Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Everything is Blooming at Loblaws

by Margaret Bennet-Alder

If you didn't get your heart's desire at our May plant sale, consider the ones in Loblaws as of Friday, May 11.  Garden writers previewed these at Loblaws' media lunch at the TBG in early May. While awaiting our meal Peter Cantley, Loblaws' gardening guru of 28 years, introduced us to their 2012 pristine plants. Although sourced from around the world, all are acclimatised by Canadian growers and made ready for our May temperatures. After the meal we were invited to take some home to trial.

PC Tropicals Hibiscus Tricolour

Do you love tropicals?  How about three plants growing together with intertwining trunks: mandevilla, gardenia, and hibiscus! Only at Loblaws. I saw one of my favourite garden writers carrying out this tall plant for his indoor winter garden.

Haskap Berries

Would you like shrubs bearing fruit earlier than strawberries and with more antioxidants than blueberries? Consider the hardy Haskap berry, a cross between blueberry, a raspberry and a Saskatoon berry.  Buy two Shrubs to ensure cross-pollination.  They need full sun, so I'll have to plant mine on my city-owned! sunny boulevard.  These very hardy 1-2 meter plants will bear fruit next year.

PC Gigantico Wasabi Coleus

Other plants that caught my fancy, but that I didn't necessarily bring home: Wasabi Green Coleus, a lovely chartreuse.
PC Super Gigantico Calliope Geranium

Calliope, a big red geranium. It tries to set seed, but can't. Ever hopeful it produces big red blooms all summer.

Kwik Combos Burgundy Blues

The Lanai Verbena, Twister Pink, is part of a Kwik Kombo exclusive to Loblaws. The two-toned pink and white flowers combined with burgundy petunias and blue lobelia, all in one ball, are a quick-to-make eye-catching window box or planter.

Dahlia Dahlinova Hypnotica Cotton Candy

Dahlia Dahlinova Hypnotica Cotton Candy, is an abundant big bloomer with purply mauve petals outside and a hint of yellow inside.

Honey Bee Petunia

If your taste tends toward orange and even black, check out these dazzlers featuring the New Honey Bee Petunia:

Bee Happy Confetti Garden

Solar-Powered Illuminated Planter

These were my favourite containers and solar-powered, but I wasn't quick enough to take one home. Darn! Lovely in the evening, they can be filled with ice and bottled drinks. Choose a white glow or seven alternating colours for pizzaz. I guess if I really want one, I'll just have to buy it at Loblaws but first where will I put it?

Our own Dorothea Thompson will be giving horticultural advice for Loblaws on Saturdays and Sundays during May and June at their Bayview and Moore supermarket.  In this capacity she is one of the longest-serving members of an OHA society. For her horticultural expertise, North Toronto and the OHA each receive $50 from Loblaws; likewise for other participating OHA societies.

For more of their well-chosen and cared for plants, many unique to Loblaws, see their colourful PC Lawn & Garden Insider's Report, available until June 8; plants until early July. All in all Loblaws is showcasing more than 50 different plants, as well as soils, fertilizers, and containers, with their banner store garden centres having the most choice.

Go early in the season for the best choice and late in the season for the best price.

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