Day 2: Michigan Garden Plant Tour

August 7, 2013


We drove over two hours to the west side of Michigan around the greater Holland area. Today we checked out shrub liners at Spring Meadow Nursery and perennials at Walters Gardens.

As many of you know, I’m not a big shrub person. They are nice, but for the most part they only have flowers for two weeks unless it’s a Hydrangea. We checked out Spring Meadow Nursery as they are the Proven Winners Color Choice Grower for the Midwest. Wine and Roses Weigela was one of their introductions. I quickly became excited in shrubs again and no, it did not require a thermos of coffee! Unfortunately, I was so busy gabbing about all the neat new introductions, I didn’t take as many pictures.

Reblooming is in! Proven Winners has propagated some spring flowering shrubs to repeat blooming cycles. Pictured here is Sonic Bloom Weigelas. Bloomering Lilac is also another of their popular introductions.

Cause marketing is in too! A portion of profits from this Invincible Spirit Hydrangea goes to Breast Cancer Research.

Oh Oh – found this cute Blue Bunny Hydrangea. What! Zone 6. Sorry guys… My tour guide said they are working on making it more cold hardy. (I did not let her take me anywhere near Azaleas and Rhododendrons).

Let’s Dance Diva Hydrangea – a nice soft pink, large blooms.

Shhh…I didn’t tell you. New for 2014 is Little Quickfire Hydrangea. And it’s cold hardy for zone 4. Goodbye Pinky Winky (boring), Hello Little Quickfire!

Our next stop was Walters Gardens. It is a third generation wholesale perennial production grower with 500,000 square feet of modern plug production greenhouses and about two thousand acres of land for bare root perennial production. For as large as their facility was, their trial gardens are laid out to feel quaint, but showcase a large variety of perennials.

The ladies were trying to talk me into taking a kitty home for Reagan. Sorry, didn’t think a 7 hour trip with a slightly tame kitten in husband’s truck would be a good idea. Gotta keep the Mr. happy as he is watering all the Mums at home while we are gone.

Check out this double Hollyhocks.

I feel my Coneflower addiction takin g over…

Yum – I love the lollypop Coneflower varieties…

Check out this Elephant Ear. Sorry guys – don’t think that would hold up by the Bay or Lake…

Can you believe I found an Astilbe still blooming in August?

I just love Cheyenne Sky Switch Grass…

Highlight of the day – Mukdenia. A cute little shade plant. We need more cuties for people with shade!

Flame series of Garden phlox is just stunning. And it has leaves with no powdery mildew!

How could you not get lost here for hours? Perennials are so my life…

2013 All American Selection: Cheyenne Spirit Coneflower. Don’t believe the pictures in the magazines! Each plant is a different bloom color ranging from yellow, orange, reddish, pink. We will carry this next spring and I have a solution so you end up with a rainbow in one plant.

Tuscan Sun Helopsis – love the compact form. Excellent bright color for end of summer/early fall.

Little Goldstrum Black Eyed Susan – kinda cute. Not sure why this isn’t more popular…

Little Goldstrum Black Eyed Susan – kinda cute. Not sure why this isn’t more popular…

Check out this Delosperma! It’s a rocky mountain cold hardy succulent that gets this nickel sized rainbow flowers. Did I pick a favorite today yet?

Reagan working the registration station with Lauren. At this point, people are offering her jobs in the greenhouses and gardens.

Hopefully the first of our many girls only trips checking out trial gardens! Only request for next year is more sunshine, less thunderstorms so I can actually do my hair!  

I left Michigan excited, tired, and overwhelmed. All I could think about was Reagan’s words “where we gonna start?” Step by step, my Dear.

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