From the BC
Master Gardener's Newsletter: December 2005
To honour the Christmas season,
we have asked 12 gardeners extraordinaire to
share their lists of favourite plants. Some are exciting
new plants, small trees, or shrub must haves
and others are proven performers that add charm and
beauty every year; all are sure to be added to many
On the first day of Christmas, one dramatic,
scented perennial, courtesy of Ann-Marie Metten,
our newsletter editor:
black foliage with delicate spires of white flowers
that perfume the garden.
On the second day of Christmas, 10 garden designers
delights, courtesy of Joan Bentley, MG:
Anemone nemorosaThe early spring
bloomer I like best, at present. Does well just about
anywhere, making a mat of blue or white blooms to welcome
Baptisia australisLupin-like blue
flowers in early summer and blue-green foliage continue
to look good all summer.
Cercis canadensis Forest PansyAn
excellent small tree for lawns and woodland gardens.
Leycesteria formosaAlthough deciduous,
the bamboo-like stems form a graceful V-shape and remain
bright green in winter. In summer, drooping clusters
of honeysuckle-like flowers give way to deep maroon
berries. A good shrub for all seasons.
Polemonium caeruleum Brise dAnjouIts
variegated leaves brighten any shade garden.
Rodgersia aesculifolia and R. pinnataBoth
have fabulous bold leaf structure and airy plumes of
Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii
GoldsturmAn award winner.
Tanacetum parthenium AureumThis
golden feverfew adds a lime green sparkle to the summer
border with its glowing chartreuse foliage and white
flowers, which are great for bringing indoors.
Verbena bonariensisAlthough somewhat
tender perennial, it self seeds freely. A late bloomer,
I love it for its light airy appearance that allows
it to be at home, even in the front of the border.
On the third day of Christmas,
seven plants with oldfashioned beauty, colour, and scent,
courtesy of Nancy Wong, VanDusen Director of
Acer palmatum Tamuki yama
On the fourth day of Christmas, two plant collector
must-haves, courtesy of Verity Goodier, MG:
Crinodendron hookerianumA beautiful
and remarkable shrub from Chile with fragrant, waxy,
crimson flowers, on 2 to 3-inch long coloured stalks
just like Chinese lanterns or Christmas lights! Bears
evergreen, lance-shaped, leathery, dark-green leaves.
Flowers in May and this year had a second flush in September.
Very striking. Tender, but does well at Roberts Creek
in a sheltered spot.
Leucojum autumnale, now known as Acis
automnalisThis small bulbous plant has many tiny
white nodding bells, tinged rose at base on each maroon
stem. Blooms mid August until the end of October. Wispy
grass-like leaves. I placed mine by steps into the garden
so I can appreciate its fragility. Very dainty.
On the fifth day of Christmas,
nine rhododendrons with fabulous foliage and form (and
show-stopping flowers, of course), courtesy of Karen
Rhododendron Alison Johnstone
R. Creamy Chiffon
R. Fastuosum Flore Pleno
R. Loderi Venus
R. Mrs. E. C. Sterling
R. Nancy Evans
R. Peeping Tom
R. Sir Charles Lemon
On the sixth day of Christmas,
three proven winners, courtesy of John Schroeder,
Brunnera Jack Frost
Hosta Sum and Substance
As well as three charming favourites chosen by Cheryl
Fiddis, President, Burnaby Rhododendron and Gardens
Society, because they attract birds and wildlife to
her garden, courtesy of Margot Moser, MG:
On the seventh day of Christmas, a fern collection
par excellence, courtesy of Margot Moser, Marlene
Anderson-Joyce, Peter Barnsdale, and Pauline
Adiantum capillus-vernis (Venus maidenhair
A. pedatum (northern maidenhair fern)
A. venustum (Himalayan maidenhair fern)
Asplenium scolopendrium (harts-tongue
A. trichomanes (maidenhair spleenwort)
Athyrium felix-femina Frizelliae
A. niponicum Pictum (Japanese
A. otophorum (eared lady fern)
Blechnum spicant (deer fern)
Dryopteris affinis Crispa Barnes
(crisped goldenscaled male fern)
D. affinis Cristata the King
(golden-scaled male fern)
D. affinis x filix-mas Robusta
D. dilitata Lepidota cristata
(lacy crested broad buckler fern)Delicate evergreen
fern with a finely cut network of cobwebby greenery.
Edged in demurely flared tips.
