New Varieties for 2017

 Garden Rose Golden Celebration
2016 Garden Rose – Golden Celebration

Part of the fun of flower farming is trying new things. Every season we add new plants to our extensive grow list. Even though every year I vow to cut back, the excitement of growing, literally and figuratively, draws me in. Do we really need over 300 varieties? Probably not, but for a lot of reasons, it’s nice to diversify. Someday I may cut back and only grow our top 10 best sellers, but for now I spend a lot of time researching new plants for us to try!

Not all are keepers. Some just aren’t worth the trouble and space despite their beauty. But one that is, so far, is the garden rose.

I love garden roses. I could easily become a garden rose addict. Mid winter of 2015, after swearing I would never, ever, ever grow roses again (mainly due to the heartbreak of the Japanese beetle problem here) I allowed the dreamy catalogs to pull me in. In defense of my weakness, on that bitter, cold, dreary afternoon, I looked at the stunningly beautiful photos and I could actually smell the roses. We managed to, for the most part, keep the beetles and disease at bay. And so, with little hesitation, I ordered several of a few more delightful varieties to add to the ever expanding grow list for this spring.

We get a nice bloom period on both sides of the Japanese beetle hatch. In-between it’s constant battle, but we find the joy they bring is worth the effort. One whiff of their delicious fragrance and you will be hooked too!

This year we’ve added the following garden roses to our collection:

Garden Rose
Garden Rose – ‘Jubilee Celebration’. Described as “Salmon pink with tints of gold underneath with a fruity fragrance”. Photo credit: David Austin
Garden Rose - Lady Emma
Garden Rose – ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’. Described as “Tangerine orange with a fruity fragrance”. Photo credit: David Austin
Garden Rose- Munstead Wood
Garden Rose – Munstead Wood. Described as”Deep velvety crimson with a strong old rose fragrance”. And, as one would describe a fine wine, “warm and fruity with blackberry, blueberry and damson”. Photo credit: David Austin

Flowering Shrubs
We’ve been adding flowering shrubs a few at a time, but for next season I went a little nuts. I am still not sure were they are all going to go, but we always seem to tweak out a little more space here and there. With 60 new shrubs ordered, I better do some serious tweaking!

Kierra japonica 'Pleniflora'
Kierra japonica ‘Pleniflora’. Small 2″ double yellow flowers early spring to May with a good vase life. I am very in love and a little afraid of this wild beast which reaches 12′ high and has a “sprawling, spreading” habit. Photo credit: Missouri Botanical Garden
Flowering Quince
Flowering Quince – ‘Toyo Nishiki’. This has been on my wish list for quite some time. Photo credit: Missouri Botanical Garden
Carolina Allspice
Carolina Allspice – Reddish brown 2″ blooms produce an intensely fruity fragrance during spring/summer. I love it’s unique blooms. Photo credit: Missouri Botanical Garden
Flowering Almond
Flowering Almond – “Prized for heavy flowering in early spring. Branches literally covered with densely packed double pink blooms”. This shrub seems to need a lot of pampering and I sure hope we can do it justice.
Mock Orange
Mock Orange – lovely fragrant white blossoms in late spring/early summer. We are hooked on this one!


Tulips are one of those must have spring flowers and we try to grow unique varieties. We’ve been getting a lot of requests for peony flowering and green tulips. Our early bloomers always give us so much hope spring will actually come!

Peony Flowering Tulip – ‘Aveyron’. “This fluffy, flouncy newcomer is deep rose with paler rose petal edges and prominent green feathering on strong stems”. Photo credit: Van Engelen
Peony Flowering Tulip - "Blue Spectacle". It is deep violet-purple with a blue sheen and a fully double form resembling that of an actual Peony. Photo credit: Van Engelen
Peony Flowering Tulip – ‘Blue Spectacle’. “It is deep violet-purple with a blue sheen and a fully double form resembling that of an actual Peony”. Photo credit: Van Engelen
Peony Flowering Tulip – ‘Mount Tacoma’. “A fully double, glistening white, this 1924 award-winner has subtle green markings on its petals. Fragrant”. Photo credit: Van Engelen
‘Greenland’ – “Also known as Groenland, this award-winner is a charming old rose color with soft green stripes from the flower’s base to its tips”. Photo credit: Van Engelen

Brodiaea is an experiment for us this season. It is a zone 6 bulb, so a lot will depend if we can create a zone 6 environment for it.  We thought them beautiful enough to give it a try.

Brodia laxa corrina – “Clusters of delicate star-shaped, deep blue-violet flowers with darker midveins and grass-like foliage”. Photo credit: Van Engelen
Brodiaea californica babylon. This gorgeous selection out of B. californica has clusters of star-shaped amethyst flowers adored by the Dutch cut flower trade. Limited supply.
Brodiaea californica babylon. “This gorgeous selection has clusters of star-shaped amethyst flowers adored by the Dutch cut flower trade”. Limited supply. Photo credit: Van Engelen


Brodiaea – “Silver Queen has airy stellates of delicate star-shaped, silver-white flowers with a hazy silver shadow running the length of each lobe and grass-like foliage”. Limited Supply. Photo credit: Van Engelen


Brodiaea – “Queen Fabiola has clusters of delicate, star-shaped, blue-violet flowers with darker midveins and grass-like foliage”. Photo credit: Van Engelen

Another flowering bulb outside our comfort zone is the spring blooming anemone. We’ve had some success with them in prior years. I love them so much I’ve forgotten the pain of losing an entire crop to early season high temperatures and are going to attempt them again.



























Dahlias are by far our most popular flower. The list of varieties to choose from seems endless. Our most popular colors this past season were burgundy, white, and the soft creamy pink of the Cafe au Lait. This year we’ll be adding Karma dahlias to the mix. Karma dahlias have been proven to have an excellent storage and vase life.

Karma Dahlia Choc
Karma Dahlia – ‘Choc’. A deep red, almost black.
Karma dahlia 'Maarten Zwaan'. A white waterlily type dahlia
Karma dahlia ‘Maarten Zwaan’. A white waterlily type dahlia.
Karma Dahlia 'Goldie' - A warm golden yellow dahlia.
Karma Dahlia ‘Goldie’ – A warm golden yellow dahlia.
Karma Dahlia Naomi
Karma Dahlia – ‘Naomi’. Deep mahogany red.

Additional new dahlia varieties:
Dinner plate:
White Perfection – white
Thomas Edison – purple

Zas Zas – Orange
Cornell Brons – Bronze
Purple Flame – Purple

We’ll also be expanding our most popular varieties to give us over 1000 dahlia plants.

We’re also adding quite a few new annuals and perennials as usual. When I get that list complete, I’ll add it here.

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