Bring some Electric Love to the cottage

Does your garden need a little love this summer?

How about a little Electric Love?

Electric Love has been named as the Plant of the Year by Canada Blooms, the annual garden and horticultural industry show that takes place each winter in Toronto.

It’s the first weigela ever bred with deep red blooms and dark green foliage. That makes it interesting, but maybe not enough to make it Plant of the Year. But Electric Love also stands out because it’s such an incredibly low-maintenance plant, even by weigela standards.

In fact, Electric Love was bred at Van Belle Nursery as part of a program called Bloomin’ Easy. The breeding program was set up specifically to develop plants that are easy to care for, and offer a simple option for homeowners who are short of time, uncertain about landscaping, or both.

It helps that weigela is such a forgiving species of plant to begin with. It’s an old-fashioned shrub that’s renowned for producing abundant blooms in spring, with blooms diminishing as summer progresses.

Gardeners have been loving weigela for more than a century, and breeders have developed hundreds of cultivars. There are varieties that will grow ten feet high and others – like Electric Love – that are compact enough to be grown along the edge of a walkway or in a pot.

The first weigela had red blooms and medium green foliage, but now the range of options is nearly infinite. Bloom colours range from pale pink to lavender, peach to white, and a whole range of reds. And the foliage comes in bright yellow, copper, deep green and variegated. There are even white-leaved and nearly black-leaved varieties.

As for care, nothing could be easier. Like many weigelas, Electric Love is rated as hardy to zone four and can handle temperatures down to -34C. It likes full to partial sun, and moderately moist soil. The large shrub varieties will benefit from some pruning, but other than that it’s really a case of “plant, water and enjoy.”

Electric Love is bound to be in short supply this season, but if you’re interested in adding some gorgeous spring colour to your landscape this year, call us and we can discuss which weigela is right for you.


Posted in In the Garden.