This has been a rather unusual spring in Alberta. It snowed several times in May and temperatures have been colder than normal. On Sunday, we finally had a glorious, hot summer day, but now the weather is back to cold and wet again. In the perennial trial garden at the Calgary Zoo, most plants have emerged. However there are still some we are waiting for and hoping that they will appear.

June 10, 2010

 Of the 2009 introductions, there have been some surprises, both good and bad!

Coneflowers are almost always late to show up, however the new Echinacea ‘Coconut Lime’ planted last year was up earlier than any of the other coneflowers in the garden.

Many of the hosta planted in the shadier spots of the garden have not made an appearance yet, although I noticed a few peeking through today after the warm weather on the weekend.  All of the Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ are back; they are in partial shade.  One Hosta ‘Earth Angel’, planted in full shade, has finally appeared; hopefully the rest will follow soon.

Hosta 'Blue Mouse Ears'

Surprisingly, almost all of the Carex ‘Ice Dance’ have survived and many are flowering already. This is a Zone 5 plant that I didn’t have a lot of hope would survive. Leucanthemum ‘Broadway Lights’, another Zone 5 plant,  has returned as well.  It has lovely yellow flowers which fade to cream and then to white.

Carex 'Ice Dance'

Geranium maculatum ‘Espresso’ was an early riser and is now in bloom. The pale pink flowers contrast nicely with the dark espresso-coloured foliage.

Geranium 'Espresso'

Unfortunately, one of my favourites from last year, Heuchera ‘Dolce Creme Brulee’ has not returned (yet) and only two of eight  Heuchera ‘Dolce Blackcurrant’. Most of the Heuchera ‘Dolce Licorice’ seem to have survived, despite being in a colder and shadier spot. Perhaps that’s why – they may have had better snow cover all winter.

Heuchera 'Dolce Blackcurrant'

All three Ligularia dentata ‘Osiris Fantaisie’ are back. The foliage is a fantastic dark green tinged with purple. I do hope it blooms this year. It has yellow daisy-like flowers, similar to Ligularia ‘Britt Marie Crawford’.

Ligularia 'Osiris Fantaisie'

All of the periwinkles planted in 2009 are flourishing. My favourite so far is Vinca minor ‘Blue and Gold’. I love the contrast of the close to true-blue flowers with the green and gold leaves.

Vinca minor 'Blue and Gold'