An unusually beautiful garden

An aficionado reveals her prime picks in flowering plants
Terri Sauerhafer
Terri Sauerhafer
By Kate Melton

If you’ve been a regular reader of (585) magazine over the last few years and are also an enthusiastic gardener, you’ll recognize Terri Sauerhafer’s name—she’s the owner Good Earth Greenhouse in Clifton Springs, and people come to her each year for plants that are out of the ordinary. That’s because Sauerhafer doesn’t grow or sell the usual flower or vegetable fare.

“Orange marigolds and red geraniums are boring,” she says, “and the fun for me is tracking down new and different flowers and vegetables for people to plant. This year there’s a lot of variegated and black.” Sauerhafer admits that she’s an “annual girl” herself, and she urges people to cut their annuals and bring them inside to enjoy. “They cut so nice and by cutting them, they’ll bloom more, too.”

Sauerhafer also offers seed-grown plants. She favors a new nasturtium called ‘Bloody Mary’, an orange dipladernia, and a geranium called ‘Crocodile’ with veining in its leaves. But her “favorite-favorite” seed-grown plant is pink buckwheat. “It was amazing last year and grew to about six feet tall. It flowered and I thought it was done, but it just kept growing. I put it at the end of a veggie bed, and it flowered all summer.”

She typically orders seeds and plants from about fifty different sources so that she can offer the variety she prefers, and often doesn’t favor a new plant until she tests it for a year. It’s important to remember that while Sauerhafer and her crew at Good Earth Greenhouse grow a wide selection of plants, you won’t find a lot of any specific plant, so you’re wise to visit her early, whether it’s at the greenhouse in Clifton Springs or at the Rochester Public Market on Flower City Sundays. [NEXT year. FCS is canceled. —Ed.]

And oh … by the way … May 2 is World Naked Gardening Day!

Without further ado, here are Sauerhafer’s favorites among the new plants she’ll offer this year for consideration in your garden, along with her comments. 

(List is under gallery.)

NEW PERENNIALS & SHRUBS

Pink dandelion—“I’m so excited about this!”

Euphorbia (spurge) ‘Miners Merlot’—“I love all euphorbias, and this one is claiming to be very dark and hardy.”

Sedum ‘Night Embers’—“Tall, dark, and I like it!”

‘Ringo’ rose—“You have to see it!”

Philadelphus (mock orange) ‘Illuminati Tower’—“It has great form.”

Clematis ‘Sparky Pink’—“A hit in Europe but new here.”

Cytisus ‘Sister Rosie’—“A Scotch broom that looks interesting.”

Thuja (arborvitae) ‘Fluffy’—“I hope it looks like the picture.”

ANNUALS

Cuphea (Mexican heather) ‘Honeybells’—“So cool looking, and these are hummingbird food.”

Osteospermum (African daisy) ‘Harvest Moon’—“Looks kind of like a sunflower and reminds me of the Neil Young song.”

Nicotiana ‘Perfume Party’—“Variegated foliage … what?! The flower and form remind me of mutabilis [four o’clocks].”

Petunias ‘Midnight Gold’ and ‘Tiki Torch’—“Just wow! And ‘Tiki Torch’ hits a lot of colors.”

Euphorbia ‘Yokois White’—“This is a summer poinsettia. Yes, please!”

New Guinea impatiens ‘Roller Coaster Hot Pink’—“So ruffled, fluffy, double, nice.”

Kalanchoe thrysifolia variegata’—“Like the original, but better.”

Cosmos ‘Mini Click White’—“Such pretty double flowers.” 

Tomato ‘Copper Beauty’ and ‘Sunrise Sauce’—“Both have amazing flavor.”

Lettuce ‘Celtuce’—“This is lettuce grown for the stalk.”

Kale ‘Jagallo Nero’—“A sweet and mild-tasting kale.”

ALL-TIME FAVORITES 

Eupatorium ‘Elegant Feather’—“For the refined eye.”

Convulvus ‘Mauritanicas’ (a ground cover morning glory)—“Am I the only one that likes it?”

Pink pilea—“The whole plant looks like a flower.”

Blue anagalis—“True blue.”

Variegated aptenia (ice plant)—“Unusual and super easy.”

Wire vine (muhlenbergia)—“For when you want to get artsy.”

Oxalis (shamrock)—“Every color this year!”

Fusion impatiens ‘Yellow Glow’—“Should be more appreciated.”

Senecio ‘Angel Wing’—“This hit two years ago and was an instant favorite.”

Tomato ‘Sunsugar Cherry’—“Summer wouldn’t be the same without them, seriously.”

Celeriac, aka celery root—“I’m addicted.”

A few “honorable mentions” include ‘Sparks Will Fly’ Begonia, ‘Mystic Spires’ Salvia, and ‘Strawberry Blonde’ Marigold, among others. 

Categories: Explore, Gardening, Grow, Grow – Top Story

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