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Dress up your garden with brand-new ornaments and plants

Saturday, May 20, 2000

By Susan Banks, Post-Gazette Garden Editor

What's the point of having a garden if you can't put new stuff into it? Every year, new plants come onto the market or are introduced into our area. And every year, all kinds of neat garden ornaments show up at garden centers and nurseries. Half the fun of planting time is finding something interesting to pop into the ground or accent the plot. If everything isn't a success, so what? Next year we can try something else.

Take a chance. This is the season to expand your plant horizons, and area garden centers and nurseries are stocking new things to help do just that. So here's the annual list of what's new and where. Check it out and get planting. And, obviously, these are only a few of the things each of these businesses has to offer. The list is in alphabetical order.

Best Feeds Garden Centers

7381 McKnight Road, Ross 412-364-8002; 1410 Wildwood Road, Gibsonia 412-487-5802; 965 Airbrake Ave., Turtle Creek 412-823-3722; and 120 West Allegheny Road, Imperial 724-695-2755. Hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily (some store hours may vary).

 
  Carol Lorkowski of the South Side and friend Bill Toczek of West Mifflin shop for flowers at Brenckle's Farms and Greenhouses in Reserve. (Bob Donaldson - Post-Gazette)

Hemerocallis 'Rosy Returns', a new breakthrough daylily hybrid that's a hardy rose pink everbloomer. Flower size is 4 1/4 inches wide in bright rose pink with a deep rose eye and a yellow throat. Short habit, about 14 inches tall. Starts blooming early and continues until frost.

Canaan Fir, "the tough fir" Abies balsames phanerolepis, a subspecies of the Canadian Balsam Fir. The Canaan fir developed in a harsh mountain swamp and is naturally adapted to wet sites and late frosts.

A wide variety of annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs and a full line of garden implements.

Brenckle's Farms and Greenhouses

3814 Mt. Troy Road, Reserve. Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Saturday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Phone: 412-821-2566.

A large selection of lavishly planted hanging baskets, moss baskets and patio containers.

Sun Ray Fuchsia, white/green/pink variegated foliage with red and pink flowers; Cobbity Daisy (Argeranthemum frutescens); Lamium maculatum 'Golden Anniversary', a bright chartreuse plant to add zing to containers; Verbena lilacina 'De La mina'; Petunia 'Ruffle', a trailing double purple petunia; Angelonia angustifolia in new colors like lavender, white and purple stripe; Nemesia fruticans 'Compact Innocence', with white blossoms and yellow centers; Calibrachoa (Million Bells) 'Terra Cotta.'

All shades and hues of geraniums, including the new geranium 'Picasso' that has a purple flower with a white edge.

Bedding plants in all colors, including begonias, petunias, pansies, coleus and marigolds. A wide variety of vegetable plants including peppers, tomatoes and basil.

A selection of perennials and roses.

Chapon's Greenhouse

4846 Streets Run Road, Baldwin Borough. Hours: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Phone: 412-881-1520.

New flowers include minicarnations, fragrant nemesia and 'Terra Cotta' Million bells.

Decorative garden benches, lanterns and stepping stones.

New shrubs include the 'Dappled Willow' shrub and the upright holly 'Centennial Girl.'

Expanded pond supplies, including fish, plants and liners.

 
  Related article

Many roses tough enough for Pittsburgh

   
 

New containers include natural moss baskets, lightweight pots and adjustable window box holders.

Chiodo Farms

434 Bocktown Cork Road, Clinton. Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday through Father's Day. Phone: 724-375-1233.

Hanging petunia baskets.

Large selection of annuals.

Wide variety of perennials.

Aquatic plants.

Pompon and spiral junipers.

Dambach's Lake Forest Gardens

Fombell (outside of Zelienople). Hours: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday; Closed Sunday. Phone: 724-758-5706.

This nursery occupies more than 500 acres, on which the owners grow many kinds of shade trees and shrubs. They have a huge selection of trees of all sizes and kinds, as well as ornamental shrubs. They also stock perennials.

Flamingo Gardens, Inc.

22310 Perry Highway, Zelienople. Hours: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Phone: 888-453-5336.

New shrubs include topiaries, Weeping pussy willow, Gold lace juniper, Silver leaf dogwood, Hydrangea, Lilac, Weigela, Pea-shrub, Catalpa, Halimongendron, Cotoneaster, Burning bush, Euonomous, Hibiscus, Crabapple, Mulberry, Cistena plum bush and Viburnums.

