July 2009


Sedums are ideal plants for Alberta gardens. They prefer full sun and are drought tolerant.  Sun and drought are certainly two things we can provide!

Many sedums are hardy in Alberta. In the Alberta Perennial Trials there are five sedums currently being trialed and several more graduate plants remaining in the garden.  

Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’ has been in the garden since 2006 and has formed a solid mass of bright yellow foliage. It pairs perfectly with plants with dark red foliage, such as this Heuchera ‘Chocolate Ruffles’. Angelina sedum is also very effective in containers. If you wish to propogate it, just one little piece will root very easily in new soil.

Sedum 'Angelina'

Sedum 'Angelina'

Sedum cauticola ‘Lidakense’ is a low-growing sedum with beautiful blue foliage. All five plants at the Calgary site have survived. They haven’t spread much, but make a nice mound of blue leaves.

Sedum 'Lidakense'

Sedum 'Lidakense'

Sedum alboroseum ‘Frosty Morn’ is an upright sedum with variegated green and white foliage.

Sedum 'Frosty Morn'

Sedum 'Frosty Morn'

Sedum ‘Autumn Charm’ is similar to S. ‘Frosty Morn’, but with green and yellow variegation and more vigorous and compact growth. All plants have survived so far and are thriving.

Sedum 'Autumn Charm'

Sedum 'Autumn Charm'

Sedum ‘Maestro’ is a tall bushy plant with gorgeous dark red leaves. All plants have survived so far. It is planted beside S. ‘Autumn Charm’ in the Calgary garden and they are certainly visitor favouites.

Sedum 'Maestro'

Sedum 'Maestro'

Sedum ‘Garnet Brocade’ is a Proven Winners introduction and is the only new sedum introduced into the trials this year. Both the foliage and flowers are burgundy.  It had a bit of a slow start, through no fault of its own, but it is now growing well and should bloom soon.

Sedum 'Garnet Brocade'

Sedum 'Garnet Brocade'

 © Alberta Perennial Trials, 2010

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Summer has finally arrived in Alberta and the new plants in the perennial trial gardens are starting to take off. We have had lots of visitors to the garden at the Calgary Zoo. It is great to talk to people about gardening in Alberta and all around the world.  One couple this week were visiting from Glasgow, Scotland. They were amazed that we can grow many of the same plants. They were also amazed at our sun and warm temperatures. I didn’t tell them that we were amazed as well.  

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ was the Perennial Plant Association’s perennial of the year for 2008.   

 

Geranium 'Rozanne'

Geranium 'Rozanne'

 

   

Geranium ‘Jolly Bee’  is similar to G. ‘Rozanne’, but is reported to be a bit more blue in colour and more compact in shape.  Both are reblooming geraniums and should flower from early summer into the fall. They have been blooming at the Calgary site for a couple of weeks now.  

Geranium 'Jolly Bee'

Geranium 'Jolly Bee'

 

 Sedum ‘Autumn Charm’ and Sedum ‘Maestro’ are well-worth growing for their striking foliage alone. Here they are with Papaver orientale ‘Double Pleasure’ in the background.  

Sedum 'Autumn Charm' (front) and Sedum 'Maestro' (back)

Sedum 'Autumn Charm' (front) and Sedum 'Maestro' (back)

 

If you are visiting the Calgary Zoo and looking for the Alberta Perennial Trial Garden site, look for the gazebo in the Dorothy Harvie Gardens. The trial garden is behind the gazebo to the left.

Gazebo in the Dorothy Harvie Gardens at the Calgary Zoo

Gazebo in the Dorothy Harvie Gardens at the Calgary Zoo

 

© Alberta Perennial Trials, 2010  

It is finally starting to feel like summer in Calgary. There are so many plants in bloom in the perennial trial garden that it is hard to choose which to include in this post.

One of  the most spectacular plants in the garden right now is Papaver orientale ‘Double Pleasure’. This is a graduate from a previous trial.

Papaver orientale 'Double Pleasure'

Papaver orientale 'Double Pleasure'

Delphinium ‘Green Twist’ is also a real visitor favourite right now. It’s more white than green, but it’s gorgeous no matter what  colour!

Delphinium 'Green Twist'

Delphinium 'Green Twist'

We were very happy to see Penstemon palmeri overwinter and bloom this year. This plant was donated by Calgary horticulturist Lyndon Penner.

Penstemon palmeri

Penstemon palmeri

 The Chinese pagoda primula (Primula vialii) had a slow start this spring, but it is finally blooming. It has such a cool-looking flower!

Primula vialii

Primula vialii

Beautiful new planters have been added to the entrance to the perennial trial garden, designed by zoo horticulturist Corinne Hannah. Hopefully they will attract even more visitors to the garden.

Entrance to the Alberta Perennial Trial garden at the Calgary Zoo

Entrance to the Alberta Perennial Trial garden at the Calgary Zoo

© Alberta Perennial Trials, 2010

The Alberta Perennial Trials is a research and demonstration project that evaluates new herbaceous perennials for the Alberta region. New perennial species and cultivars are monitored at three test sites for a period of three years. Results are published in the form of a technical industry report and public documents.

Alberta Perennial Trial garden - Calgary Zoo site

Alberta Perennial Trial garden - Calgary Zoo site

The first research and demonstration of herbaceous perennials was held at the Calgary Zoo and Botanical Gardens in 1999 – 2001. The Alberta Perennial Trials were established in 2002 and includes test sites at Olds College Botanic Gardens, the Muttart Conservatory and the Calgary Zoo and Botanical Gardens. This expansion to three test locations allows for evaluation of plant material under a broad range of Alberta’s diverse growing conditions. All three sites are open to the public to come and visit. It`s a great way to see what is doing well in Alberta`s challenging growing conditions.

Frequent visitors to the trial garden at the zoo

Frequent visitors to the trial garden at the zoo

© Alberta Perennial Trials, 2010