Hello Cutting Edge Gardeners!

Summer is about sun, warmth and good living. And life always feels fuller and more alive when you're surrounded by bold foliage and colour. Plus, foliage can hold the garden in summer even if your perennials wane a bit in the flower department.

Here are 20 of our favourite options fold bold foliage displays for your summer garden. All are available now at Phoenix!

Enjoy!

Cheers, Gary and the Phoenicians

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20 Hot Foliage Plants for Summer

Musa basjoo - Hardy Japanese Fibre Banana - If the palm tree is the king of the subtropical garden then bananas must surely be the Queen. Musa basjoo, the hardy japanese fibre banana, adds subtropical flare and drama in spades! Reportedly ground hardy to zone 5 (but don’t tell anyone in Ontario!). Maintain height for next season by protecting the stems with an enclosure of leaves or bubble wrap. At the very worst after a cold winter your banana will resprout from the ground. Musa sikkimensis 'Bengal Tiger' - Hardy Japanese Fibre Banana - 'Bengal Tiger' is a beautiful selection of hardy banana with much more burgundy than the species with burgundy stripes on top of the leaves and a burgundy flush underneath. Some claim this species is hardier than Musa basjoo but I’ve found the opposite. Even well-wrapped the stems of my plant have died to the ground every winter since about 2001. Still, with good mulching it has been ground hardy like a herbaceous perennial and returns to a height of eight feet every season with its gorgeous leaves. Well worth it.
Ensete ventricosum 'Maurellii' - Abyssinian Banana - This bold giant banana relative has six to eight foot long paddle-like green leaves infused with rich burgundy red at least along the edges but in good specimens in full sun throughout the foliage. Use in a large container or plant out each year for a dramatic display. NOT HARDY. Maintain above five degrees Celsius as a house plant, in the basement or in a greenhouse. Totally worth it if you love tropical drama. Canna 'Bird of Paradise' - Canna Lily - 'Bird of Paradise' is a beautiful canna with purple leaves and blue-grey undersides surround medium pink flowers. All our Canna are virus indexed and clean. Please be careful when buying plants elsewhere as a high proportion of plants available from nurseries are virused.
Canna 'Orange Chocolate' - Canna Lily - Canna 'Orange Chocolate' has bright, apricot orange blooms rise out of chocolate leaves. All our Canna are virus indexed and clean. Please be careful when buying plants elsewhere as a high proportion of plants available from nurseries are virused.

Canna 'African Sunset' - Canna Lily - FINALLY! A virus-free version of Tropicanna which seems universally infected everywhere in horticulture. 'African Sunset' has the same fantastic tropical foliage striped with red, yellow, orange, and gold and topped with firey orange flowers in summer. It is great for adding that subtropical look to your garden. All our Canna are virus indexed and clean. Please be careful when buying plants elsewhere as a high proportion of plants available from nurseries are virused.

 