New trees: Crimson frost birch, Forest pansy redbud.

Garden ornaments including sundials, gazing globes, pottery, yard art and rod iron items.

Computerized visual landscaping design services.

Friday's Perennials

372 Locust Hill Road, Cheswick. Hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; Closed Sunday. Phone: 412-828-8250.

Anemone 'Elsie Feldman,' a pompon double wood anemone that is about 10 to 15 inches in height. Blooms summer and fall. High shade to part sun.

Heuchera 'Helen Dillon,' which sports extra-large coral pink flowers from spring to summer. Likes partial shade and is drought-tolerant. 'Silver Scrolls' is another Heuchera that has green and silver scrolled leaves and white blooms. Each leaf has purple veining. Partial shade to full sun.

Hibiscus 'Kopper King,' a maroon-leafed hibiscus with pink flowers. Wonderful mid- to late-summer color. Full sun.

Bergenia 'Rosy Klose' has glossy bronze-red foliage and hyacinth-like pink flowers. Blooms in April/May and sometimes again in October. Partial to full shade.

Geranium 'Samboor' has large maple-like leaves with blotches of purple in the centers. Pretty pink flowers in June. Grows to about 12 inches and likes full sun or part shade. Pretty and different.

Friday's sells perennials, obviously, but also has a selection of roses, grasses and ferns and, new this year, the nursery is selling water garden plants.

Gala Rhododendron

6179 Rt. 8, Valencia. Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Phone: 724-444-0944.

 
A variety of bronze garden sculptures can be found at North Hills Water Gardens in Shaler. (Bob Donaldson - Post-Gazette) 

A number of new rhododendrons including the late David Leach's hardy new yellow 'Capistrano.' Many good yakushimanum hybrids such as 'Fantastica (pink) and 'Mardi Gras' (pink). New red rhododendrons like 'Bikini Island' and 'War Dancer' have a wonderful clear red color.

Several new Japanese maples such as the red dwarf 'Shaina.' Linearilobum trees like 'Beni otaki', 'Atrolineare' and 'Koto no ito.' Maples with unusual colors like 'Katsura' and 'Beni shichi henge.'

New flowering pink Kousa dogwoods like 'Satomi' and 'Heart Throb.' They also have white flowering trees like Merrill Magnolia in a single trunk form and Styrax obassia, which has great foliage.

A large selection of conifers. Not many new varieties, but the weeping spruce and hemlock look very good this year. Some hard-to-get conifers like Parviflora Templehof, 'Horstmann's Silberlocke' fir and St. Mary's Broom blue spruce, which are collector favorites.

H.J. Paul & Sons

502 Glass Road, Robinson. Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 21 and 28 only, then closed on Sundays. Phone: 412-787-1115.

Calibrachoa (Million bells) 'Terra Cotta'

Wave petunias, hanging baskets and annuals.

A wide selection of vegetable plants and herbs, many hard to find.

Many varieties of perennials.

Iannetti's Garden Center

728 Steubenville Pike, Burgettstown. Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Phone: 724-729-3500.

Lilac 'Primrose' a yellow-flowering shrub.

AAS 2000 Winners: Cabbage 'Savoy Express,' Pepper 'Blushing Beauty' and Cosmos 'Cosmic Orange.'

2000 Perennial Plant of the Year Scabiosa 'Butterfly Blue' and Scabiosa 'Giant Blue.'

New varieties of ornamental grasses.

Proven Winners varieties, including Calibrachoa (Million Bells) 'Terra Cotta' and Supertunia 'Surfinia Sky Blue' petunia.

Osteospermum varieties.

John B. Dreves Nursery & Greenhouse

271 Reis Run Road, Ross. Hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Phone: 412-364-3086.

Tricolor Impoemea 'Pink Ice,' a sweet potato vine with white, pink and green variegated foliage. Great as an accent plant or for hanging baskets and planters.

Felicia Daisy, a blue daisy with variegated foliage for sunny locations.

Ruffled feather pansies, very fancy petaled pansies.

Osteospermum Passion Mix, drought-resistant daisy-like flowers (pink, rose, purple and white) with azure blue eye. Blooms well all summer.

A wide variety of combination baskets.

Kaelin Farm & Market Inc.

2547 Brandt School Road, Franklin Park. Hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Phone: 724- 935-6780.

A large selection of container gardens and old-fashioned moss hanging baskets.

