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in season plant it! Paul’s

Plant Sale Picks

RECOGNIZED BY TORONTO STAR REAL DIRT COLUMNIST SONIA DAY as the Best Gardening Event in 2016, once again the TBG Plant Sale offers a carefully chosen selection of annuals, succulents, perennials, small trees and shrubs, vegetables, herbs and native plants. The horticulture and retail team, our dedicated volunteers and the Toronto Master Gardeners look forward to sharing our 2017 offerings at the sale, from May 11 to14. Here are a few teasers.

The results are in: plant trial after plant trial has shown Phenomenal lavender to be reliably winter hardy, even out-performing traditional favourites such as ‘Hidcote’ and ‘Munstead’. This recent introduction is deer proof, tolerant of heat and humidity and produces abundant stems of fragrant blossoms suitable for fresh and dried arrangements. The flowers are edible and suitable for making oils. Be sure to leave some blooms in the garden as they are much loved by pollinators. It’s Phenomenal!

‘Immortality’ tall bearded iris (Iris ‘Immortality’)

This is one of the most asked-about perennials we grow in the TBG gardens, especially when visitors see it flowering for a second time in October or November. In some years, plants bloom well into late fall until frost. We are pleased to be able to offer a limited number of divisions from the gardens of this often hard to find perennial.

Cucamelon (Melothria scabra)

This native of Mexico and Central America sold out on the first day of last year’s sale, so we have arranged to grow even more of this yummy edible this year. Cucamelon (also known as mouse melon and Mexican sour gherkin) produces plenty of fruit the size of a grape. Sure to be a great conversation starter at your summer dinner event, the fruit has a refreshing taste of cucumber followed by a hint of lemon. Go ahead, try growing something a little different that’s fun and tasty for both adults and young gardeners, too. Suitable for growing in the ground or in containers.

TRENDH WATC 2 01 7

‘Brazilian Purple’ tropical sage (Salvia splendens ‘Brazilian Purple’)

Offered for the first time at the 2016 TBG sale, we were most excited to plant a few out in the TBG gardens. WOW! Plants grew to an impressive 1.2 to 1.5 metres in height and produced masses of spikes of rich purple blossoms. Along with its beauty, the flowers proved to be irresistible to visiting hummingbirds. Some mornings saw up to five—yes five—individual hummingbirds feeding at one time on the salvias growing in the Arrival Courtyard.

GROW YOUR OWN —Niki Jabbour, author of The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener and co-founder of savvygardening.com.

Gardeners are now looking for new crops to grow, including global and unusual selections. My large vegetable garden showcases easy-to-grow unique crops like quinoa, amaranth, cucamelons, zaatar, Indian cucumbers, Asian greens and even rice! As gardeners demand increased selection and variety, seed companies have responded by carrying more global crops.

TORONTOBOTANICALGARDEN.CA

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ISSUE 2, 2017

PHOTOS: (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT) VALLEYBROOK GARDENS, PAUL ZAMMIT, P.Z., P.Z.

Phenomenal lavender (Lavandula x intermedia ‘Niko’)

Trellis - Spring Summer 2017  
Trellis - Spring Summer 2017  

Build a butterfly haven in your backyard. Growing and Eating Rhubarb. The Dirt on Soil.