Dare to Be Different: Unique Blooms for your Garden

Spring is here!! Even though it’s 10 days away, I am loving the warm weather we are getting in my neck of the woods. Winter has never really felt long weather-wise, but I have been a little distracted with other things that have kept me away from really thinking about what I wanted to do for the garden this year.

With beautiful signs like this, you can’t help but get excited for this coming growing season.

 

So, I am now making my list of new plants I would like to get this year. It’s so hard because year after year, you visit the same greenhouse or lawn center and you see the same type of plants every year. How about something a little different?

Do not be afraid to add unusual plants to your landscape. 

Where do I find “different” plants if they are not at my local nursery?

  • Research — read magazines, look at plant catalogs or do some good old fashioned surfing on the internet (it really sounds funny to me to say that).
  • Ask your local nursery. They may direct you towards a place to find them, or they may be able to special order them for you.

What is considered “unique”?

I am not talking about some ultra exotic plant from the jungle, but plants that you don’t see often and bring huge satisfaction and value to your landscape. Here are some plants that I have been looking to plant this year:

  1. Witch Hazel
Hamamelis x intermedia Diane
Source: whiteflowerfarm.com

This is my main plant I would like to purchase this year. It’s a beautiful small tree/shrub that blooms in the winter– yes, that’s right, the winter. This is something you don’t always see a part of your neighbor’s landscape. Consider this beauty to brighten up those long winter days.

2. Ruby Teardrops Spruce

Source: coniferkingdom.com

Ok, I am really loving this beautiful spruce, but I am not sure where it would go in my yard. I really have to rethink the layout of my “spread”, but I am pretty sure this stunning specimen will be worth the extra work. This is definitely for the conifer lover, or some one who just wants to add a little pop next to the other more common conifers you have on your property.

3. Peonies

Paeonia suffruticosa High Noon
Source: whiteflowerfarm.com

I described in a past post that I had planted some peonies in tribute to my grandmother.This is a new variety of peony that would really get people asking some questions. You don’t often see a yellow peony, but this is definitely worth taking into consideration, just to keep people guessing as to what it was!

And finally…what I believe will be the tribute plant to my recently passed grandmother:

4. Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick, also known as Corkscrew Hazel

Source: halesia.nl

Another family member of the hazel family, the contorted branches of this specimen also have some of the most eye-catching blooms on it. Talk about winter interest– the branches on this shrub will make a great talking piece for anybody who passes through your property! Different and beautiful– exactly what my grandmother Joyce was. I don’t think anything else would fit as good!

All of these plants are not cheap– most average around $35 per plant. I understand completely that landscaping does cost a lot of money, and I have written posts in the past about gardening on a budget. Well, as my learning and interest have grown with gardening, I really do believe that plants and shrubs and trees are a tremendous investment for much more than the obvious reasons. It truly is an investment that “grows”. The pure joy and satisfaction I get from investing in a few of these more expensive plants every year are worth much more than a manicure or pedicure to me. As long as you budget and plan for a couple of more pricey plants with your discount finds (trust me, this is where I make my haul every year), it actually ends up evening out.

Gardening on a budget is great, I still buy seeds and the half dead plants at the end of the season. But, sometimes you need to splurge. So, how about passing up that fantastic pair of shoes for a great new tree just one time? You won’t feel so bad when the weather warms up and you see the fruits of your labor.

Happy early spring, and happy plant shopping!

 

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Dare to Be Different: Unique Blooms for your Garden

  1. All of these would make your yard gorgeous! I had no idea that witch hazel was so colorful (of course, my only encounter with it has been in bottle form during my formative years). And peonies for your grandmother – beautiful. Have never seen the yellow ones, so you would probably be the first kid on your block with ’em. Can’t wait for photos of your garden in full bloom in a couple of months!

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  2. Such lovely, lovely plants! These would all be a great addition to your garden and I always think that they are worth the splurge because if well looked after, they add value to your house. Of course, I am so envious of you being able to grow peonies. They are my favorite flower but a complete no go here! A lovely idea to plant them as a tribute to your grandmother and I love the yellow color.
    Looking forward to seeing more spring time pictures. Your garden is going to be lovely!

    – Kate

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    1. Thank you so much! I have friends who moved from Western New York to Florida and they said they wish they could grow peonies and other bulbs, because they can’t! They have learned to enjoy the plants they can grow that would never make it up north!

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