Wall baskets, and double- and triple-tier planters.

Living wreaths in two sizes.

Ten greenhouses full of plants.

Kirkpatrick's Perennials

Butler Pa. Hours by appointment only. Phone: 724-282-8281.

An assortment of grasses with a blue/gray or blue/green blade. Some with rose or mauve seed heads. Mature height, 3 to 6 feet.

Fifty new varieties of heather. (Kirkpatrick's now has about 75 varieties. Wonderful evergreen and in many cases "ever-orange, red rust or gold" shrubs. Some flower as early as May, some flower in late August.

Several new native orchids. (None are wild collected; tissue culture-grown only.)

New rock garden plants; some are quite miniature.

New fern varieties, giving them more than 100 kinds to choose from.

New types of prairie plants to accommodate long, hot, dry summers.

The Landscape Center

2741 South Park Road, Bethel Park. Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Phone: 412-835-6699.

A nice selection of artificial waterfalls and artificial rocks that are self-contained and realistic.

A wide selection of highly detailed fountains and statuary.

Many unique and ornamental trees and shrubs.

Decorative flags, bird houses, wall plaques and wind chimes.

Experienced staff that can help with garden design or landscape problems.

Lee's Lawn & Garden, Inc.

3695 Washington Road, McMurray. Hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Phone: 724-941-9200.

A large selection of fruit and shade trees.

Decorative trees including Weeping cherries, Eastern redbuds, Magnolias, Bradford and Cleveland pears and Snake willows.

Shrubs including lilacs, rhododendrons, azaleas and holly.

Many types of perennials.

Landscaping and stone supplies.

LMS Greenhouse and Nursery

3312 Wagner Road, Hampton. Hours: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday; Noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Phone: 412-767-7020.

Hemerocallis 'Rosy Returns,' a rebloomer that is the equal of a pink 'Stella D' Oro.'

Yucca 'Color Guard' has exceptional color.

Asarum splendens (Chinese wild ginger), a new evergreen groundcover with heart-shaped leaves with silver blotches. Needs moist soil and shade.

Sambucus nigra 'Marginata' (Variegated elder) a fast-growing shrub, the leaves are green with creamy edges. Develops fuzzy flowers that yield black fruit.

Alpine collection. All new miniatures from Sunny Border Nursery. Great for trough gardens, these plants have exquisite blooms and daintiness.

Millie's Herbs and Red Chimney Antiques

Wallace and Graham Roads, Wexford. Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Closed holidays. Phone: 724-935-1990.

More than 300 varieties of herbs, including basil varieties 'Rubin' 'Thai' and 'Mammoth.'

Bay trees.

Chinese mustard and Golden seal as well as other hard-to-find herbs.

North Hills Water Gardens

1615 Babcock Blvd, Shaler. Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday; 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Phone: 412-821-6525.

A large assortment of wax-crafted bronzes for the pond and garden.

Australian tropical water lilies, both night- and day-blooming. (These lilies will withstand more cold and continue to bloom longer than other tropicals. However, they will not overwinter outdoors.)

Large-sized bog plants like papyrus and Umbrella palms.

Large water hyacinths and hardy water lilies.

Clarity Max, a new product by Crystal Clear designed to restore and maintain a good bacterial balance in the pond. Helps with string algae control.

Snap-together waterfalls.

Orlando Pride Nursery

145 Weckerly Road, Butler. Hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Phone: 724-283-0962.

Magnolia virginiana.

Styrax japonica (Japanese snowbell trees)

Chamaecyparis pisifera filifera 'Green Thread'

Ilex x meserveae 'Blue Princess'

Ilex opaca 'Grace Hybrid'

Stewartia pseudocamellia

Hemerocallis 'Happy Returns'

Plumville Farms & Greenhouses

Route 210, Indiana County. (About 15 miles outside of Indiana, Pa.) Call for hours and directions: 724-397-9447. The nursery usually closes by June 1 or when it sells out of plants, so call before making the trip.

Hanging moss "gardens," living wreaths and flower creations and wrought-iron urns, hayracks, cradles and tiered planters.

Growing bags full of impatiens, ivy geraniums, surfinia petunias and cascading begonias and combination baskets.

New for spring is Angelonia; Gerbera daisies; Picasso ivy geraniums and Cascading red supertunias for hanging baskets.

