Tropical Temptresses

Can’t get enough Cannas this season!

The rage for tropicals in the landscape continues, further heightened by PHS featuring plants from Hawaii at the Flower Show this year. There’s no easier tropical to grow than cannas. The leaves alone offer valuable structure and color in the garden: nice and big, intense color rising 3-4 feet and staying healthy looking all summer. Then, the lascivious blooms starting in midsummer, towering for weeks above the leaves. Ooo Ooo. In your flower bed or as a thriller in a big container, you need to plant cannas this year, Plus remember, you can just lift them up in the fall and store them for another year of color, so you’re really investing in a perennial when you you bring one (or more, please) home.


Perfect Perennials

A One-Two Punch in the Fight against Deer

If you haven’t discovered Amsonia yet, this is the year to do it! We’re featuring two different native species and one or the other -- or both -- will become your favorite perennial by the end of the summer, not in small part because deer just stay away from both. Amsonia hubrichtii confidently bushes out to a 3 foot by 3 foot rounded clump of threadlike foliage that moves in waves with the breeze. In the spring, it sports pale blue flowers all over it’s tips, resulting in the common name ‘Blue Star’. Who doesn’t like blue in the garden? It draws you closer and it makes every other color pop. A tidy filler for the rest of the season, it puts on another show at the end of fall, when it turns a glorious orangey yellow for several weeks. Amsonia tabernaemontana (sounds like Mormon Tabernacle choir) is the popular little brother, getting to be only half the height with just as much impact. Darker green leaves and darker blue flowers, it also blooms a bit longer and turns a nice yellow in the fall. ‘Blue Ice’ has just been named Perennial Plant of the Year by the Garden Club of New Jersey.


The Year of the Heuchera

The National Garden Bureau is calling for 2012 to be the year of the Heuchera. Commonly known as Coral Bells, Heucheras have been popular since the 1700's because of their ease to grow, adaptability and good looks. They are hardy to zone 4 and considered to be deer resistant.


Native Plants for our Gardens

Container Gardening, Some Good Ideas

Container gardening is so rewarding. The small scale, provided you don’t go crazy with the number of containers, is manageable. And experimentation is easier since you don’t have to dig holes. Transplanting is easier when you change your mind about a plant’s position.


Plant Sale Sneak Preview

Mark your calendars for Saturday, April 14 at 10:00am at the Arboretum’s Haggerty Education Center for a sneak peak at some of the great plant selections found at the Friends 2012 Plant Sale. Sue Acheson and Ilona Ontscherenki, plant sale co-chairs, have selected their personal favorites, the hottest new plants as well as some plants that should reside in every garden no matter how grand or small.

This is a chance to get the scoop on some of this year’s most sought after plants. You will get to see pictures of many of our best choices and get some cultural information as well.


Looking at Your Garden With New Eyes

Time to replace, refresh, renew and replant our gardens after a year of extremes that seems to have changed everyone's landscape in some way. Many gardens were either heavily damaged or destroyed due to Hurricane Irene or the Halloween snowstorm or trees and shrubs have outgrown their space or outlived their usefulness. A garden is never static and sometimes we need to look at our gardens with new eyes. Perhaps the ravages of Mother Nature can be turned into a new adventure for the gardener.


"Scentsational" Plantings


Gardens are for pleasure. Designed to please you, the gardener. To delight with color. To entice with fragrance. To soothe the mind and refresh the spirit. A place to sit, to linger and to indulge the senses. A private space as well as a public place. It beckons you in, enfolds you and releases you refreshed, back to everyday living. Your garden is a sanctuary and a playground. It is not just an extension of the house but an extension of you.


Last Year's Plant Sale Was Great!

Mother Nature cooperated, the plants were terrific and everyone working on the 2011 Plant Sale were wonderful. Click on the image on the left to see pictures from the Friday night Preview Party and Sale.

We hope to see all of you at this year's sale.


On-Line Plantlist

Preparations for ordering have started, and our first efforts can be seen on this year's list. Hundreds of plants were ordered for last year's plantsale -- annuals, biennials, perennials, trees, shrubs, herbs and vines and this year's should be even better! Check them out any time by going to our online plant list. We update it regularly, so you'll want to check it often. Be prepared for the best Friends of the Frelinghuysen Arboretum Plantsale!



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