A few preliminary notes on some promising selections.
You can't spend more than a few minutes on the grounds without
fully keying into the fact that at Yew Dell, it's all about the
plants! We're always on the lookout for something new to fill a
niche; better color, stronger growth, more pest resistance or
something completely different for area gardeners.
With all our travels and collaborations with plant breeders,
collectors and other acquirers of plants, we're constantly bringing
in new plants for testing. We thought you'd enjoy a preview of some
Stachyurus chinensis var. variegata -Variegated Chinese
Collected as a chance seedling in a nursery near Nagoya Japan,
this looks to have all kinds of potential. Splashed variegation of
green, white and gold that has been entirely stable through two
seasons of growth. The species makes a medium-large spreading shrub
with pendulous masses of chartreuse little bell flowers in spring.
We think it needs a little more evaluation but if this one pans
out, it will be a great addition to the shade garden.
Buddleia 'Purple Haze' - Dwarf Butterfly Bush
Here's one that came out with much hype that seems to be living up
to its billing. A dwarf and sterile selection, plants will top out
at about 2'- 3' tall with a mounding habit. Plugs that were newly
planted at Yew Dell last spring have grown well with little to no
TLC and are blooming nicely. They seem to produce rather large
inflorescences for such small plants. This seems to be a great
massing groundcover plant for hot sunny spots.
Hydrangea paniculata 'Phantom' - Panicle
There are just so many . . . but this one is looking good! The
hype about 'Phantom' has been tremendous vigor, excellent deep
green foliage and humongous flower heads - and that's what we're
seeing. The stems seem quite sturdy so the plant hasn't flopped in
full flower. Flower heads are a good 10" across and are more open
and airy than something like 'Unique' that feels more like a Nerf
football. 'Phantom' seems to bear flowers over a long period of
Hydrangea arborescens Invincibelle® Spirit
After a long search, this selection from NC State's Dr. Tom Ranney
hit the market a couple of years ago. Think of it as a
pink-flowered Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle' and you'll
have the idea. We've found the color to be good, with reasonable
staying power. The stems seem a tad on the floppy side but we think
that may just be the youthful stage of our specimens. We'll keep
you posted. We know Dr. Ranney is working on even better
Hydrangea arborescens 'PIIHA-I' Bella Anna™
Sound familiar? This competing pink 'Annabelle' cross from Dr.
Mike Dirr has shown deeper flower color than the above selection,
with slightly smaller flower heads and fairly good stem strength.
This one is being marketed through Bailey Nurseries through their
Endless Summer series.