Looking at planting trends

Monique Rampton and Leah Olson of Morden Nurseries. (GREG VANDERMEULEN/Morden Times)

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There’s plenty for gardeners to get excited about this spring, with new plants available and older ones becoming more popular.
Monique Rampton of Morden Nurseries outlined what’s available in a presentation at the inaugural Nature and Garden Expo, April 5 at the Access Event Centre.
“Hydrangeas are still going to be hot this year,” she said. In fact new varieties promise stronger stems, and large flowers. One variety, the Firelight Hydrangea grows up to six feet tall, with flowers that start creamy white and turns into a deep red/purple colour. “It would be a real show stopper,” she said.
Iceberg Alley Willow, Hikul Dwarf Sea Buckthorn, Happy Face Potentilla (one of the few plants that blooms right through the season), new varieties of roses, spirea, weigela, barberry, and honeyberry were just some of the plants she highlighted.
Rampton said people are looking for specific characteristics in many kinds of plants.
“People are still looking for easy care and things that don’t have to be trimmed five times a year to keep them down to the size they want,” she said. “Disease resistance is also really big.”
In fact disease resistance has become more crucial since the tools that gardeners previously had at their disposal aren’t as available.
“We don’t have the chemicals and fungicides available to us that we used to have, so we’re trying to introduce things that are disease resistant,” she said.
New varieties of plants are always exciting and Rampton said they’re a slight improvement on previous editions.
Rampton said people are looking for ease of care, hardiness, and plants able to grow in our soil and weather conditions.
“We try and bring some new things in and than we trial them ourselves,” she said. “Sometimes it takes a while to find out how well they do.”
This region is known for roses and apple trees, and Rampton said that’s because of the influence of the Morden Research Station.
Some plants you may have noticed on your grandparents’ property are also becoming new again.
“Peonies are really making a comeback,” she said. “They’re very long lived and easy care and they’re coming back into favour again.”
“Some of the old plants that people tossed aside as being old are kind of actually coming around and becoming more favourable again,” she added.
Rampton was impressed with the expo and said she was happy to be a part of it.
“I think it’s hopefully something that’s just going to grow from here,” she said.