New Plant Issue

It is always fascinating to write the spring newsletter in February when, once again, it is snowing sideways with a balmy 24 degrees on the thermometer. During this current storm we are supposed to plan warm spells, tomato seedings, plant deliveries and open houses. Might as well just cut up the squares on the calendar, toss them into the air and see what dates land on top. All guessing aside, we are looking forward to a terrific spring, seeing all of our gardening friends, talking about new plants and generally celebrating the warmth and comfort of another planting season. So, with little further ado, we welcome you to the 2015 New Plant Issue to tell you of a few of the many surprises awaiting in the greenhouses. Oh, and don’t worry, the tomatoes are coming along nicely and will be ready when it is sunny and warm.

But first, we would like to extend an invitation to the Bear-ly Spring Garden Party. Tina and Anastasia have been busy planning an event to introduce new plants, pottery and products. Demonstrations of the new Smart Pot, tours of what’s new in the greenhouses and plenty of refreshments are all on the sleight. Please make plans to visit the Bear on March 27, 2015. For details, stay tuned to our Facebook page or sign up on our website to receive email specials, announcements and updates.

New Sunny Perennials

Black Scallop Bugleweed. This is one of those handy perennials that is tolerant of a wide variety of conditions. It enjoys sun or shade, moist or dry soil, heat or cold and will still thrive. Dense, wide, dark purple leaves form a thick mat to smother competing weeds. Typically evergreen, this burly form of Ajuga looks great even in the winter. It sure would be hard to come up with an excuse to not try Black Scallop.

Purple Smoke False Indigo. What??!!! Another Baptisia at the Bear??!!! If I could only take one plant to the fabled desert island, it would be a False Indigo. What qualities have inspired such devotion? Handsome foliage, stunning flowers and a slowly maturing (to 4×4 feet!) size make the Indigos imposing perennials that will always catch your eye. They are native, growing nonchalantly on the roadsides, as well as domestic, reaching the size of a small shrub when pampered. This variety, Purple Smoke, evidently is sneaky, a naturally occurring cross between two native species. Smoky violet flowers on full spires stand proud of mounds of foliage. And all this show is on a plant that is related to the common pea. So do you like the Baptisia now, too?

Earthquake Clematis. With a name like Earthquake, it will be easy to come up with some cliches to describe this vine. You will shake with anticipation to see her flower. The size of the pink flowers will rattle your windows. The rate of growth is earth shattering. But the real reason this Clematis will move the ground beneath your feet is its exceptionally long bloom time. Vibrant flowers, appearing from June until September, are followed by fluffy seed heads, causing a tremble from all the other humbled plants. It makes me quiver just thinking about it.

Red Satin Tickseed. Coreopsis has come a very long way from the ones grown in our parents’ gardens. Modern breeders have created dozens of showy new forms that boast multicolor flowers and disease resistance. Red Satin is a fine example. Threadlike foliage is covered with deep red flowers all summer long. Dense mounds, reaching up to 18 inches tall, make a splendid specimen in the perennial bed. Mom would be proud of this new introduction.

Sienna Sunset Tickseed. Carl demanded we try this new variety. Since he is not a very demanding person, we thought he meant business this time and followed up on his request. Similar in size and foliage to Red Satin, this Coreopsis is a snappy addition to the garden. The flowers, a burnt sienna to peach medley, are what set this cultivar apart. Thanks, Carl, what a lovely suggestion.

Jewel of Dessert Ice Plant. These pretty little Delospermas were blooming from the moment we set them in the greenhouse last fall. We are offering two colors this year, Peridot and Garnet, gems alone or together. White and yellow two-tone flowers are brilliant on Peridot. Garnet features equally jazzy magenta red two-tone blooms. Both are born on low growing, succulent foliage that forms a bright green mat-like groundcover, a perfect background for the fluorescent flowers. Expect the blooming display to last all summer. (Cont.)

© Bear Creek Nursery

2798 Highway 23 North, Eureka Springs, Arkansas 72631

(479) 253-7466 »˜«

Shady Perennials

Jack Frost Brunnera. Tina has wanted to grow these for years and finally sneaked them into the nursery when no one was looking. Even as a youngster in a cold greenhouse, their new foliage is fabulous. Silver-white, heart-shaped leaves with green veining form tight mounds 15 inches tall. Sprays of airy baby blue flowers appear in mid spring. Jack Frost will light up the shade garden and make you wonder, why haven’t they grown these before?

Valentine Bleeding Heart. The plant doctors are at it again. This may be the last time we can call the Bleeding Heart by the musical name Dicentra. Once again a pretty plant name is being changed. Dicentra, Dicentra, Dicentra! Take that, you botanical usurping taxonomists. Now, a little about the plant. This robust Old Fashioned Bleeding Heart is an improvement over the one growing in Grandma’s garden. Deep red stems support a string of red hearts on a full clump of foliage. It is a pretty perennial no matter what they call it.

