Fierth Garden Guide: What’s Hot for Spring 2012!

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 By Mike Diamond

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At last- spring has sprung! Tulips burst forth like botanical lollipops and the maple trees are sprouting their young leaves of apple green and ruby red. As spring glides into summer, for the indoor and temperate region gardener,  attention turns to tropical plants, tender specimens requiring a bit more of the gardener’s TLC. You don’t have to settle for any boring old thing at your local big box store, there’s a world of exciting, exotic varieties to be found, and Logee’s Tropical Plants has the best of the bunch. Celebrating their 120th year in business, thisConnecticut based mail order nursery offers the most amazing plants for home and garden. Here are our top picks for the 2012 season!

For fragrance, it’s hard to beat the ‘Chinese Perfume Plant’ (Aglaia odorata). This is a compact, easy growing specimen that boats a nearly endless parade of tiny, round yellow blossoms, exuding the sweetest, most wonderful scent; it really earns it’s nickname! A charming, pretty, easy care delight.

Angel’s Summer Dream’ (Brugmansia hybrid) is a knockout, perfect for a sunroom or sunny patio. This ‘angel’s trumpet’ plant is unlike other Brugmansia varieties in that it blooms continuously throughout the growing season from shoots and spurs. The flowers of this dwarf variety are pendulous, intoxicatingly fragrant at nighttime and a fantastic yellow-orange color. A showstopper, and a Logees exclusive.

If your gardening space is on the shady side, Alocasias are a fantastic, visually interesting option. New this year is ‘Stingray’, (Alocasia hybrid) an upright growing ‘elephant ear’ with leaves that truly do resemble its aquatic namesake. Thriving in partial shade and semi-moist soil, Stingray is bizarrely beautiful, easy to grow, and also makes a fabulous houseplant.

Another strange new offering for Spring 2012 is Kalanchoe ‘Fantastic’ (Kalanchoe thyrsiflora). This is one psychedelic looking plant! Its succulent, ‘flapjack’ leaves are silvery green and slightly undulating, highlighted by intense purple-red varigation that flows in from the edges of the leaves. A sun loving, drought tolerant dazzler. Go ask Alice, I think she knows!

Not to be outdone is Echeveria ‘Raindrops’ (Echeveria hybrid); another wonderfully weird succulent. Each thick leaf of ‘Raindrops’ is fleshy, pale green edged in red, and accented by a single, globular ‘raindrop’.  As the plant matures, each ‘water droplet’ becomes more pronounced, adding to the unusal effect.  Not just stunning to look at, but also, n ‘an indestructible houseplant or a potted plant in the outdoor garden”. Let it rain! 

No plant collection would be complete without at least one edible variety, and here is where the folks at Logees are the experts. Nursery proprietors Byron E. Martin and Laurelynn G. Martin (co-authors of the book ‘Growing Tasty Tropical Plants in Any Home, Anywhere’) have assembled a huge assortment of plants to tempt your taste buds, including curry leaf, papaya and miracle fruit, but our favorite is the classic ‘Meyer’ lemon (Citrus limon). This is one of the easiest citrus plants to grow, a dwarf variety that is hardier than most, and like all citrus, thrives in a sunny location. Your reward for meeting its needs will be fragrant white flowers, followed by delicious, plump fruits that are a bit sweeter than store bought lemons.  Perfect for garnishing those summer cocktails!

Special promotion! Click like on the Fierth page or sign up for our emai list; one randomly selected winner will received one of these featured plants, courtesy of Logee’s!

How To Enter the Logee’s Plant Giveaway : 

1.  Click ” LIKE ”  on our all new Facebook Page  >> [HERE] << Do not click like on this article- You must click like on the facebook page [here].  You can do this by clicking on this link and then clicking the link below and then clicking like on that page – Your entry will be automatically confirmed you will be contacted via facebook if you win.

Entry Option #2- If you already have clicked like on our facebook page , you can join by entering yor name and email address below and then **you must respond to the confirmation email that is sent to you.**

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Third Option : If you have already completed on of the preceding options  you may enter by emailing Brian@fierth.com – ONLY IF YOU HAVE ALREADY COMPLETED THE FIRST TWO OPTIONS 

Contest ends   MIDNIGHT Saturday April 30th 2012  and is open to US residents only – Offer void in areas with botanical import laws . One winner  will be selected to receive one of the plants featured in this article.  

 GOOD LUCK !   

Mike Diamond is a writer, comedian and television personality based in New York City. He has hosted the Logo network’s ‘PopLab’ program, and also does video reporting for various web sites including 365Gay, TripOut, and EDGE. Mike was born in the bathroom of the Crisco Disco in 1973, is two inches taller than he appears on television, and has no gag reflex.

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