Handsome violet blue blossoms in late April/early May distinguish this welcome addition to the mid spring garden. Introduced by Weston Nursery of Hopkinton MA, Rhododendron ‘Blue Baron’ falls into the lepidote group of Rhodies, which with a few exceptions, have smaller leaves, smaller more open trusses and prefer to grow in a more sunny spot. ‘Blue Baron’ has a compact habit,and is often listed as growing to 3-4′ in height and width, but at maturity can reach 6?. His fine textured elliptical foliage is glossy green in summer but takes on a bronzy cast in colder months.
Grow ‘Blue Baron’ in humus rich soil in full or part sun, and morning sun with some afternoon shade has proven ideal . He can tolerate a bit of wind, but we recommend using an anti-dessicant if winter winds are harsh. Like all Rhododendrons, ‘Blue Baron’ is shallow rooted, and will need irrigating during dry spells. Hardy to minus 10F.
Gardeners in northern climates have been disappointed by Hydrangea macrophylla in the past….lots of healthy foliage, but few or no blossoms. This recent introduction of Mophead Hydrangea truly blooms on both old and new wood, and is being marketed as ‘Forever and Ever Red Sensation’ ( Tra-la-la…those clever marketers read a lot of fairy tales).
What you really need to know is that this vigorous selection produces lots of blooms on new growth, making it a great candidate for colder zone 5 and 6 gardens. In hot climates the large trusses of blossoms will be in softer shades of rosy pink when grown in neutral to slightly alkaline soil. Colder temperatures will cause the flower color to deeper red shades. If your garden soil happens to be more acidic, ‘Red Sensation’ will change color and thus need a new name, as it will take on bluer tones. The flowers age to smoky violet. Stems and fall foliage color have a dark burgundy cast.
‘Red Sensation’ grow 2-3′ tall and 3-4’wide, and require full sun or partial shade. Hydrangea macrophylla appreciate a moist, rich and fertile soil. May we suggest combining ‘Red Sensation’ with the always attractive Periscaria ‘Golden Arrow’?
We have fallen in love with the New England forest. It happened several decades ago, but it seems like only yesterday that the spell of fall was cast upon us. We know it’s the maples celebrating, in a festival of color, their happy home. A selection of Japanese Maple, Acer palmatum ‘Orange Dream’ begins this celebration in spring, with leaves emerging orange, unfurling to lemon-yellow with orange margins and finally settling in with yellow-green tones through the summer. Fall harkens ‘Orange Dream’ with a glorious display of yellow-gold. As winter peels off her leaves, the architectural intricacies of this small tree are revealed. Each season bring forth a new song from the branches of Acer palmatum ‘Orange Dream’.
‘Orange Dream’ appreciates an eastern exposure, where her feet will stay cool through the summer. She grows only a few inches a year, but will eventually find her way to 10′ x 10′. Site in a small garden or as an understory and you will fall in love too.
There is something especially striking about flowers which adorn bare branches before any signs of leaf growth appear. Hamamelis x ‘Feuerzauber’, a German hybrid selection of Withchazel (translation Fire Dragon), is hardy in zones 5-8 and boasts showy orange to red fragrant flowers in late February and March, which are as lovely cut for indoor arrangements as they are gracing the late winter landscape.
We recommend situating ‘Feuerzauber’ where you can enjoy its display from an indoor window. In fact, why not plant early blooming Crocus or yellow Narcissus ‘February Gold’ near its base for one of the first colorful ensembles of spring. ‘Feuerzauber’ will form a large shrub (15-18) with a pleasing upward spreading habit. It may not sing loudly in summer but it will celebrate Autumn with an amazing symphony of orange, yellow and red foliage.
Large Specimens available for nursery pickup.