Fun plants at the Spring Garden Festival

The Des Moines Botanical Garden will be hosting its Spring Garden Festival on May 7-10 of this year, and already the place is buzzing with activity in preparation for the event. This week I got a special sneak peek at some of the many cool new plants that will be available for sale during the festival.  Today I will be featuring two of these.


Paeonia tenuifolia, commonly known as fern leaf peony.  Native to Russia, this peony is hardy to Zone 4. It can be used for great leaf textural contrast in the garden. I have not seen it sold in local nurseries too often, so this will be a real find!

  Paeonia tenuifolia,  potted and ready to grow for the Spring festival.

Paeonia tenuifolia, potted and ready to grow for the Spring festival.

Paeonia tenuifolia

Paeonia tenuifolia


Next up, a new cultivar of chinese dowgwood called Cornus kousa var. chinensis 'Madi-II' Mandarin Jewel (TM). This ornamental tree is hardy to Zone 5. As if a run-of-the-mill Chinese dogwood with its large white bracts and stunning fall color was not enough to get your adrenaline going, this new introduction has edible orange fruit. Neat.

Cornus kousa var. chinensis 'Madi-II' 

 Potted bare-root Chinese dogwoods for the Spring festival.

Potted bare-root Chinese dogwoods for the Spring festival.

Cornus kousa var. chinensis 'Madi-II'