by Connie Oswald Stofko
Now is the time to place your pre-order for the Great Plant Sale at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. The deadline to order is Friday, April 10, but don’t wait–some plants sell out early. You can order online.
You’ll pick up your pre-ordered plants at the Great Plant Sale at the Botanical Gardens from May 14-16. There will be other plants for sale then, too, that you don’t have to pre-order. But if you want any of the plants listed here, you have to order by April 10.
I’m proud to say that Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com is sponsoring the Great Plant Sale!
Below is a sampling of the cool plants you can get through the pre-order.
Easy annual for shade
Salvia spathacea, also called hummingbird sage, “is a hummingbird magnet,” said Andrea Stiglmeier, horticulturist at the Botanical Gardens.
But what is really exciting is that this plant can grow in dry shade. It’s difficult to find interesting plants, especially plants with flowers, that tolerate shade.
Growing 18 to 24 inches high and 12 to 15 inches wide, it can be a useful groundcover.
It’s long blooming, starting in spring and continuing through summer.
Easy, colorful shrub that is deer resistant
There is a lot to like about Symphoricarpos ‘Proud Berry’. (Symphoricarpos is also known as snowberry or coralberry.)
“It’s easy to grow and deer resistant– people love that,” said Stiglmeier. It also attracts bees and butterflies.
But it gets better! This beautiful shrub has color interest throughout the year, first with bluish-green leaves. In late summer, it blooms with tiny, pink, shell-shaped flowers at the ends of the branches, Stiglmeier said. Then it fruits out in the fall with pink bubble-shaped berries.
‘Proud Berry’ grows in sun or part shade. It gets 3 to 4 feet wide and just as tall.
See the photo of ‘Proud Berry’ at the beginning of this article.
Fragrant shrub with showy flowers
This variety of Clethra alnifolia is called Sugartina ‘Crystalina’, and the name reflects its attributes.
“It smells beautiful,” Stiglmeier said.
Not only that, the spikey, white flowers are large– 4 to 6 inches long. Sugartina ‘Crystalina’ blooms in mid-summer and has a long blooming period.
This is a dwarf variety that gets 30 to 36 inches tall and 28 to 36 inches wide, so it can fit into smaller spaces.
It does like sun, but can tolerate part sun.
In addition to being hardy and deer resistant, it attracts butterflies and birds.
Tall perennial with unusual two-toned flowers
Baptisia Decadence ‘Cherries Jubilee’ is neat because the flowers are bi-colored, which Stiglmeier said she hasn’t seen in other baptisia plants.
“They can get pretty tall, which I like about them too, because they’re good for background color,” she said. “They can get to the size of a small shrub”– 30 to 36 inches tall and 36 inches wide.
Baptisia Decadence ‘Cherries Jubilee’ is also deer resistant and attracts butterflies.