Reilly's Summer Seat Farm and Garden Center

1120 Roosevelt Road, Ohio Township. Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays. Phone: 412-364-8662.

Manettia firecracker vine is one of the heaviest blooming vines it has had. It has hundreds of 1-inch tubular, bright orange flowers and will bloom all summer and fall on a medium-sized vine. Great for small trellises or cascading out of pots and hanging baskets over walls in full sun.

Alternanthera 'Frizzy' is a threadleaf green and yellow Joseph's coat that turns bright yellow during the growing season. This low-maintenance annual grows to 8 inches by the end of the season. The unusual frizzy grass-like leaves make a great addition to small-scale containers, troughs and rock gardens.

Diabolo Physocarpus 'Ninebark' is an exciting new shrub with attractive dark bronze-purple leaves and pinkish-white button flowers in midsummer. This showy and hardy plant is currently the craze of Europe. It produces prize cut flowers.

Forsythia 'Gold Tide' is a dwarf spreading shrub that forms an attractive deer-resistant groundcover that grows to a height of 2 feet. It has a feathery light green foliage with a wonderful texture that looks good all summer long.

Thuja 'Degroots Spire' (Arborvitae), a very narrow columnar form of Arborvitae with a fine-textured medium green foliage. Great as an accent plant or as a very narrow hedge, growing 6 to 10 feet tall.

Soergel Greenhouses

2573 Brandt School Road, Franklin Park. Hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Phone: 724-935-2090.

Angelonia 'Angel Mist,' a great substitute for snapdragons that will bloom all summer, and unlike snaps, they do great in the heat. Plants mature at between 18 and 24 inches, with pink, purple or purple and white blooms.

Osteospermum 'Passion Mix,' a wonderful daisy-like flower in shades of pastel pinks and purples. This is a great cold weather plant that will lose some of its blooming power in the extreme heat but will still do great. Planted in the spring, a single plant can grow to the size of a small bush. In the fall, it will be "born again," covered in blooms, and it can tolerate a light frost.

Bidens ferulifolia 'Gold Marle,' a very heat-tolerant, fast-growing spreader that does great in window boxes, baskets or in the ground. Threadleaf foliage is covered with small yellow flowers and will bloom continuously in the worst conditions.

Scaevola aemula 'New Blue Wonder,' lush green leaves with bushy growth covered in blue fan-like flowers all summer long.

'Purple Wave' petunias, without which no garden is complete.

Trax Farms Inc.

528 Trax Road, Finleyville. Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Phone: 412-835-3246.

Bacopa 'Snowstorm', a small annual with bright white flowers that bloom against rich green foliage on trailing stems.

Mahonia 'Leatherleaf,' an evergreen shrub with blue/green foliage and fragrant yellow flowers. Grows up to 6 feet tall.

Hosta 'Robert Frost,' a variegated-leafed perennial. The leaves have yellow margins and blue-green centers. Grows 24 inches tall by 24 inches wide with flower scapes up to 36 inches tall.

Hemerocallis 'Lady Jackie,' a perennial with 5-inch, mulberry to mauve flowers with a plum eye. Grows up to 26 inches tall and blooms early- to mid-season.

Groundcover rose 'Meikrotal,' a scarlet Meilland-bred rose that grows 36 inches tall to 46 inches wide. The double blooms are about 1 inch across. Blossoms appear early and continue through mid-season. Foliage is lush and healthy.

The Urban Gardener

1901 Brighton Road, North Side. Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Phone: 412-323-4769.

An expanded selection of flowering bushes and small trees, including flowering quince, hollies, Pieris japonica 'Mountain Fire' and the shrub dogwood Cornus alba 'elegantissima.'

In partnership with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, a selection of the same hardy, eye-catching annual grasses, petunies and verbena 'Bonariensis.'

Penn State soil testing kits.

Seminars by Penn State Extension agent Sandy Feather and Western Pennsylvania Conservancy's Josie Gaskey.

Zottola's Garden Center

6080 William Flynn Highway, Richland. Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Phone: 724-449-2500.

Many kinds of unusual or accent plants like weeping specimens or wisteria trained on a standard (pole) to use as a focal point in the garden.

Wave petunias and hanging baskets.

Patio tropicals like Mandevilla and Passionflower for use in containers on the patio.

Birdbaths made of cast iron and resins; benches; patio furniture and garden ornaments.

Garden apparel like gloves and clogs.

Water garden supplies.


Note to nurseries: If you weren't included, please don't call. Each year, I run several requests for this information at the bottom of my column. Try again next year.



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