet shaped blooms in a rare shade of purple lavender with a green throat.
Red Dutch – candy apple red blooms with wide yellow margins; spicy fragrance
Tigridia (Tiger Flowers)
Members of the iris family, Tigridias are native to Mexico and Guatemala. Flowers resemble the gladiolus and can be up to 5” across in colours of red, pink, white, yellow, orange or scarlet. Triangular shaped petals of solid colours adorn the outer edges of the flower, while sporting a center that is spotted in a seashell like appearance. Blooming period is mid summer. Ideal for growing in outdoor containers or in the garden where a splash of vivid colour is required. Plants are up to 15” in height and prefer sunny well-drained locations.