Plant Highlights from The Gardens on Spring Creek’s Spring Plant Sale

Helianthemum Rock Rose, 'henfield,Brilliant', In Flower

by Gardens on Spring Creek

Going through and picking out new annuals for our annual Spring Plant Sale has always been one of my favorite job duties. Not only do I get to look at pretty flowers, but I also get to be creative in choosing what to grow. When I am deciding on plants, I have certain criteria that I like to follow: Is it fun and new? Will it provide food for pollinators? Is it heat/drought tolerant? Do I love it, and will the customer love it? 

As we gear up for this year’s sale, I’m excited to highlight some of my favorite selections to check out. Calylophus ‘Ladybird Sunglow’ is a Southwest native perennial but treated as an annual everywhere else. It’s tough-as-nails, self-sufficient, and loves the heat. Its bright yellow flowers bloom all summer long, with no deadheading necessary. I was drawn to this plant because of its color and ease of care. I can see this plant being added to combo planters and hanging baskets. 

I was also drawn to calibrachoa ‘Bloomtastic Chili Pepper’ because of its extra-large dark red flowers that feature near black throats and yellow centers. Generally, calibrachoa is the smaller size, so I was impressed with how big these flowers are. These plants are also heat tolerant and will bloom all summer long. 

Dianthus Giganteus – Wild Plant

When I first saw petunia ‘Amazonas Plum Cockatoo’ in a magazine, I knew I would love it or hate it for its green coloring. The green in flowers can get lost in the background when presented with other green plants. However, when I started growing this petunia and saw it bloom, I fell in love with it. The green ruffled edges and purple veins with white throats make it distinct. It’s definitely one to try in combination pots.   

Like with annuals, I also have specific criteria for choosing perennials. I like options that are native, hardy, do well in this area, and are something fresh to offer. New on this year’s perennial list is Dianthus giganteus or giant dianthus. This is likely the biggest dianthus around, flowering at 3 feet tall. It’s cool, unique, and nothing your neighbor will have. Since this species is particularly tall, it will look good in a meadow, mixed in between perennial grasses, or as a statement plant. It doesn’t bloom all summer, so it would best be planted between other perennials to hide it when it’s finished blooming. 

Another option, and one that is often overlooked, is Helianthemum ‘Henfield Brilliant’ or rock rose. This plant has an amazing evergreen greenish-grey foliage with an abundance of bright orange flowers. It’s super tough and drought tolerant and loves being in the hot sun. Its mounding habit makes it perfect for borders, over rocks or areas that need a ground cover. I particularly like this plant because it provides plenty of pollen for pollinators. 

Another plant that I don’t see nearly enough in peoples’ gardens is Phemeranthus calycinum or fame flower. It is a native perennial succulent that grows in large masses. I could sit and watch the small bright pink flowers dance in the wind all day; it’s such a happy plant. Best of all, it’s a succulent, and who doesn’t love succulents? They are hardy, don’t need a lot of water, and reseed easily, so you get large masses of them over the years. It is truly one of my favorite plants, which is saying a lot, given the many options out there!

All these selections will be available at The Gardens on Spring Creek’s annual plant sale on May 18 and 19. Make sure to get your reservation, and you can take some home to enjoy! 


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