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Current Out of the Blue Newsletter

We're posting the current Out of the Blue Newsletter here for your convenience. You can always read past editions by visiting the Newsletter Archive section, bottom, 3rd column, half way down on the Heritage website.
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A Daylily Garden | Heritage Perennials
The natural world combines beautifully with man-made elements.
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2017 Garden Trends                                    

Dear Gardener

Garden trends for 2017 have everything to do with feeling well and being happy with your space. No matter how small your garden you can still connect with nature, attract some wildlife, grow healthy veggies and create an oasis to recharge your batteries on a daily basis. The Garden Media Group has identified the following broad trends in gardening.

WELLNESS HOTSPOTS – Have you ever heard of forest bathing? It’s the idea that being surrounded by the woods does a body good. It’s not always possible to go to the forest but it is possible to bring the forest to you – even in a small way. Imagine coming home from the office to a welcoming, relaxing green patio. In winter you can visit a well-stocked urban garden centre to get your green fix. PATIO AND BALCONY LIVING – Your outdoor space is where you can bring nature home – a few carefully chosen plants can attract pollinators and birds to your urban wilds and provide a feeling of wellness at home. Once you get the hang of it you just may convert your balcony into a miniature Costa Rican rain forest. INDOOR WELLNESS AND CLEAN LIVING – Indoor office plants create healthier and happier workers, lower healthcare costs, increase productivity, lower absenteeism and reduce turnover. Even something as small as a fairy garden can improve the air quality where you live or work. Those are compelling reasons for a desktop garden. TIDY GARDENS – There’s a movement towards reduced consumption and finding happiness in what you do, not what you have. Keep what you need or love and declutter the rest. Of all the plants a gardener brings home some invariable do well and others languish. Focus on what does well, it makes gardening so much more satisfying. (Says the guy who will kill the same thing five times because he must have it.) GROW WHAT YOU EAT – Parents – even those who are not keen on gardening - want their children to learn skills for healthy living. For many people this means outdoor activities and eating well. Growing veggies at home is a great way to get kids outside and active as well as teach them about nutrition and eating well. It may even foster a lifetime of good habits. Plus veggies can do double duty and provide cooling shade like the peas pictured below.
   
Perennial of the Year
Contest Winners   

In October we asked you to identify the plant in the photo to the left. It is Scabiosa or Pincushion Flower. These all summer bloomers are perennials that bloom like annuals.

Congratulations to Susan C., Massapequa Park, N.Y. and Christine P., North Vancouver, BC for correctly identifying this plant. These lucky winners will shortly receive their choice of our Perennial Gardening Guide or a subscription to Garden Making Magazine.

 
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Pollinator Plants                       
  A pollinator is an animal that causes plants to make fruit or seed by moving pollen from one flower (or part of a flower) to another flower (or part of a flower). While many animals may act in this role, the most important pollinator economically speaking, is the bee. Any animal that depends on plants - and that includes humans - depends on pollinators. Having a healthy garden full of flowers contributes to the health of local bee populations who in return, pollinate the food crops on which we depend. It is no wonder then that the 2017 Perennial Plant of the Year is Asclepias tuberosa or Butterflyweed (pictured below). This is probably our most asked about pollinator plant. Don't let the name confuse you, bees love it too. Monarch Butterflies lay their eggs exclusively on Asclepias species. The larvae feed on Asclepias leaves which contain a compound that makes them taste bad to predators. The milky sap that carries the compound can cause a problem for the larvae by gumming up its mouth. To solve this problem the larvae chews through the mid-vein on the leaf first, effectively cutting off the flow of the troublesome sap before feeding on the leaf. There are many other great pollinator plants as well, just scroll down for some other suggestions. To establish a successful pollinator garden or patio planting follow these tips: -Pick a sunny location. -Use a variety of different flower. -Plant perennials that bloom at different times. -Choose some native plants. (Echinacea, Liatris, Monarda, Penstemon) -Provide a source of water. This can be as simple as a Hosta leaf that holds moisture. Click on pictures for more plant info.  
Lavender - blooms summer to fall Cimicifuga (also called Actaea) blooms summer
Japanese Anemone - blooms summer to fall Monarda - blooms summer to fall
Asclepias - blooms summer Hibiscus - blooms late summer
Echinacea - blooms summer to fall Dwarf Asiatic Lily - blooms summer
Achillea - blooms summer Coreopsis - blooms summer
Dianthus - blooms late-spring to summer Gaillardia - blooms summer to fall
Liatris - blooms mid-summer to fall Penstemon - blooms spring to summer
Phlox subulata - blooms spring Salvia - blooms late-spring to late summer
   
March Perennial ID Contest

 

These dainty early bloomers will take over your garden if you let them. Their sweetly fragrant flowers are a welcome sight in spring.

Two contest winners will be drawn from the pool of correct answers. Each will receive their choice of a copy of our Perennial Gardening Guide or a one year (4 issue) subscription to Garden Making Magazine. To enter: send us BOTH the common and botanical names of this plant. E-mail your entry to contest@perennials.com and put March Contest in the subject line. Please provide your full name, city and province/state and choice of prize.  Winners will be announced in our next issue by first name, last initial and town only.   

Entry deadline: Mar. 31, 2017

All new perennials.com

 
   
France Garden & Gastronomy Tour                September 14-22, 2017                                        
Who wouldn't love a tour of fabulous French gardens paired with local gastronomic delights? Join hosts Kelly and John Schroeder on this once in a lifetime trip. Tour Monet's garden, explore the Loire Valley and its Chateau gardens, attend the trendsetting Chaumont Garden Festival and savour mouth-watering cuisine highlighting unique local produce. Plus enjoy ample time to explore on your own. Sound interesting? Check out the full itinerary.
   
   
Photo Fun        &nnbsp;                                                 
I braved a frozen garden for this edition of photo fun. It was -7C (19F). The objective was to see what still passes for green this time of year (late-January). I suspect I'm probably alone in my need see things growing in winter. Or do some of you also wonder out into the garden in January? Click on pictures for plant names.
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