New penstemons
New plants on trial: Shrubs and climbers

New plants on trial: Top Shrub – Physocarpus Coppertina

Physocarpuscoppertina1500 This is the first of a series of daily posts about new plants I grew for the first time last year. Now that it’s clear which have actually come through the winter – and which have not – I can make an initial assessment. These should take us up to the Chelsea Flower Show – I’ll be blogging directly from the show from Sunday 20 May.

Back to my new plants. First off – the top shrub. Of course, this has only been the first year in the progression towards maturity and it’s only then that true judgment can be made. But last year Physocarpus opulifolius 'Coppertina'  was the star of the newcomers.

This lovely hybrid between the deep purple ‘Diablo’ and ‘Dart’s Gold’ grew away strongly after planting, it survived the winter totally unscathed – not even a hint of die back – and it’s been off with a leap in the last couple of weeks. The leaf color is copper with amber young growths and the foliage becomes richer in color as the season progresses (1st picture) then in fall turns reddish in shade and more bronzey shade in the sun (2nd picture).Physocarpuscoppertina2500

I have two plants so I’ve cut one back by more than half to encourage bushiness and left the other alone. It should be lovely with my unusually hardy Crocosmia ‘Distant Planet’… of which more in another post. As I write, the native columbine Aquilegia canadansis with its red and yellow flowers makes a great companion -  or it would be if it had the good sense to self-sow itself just a little bit closer.

Physocarpus opulifolius Coppertina (‘Mindia’) is a ColorChoice Shrub from Proven Winners. Find out more here.

North American gardeners can find a retailer here.

British gardeners – Sorry, it’s not yet available in the UK. But it will be…