Canna 'Australia' - Canna Lily - Australia' has striking maroon foliage that is the darkest among Canna. The large ruffled flowers are red with a hint of orange. Blooms in late summer. Mature height of 4 to 6 feet. Cannas offer great tropical foliage and are generally hardy to our temperatures but sensitive to winter wet. In the garden, plant in a well-drained sunny location and mulch with leaves. Cannas are also great in pots. Shelter these in a garage or shed for winter. All our Canna are virus indexed and clean. Please be careful when buying plants elsewhere as a high proportion of plants available from nurseries are virused. Canna 'Intrigue' - Canna Lily - 'Intrigue' has peach coloured flowers with a hint of orange. The foliage is striking burgundy held on strong vertical stems. All our Canna are virus indexed and clean. Please be careful when buying plants elsewhere as a high proportion of plants available from nurseries are virused.
Canna 'Pretoria'/'Bengal Tiger'' - Canna Lily - 'Pretoria'/'Bengal Tiger' has fantastic tropical foliage striped with green and gold and topped with firey orange flowers in summer. Great for adding that subtropical look to your garden. Hardy to zone 7 if planted in well-drained soil and given a little mulch. All our Canna are virus indexed and clean. Please be careful when buying plants elsewhere as a high proportion of plants available from nurseries are virused. Schefflera taiwaniana 'Yuan Shan' - Hardy Umbrella Tree - This superlative shrub or small tree from Taiwan has gorgeous palmate foliage. This collection was made by Dan Hinkley from the highest altitude population. Like most members of the aralia family it blooms in fall. Numerous species from Asia are potentially hardy and some, like Schefflera taiwaniana have been bone hardy in the Pacific Northwest and BC through the armageddon winters of 2008/09 and 2010/2011.
Schefflera delavayi - Hardy Umbrella Tree -This intriguing shrub or small tree from high elevation areas of China and Vietnam has broad umbrellas of green leaves that emerge covered in silver or copper indumentum. Like most members of the aralia family it blooms in fall. Numerous species from Asia are potentially hardy and some, like Schefflera delavayi have been bone hardy in the Pacific Northwest and BC through the armageddon winters of 2008/09 and 2010/2011. Albizia julibrissin Chocolate Fountain 'NCAJ1' - Silk Tree - Albizia Chocolate Fountain is a beautiful small tree with luxuriant purple foliage held on weeping branches topped for 2-3 months in summer with masses of fuzzy pink spheres. It is one of the few flowering trees that bloom in the summer and thus extremely useful. Overall this is a great subtropical contribution to the garden. The wood of this tree is not particularly strong, so plant where it will be protected from our winter wind storms.
Astelia 'Silver Shadow' - Astelia - ‘Silver Shadow’ is a hybrid of the endangered Chatham Island Astelia, A. chathamica, endemic to these subantarctic islands near New Zealand and A. nervosa. It's an extremely ornamental plant with shiny, metallic silvery-green recurved leaves. (No kidding. The leaves look made of real silver!) So very close to being hardy in coastal BC but not quite. It has taken minus 10 Celsius in our unheated greenhouse but can't take cold in combination with wet. Best kept above zero and on the dry side or up against a sheltered south-facing wall under an overhang. Worth every effort. There is nothing like it for container plantings! Albizia julibrissin Merlot Majik 'Nucar10' - Silk Tree - Albizia Merlot Majik is a beautiful small tree with luxuriant deep merlot-purple foliage that holds its colour better than 'Summer Chocolate' even deepening through summer. It is topped for 2-3 months in summer with masses of fuzzy pink spheres. It is one of the few flowering trees that bloom in the summer and thus extremely useful. Overall this is a great subtropical contribution to the garden. The wood of this tree is not particularly strong, so plant where it will be protected from our winter wind storms.
Fatsia japonica 'Spider's Web - Japanese Fatsia - Fatsia 'Spider's Web' is a beautiful Aralia relative that grows as a shrub or small tree with variably variegated leaves which change during the seasons. The variegation appears as speckles and pixilations and is strongest on young foliage but also becomes better developed on that young foliage as the plant gets older. Mature specimens are bold and intriguing. The flowers are white, are held in spheres, and appear in late fall as a late season honeybee bonanza. Tolerant of dry shade and dark corners. Agapanthus 'Golden Drops - Lily-of-the-Nile - 'Golden Drops' is a very hardy, compact-growing variety of Agapanthus featuring leaves edged with golden stripes. Round heads of soft blue flowers are held on upright stems in mid- and late summer. This variety looks great in a container or dotted through a border. Ideal for small gardens or patios.
Acanthus mollis 'Whitewater' - Bear's Breeches - 'Whitewater' is a vigorous, variegated Acanthus with striking, bold leaves with white margins and splashing. Makes a large clump with 4 to 5 foot tall ornamental flower stalks of pink and cream in summer. This was bred with A. 'Summer Beauty' for vigour, more hardiness, and heat and humidity tolerance. The result is a much stronger cultivar than 'Tasmanian Angel'. A mature clump of this would be downright stunning -- I think I’m starting to lust for this plant!. Eucomis 'Dark Star' - Pineapple Lily - Eucomis 'Dark Star' is a dwarf pineapple lily with burgundy red foliage and flowers. Looks fantastic planted with gold foliage such as Heuchera 'Lime Marmalade' or Veronica 'Aztec Gold' or scotch moss. Very easy to grow and tolerates a wide range of garden conditions. Full sun for best foliage colour. Grow in containers or the ground.
Aeonium 'Zwartkop' - Aeonium - Aeonium 'Zwartkop' is a stunning architectural succulent -- the one everyone wants. Branching stems hold tightly packed rosettes of dramatic burgundy black leaves. Grow in fullest sun for best colour. Bring indoors to a bright windowsill in winter for a striking houseplant. From the Atlantic coast of Morocco. We also have many other cultivars in stock! Eucomis 'Glow Sticks' - Pineapple Lily - Eucomis 'Glow Sticks' is a dwarf pineapple lily with coppery gold new foliage aging to a light green gold. White pineapple-like flower heads. Looks fantastic planted with burgundy foliage such as Ajuga 'Black Scallop' or Sedum 'Voodoo'. Very easy to grow and tolerates a wide range of garden conditions. Full sun for best foliage colour. Grow in containers or the ground.

You don't get much cooler foliage than this! All these plants are in stock now. Come on down and pick up a few to enliven your 2016 summer garden.

 


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Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants Ltd.
One of the largest and most exciting selections of perennials in Canada.
3380 No. 6 Road, Richmond (Between Bridgeport and Cambie)
604-270-4133

www.phoenixperennials.com
Please visit our web page for information on the nursery, driving directions and a map.
We are near the south end of the Knight Street Bridge and very easy to get to from all of the surrounding municipalities and beyond.

Opening Dates and Hours
February 26th to October 30th, 2016
10am-5pm


Copyright Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants Ltd.

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