Ballerina Ruffles Lenten Rose. Procuring Lenten Roses has been a bit of a treasure hunt lately. The pictures in the catalogues are fantastic, but actually getting plants to the nursery is a challenge. “They are sold out.” “There is a crop failure.” “They are not available this year.” You would think they didn’t really want to sell any. Finally we found some and, boy, it was worth the wait. Ballerina Ruffles sport huge, fluffy double flowers that last for months. Flowers of light, medium and dark shades of pink are included in the mix, some with a purple speckling. Deep green, deer resistant foliage is immune to cold weather, holding up in the worst of winters.

Brass Lantern Foamy Bells. The Foamy Bells are a wonderful cross between Foamflowers and Coral Bells. The result is a combination that highlights the qualities of each. Showy two-tone leaves in cottony domes frame clusters of light flowers in early spring. Frost tolerant foliage intensifies in color as the cool of fall advances. Brass Lantern is a hearty addition to this collection. Golden and apricot masses of leaves are topped with sprays of tight, white bells. This tiarella is outstanding nearly year round.

Pink Fizz Foamy Bells. A brand new introduction, Pink Fizz carries dense clusters of pink flowers instead of the typical Foamy Bell white. The leaves are equally attractive. Bright green, heavily fingered foliage is slightly overlayed in silver, accented with deep purple veining. The flower wands pop later than the other members of this group, extending the Foamy Bells’ flowering season until mid summer. Pink Fizz is a stunning addition to an exciting family of perennials.

Bella Notte Coral Bells. Coral Bells have been bred to emphasize dazzlingly colorful foliage. It is always a thrill to see one with attractive flowers also. Bella Notte is such a Heuchera. Lightly silvered, deep purple leaves form a compact mound of foliage growing to 12 inches tall. The leaves merely form a backdrop for the exceptional floral display. Pink flowers on deep red stems create a show that continues all season. Salut Bella Notte!

Fire Alarm Coral Bells. The large red leaves in this brand new Heuchera are alarming. Fiery red spring and fall foliage mellows to a mahogany red through the summer. Delicate pink flowers are held over impressive mounds of verdure reaching 12 inches tall. A vilosa hybrid, this Heuchera will hold up well to the heat and humidity of the Ozark summer. The Fire Alarm Coral Bell signals a great addition to the garden.

Paris Coral Bells. Long spells of fantastic flowers are the trademark of yet another fine introduction from Terra Nova Nurseries. Cool green leaves

with a silver overlay form a compact mound on this diminutive Heuchera. Masses of deep pink bells are born for several months on this free flowering cultivar. Enjoy both fine greenery and a strong floral display on a single Coral Bell. Viva Paris!

Purrsian Blue Catmint. By naming Catmint “Cat’s Meow” and “Purrsian Blue”, the marketing department has used most of the puns to describe this floriferous member of the mint family. But we can still mew its praises. More compact and neater in habit than its older sister, Purrsian Blue is an easier perennial to use in the garden. It could even be happy curled up in a mixed container. Even better, this cat is smothered in flowers from early summer to late fall. Now that is something to purr about.

JUNIOR Dream Garden Phlox. Tall Garden Phlox are mid summer bloomers, coming on at a time when many perennials are starting to take a break. The Junior series are shorter Tall Garden Phlox, topping out at about 24 inches tall. Dream is the cultivar name,

boasting a bright lavender bloom in full clusters on multi-branching compact plants. Fragrance is the theme, lightly perfuming the air on a lovely midnight summer’s night. Shakespeare would be impressed.

Lyrical Salvia. These new Salvias are such strong bloomers you can practically hear them flower. Fuller branching means more flowers and, really, isn’t that what you want in a perennial? At two feet tall, these plants will work well in a mixed border or a container. Two colors are available, a medium blue and a bright pink, allowing the Lyrical Salvias to fit in any arrangement you compose.

Firecracker Sedum. A member of the SunSparkler Series, Firecracker is one of the latest introductions to a large family of succulent groundcovers. Heat and sun tolerant, this sedum grows to about 6 inches tall, creating a dense mat of deep red foliage. It bursts into bloom in late summer and covers itself with a cloud of pink flowers. Let this hot, new Firecracker explode in your rock garden.

Spring Garden Party - Friday March 27, 2015: Tours and Demonstrations, New All-weather pottery, Orchids just arrived from Hawaii, Smart Pot- Garden in a bag, Lots of new plants and seeds

March is Garden Club Month

Garden Clubs
Master Gardeners
Water Garden Societies
Botanical Societies

15% OFF

All plants for members of
ANY Garden Organization

Now through March 31, 2015

Call 479-253-7466 for more information on any of the new introductions reviewed in this article.

Bear Creek Nursery

“ Along with a selection of new annuals, perennials, herbs and grasses, the Bear offers many native trees and shrubs as well as a number of aquatic plants to enhance the pond. Landscape materials and a comprehensive selection of glazed & terra cotta pots round out the products available at your friendly neighborhood garden center. Sound advice is always available from the well informed staff, who will be happy to help you find just the right plant to compliment your garden. Landscape services are available year round.”