Horticulturalist Dan Heims, president of Oregon's Terra Nova Nurseries, travels the world in search of unusual new plant varieties that can be bred and shared with all interested gardeners.

His hunt begins with exploratory visits to private and botanical gardens both close to home and across the globe, where he looks for unique plant species that would lend themselves to hybridization. Each plant is carefully inspected for adherence to strict USDA guidelines before it is allowed back into the United States, where Dan and his team of gardening experts will begin evaluating each floral find for commercial and breeding possibilities. These rare species are then bred and blended with existing specimens from Dan's already extensive collection to create new varieties of vigorous, garden-worthy plants.

Here, Dan shares a selection of his latest plant introductions for spring.

Acanthus (Whitewater)

Native to Australia, this ornamental pink-and-cream flower was bred for vigor, hardiness, and heat and humidity tolerance. Use for a bold accent in shade gardens or perennial plant borders.

Cyclamen Coum (Something Magic)

The "something magic" about the cyclamen coum plant can be seen in its wonderful marked leaves: Each sports a miniature Christmas tree with silver halo. This hardy species produces large rose-pink flowers in February and March. Plant in dry, shady areas.

Heuchera (Georgia Peach)

This versatile plant does as well with heat and humidity as it does in the temperate climate of the Pacific Northwest. Its large, flat leaves are an intense rose peach in the spring, dusky rose in the summer, and rosy purple in the fall and winter. Container planting is recommended.

Tiarella (Jeepers Creepers)

The lobed, well-marked foliage of the tiarella has a creeping growth pattern, spreading approximately two feet per year. This bright green plant does well in shade.

Heucherella (Solar Power)

With vibrant lime-green and red leaves, the heucherella prefers a large, lush habitat. Plant in areas that receive full sun.


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Comments (1)

Martha Stewart Member
July 23, 2011
Excellent program about shade loving varieties. I have been searching for the Terra Nova catalog handed out at the end of the program to no avail (not on their website). Any suggestions would be appreciated!