Polypodium interjectum (intermediate polypody)
Pretty little creeping fern with bluish-green, lanceshaped
Polystichum setiferum (soft shield fern)
P. tsus-simense (Korean rock fern)Peter
Barnsdales favourite dainty fern, evergreen with
lovely new fronds unfurling in deep purple hue that
mature to deep green. Looks like corsage greenery.
On the eighth day of Christmas, 14 choice native
plants, courtesy of Virginia Skilton, president,
Native Plant Society of BC:
Aconitum delphiniifolium (mountain monkshood)
Castilleja rhexifolia (alpine/subalpine
Dodecatheon pulchellum and D. hendersonii
Erythronium grandiflorum (glacier lily)
Gentiana calycosa (explorers gentian)
Lilium philadelphicum (western wood lily)
Lupinus arcticus (mountain lupine)
Mimulus lewisii (pink monkeyflower)
Penstemon davidsonii (Davidsons
penstemon), P. eriantherus, P. serrulatus, P. fruticosus
Platanthera dilatata (bog rein orchid)
On the ninth day of Christmas, three lists of
easy-to grow, floriferous dahlias, courtesy of Ian
Back, Victoria Dahlia Society:
From Barry WilloughbyKenora Jubilee,
Kenora Sunset, Kenora Majestic,
Jomanda, Embrace, Highflier,
Cornel, Juuls Lotus
From Art HadfieldAztec Gold,
Camano Sitka, Amoraigi Joy,
Cheyenne, Geri Hoeck, Chat
From James DeatherageEdna C.,
Skipley Mii Too, Clearview David,
Pink Suffusion, Embrace, Jessica,
Rose Toscano, Chimacum Troy,
On the tenth day of Christmas, nine stunning plants,
courtesy of Brian Minter:
Caryopteris Sunshine BlueSunny
yellow foliage with rich amethyst blue flowers, will
blow Worcester Golds pale blue flowers
Echinacea Big Sky SunriseCitron
yellow flowers and rose-like fragrance.
Gaura lindheimeri Passionate RainbowGreen
variegated leaves have a white edge and new growth is
a wonderful rose colour.
Hydrangea paniculata Limelight
H. macrophylla Endless SummerFirst
macrophylla to bloom on new and old wood extending blooming
period to six months if deadheaded.
Leycesteria formosa Golden LanternsImagine:
clusters of burgundy fruit set off by clean, bright
BirdA neat, upright, small variety, blooms
two weeks after Elizabeth so misses damage
caused by late spring frosts.
Malus Red SentinalHighly
rated dwarf variety. Disease resistant, striking pale-pink,
cup-shaped blooms, golden yellow fall foliage, deep
red fruit that last all winter (providing good Christmas
decoration and food for birds).
Rhus typhina Tiger EyesFuzzy
reddish-burgundy branches provide a dramatic contrast
with the finely divided, gold foliage. Highly desirable
dwarf variety, non-invasive, stunning fall foliage.
On the eleventh day of Christmas,
10 botanically intriguing wonders, courtesy of Gary
Lewis, Phoenix Perennials:
Arisaema consanguineumFour feet
tall with multiple leaflets that form an umbrella-like
canopy. Large, shiny green seed heads that turn bright
Cypripedium formosanumLight green,
fan-shaped leaves, pale pink flowers. The easiest lady
slipper to grow.
Dahlia Bishop SeriesBurgundy-foliaged
Echinacea Big Sky Series
Ligularia dentata Britt-Marie CrawfordThe
darkest-leaved ligularia to date.
Sedum palmeriA trailing sedum collected
by Dan Hinkley with quite broad bluish-green leaves.
Looks like an Echeveria.
Tricyrtis Blue HavenRich
royal blue flowers.
On the twelfth day of Christmas, 10 tropical
cannas, many with bold, colourful foliage, all with
fabulous flowers, courtesy of Barry Roberts,
C. AustraliaDeep purple-black
C. Phasion (syn. Tropicana,
Durban)Outrageous red and purple striped
C. Pink Sunburst (syn. Pringle
Bay)Green leaves with yellow and pink stripes
C. Roi Humbert
C. Rosemond Coles
C. Striata (syn. Bengal
Tiger, Pretoria)Pale green and
yellow striped leaves
C. Wyoming (syn. Professor
Many thanks to the gardeners who generously contributed
their lists. During
the grey days of winter, we will dream about finding
a spot for each plant in our
Jane Sherrott, BC Master Gardeners, www.bcmastergardeners.org
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